April 2023 – Valais mountains

2,500 meters of rugged Valais mountains: the 2968 m high Haut de Cry breaks off with its mighty southern flank directly into the Rhone Valley.

At the height of Riddes in the Valais, the level of the Rhone River is about 475 meters above sea level. The Rhone Valley is a heavily populated alpine valley in the west of Switzerland and, with its sometimes almost Mediterranean climate, a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. In particular, the mountain valleys branching off to the south quickly lead into an imposing and rugged mountain world, deep into the middle of the high 3000m and 4000m peaks of the Alps. An example is the Val d’Hérens branching off near Sion, which finds its crowning glory with the pyramid-shaped Dent Blanche. On the north side, the Bernese Oberland follows and with it the rugged mountains of the Bernese Alps.

At the height of Chamoson, located above Riddes, nature, however, does not take its time to cover enormous differences in altitude. The huge cauldron below the imposing south face of the 2968 m high Haut de Cry dominates the scenery here in an unmistakable way. There is a gigantic 2500 meter difference in altitude between the Rhone and this peak, which is not even that high compared to other Alpine peaks – and yet the mountain seems almost unreachable when viewed from the valley. Behind the village of Chamoson, located in the vineyards, it goes straight to the point and in a mixture of mountain forest and rock faces, the mountain flank rises up to the summit.

Anyone wishing to visit this region of the Valais should take time for a trip up the opposite side of the valley to Isérables. At the upper north end of the small village, a short panoramic trail offers breathtaking views into this spectacular scenery as well as across the Rhone Valley.

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