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Published: June 13th 2017
The suspended Peak Walk
The view point at the other end is 3000m.
Today dawned a beautiful clear day so it was going to be ideal for the high alps. Unfortunately, because we are early in the season many cable cars are not working until the end of the month. However, the Glacier 3000 is open. We headed off to Col du Pillon which is about 30kms away and where the seilbahn (cable car) leaves from. The road from Saanen is fairly narrow, winding up through a beautiful valley past Gsteig where we stayed on our Trans Alpine Walk a few years back. We remembered how we stayed at the Viktoria Hotel as the only guests where the manager went off to a party and left us to the 3 storey hotel by ourselves. I also remember that he was somewhat a bit overly friendly with me.......
The Seilbahn to Glacier 3000 goes from 1546m at Col du Pillon to the main station at 2971m. It literally goes straight up a shear wall of rock then hangs across a valley to the main station. At the top it opens out to a glacier with views of the Alps in every direction. There are high peaks of 3000 to 4000m. This is another thing
Peak Walk mountain vistas
The mountains in the distance are 4000m peaks which include the Matterhorn and Mt Blanc and in the other direction the Eiger and Jungfrau.
we love about Switzerland. You can get to these places without being fit, able bodied or capable of walking for hours to get to the tops. At home, we lock them up for conservation which is commendable but so often access is mainly for the fit or to be admired from a distance.
At the main station, Scex Rouge, there is a luge, chair lifts down to the glacier, a restaurant (of course) and a suspended bridge from peak to peak called the Peak Walk. It is a mastery of engineering built strong enough to hold 150 people and strung high over a valley. Surprisingly, I was okay with it and I don't seem to be suffering height fear as I usually do. After having a good look around we got the chair lift down to the glacier and decided to walk across the snow to the Quille du Diable. It was a slog for an hour across soft snow in our trekking shoes and would love to have had snow shoes or cross country skiis as some did. We made it to the Refuge for lunch and were able to look out directly below us for what seemed
Glacier Walk to Quille du Diable
That black sticking up rock in the middle distance was our destination at the Refuge.
a couple of thousand metres into a distant valley. Beyond that was the Rhone Valley with the city of Sion visible. It was worth the trudge through snow but it was a short lived stay as we decided to take the Snow Bus back. What a machine. It could go through any snow. It had a front engine and a passenger cab behind. The wheels were very wide bulldozer type treads.
The whole area of Glacier 3000 is really a playground for everyone but more especially for winter. There were dog sleds, a luge, toboggans, skiers and hikers.
It was a most fantastic day and despite the altitude it wasn't too cold at 13 degrees. We completed the day back at Saanen where we and another couple were served a nice cold beer and their dog a bowl of water. It's great the way pets are catered for as well. People watching is always fun too but it's a bit disconcerting when many of the pedestrians seemed to have gammy legs!
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