Day 1: Hiking from Gryon to Villars Sur Ollon.

First evening

This weekend I went on a two day hike. It was a combination of a Summit Foundation themed hike and a Wehike event. The hike was over two days and two nights. We arrived on Gryon on Friday night and stayed at the Chalet Martin. This is a nice relaxed backpacker hostel with a trampoline, bunkbed rooms, optional breakfast and more. It is located within easy walking distance of the train station and is easy to find. I slept well.

First Day

Gryon is an interesting village with some old chalets. Two of these Chalets are hundreds of years old and listed as national monuments. They are side by side with a short description explaining why they are significant. You hike through the village for a short distance before climbing through some woods before getting to a large parking. From the large parking you continue uphill towards Chaux Ronde. You walk along the road for part of the way with some segments where you walk to the side of ski pistes, through some woods and up some pistes. If this was done as a day hike it would be easy to moderate.

A panoramic view from Chaux Ronde

For about one to two hundred metres you walk along an Arête which some people might feel uncomfortable doing. You have a steep drop off on either side so being sure footed and self assured are useful.

This is the most exposed parts of the hike. If you want to continue prepare yourself for such moments. If you’re used to the Tour D’Aï or the Rocher de Naye this segment will be pleasant, especially since you can see the Tour D’Aï from here. This is one of my favourite aspects of this two day hikes.


This was one of the most beautiful passages of the hike. You have nice green fields with great potential for numerous flowers. You see Switzerland in all of it’s beauty. The path from this point on is easier going and offers some great views.

When we arrived at this portion of the hike both the clouds and the light were playing with the rock formations so I kept looking right and behind me to see how they had changed, waiting for some interesting lighting to take pictures. If you’re on a photowalk then I would recommend finding a good place to wait for the light to be just right for a nice image. In the wrong light they may look dull.

When the light and mountains play nicely together you get a real separation between the grassy meadows, the cliffs, the sky and more. You get a sense of scale and contour. The rest of the hike down was through trees and then along a road. As I was carrying enough equipment for two days I felt exhausted by the time we arrived in Villars where we had a good meal at a restaurant. Almost everyone had Röesti.

Summit Foundation

The primary focus of this hike was to pick up rubbish left by skiers, snowboarders and other sports enthusiasts over the winter months. We picked up plastic, cigarette butts, gloves and more. Some of us were less passionate about it. If you’re on a hike and you drop rubbish think of the effort that you’re making with a simple hike. By hiking and picking up rubbish the effort is greater. You bend down and get back up frequently. It’s an alternative to burpees.

 

 

 

 

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