Day 2 – Villars-sur-Ollon to Le Sepey

Hiking from Villars-sur-Ollon to Le Sepey

On the second day we hiked up from Villars Sur Ollon to Le Chamossaire. The trail is easy to follow. When you exit the town it takes you through some woods before emerging on to a prairie. From this prairie you have a nice view of the landscape. From here we progressed laterally to the next wooded part. We crossed some fields filled with flowers. Some parts of this trail are muddy so hiking boots simplify the effort. We also crossed a prairie where cow hoofs had churned up the mud.

Col De La Bretaye

Hiking from Le Col de La Bretaye to Le Chamossaire is a steep climb both to go up and to come back down. On the way up we followed a dirt road and on the way down we followed a trail. The view from Le Chamossaire is excellent. You can see the Tour D’Aï, the Lac Léman and the Dents Du Midi. You can see the top of the valley where Champèry is and more. It’s a great place from which to take 360 images when the conditions are right.

Lac Des Chavonnes

The route from le Chamossaire takes you down to the Lac Des Chavonnes. This is a large lake where people try to catch fish, swim and enjoy the sun. It is accessible by foot and by hiking. You are surrounded by woods on three sides and on the opposite bank we had some cliffs.

The route down

When you’re heading down from the lake you follow a road for some bits but there is also a nice section during which you cross through woods. At this time of year you have wild raspberries at the side of the trail as well as nettles and other forms of growth. You cross a nice bridge when you get close to Le Sepey and you can see the bridge to Les Diablerets in the distance. As I have crossed this bridge many times I enjoyed seeing it from another angle.

Water filtration

During this hike I had two water filtration systems. The Katadyn Befree and the Katadyn Hiker Pro. I only used the Katadyn Befree taking water from sources of water that I expected not to come from mountain sources. I had wanted to use the Katadyn Hiker pro initially but decided against it. The issue in Switzerland is that there are cows uphill from almost all water sources. This implies that if you take water from rivers or streams you may expose yourself to contaminated water. Bacteria worried me less than viruses.

We stopped for a rest at the Lac De Chavonnes but I did not take water from this lake. On the other side of this lake I could see a herd of cattle grazing. At this point I still had over a litre of water. I started to use the Katadyn Befree on the walk down from the lake. I took water from several fountains on the way back down. I had the katadyn Befree in my left pocket so as I drank water I could replenish it along the way.

The Katadyn Befree is an appealing water filtration solution because it filters water faster than you can drink it.

What I enjoyed

What I enjoyed most about the second day is hiking down from le Chamossaire and seeing La Tour D’Aï from a number of different angles. It is an easy to recognise geographic feature and I have been there multiple times. The view from Le Chamossaire is also nice. If I wasn’t tired from a day and a half of hiking more heavily laden than usual I would have made more of an effort to get 360 images from up there.

I also enjoyed the train ride down because for the first time I got to see the road leading from Aigle to Leysin and Les Diablerets from the other side of the valley. As a driver I’m always driving down on the opposite side of the valley focusing on the road, speed limits and traffic. For once I could get the context of those drives.

What I would change

I come from an old school of hiking that says you have to wear proper hiking boots rather than hiking shoes so I found some bits harder than others. I’m not used to carrying the load I had in my bag, I have been cycling more than I have been hiking and the groups I usually hike with stop for snacks more frequently. I believe that with lighter hiking boots or hiking shoes I would have found some segments easier.

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