Tuesday, 2 August, Lac de Tanay – Le Grammont – Alp Lovenex – St. Gingolph
|On the last day of our 4-day hike we woke up to a beautiful sunny morning at L’Auberge La Vouivre on Lac de Tanay (1409 m). Breakfast awaited us on the terrace, facing a peaceful lake. The environment was calm. At about 8:45 am, we started our trek and headed to Le Grammont, about 700 m higher. This was a change of plan in the route in order to catch the stunning views from the highest peak nearby.It was a steep hill from the start. The group was quiet. Our first drink pause took place after about 1 hour at 1769 m and by the sweet sound of a running water wheel. It was sunny and hot.
|From this point we could see the Dents de Midi, a compact series of peaks that look in fact like somebody’s crooked teeth. We had our second pause about an hour later, just before reaching a pass. From this point, we got our first glimpse of Lake Geneva. At 11 am, we reached the top and the highest point of our trip (2171 m). It was magnificent! Everyone congratulated each other for having reached the top and for sharing such a spectacular view. We had a 360° view of Mont Blanc, Dents de Midi, a far away small Matterhorn and the spectacular Lake Geneva plus other perfectly sized hills that complemented the panorama. On a day of perfect visibility, it was a moment to remember.
|We lunched for about 35 min at the top and then started our long descent and traverse to Lac de Lovenex. We went down a steep hill and a field covered with beautiful and colorful wild flowers. I remember particularly the bright yellows, blues, violets and purple, but as the flowers were getting brighter and brighter the gradient down the hill was getting steeper and steeper and I soon forgot about the flowers to focus on the difficult trail, which was rocky, muddy and slippery. The group stopped to evaluate the situation but we had no choice but to go forward relying heavily on our poles and a few tree branches that were perfectly located to keep us stable. Quite an adventure!
|Once we left this difficult terrain and reached the bottom we realized that we had to go back up in a different direction to find our route again. This was not easy, as the trail was not visible, but a few courageous hikers took the lead and found the way up. We made it to the top and took another drink pause at about 2 pm. From this point, we could see a distant St. Gingolph, our final destination located on the bank of Lake Geneva. We soon reached Lac de Lovenex (1668 m) and a farm nearby, where we could all refill our bottles of water. We were hot, we had been climbing hard and water was scant, so this farm with fresh drinking water was a blessing. We went uphill again and made our final drink pause (1753 m) at about 3:30 pm before initiating our long and nonstop descent. During this last phase of our trekking, the group got dispersed. There was a train to catch at 6 pm. Some people opted to hurry down to catch the train and others opted for a ride into town. Eventually, we all took a ride into town and happily met at the train station in St. Gingolph to catch our train home.
The hike took a total of 7.38 hrs, including 1.32 hr pauses. We hiked 10.8 km with 1055 m up and 1268 m down. It was a very pleasant and adventurous day.