On the last morning, after breakfast and checking out of the hotel, we then made our way back once again to the ski lift … to attempt the climb to the top, once again. This time, the hubby suggested that maybe we should try to stick close to the ski track that goes directly to the top instead of getting off it and then walking on the gentler snowshoe track as we had done the day before … so that we could be sure of reaching the top.
I was game for it … although I had my doubt as the ski piste looked really, really steep to try and walk directly on it … given the level of my physical fitness. But as you will see from the photos below, we did it … although maybe not to the very top of the mountain that we were on!
Making our way back to the ski lift on the last morning of our stay in Arolla.
As it was a Monday morning, there were very few people on the ski slope. So we had the ski piste to ourselves for most of the time!
Actually … only after a few minutes of walk up the steep slope from the ski lift, I was starting to feel not too good and I had to rest. I decided that maybe it was best that I do not attempt the climb that day and told the hubby that maybe he should do it alone. But since I would only end up waiting for him in the hotel restaurant since we had already checked out of the hotel, the hubby suggested that we try and look for the small rest cabin that we had seen on our first visit to the area … so that I could wait for him there. He claimed that it was not that far … so I agreed.
Hmmm … despite walking up the slope for sometime, we still did not see the rest cabin … although we did see some activity on the slope (aside from the few skiers) and on air. Being a weekday morning, we saw a helicopter busy delivering some kind of cargo to the alpine shelter on the top of the mountain across from us (going back to and fro several times), a snow mobile carrying some cargo (bottom right) and a snow plough smoothing the snow on the slope (top right).
We decided to stop at this particular spot so that we could rest for a while and have our light lunch … since we still had not found the rest cabin.
A few skiers skied down the slope while we were having our break …
… and enjoying the view of the glacier of Tsijore Nouve that we had seen the previous day.
Since we were at a much higher elevation than we were on the previous day, we could see quite well the sea of ice that forms the glacier of Tsijore Nouve going down the valley between the mountain peaks. It was a lovely sight … and I was so glad that the hubby had made me walk up this far … even if only to try and look for that rest cabin where I was supposed to stay and wait for him! 😉
And where was that rest cabin?
This was the cabin that the hubby was referring to. I had wanted to stop here to rest on our first visit to Arolla … but, unfortunately, there was no time to do so. And of course … I did not get to rest here this time either because … it was not as near as the hubby had claimed it was!
This was how it had looked from the slope where we finally caught sight of it … nope, not near at all! Errr … if you cannot see the rest cabin (which is behind the hubby) on this photo …
… that is the rest cabin, down on the other slope. We actually had gone too far up!! Haizzzz …
Since we had already passed the junction where we should have turned to go onto the other slope … and since I was feeling better …
… I decided to plod on up the ski slope and told the hubby that I would try to go up as far as I could … but I could not promise that I would go all the way to the top. He was happy that I decided to continue with the walk. 🙂
Along the way, we saw the accident area. The picture above shows the off piste slope (after the row of trees) that we were on the previous day when the French skier had had her accident.
A close-up of the big rock (the biggest among the trio seen on the picture) … where we had sat down for our lunch. We could still see the tracks left by the hubby when he went down to help the lady skier.
To the left of the ski track, we could see quite clearly from this elevation, a cable car station (the grey building) just below the peak across from us.
And to our right is the slope that we had thought to climb during our first visit to the area. A bit ambitious, I know … considering we were there only for a day and how … errr … physically FIT I was!! hehehe … 🙂
I walked … and walked … and walked up the steep ski slope very, very slowly … pushing my sticks hard onto the snow to make sure that they would really grip the ground to provide the necessary support for me. It was really tough … as there were times when I felt a little unsteady even just trying to stand as the slope was really steep. But … to be able to see the Tsijore Nouve glacier (on my left) quite close made up for the tough trek up the ski slope lah!
And of course, after all that hard climb, we had to have our shot taken with the Tsijore Nouve glacier as our backdrop lah! Especially for me … since I did not think that I would be trekking that far up that morning!! 🙂
And another shot to show how far up I had managed to walk … despite my initial plan to stay below and let the hubby do the climb alone!
While we were stopping to take the photographs and admire the glacier, we saw a skier went down the slope on our left (past the barrier that was set up) … which was not the official ski piste! There are certainly plenty of those who find their thrills by doing so on the mountain slopes.
Like this group of off piste skiers who left beautiful marks while sloping downhill not far from the ridge.
Anyway, since we were already almost reaching the top, I told the hubby that I was willing to continue the walk up since the slope further up seemed much gentler (especially the one on the left) …
… and which was our natural choice, of course! Finally, I felt so much steadier walking on the ski piste!! 🙂 While I was quietly enjoying my walk on this stretch … and I was feeling the sting of the hot sun bearing on us …
… the hubby decided that he was going to try to go up the slope on our left to see if he could see the other glacier from there. Unfortunately, he soon realised that the top was further than he had initially thought and the snow on the slope was really thick, thus making the walk up quite laborious … and he soon decided to abort his attempt.
The deep track marks left by the hubby as he made his way up … and me looking up from below to see how he was doing.
So he soon joined me to walk on the ski piste towards the other end of the stretch!! 🙂 But we were not alone on this stretch.
There were a number of skiers skiing down and several others walking forward (doing ski mountaineering) … as well as a few snowboarders. Nice to have some company up here! 🙂
We were hoping to go as far as we could to the other side of this stretch, like the others that had walked past us … but soon realised that we needed to start making our way back down the mountain slope if we wanted to be on time to catch the bus down to the train station in Sion. So … as much as we regretted having to start making our way back, we did. Haizzz … what a pity that we had not followed this route the day before!
But before leaving …
… a bit of resting on the snow! hehehe … 🙂
You can see how dark the hubby face was … as it was such a hot day and we were out for hours. As I told the hubby several times … that was the only part of the holiday I hated … getting too tanned to my liking!! 😉
And then … back down the mountain we went ….
… and down the steep ski piste.
I had to walk sideways for most part so as to make sure that I did not slide down uncontrolled … especially since the snow was getting a little wet by this time because of the strong sun.
But it was hard not to slide on certain sections, though … intentionally, of course! 🙂
About to reach the bottom of the slope which took us only an hour from the top.
And as a reward to myself for making to the top (or at least as far as we did) … even though I had thought of not doing earlier on in the walk … I decided to do a bit of indulging before taking the bus back to Sion.
Enjoying a plate of sweet crêpe with a cold glass of coke … while admiring the glacier of Arolla beside Mont Collon from the terrace of the hotel that we had stayed at! A lovely end to a lovely extended weekend at Arolla!!! 🙂
Other entries related to Arolla:
- Extended weekend at Arolla, Day 2…
- Extended weekend at Arolla, Day 1…
- A weekend of glacier hunting… at Arolla…
Other entries related to our snowshoeing trips in 2012:
- Snowshoeing at the foot of Mount Säntis …
- Laternliweg at Schwägalp… (snowshoeing at night)
- Winter wonderland in the hamlet of Schwägalp…
- Doing a spot of raquette at beautiful Arolla …
- Raquettes… trying our luck at Chalet à Gobet…