I’m a sucker for adventure – and alpine climbing fits perfectly in my new “fun things to do” list. I love a hike by water – great if there are several lakes involved. I’m fascinated by history – preferably outside museums. And I like figuring out where to put my next step – it’s kind of like a moving meditation. For all these reasons this past hike easily ranks in my top favourite ones as it ticks all the boxes.
Here you can find the break down of the days exactly how Paul and I did it. And don’t worry – if you don’t fancy an alpine climb you can totally skip that part and still have an epic experience!
Start/End: Les Mesches Total Length: 32 km Total Min Elevation: 1,389 m Total Max Elevation: 2,715 m Total Ascent: 2,476 m Difficulty Day 1: E (Hikers) Difficulty Day 2: F (Easy Alpine Climb) Equipment: Hiking Shoes, Proper hiking outfit, Sleeping Bag, Survival kit Dogs Allowed: No
Fresh smile at the start of the walk. We parked the car at Les Meches and we start our gradual ascent surrounded by lovely woodland Our first milestone is the refuge the Merveilles, which is positioned between two lakes: Lac Fourca and lac Long in this area by the slopes of mount Bego is where the petroglyph can be found These stone carvings are dated around the bronze age (3,000-1,500 B.C.) Nature meets history Trying to find these made our hike so much fun + enticing The Famous stone slab of the chief of the tribe Lac des Merveilles We leave the Valley of Wonders (Vallee des Merveilles) behind and head towards the Baisse de Valmasque – 2nd milestone for the day A look back on the steep path up to the Baisse de Valmasque Which we reach at the time of our wedding ceremony two years back (4pm) View on the beautiful Lac du Basto Our path takes us down on the bank-side of the lake where we find a family of curious chamois Past Lac du basto we find another beautiful lake, Lac Noir Once we pass Lac Noir, we find ourselves on the bank-side of a third lake (Lac Vert) on which we spot our refuge Refuge de la Valamasque – where we stay for the night After a celebratory picnic under the stars we sneak in our sleeping bags to recharge for the day (and climb) ahead We wake up at sunrise (6.30am) and we have a very good start of the day with a petit dejeuner (breakfast) on the terrace and more chamois We wave our beautiful refuge good-bye and start our steep climb towards Collet de la Charnassère – our first milestone for the day The path is unmarked so we need to follow the cairns We soon find ourselves having to climb several gullies and rock slides Despite being pretty demanding – although fun – we are rewarded with amazing views on Lac Vert, Lac Noir and lac du Basto behind us Rebuilding cairns so other hikers can find the path We then reach Lac Gele’ – 2,588m From here we need to descend, cross the piece of land between the lake and again ascend on stones following the cairns Collet de la Charnassère – 2,727 m The astonishing Lac de l’Agnel, made even more beautiful by the hard climb We now keep following the cairns on rocky path and boulder fields losing some altitude Until we reach some grassy bits up until the Pas de l’Agnel – our second milestone Here we stop for lunch right at the border between France and Italy Always in good company of friendly chamois From here we can see the Italian slopes and on the left the Pagarì Refuge – 2,650 m From here the path is marked (yellow paint) although there are still some steep rocky bits to cross here and there The path takes us on the bank-side of Lac de l’Agnel Once we pass the lake and some more parts on scree the trail is well marked and easy to follow The chamois are showing us the way Once we reach the valley our path joins an ex-military dirt road
By the end of which we still have 4,8km on asphalt road to go before reaching the car park. We could take a bus that from Casterino take us to Les Meches but we decide to continue by foot – with a little stop in Casterino for a coffee. We reach the car by 5pm.