Trekking in the European Alps

The 'Let's Be Wild' website kindly chose another of my pictures as their Photo of the Day, this time on Boxing Day. The picture is of Mont Blanc de Cheilon,a 3870m high mountain situated in the Valais Alps in Switzerland.

To get this picture, a friend, Alex, and I travelled from Edinburgh to Geneva to meet another friend, Kenny, in the village of Arolla. Our main objective was Mont Blanc de Cheilon. In the morning, we passed glaciers on Pigne de'Arolla on the approach walk to Pas de Chevres, a small bealach with steep ladders that give access to the Dix hut, an alpine hut situated right underneath Mont Blanc De Cheilon.

We spent the night at the Dix hut. As dawn broke, we walked past Mont Blanc de Cheilon on an acclimatisation walk up La Luette (3548m, grade F). Kenny and Alex reached the summit but I stopped on the summit ridge due to a lack of confidence on the soft snow.

Back at the hut, we could see avalanche debris crossing our tracks on the Luette glacier. This reminded us how warm it had been, even before dawn, and we decided not to attempt Mont Blanc de Cheilon. I, for one, was quite glad. Terrain-wise, the peak should be easily within my capabilities (grade PD) but the soft snow we'd encounter on its hanging glacier and the serac cliff above us was putting me off.

We headed back to the valley instead and spent the rest of our trip trekking to visit the alpine huts in the region.

Overall, we had a great time. Arolla is a nice place and the mountains are easily accessible. I'd say it's well worth a visit.