So the next morning after breakfast and checking out of our room, we set off to go to Arolla to enjoy a spot of raquette. The view as we made our way by postal bus towards Arolla was just lovely. For once, I decided to simply sit down and enjoy the ride up the mountain … especially since I knew that the shining sun would make it difficult to get a good shot of the landscape through the glass window. But the hubby certainly was not deterred and took several shots along the way. 🙂
We were hoping to be able to go high enough to see the glacier in the area … but as usual, we did not quite manage to do so! There was not enough time to do so as we had to make sure that we would catch the bus down to Les Haudères to return my rented shoes on time and to collect our bags from the hotel … before making our way to the railway station in Sion ….Haizz …
Oh well … there is always a next time! 🙂
(As usual, just move the pointer of your mouse on any picture to display background information or click to enlarge.)
The view of the end part of the valley d’Hérens with the village of Les Haudères and the beginning of the small valley of Ferpècle as the postal coach was starting its ascent towards the valley of Arolla the next morning.
Climbing higher and higher up the valley, towards the mountain of Arolla … as we left Les Haudères far behind us.
And finally arriving at the little village located on the slope of the mountain of Arolla. Too bad we did not have the time to check out the village itself, called Arolla after a variety of trees present in profusion in the area (arolle in French, known as arolla pine or sometimes ‘Swiss stone pine’ in English) … but quickly made our way heading towards the raquette track up the mountain.
Making our way up the slope to start our walk on the snow.
And off we went … on our raquettes … for the second time this winter.
Close-up shot of the mountains seen in the picture above. Since it was such a lovely sunny day … it made for beautiful photo-taking opportunities … as long it was not against the sun!
The snow was quite deep … which in a way was quite nice to walk on … but also quite dangerous if one was not careful as one might accidentally walk into a covered hole or vacuum … which we did, unfortunately!
Poor hubby, he fell twice … once for walking too close to the edge of a stream, thinking that it was safe to do so …
… and again further up the slope. Well … I was not spared either!
I had my share of falls even though I was careful. I accidentally stepped into a deep hole … and had a hard time trying to get myself out. Check out the depth of the hole … almost as long as my stick … which was why I could not pull my leg out! The hubby had to help to pull me out … just as I had to help to pull him out of one of the holes that he had fallen into! 🙂
Which is also a strong reason why you should try to avoid doing such walks alone!
But other than the falls … we had a nice walk on the snow with our raquettes!
And the view from Arolla was just superb with Pigne d’Arolla (3796m) and Pointes de Tsena Refien (3391m) in the background.
A little fellow that we came across during our walk. He was not as impeccably looking by the time we made our way down the slope 🙂
The mountains looked really close and lovely from where we were walking. And the hubby …
… and I stopped often to take in the view and, of course, to take a number of photos of the area, too! 🙂
More scenes of the area …
Mont Collon (3827), Serre de Vuibé (3087m, with Petit Mont de Collon above, at 3538m) and Pigne d’Arolla (3796m) as seen from the area near the outer ski slopes.
You should be able to see a ski track on the mountain slope … if you look closely enough.
More ski tracks with skiers coming down the slope … and others taking the ski lift to go up to the mountain top.
Interestingly, a café was open on that day, catering to the skiers going down the outer slope, snow-shoers or any other hikers. Lazy chairs were provided for those who wish to enjoy the view and soak up the sun! I had wanted to do so … but the hubby did not since there might not be enough time to do so!
Making our way down the slope to go back to the village of Arolla.
Approaching the village where we would take the bus down to Les Haudères.
But not before cleaning the raquettes a little and having a cuppa!
Since I did not take any photos on my way up to Arolla … I decided to do so going down.
The 30km long river La Borgne, whose source is at the glacier of Arolla and which goes through the valley of Arolla and then runs along the villages of Les Haudères, Evolène, Praz Jean all the way down to the village of Les Bramois in the Valley of the Rhône, was to be seen during most of our postal bus journey down to Les Haudères.
As the bus meandered through the valley of Arolla, which also offers in winter cross-country ski tracks (see left), we could not but be impressed by the beauty of the area … which has managed to remain mostly unspoilt by human constructions.
The pond at La Gouille, the village from which people usually start their trip to a larger and nicer lake, le lac bleu (the blue lake), some 40 minutes’ walk from there.
As the postal bus left the valley of Arolla, the sight of the impressive range of mountains above the valley of Hérens with the village of Les Haudères nestling at the end of the valley was particularly arresting.
The more so when the Val d’Hérens, the village of Les Haudères, Val de Ferpècle (middle) and various mountains came into full view.
But probably the most beautiful view that was revealed to us as the bus was driving down the slope above the village of Les Haudères was that of the mountain some consider to be more beautiful than the Matterhorn … la Dent Blanche (4357m). However, we must acknowledge that we did not manage to catch a good shot of this famous mountain.
This is therefore a good excuse to go back to this region lah! hehehe … 🙂
Other entries related to this region:
- A weekend of glacier hunting… at Arolla
- Anniversary celebration at Val d’Hérens…
- A short stay at Les Haudères…
Other entries related to snow-shoeing:
- Snowshoeing at the foot of Mount Säntis …
- Laternliweg at Schwägalp… (at night)
- Outline of an extended weekend at the foot of Mount Säntis…
- Raquettes… trying our luck at Chalet à Gobet…
- Back on my snowshoes, again…
- Another visit to Ste Croix…
- Winter’s dragging…
- This snowshoe is made for walking…
- Raquette anyone…?