my journey to health and well being via exotic destinations

Climbing Les Gorges du Dailley – not for the faint-hearted



Somehow managing a grimacing smile

After a gruelling day walking to the Col de Cou – 12.6 kms and 4 hr 20 – I decide an easier stroll is required. Ross, basing his choice on Tommy’s recommendation of last year, picks on the scenic Gorges du Dailley which looks fine according to the website. I’ll have words with him when I get home!


Ross is excited to find a climbing route with bolts en route….

We navigate some scary hairpins above Martigny to reach the car park at Les Granges and set off through the village, which is perched on the steep hillside, along a shady woodland path, complete with nature trail signs on local trees and fauna.

After a couple of kilometres we arrive at a bridge over a huge waterfall and, after that, the foot of a steep staircase. Off we go…it is so steep I have to hang on on one side and use my walking stick on the other as I get vertigo…just when I think we’ve reached to top, another section appears like magic. This goes on for about 180m…

However there are some magnificent views of mountains Ross has climbed in summer and winter, when ski touring. He gets his peak finder out and this gives me a chance catch my breath while he identifies all the peaks.


The top right peak is La Catogne, while the glacier in the distance is Mt Blanc de Cheilon

At one stage we reach a top and I breathe a sigh of relief as the final ascent is closed due to refurbishment. Phew! But to get to the restaurant we have to take the ‘high road’ which turns out to be a vertiginous path for another 80 m or so. Finally we meet the road and it leads to a nice little mountain restaurant, where we have a well-earned beer/shandy and some lunch.

Deciding to go the scenic route back (in our household the scenic route is an euphemism for the wrong way) instead of going downhill all the way, we have to do more climbing.  This is hard on my ankle which is still weak after the sarcoma surgery as the higher you go the more you have to come down and, for me,  coming down is harder than going up! Sense of humour failure alert! Finally we reach the top and meander down back towards Les Granges, past some ubiquitous pretty cows, flower and vegetable gardens and bucolic haymaking scenes.IMG_1604IMG_1608IMG_1611

Stroll it was not, but rewarding in terms of views and something different!IMG_1590-1

The bridge at the start of the walk over the waterfall

Author: vickyunwin

I am a writer and traveller. Our darling daughter Louise died on 2 March 2011, aged 21 ( and I started writing as therapy. We never know how long we have on this earth, so I live for every November 2013 I was diagnosed and operated on for a malignant soft tissue sarcoma in the calf, followed by 6.5 weeks of radiotherapy, so am embarking on a different kind of journey which you can follow here. I also have another site with my blueprint for health and well-being.

2 thoughts on “Climbing Les Gorges du Dailley – not for the faint-hearted

  1. Dear Vicky,

    You can divorce your son these days!!

    Well done for achieving that amazing climb/stroll in the mountains…..

    Love to all,


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