Statistics: mileage 10.8 miles ascent 2744′ descent 2237′ 6.5 hours

We had to make a decision about this day’s activity: either a climb to Alpage de Bovine or follow the high mountain route nearing the Trient Glacier. The weather made that decision for us as rain, lightning, and possible snow was predicted for the higher elevations, so on toward the little Alpage (mountain pasture) de Bovine we went

Leaving Auberge Bon Abri at 7:40am, we leisurely walked through the village of Champex d’En Bas.

The path from here began to take on a gentle rise, which soon became a much steeper ascent for a couple of hours. One benefit of this elevation gain was the view looking toward the Bernese Alps in the distance.

The track that we had been walking became a scramble over a multitude of rocks.

Although the ascent continued, the absence of rocks was a relief when we traversed rough, high mountain pastures.

We watched clouds roll into the higher mountains and recognized we had made the correct choice of trails for today.

Just about the time the hunger pangs set in we arrived at Alpage de Bovine,
our lunch stop.

This is a very basic little hut, but the soup, tarts and hot chocolate were delicious. What a surprise to discover this treasure up here in the middle of a pasture!

This small area is known for its prize cattle. These sleek, black cattle with their elaborately adorned, brass bells around their necks were clearly a matter of pride for the farmer. An interesting contrast of environments is represented in this photo…the peaceful, alpine, pastoral scene in the foreground and the busy, high tech farming communities of Martigny and Sion far below.

After lunch the ascent continued and eventually we had a good view of the Bovine meadow from above.

Our trail finally leveled off just before we began to drop down toward the Col de la Forclaz.

Arriving in Col de la Forclaz we realized that this was a heavily traveled road between Martigny and Chamonix with a constant stream of cars.

Nearing our destination for the night, Trient, we passed a trail sign pointing us in the right direction down the hill.

Trient is situated in a small valley which has at its head, on a hillside, a stunning pink church. When we were there it was being repainted so we missed it in all of its glory, but nevertheless, it was quite attractive.

We finally found our refuge, Relais du Mont Blanc, farther down the valley. The refuge is quite large and rambling. We were assigned to a dormitory room with 12 men so we felt a little outnumbered! Everyone joined in for a social time before a delicious dinner. Then, after dinner, most everyone remained in the dining room to play Yahtzee and share trail experiences.

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