Champex (1466m) – Sembrancher (717m) – Le Châble (821m), 13km in total
Blue sky after two rainy days!
Today is an easy day – downhill only : ) From just behind our cozy Hotel Splendide, we started going down the valley, the Val d’Entremont, passing small farming villages and the vividly green pastureland. Nothing but peaceful Swiss countryside.
After a couple of hours we arrived at Sembrancher which is located pretty much at the bottom of the valley. A charming village with a cobbled-stone square and a church. Going through the village and admiring charming old wooden houses, we looked for a good spot for lunch.
As we strolled on the flat meadows, we were getting very hungry, we finally found a perfect bench in the open field looking over Verbier. The sun was shining – a perfect day. What a change from yesterday…
While we were enjoying our freeze-dry Japanese rice lunch (a direct import by Sano), several hikers passed by. Another four hikers came by, eying at our bench. They also seemed to be looking for a lunch spot. We invited them to join us on the bench and we started chatting. They were from east London and also on the Haute Route. They also hiked the Arpette route despite the thunderstorm warning yesterday…
After lunch we continued on the trail in the forest and along the river. Finally a tall church appeared still far away. It was today’s final destination, Le Châble. This good-size town is situated at the bottom of a famous ski resort called Verbier, sandwiching the river, La Dranse.
After our usual chores of laundry and food shopping, we had an important mission today: make our backpack light!
We were inspired by a light backpack of our Haute Route co-hiker Jean from Scotland. We suffered from our heavy backpacks and our aim was to reduce our stuff to the strict minimum.
Everything was under our strict review; Sano’s Jetboil (convenient for cooking but heavy) was out, my binoculars (good to have but heavy) were also out, with other clothes and many more small items. To minimise our food weight, we decided to eat main meals at the mountain huts or hotels so we carry only snacks and water.
We went to the post office next door, bought the biggest parcel box and sent out all the items to my home in Meilen. We felt happily lightened! Ready to fly to new heights.