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Haute Cime, Lac de Salanfe, Col de Susanfe

The Haute Cime (3257m, 10686ft) is one summit of the Dents du Midi, an impressive range that can be seen from the town of Montreux and the highway down the Rhône valley.

Dents du Midi, from Val d'Illiez

1 - Dents du Midi, from Val d'Illiez

Despite the impressive view of the north face of the Dents du Midi, the path leading to the summit is never dangerous. However, believe me, climbing it in one day was really tough, because of the length (at least 9 hours up and down) and the altitude difference (1883m, 6177ft). To make it easier, I would recommend splitting it in two days and sleep in the Cabane de Susanfe, or in Salanfe.

The view you get along the way is magnificent, and of course the higher the better. From the lake, the distant Cervin/Matterhorn can be seen, and the Grand Combin too, a snowy 4000 which is just two valleys away. If you continue up to the Col des Paresseux, the nearby Mont-Blanc - the Alps' highest peak - will unveil itself in the south.

Lake of Salanfe

2 - Lake of Salanfe

From the camping place in Van-d'en-Haut, the path climbs steeply through the cliff and forest for one hour. Then the Salanfe dam can be seen and it gets easier until reaching the lake and its welcoming inn. Go to the other end of the lake, where the path starts to climb again, first gently through meadows and moraines, then steeply, to cross a big cliff. Susanfe pass is now reached, where you will join up with an alternate itinerary coming from Champéry.

Susanfe hut is just down behind, in case you feel tired. Otherwise, take the now much smaller path towards our goal, the Haute Cime. This is not easy: for the next 2 hours the ground is only made of scree and there is no shade at all. Add to that the fact that we have crossed the 3000 meter limit, where the sun is stronger and the air thinner. Once on the summit ridge, enjoy looking down the vertical northwest face of Dents du Midi that falls into the Val d'Illiez.

At Col des Paresseux

3 - At Col des Paresseux

The summit

4 - The summit

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