A strenuous day’s walking; cover varied terrain including the dam at Lac de Moiry between the two cols, before descending the slopes above Les Hauderes brimming with wild flowers.
Take the cable car to Sorebois to avoid ~800m of ascent. From the cable car station, ascend between the ski lifts to the Corne de Sorebois at 2835m to be rewarded with views of the beautiful turquoise waters of Lac de Moiry and the Zinal peaks towering behind. Descend to the lake and follow the trail as it passes the Barrage de Moiry restaurant and crosses the massive Moiry dam. The trail skirts the north flank of the lake, before leaving it behind to ascend to the Col de Torrent at 2919m. From the top of the col on a very clear day you might catch a glimpse of Mont Blanc in the far distance. The descent is long, but pleasant with lots of fine places to stop for breaks before arriving in the village of Les Hauderes.
On beginning your descent from Col de Torrent keep an eye, and ear, out for marmots – they are common on the upper and middle slopes of this descent.
Today’s walk reaches a high point of 2919 m so we advise that you don’t do the route after snow as this will make the high pass difficult to cross. In the early season (end of June early July) the high ground could still retain winter snow – this will likely be soft and easy to cross if you are used to the terrain. If the snow patches are unavoidable or hard (i.e. requiring winter equipment; ice axes and crampons) we advise that you do not do the route if you don’t have the relevant experience or equipment. If in doubt, retrace your steps and continue to Les Hauderes by public transport/taxi (Zinal to Les Hauderes).
Tips and hints
For your gondola - Zinal-Sorebois-Espace Weisshorn you can find details here: https://www.valdanniviers.ch/en/grimentz-zinal-1937.html
If you need to skip today's walk you can check the train timetable here: https://www.sbb.ch/en
Points of Interest
Barrage de Moiry
After crossing the first col of the route you'll have great views down onto the turquoise waters of the lac behind the Barrage de Moiry. At 148 m high, and 610 m long the dam is an imposing feature of the Valley de Moiry. Since being built in 1954 it has become a tourist attraction in the region, being just 8 km along the road from Grimentz. There is a restaurant beside the dam where you can stop for a refreshment before crossing the next col of the day.
The village of Les Hauderes, situated at 1450 m has been recorded in historical records as early as 1250, but become popular with tourists in 1870 when it's first hotel was built for travellers. The small village in Val d'Herens is surrounded by less lofty but still magnificent 3000 m peaks of Dent de Veisivi (3,418), Tsa de l'Ano (3,368 m) and Mont de l'Etoile (3,370 m).
Food & Drink
In Zinal there’s a supermarket (open 7 days a week in the high summer season), bakery, and deli where you can pick-up provisions for a picnic. There is also a restaurant at the top of the Sorebois cable car and another café/restaurant at the Barrage de Moiry. After this point, there are no further places to eat until Le Sage village near Les Hauderes at the end of the day’s walk. The best and quietest picnic spots are around Col de Torrent so we suggest you bring a packed lunch along with plenty of water.
This is a serious mountain hike including altitudes at just below 3000 m so please bring appropriate clothing – even if it’s a sunny morning the weather can change to rain or thunderstorms in the afternoon. Bring plenty of food and water (at least 2 litres) for the day’s walk, along with waterproofs, warm layers and comfortable sturdy walking boots/shoes. You may also wish to bring poles to help with balance, and the ascents and descents.