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lovely village of Leysin, in the Swiss Alps, sprawls at 1250m-1450m on the flank
of a range of six small limestone peaks. These little peaks are wonderful in all
Tour d'Aï is a long pier of a mountain, on the left in the photo below, 2331m
at the top of it but only 5 metres higher than the Tour de Mayen (which seems
higher in perspective) just to its right.
very most fabulous collection of local mountains anywhere, 7km across from left
to right. The Tour d'Aï is on the far left, then Tour de Mayen, then the
ridge of Truex, then the Tour de Famelon.
d'Aï and Mayen from La Forclaz from the same angle, to their southeast. There
is only one walking path up Tour d'Aï, which begins over the Lac de Mayen
up through a notch in the cliffs on the left, slopes up the steep meadows and
climbs on a chain onto the summit ridge, and then coasts along the top of the
cliffs to the summit just left of centre in this photo.
d'Aï looming just right of center, at 2331m, in about 1981. The ridge of
Chaux de Mont (2205m), now a skiing area, runs off to the left, La Berneuse is
in the right foreground, and the Tour de Mayen (2326m) on the far horizon on the
right. There are numerous climbing routes up this side of it, including a fairly
new tourist "via ferrata", with ladder-rungs bolted into the rockface,
up the Sphinx.
classic Tour d'Aï climbing route, the Sphinx, seen from the direction of
Lac d'Aï in about 1980.
Tour d'Aï from the back of La Riondaz, with the turning restaurant on top
of La Berneuse (2048m).
Lac d'Aï at the foot of the mountain at 1892m.
(centre) and Lac d'Aï from a campsite part-way up the Chaux du Mont. That
night, a misguided military training mortar round came over the tent from the
Place d'Armes in the valley of Hongrin behind us and lit up the sky briefly.
the back side of Tour d'Aï (but perhaps the back side of Tour de Mayen instead),
with the machined ski-touring path called the Sentier des Chamois or something
clever like that. Before the level path was bulldozed, that traverse was frequently
the scene of avalanched adventurers.
d'Aï behind La Berneuse, from La Riondaz, 2005
Tour de Mayen and Tour d'Aï from the valley of the Hongrin on the far side
of the mountains, to the north. July 2006.
part way up the path from Ayerne in the Hongrin valley military ground to the
Leysin range from the far side: Famelon on the left, Truex across the middle,
Mayen, and Aï. July 2006.
d'Aï in the center, with the Tour de Mayen on its left, from near the Cornettes
de Bise, November 2006
Leysin Tours from the village of Vers l'Eglise, August 2005. Index
of Leysin local mountain photos
and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, .
All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 2 November 2006, revised 9 May