Dwight Peck's personal website

Summer 2003 -- Champex-lac and nearby hikes

Val d'Arpette

Alternating work with ultra-long weekends, Mr Peck and friend Kristin set out for Champex above Orsières above Sembrancher above Martigny, across the valley from Verbier, Switzerland, late June 2003, to hike about a bit and dine as well as possible.

You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.

Trailhead above Champex for a late afternoon stroll up into the Val d'Arpette. This a very homey and folksy restaurant montagnard, the Relais d'Arpette, with plenty of rooms and dortoir beds for hikers and skiers (in season) following this variant of the High Route.

Here's a rainy day view up into the Val d'Arpette. The Fenêtre d'Arpette at the head of the valley leads down over to the base of the Trient Glacier and the Col de Forclaz, celebrated elsewhere. {Fenêtre is a French word for "window" historically used in the French-speaking Savoyard regions of northern Italy, equivalent to "col" in French and "pass" in German and English.}

Kristin and plum

Amusing views on either side as one ascends.

Waiting for the stragglers

In view of storms moving in rapidly, the hikers paused for lunch and then retreated hastily, as the Val d'Arpette microclimate produced some very estimable thunderstorms later in the day.

(Mr Peck and Mr Pirri returned in late August 2003 to cross over the Fenêtre d'Arpette at the head of the valley but got stopped by a snowstorm and humongous landslides, so in the end the narrator has not got successfully over the Fenêtre d'Arpette since 1982.)

Hiker Kristin preparing to leave Arpette and see what's on the menu in Champex.

An unflattering view of Champex, but it really is a charming village in its way, nestled alongside a pleasant little lake.

Our favorite restaurant, on the lakeside, with all the ducks and single loon (or, arguably, coot).

The Lac de Champex from the lakeside restaurant in early evening.

The next day: A very nice hike from Champex up to the Cabane d'Orny at 2826m

And the following day:
Not too far from Champex: the Grand St. Bernard Pass, looking down onto the Italian side

The Italian border controls and a few hotels. (See the same view in a 1995 white-out.)

Mr Peck & friend at Gd St Bernard, 2003

Bye, St Bernard.

Summer 2002

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 9 November 2003, resized 31 January 2008, 10 December 2013.

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