Maps used: 1:50,000 Arolla and Montana hiking maps, 283T and
Date: 7th of August, 2005
Distance, Elevation Gain/Loss: 11.9 km, 745/1,131 m (using cablecar)
Sorebois Cablecar Station Coordinates: 612 755 / 110 360
On the 7th of August I left the Cabane de Moiry for Zinal, the last major hike on my 2005 scouting trip along the Haute Route.
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From the Cabane de Moiry to the Sorebois Cable Car
The night had been cold, and there were patches of ice on the steep descent from the hut, requiring some care. I followed the low route in the depression besides the lateral moraine until it I reached a place with a lot of soft snow; there I climbed up to the crest. Soon the crest flattened, and it was an easy walk from there up to the northern end of the Lac de Moiry (about five kilometers around the 2,500 meter contour). Unfortunately the walk was almost entirely in the mist, with only occasional views of the lake below, and no views at all of the surrounding mountains.
After passing the dam at the northern end of the lake the trail leaves the contour and rises through pleasant meadows to the Col de Sorebois. As I got higher a few snowflakes appeared out of the mist, melting instantly. While it was not really cold the mist and these snowflakes seemed out of place in August! The climb was much less steep than the previous day's climb to the Col du Tsaté, but still did not seem as easy as the map had suggested.
On reaching the col I saw no point in going to the nearby summit of the Corne de Sorebois; it is said to have great views, but that is not very interesting on a misty day. The descent to the Sorebois cableway station was unpleasant; it used work roads and the ski installations were visible everywhere.
At the station restaurant I met the British group and joined them for an excellent meal. During that meal we decided to go down by the cable car rather than the "knee-jarring descent" as Kev Reynolds describes it.