Dents du Midi
Key information: Dents du Midi
- Enjoy this stunning climb to the highest of Switzerland's Dents du Midi peaks - Haut Cime.
- It's a long but spectacular day walk; although many people ease it by overnighting at the Cabane de Susanfe (2,102m).
- This is a tough walk in high mountains, with plenty of scree and some chain sections. Come prepared.
- ANYONE GOT ANY GOOD PHOTOS? WE WOULD BE DELIGHTED TO POST THEM!
- Walkopedia rating86
- Natural interest16
- Human interest4
- Negative points0
- Total rating86
- Length: 22km
- Maximum Altitude: 3,257m
- Level of Difficulty: Difficult
THIS PAGE IS AT AN EARLY STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT. PLEASE HELP US BY MAKING SUGGESTIONS AND SENDING PHOTOS! THANK YOU!
The following is Stephen Barber's piece on walking here. Thank you, Stephen, for bringing this walk to our attention!
Many will be familiar with the view across the water as the train skirts the northern shores of the Lake Geneva (Lac Leman) between Lausanne and Montreux. There you can see the seven jagged peaks of the Dents ('teeth') rising above the morning sun. My son Max and I took the early train from Geneva to Aigle (about 2 hours), where Peter, familiar with the mountain, picked us up.
From there it's a thirty minute drive to Champery, where we left the car at the Grand Paradis hostel car park at 1055m. The first hour is a steep climb up a wooded hillside before the track opens up, passing through the Val d'Illiez - a rocky scramble with chains in parts before turning east through the Pas d'Encel and the steady climb up towards the Col de Susanfe (2494m).
From the Col we think we can see the summit Haut Cime (3257m), but it is in fact the Col des Parasseux ('the pass of the lazy ones'), a false summit at which many, facing a gruelling final 200m of 50-60 degree scree, turn back. Many of the rest leave their rucksacks there to pick up on their return.
This last section is tough, because the path, far from winding across the slope, is almost directly upwards and is only easily taken in the snow-free months from July.
The summit of Haut Cime is the highest of the seven peaks of the Dents du Midi and the only one easily accessible. Great thrusting shards of rock mark the top, immediately beyond which as a thousand metre drop into the mist. From there we can see across to the Diablerets and immediately below us the Lac de Salanfe reservoir.
The walk up and back is 11 km each way, and a total vertical climb and descent of 2202m up and down. It took us 5 hours each way, although many climbers prefer to stay overnight at the Cabane de Susanfe (2102m) to break the walk.
This is a walk perfectly achievable in a day for a reasonably fit walker, with two caveats. First, the altitude above 3000m can cause a certain lightheadedness, and second, the long walk down takes its toll on the knees, if not the thighs.
Other accounts: share your experiences
Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.
Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.
Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.
Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.
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