Lac des Dix

We spent our first night in Sion and the next day went on to the start of our tour, Le Chargeur which is below the huge wall of the Grande Dixence Dam. Le Chargeur consists of the bus stop and a large hotel, nothing more. This was our first hint about the excellence of the Swiss food. The hotel was formerly an Army barracks; it was cheap, barren, sparse, and clean. But it had an excellent cappuccino/bar/restaurant with excellent, fresh home cooked food. During the night it snowed. A lot. We had been assured the Swiss trails were as organized as their transportation system, well marked. We had an excellent breakfast at our hotel and met some Dutch that spoke English. They were experienced hikers and felt it was safe to hike in spite of the large snowfall. The plan was to hike 17 km, from Le Chargeur to Arolla, a somewhat adventurous long walk with varied and magnificent views. The route begins at the top of the huge Grande Dixence Dam and proceeds along Lac des Dix. Beyond the lake is Glacier de Cheilon. The trail climbs steeply to the Col de Riedmatten and then descends to Arolla.