Hikes for loners

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  • French Other routes to or around Dent de Jaman (randonnee-pedestre.ch)

Dent de Jaman, Montagne d'Amont

At Col de Jaman

1 - At Col de Jaman

To start this account with a passionate surge, I would say that the Dent de Jaman is to Montreux what the Sugar Loaf is to Rio de Janeiro. When looking out from Montreux, the lakeside or the motorway, around which "civilisation" gathers, the Dent de Jaman's towering wall seems completely out of reach for walkers - still, there is a way up!

At the top of the Dent de Jaman you'll find a great view out over Copacabana ... whoops, no - I mean the Swiss Riviera! The peak is a very popular outing because of its closeness to other tourist attractions and the railway up. However before getting too enthusiastic, do be aware that the last bit of the climb can be a little tricky. It's not a stroll for beginners! You'll need both hands and feet to get up the last ledges. If in doubt, forget the summit and enjoy the view from below. Do remember that if you find it hard going up, it'll be worse on the way down facing the drop.

There are too many routes to describe them all, the shortest being simply up and back from the Jaman railway halt. Nevertheless, what's the point of paying for a hefty train ticket if it's just for a 30 minute round walk?

Interesting round walks of about 4 to 5 hours start from the Hauts de Caux or Les Cases (other railway halts) - for more details see the randonnee-pedestre.ch forum.

Summit of Dent de Jaman

2 - Summit of Dent de Jaman

The Rochers de Naye cogtrain

3 - The Rochers de Naye cogtrain

A car is needed to do the walk I describe here since it starts from the Col de Jaman. The walk is only about 2½ hrs long (or less if hurried) so it's better suited for a fun trip out like going up to see the sun rise or a Swiss fondue trip out with friends rather than a challenging hike.

At the Col de Jaman, take the path leading through high grass to the right of Le Manoïre restaurant. It goes past posts the ornithologists use to spread nets to catch and ring birds because the Col de Jaman is an important pass on various migration routes. After the posts, the path enters the small wood located under the Dent de Jaman. A few giants steps up between the tree roots and rocks, together with the fact that the path is often fairly slippery means it's better to take this path on the way up rather than on the way down. From time to time you'll be able to see out towards the Lac Léman or the Dent de Jaman. After about 25 minutes, the path comes out of the woods and starts to go round to the left of the peak, first up hairpins built up using dry stone walls, then across scree. After this the path flattens out as it comes up to the Jaman railway halt.

Col de Jaman and Cape au Moine

4 - Col de Jaman and Cape au Moine

Lac Léman

5 - Lac Léman

In the peak season, the Jaman railway halt hosts a restaurant and even a lodge where you can spend the night. You'll see about that later on because before reaching the buildings the path heads up to the right. This last part of the climb is really steep but short (about 15 to 20 minutes), and you might need to use your hands to get over the rocky portions of the path. Make sure you take care when scrambling even if you are quite a way from any big drops. Above all, do not leave the path - this site has already had its fair share of accidents. As often around here, the summit is crowned with a cross.

When you've had enough of the view it's time to think about getting back down. It's no easy job descending the grassy ledges - harder than the climb up. However you manage it, on your backside or with the ease of a chamois, you should be back at the junction where you took right up to the top within about 10 minutes. This time carry on towards the Jaman railway halt.

For the walk back to the Col de Jaman, the most pleasant way is along the track you can see lower down at Montagne d'Amont. Cross the railway tracks at the halt (make sure you don't do this when one of the snail-speed trains comes into the halt every 30 minutes!) and go straight down the slope towards the wide trail. Once on the trail, follow it down back to the Col de Jaman. It goes down hairpins between the Dent de Hautaudon and the Dent de Jaman and reaches the car park in about 1 hour of effortless walking with a slight uphill slope at the end. Have fun!

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