From Zinal to the Petit Mountet

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July 27th 2011
Published: July 27th 2011
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As I sit here this evening listening to soft classical musical, I am looking at the Swiss Alps topped with clouds that bring the rain that makes the flowers here so lovely. Fortunately, it did not rain all day.

Again today we hiked in the mountains, from the town of Zinal to the Petit Mountet. Zinal is nestled amidst a majestic mountain landscape that includes the Weisshorn, which at 4506 meters is the fourth highest peak in Europe. The old village of Zinal consists of a number of chalets built of Swiss pine. At one time, the village subsisted on a nearby copper mine. Today, the area is a mecca for tourists who wander the 300 kms. of hiking trails, some of which families enjoy; others of which require mountain guides as they head over peaks and into unstable glacial areas.

We had thought that Monday's hike was beautiful. However, today was even more so as we trekked on a trail that Maria and Manfred had not trekked before. Most of the trail was on a road of sorts, making the walking easy enough that we could more appreciate our surroundings. At the highest point was a "cabane," a
Zinal GlacierZinal GlacierZinal Glacier

The glacier spawns a river.
hut that served hot tea and coffee and an apricot tart that hit the spot. The cabane looks down on a glacier, the Zinal Glacier. The glacier is about 7 km long and about 15 square kilometers. Exiting the glacier from an ice cave is the Navissence River.

As we descended, a few raindrops here and there required us to don rain jackets, but we stayed relatively dry until we reached the end of the hike, where we stopped and purchased raclette (cheese) at a fromagerie. Good timing!!!

Afternoon tea, sauna, shower, and dinner. A typical Swiss dish, raclette is basically melted cheese that is served over potatoes with corn, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, whatever. A perfect meal for a cool evening. After which, Maria even cut Bill's hair. Now he doesn't look quite so straggly. Tomorrow we plan on another rest day before we head back out on the bikes Friday. Here's to sunshine!!

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