Time: 8h. Up: 1330m. Down: 1420m.
Distance: 14km. Difficulty: easy.

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Stage 43: Chalet Neuf (1693m) to Chindonne (1604m)

Click and drag on map above to see area around trail. Click here for large zoomable map.

After climbing up to the aptly named Pointe de Bellevue, you spend the rest of the day descending into and climbing out of the deep Val d'Illiez. Near the village of Troistorrents you cross the Vièze River at 636m, and on the main H2H route you won't be this low again until a week before Monaco… 26 stages from now.

Chablais, the region you are walking through, although a bit of a backwater today, has a fascinating history, having been successively invaded by the Ligurians, Celts, Romans (Julius Caesar conquered the area and the name "Troistorrents" comes from the Latin "Trans Torrentium" – i.e., beyond the torrent), Burgundians, Saracens (yes, the Moors raided all the way up here), and Huns.

All these peoples left traces: archaeological, etymological, and even physiological in the faces of the locals. You are but the latest in a long line of explorers of these mountains.

Head uphill in the direction of Morgins, but at the Portes de Culet pass (1787m) turn left and climb up to the Pointe de Bellevue (2041m). From there descend initially southeast and then zig-zag all the way down to just east of the village of Troistorrents where you cross the Vièze River on a pedestrian footbridge. On the far side climb up to the road and then turn right. After a couple of hundred meters, turn left onto a path climbing up past Bonévouette (1288m) to Chindonne.

Alternatives: if the weather is bad skip the Pointe de Bellevue (saves 1.5h, +/-250m, 1km). In addition, you can further shorten the day further by heading down to spend the night in St. Maurice (420m) in the Rhône Valley (this is also the route to take if you are unable to stay at or near Chindonne). In this case, after crossing the Vièze River turn left on the road and go down to and around the base of the mountain through Outrevièze (620m) and Choëx. This will in total take you about 5.5h, +250m, -1520m, 17km. If needs be you can shorten this even more by taking trains and buses from Morgins or Troistorrents. Next day you will climb up to Mex (1118m) to rejoin the main path (it will take 3h, +700m, 6km to from St. Maurice to Mex, as opposed to 2.75h, +170, -660m, 8km from Chindonne to Mex). And here too you can take a bus from St. Maurice to Mex if you don't feel like walking.
Map: ST-272T St. Maurice.

The House to House blog... stage 43.

<A couple of representative photos from this stage will be added here after the hike>
In the meantime, click here to go to all of the H2H photos on Flickr.

GPS Track
<To be added during or after hike>

Room and Board Options
Lunch: picnic.
Dinner and overnight: as with the previous stage, there in only one place to stay at Chindonne -- the Cabane de Chindonne (+41-(0)24471/3396, 26 beds in rooms, 56 places in bunkrooms). However, there is another option only 15 minutes further (1km slightly downhill along the trail you will anyway take tomorrow): the Centre Sportif des Jeurs (+41-(0)24471/3495, 40 places in rooms and bunkrooms). Alternatively, if both places are full or weather drives you to take the low-level route, then there are a few places to stay and eat in St. Maurice as well as a famous Franciscan abbey and various sights to see (for a complete list, see here).

Getting There and Back
Chalet Neuf: from Troistorrents, where there is a railway station, you can catch an infrequent bus to Morgins (1305m). From there you'll have to walk north and uphill via Portes de Culet (1787m) to Chalet Neuf (3h, +500m, -100m, 3.5km). For schedule information for both buses and trains, see the SBB.
Chindonne: walk back down to Troistorrents.
ViaMichelin Road Map and Driving Directions: centered on Morgins, centered on Troistorrents.

Background Information and Links
Many and various...

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