5 a.m. – alarm, made sandwiches, packed the backpacks, picked up friends. Direction: Arolla in Wallis. Target: Cabane des Dix/ Dix Hut. After less than 2 hours we were there. Arolla – big name in an alpinist world, but such a tiny village with almost nothing and noone around. I was surprised. Arolla – place that thousands of crazy ski alpinists cross or start their adventure with Patrouille des Glaciers. We had a coffee in a hotel that looked like from ‘The Shining’ and which was actually our starting point. Ready to go, we started. It was quite chilly in the morning but as soon as we started climbing up it got warmer and warmer. The first part of the hike is nice and easy. We had luck and saw quite a few lovely marmots on our way up and down later on as well. You start at 2000 m and you climb your way up to 2855 m (Pas de Chèvres). It took us about 2-2,5 hours with breakfast break. You can also go through Riedmatten pass (2919 m) if you’re not a fan of ladders.
Fun starts at 2855 m. You already can see the hut which is a plus but it is quite a long way to go still. If you’re afraid of exposition that’s the last place where you want to be. Ladders ladders ladders…and then a steep section that takes you through huge stones down to the Cheilon Glacier. That was the hardest part for me. Not the ladders just descending after them.
When we got to the glacier part it was easier than I thought. Nice easy walk through the glacier, with no crampons, it was not slippery and just few jumps and then you’ve already crossed the ‘icy’ part.
After getting off the glacier it takes about 30 minutes or even less to the target – Cabane des Dix. Dix Hut was built in 1908 and first it was on 2648 m, in 1928 was moved more up where it stayed until now (2928 m). It’s a stunning place with incredible views and atmosphere. We ate huge rösti with eggs, bacon and cheese and drank a beer before going back (gave us a bit of motivation).
Way back was easier (at least for me). We took the same one back since it was a bit quicker and after few hours we got back to our Golf, safe and happy and a bit tired.
Starting point: Arolla (2000 m)
Target: Cabane des Dix/ Dix Hut (2928 m)
Hike lenght: about 16,5 km
Time: 7 hours with nice easy tempo with breaks
Difficulty: in Swiss Alpine Scale it’s a T4, which means it is an alpine hike. You should have some alpine experience, not be scared of exposition. Hikes that are T4 might be quite demanding at some points.
Tip: Start early if you want to eat rösti in the hut (they only serve them till 2 p.m.) and if you’re planning on coming back the same day. Check the weather forecast, when it rains it might not be so much fun.
If you want to stay for a night in the Dix Hut reserve: here
Text: Agnieszka Wajs