This walk is part of the trek Trek from Fionay to Saas-Fee.
Second stage of this hike crossing two passes, Louvie Pass and Prafleuri Pass, both snow-covered.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
Go around Louvie Lake on the right bank (meaning the left of your hiking direction). At the other end of the lake, head in an almost constant north direction (D).
Keep following this trail regularly waymarked White Red White (Blanc Rouge Blanc BRB). Once you reach high point 2418, you'll find a path leading to Plan da Gole (1) to the right. Ignore it and start heading west. You'll reach another crossing at high point 2628 (2), meeting up with a trail coming from Termin pass and another called Chamonix-Zermatt Walker's route.
Take it to the right, it joins up with the path called Alpenpässe-Weg which you've been following since Louvie. Gradually head north-east within a mineral landscape, passing in front of Petit Mont-Fort Lake (3) before finishing the climb at Louvie Pass (4).
Start the hike down rapidly spotting the Grand Désert glacier to the right, head east, crossing the glacial lakes (5) forged by the glacier and start a short climb up to Prafleuri Pass. Reach the pass, which at an altitude of 2987 m is the highlight of the day (6).
Next, head east, then south, then south-east and after a long hike down you'll reach a meadow below Prafleuri Hut (7).
Start the last, short but steep climb to the hut (A) to end the day.
D : mi 0 - alt. 7297ft
1 : mi 0.43 - alt. 7270ft
2 : mi 1.08 - alt. 7972ft
3 : mi 1.43 - alt. 8599ft
4 : mi 2.76 - alt. 9035ft
5 : mi 3.19 - alt. 9577ft
6 : mi 3.85 - alt. 9222ft
7 : mi 5.11 - alt. 9734ft
A : mi 6.32 - alt. 8675ft
Water available everywhere but be careful, it comes directly from the glaciers so very cold and can cause some unpleasantness.
No shelter during the trek.
Careful: we did this in mid-July and the passes were covered in snow, especially Prafleuri Pass. Of course, the marks had been traced (the route is particularly busy), that being said, it is more for experienced hikers, even during nice weather. It's better to wait if the weather isn't suitable as although the stage is short, it is tedious.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
This high mountain area has an acute mineral landscape.
Grand Désert glacier, has unfortunately significantly retreated from what one of my friends, who first did the hike twenty odd years ago, has told me.
In the Swiss valley, this particularly pleasant hike allows you to explore the many 4000 m peaks that surround the route.
N.B. this route is outlined on Openmap which doesn't have the details of our fine IGN maps. Before being able to get your hands on a Swiss map, which are more precise, the route and GPS layouts will be handy for this pleasant trek.
First stage of this trek linking Fionay village to Saas Fee. A pleasant stage reaching Louvie Hut (la Cabane de Louvie) built on the edge of Louvie Lake.
An unusual stage today: it starts with a downhill hike before a long climb uphill, a second descent and a ski lift ride followed by a walk over flatland and a bus ride to the lodge.
A high mountain stage which requires hiking boots with crampons to cross the Arolla glacier. You should get an early start for this long stage of the hike.
A short and easy walk from Champex Lac, taking the well signposted and good paths beside the Bisse. These are the water channels made to control and route the flow of water for irrigation purposes. The path returns to Champex via part of the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) path.
A circular walk in the lower part of the Swiss Val Ferret. One of the walks publicized by the tourist office and well signposted. There are information boards (in French) about the construction of traditional barns made from local stone and timber. Easy walking, navigation and some interesting information. The first section is on a quiet road.
A circular walk from Champex Lac; ascending the tranquil and beautiful Combe d'Orny and joining the path to the Cabane d'Orny where there are refreshments available. The descent is via the path back to the La Breya ski lift taking in an optional ascent of La Breya. (It is also possible to descend by foot via the Val d' Arpette or from the ski lift, similarly the walk can be shortened and height gain reduced by taking the ski lift up.)
6th stage of the Mont Blanc tour: from the Relais d'Arpette to the Forclaz Pass via la Fenêtre d'Arpette.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.