Dent d’Hérens : Tiefmatten’s ridge

Mountaineering in Valais, Switzerland

La dent d'hérens. Archive ©Manu Rivaud

In the shadow of its neighbors the Matterhorn and the Dent Blanche, the Dent d’Hérens is a rather discreet 4000m, hidden between Zermatt and Cervinia. And yet it is worth the detour, especially via its Tiefmatten ridge! This complete mixed race with moderate difficulties – still in good conditions last July 3rd – will lead you in the wild environment of the Valpelline valley, far from the crowds of the Valais classics.

Although its name has a rather Swiss resonance, the Dent d’Hérens can be reached from its Italian side and the Valpelline valley. From the Place Moulin dam, a short hour’s drive from Aosta, we set off on our mountain bikes with Charlie to cover the 6 kilometers of flat trail along the lake of the same name, up to the start of the switchbacks leading to the Aosta refuge. A good hour of walking saved and as much on the way back!

We go up this long valley, green, mineral and luminous, until the refuge perched on the moraine below the High glacier of Tsa de Tsan, which is located on the mythical Chamonix-Zermatt road.

The setting and the welcome of this refuge do not leave you indifferent! One feels immediately at ease here, whether on the terrace to sip a “Moretti” beer or in the small dining room, close to one’s table neighbors, to taste the good pasta of Diego the janitor.

Along the Place Moulin lake. ©Antoine Bouvier

Faster by bike! ©Antoine Bouvier

A long