On the 19th of July I walked down from the Cabane Brunet to Fionnay, where I spent two nights, before going (by bus, train, bus) to Evolène for a week. Then, on the 28th of July I returned to Fionnay, and climbed up to the Cabane du Lac de Louvie. Since most hikers would do this as single stage I have combined them here.
Dates: 19th and 28th of July, 2007
Distance, Elevation Gain/Loss: 9.8 km, 1,420/1287 m
Map Used: 1:50,000 Arolla hiking map, 283T
Cabane de Louvie Coordinates: 589 790 / 99 400
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From Cabane Brunet to Cabane de Louvie
I woke up still tired, and was glad that I was about to interrupt my trip. The previous night's clouds and showers were gone, and after breakfast I started down to Fionnay. The hike was short (about 5¾ km), but the downhill section was very steep and slippery, as there were a lot of coniferous needles on the ground. To make matters worse (remember, I was very tired!) the trail reached the valley about two kilometers and 150 vertical meters below Fionnay, with most of the ascent toward the end. While it was annoying it was a short hike, even in my tired state.
My original plan had called for me to continue up to the Cabane de Louvie, and I had been planning on buying lunch food for that day and the next two in Fionnay. I discovered that Fionnay is so small a village that it has no food stores! I took a bus to Lourtier, and two hours later took the return bus. Since the Cabane du Lac de Louvie is not very far away, that would have worked even had I been continuing onward.
Next day (Friday) I did a short hike with great views on the Combins massif, and on Saturday morning left for Evolène, where I had rented a delightful apartment in a chalet with a great view on the Dent Blanche. I spent a week there, doing several hikes (some quite short, others much more strenuous). Then on the 28th of July I returned to Fionnay, arriving at about 14:30.
I immediately started hiking to the cabane. The hike is quite short (about 4 kilometers) but steep, with a bit over 1,000 meters of elevation gain. There is an area where the trail is on the edge of a precipice, with moderate exposure, but many chains for safety and, more to the point, reassurance. As I was going up I met many hikers going down; they had gone up to spend the day at this scenic and accessible cabane. I went up at a fast pace, something I was to regret the next day.
The cabane is on a rise above the lake, with wonderful views of the lake and its surrounding mountains. In the evening those with binoculars could see a group of chamois high up on those slopes. The weather was excellent, so I had my post-hike beer outside, enjoying the views and watching my fellow hikers.
Each bunk room in this cabane has a name: "writers", "painters", "philosophers" and so on; I was assigned to the philosophers bunk room, and chose the bunk labeled "Kant".