Statistics: 19.2 miles ascent 2667′ descent 4783′ Pass #16: Col de Chaude
The final day! We left our hotel in a dismal cloud cover, but by mid morning it lightened up a bit. Soon we were walking through a deep gorge and approached a soldier equipped with a rifle and a cell phone. He barely noticed us as we passed him since he was focused on his texting. If he was there to protect, there wasn’t a lot of protecting going on!
Once through the gorge Lac de l’Hongrin came into view.
Lac de l’Hongrin is a large reservoir that we walked about halfway around before entering a hillside tunnel.
Emerging from the long, dark tunnel, we entered the peaceful L’Hongrin Valley, where one of the first things we saw was a cow with her newly born calf.
Continuing, we walked through a farmyard and encountered a small group of goats who were quite pleased to visit with us.
In fact, they were so pleased to see us that they followed us for at least a half a mile. Leaving our new buddies behind we began to climb up towards our last pass which can be seen in the distance.
On the ascent we came upon a traditional type of farmhouse in that area: “Alp Chaude”.
Beyond this farmhouse we reached our last pass, Col de Chaude, and began the long trek down!
Just as we started a couple from Virginia showed up who were also on their last day of the Alpine Pass Route. We walked together for awhile exchanging adventures of the trek. Meeting fellow hikers is always one of the joys of these trips.
Continuing our experiences with farmyard animals this day, we met a very cheeky little pal…
As we returned to the path, we went down, down, down, and ,after 19.2 miles, arrived in Caux. We had missed our trail, but this may have been a blessing as everything was so wet and soggy! Fortunately, a local bus could collect us from Caux and take us to the funicular which would in turn deliver us to our final destination on the trek, Montreux. A official-looking man who seemed to be in charge of gathering people for the bus took it upon himself to make sure we were in the right place for this bus. When the bus arrived he told us to just get on and he would not charge us! That was a nice parting gift of our great adventure!
This last day was our longest! The GPS totals for this final leg of the 24 day hike:
The Alpine Pass Route was a wonderful trek and I would do it again! I would change only a few things. I wish that we had planned a little time to visit Chillon Castle in Montreux. I would stay in Braunwald rather than Linthal. I would break up the last day and stay at Auberge de Sonchaux. I wouldn’t hike 10 miles on my first rest day!