Chatel lies in the Portes Du Soleil region on the Swiss – French border. In winter it’s a vast alpine playground for skiing and snowboarding. In summer and early fall, it’s a wonderful area for hiking. Read on for a list of favourite walks, both easy and strenuous…
Just right for an easy day. Take the lift and follow the ridge to Col des Portes du Soleil. You can descend to the Morgin Valley from here or extend your route to Lac Vert.
Les Cornette de Bise (2,432 m)
If you’re staying in Chatel, the best way to approach this mountain is from the parking below Lac d’Arvouin. It’s a short walk to the lake, then head up beyond the lake to the Col de Resse.
From here there’s a short exposed section, (with a protective chain), walking across to Col de Vernaz before the long climb starts up to Les Cornette de Bise.
Soak up the summit views and look out for chamois. If you’re feeling adventurous it’s possible to traverse the exposed ridge to the south-west of the summit and descend to the GR5. Climbing skills required. Most people will retrace their steps back to the Col de Vernaz.
Tete de Linga (2,156 m)
This is an out and back climb from Lac de Vonnes. On a clear day the views are exceptional and the ridge has an abundance of wild flowers. It’s a steep climb and an exposed ridge but accessible to most hikers.
If you continue beyond Tete de Linga to Tete de Geant, you will need a good head for heights and some climbing skills. The path is exposed and narrow with chains for protection. Not for the faint hearted!
A favourite walk for a rest day. Take the lifts from Chatel up to Le Morclan. Portes d’Onnaz is a short walk above the top of the lift. Take the path down to Chalets de Barbossine, before looping back to Petit Chatel.
Mont de Grange (2,432 m)
Yes the height is the same as Les Cornette de Bise but this time the climb is from the valley bottom. Park at the little chapel on the road to the bike park (Tres les Pierres) and follow the footpath up to the ford at L’Entre.
Don’t cross the ford; carry on straight up to meet the GR5. The route to the top branches off the GR5 and follows the ridgeline to the summit. Don’t be intimidated by the exposed sections marked on the map. It’s a straight forward climb, just strenuous and steep.
Roc de Tavaneuse (2,156 m)
Another steep climb but the views are definitely worth it. Park at Pretaine above Abondance. Climb up to Lac de Tavaneuse and stop for a swim on a hot day.
Continue up the short but steep climb to the col, then continue up to the rocky summit. You can retrace your steps to descend or take the steep exposed path down to Passage de Savolaire, contouring below Mont-Brion and back to Pretaine.
These are some of my favourite walks around Chatel. It’s also fun to make the most of the lift system and catch rides over to Avoriaz or Champery. I’ve even made it to Morzine in a day. If you hike in the region, I’d love to know you thoughts…