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Hike – Roc d’Orzival

    Grimentz Roc d’Orzival hike

    A fantastic hike up to a prominent viewpoint and then along a very memorable ridge.

    Done as a day hike whilst staying in Grimentz.

    Key Information:

    Route: Bendolla (cable car from Grimentz) – Roc d’Orzival – La Brinta – Orzival – Grimentz (bus).

    Length: 16km, + 960m, -1500m.
    Estimated time: 6 hours.

    Date: 2022-July-22.

    Practical Info

    I did this as a loop back to Grimentz. An easier option that would save height difference would be looping back to the cable car at Bendolla. A more interesting option would be to take the cable car from Le Cret to Midi to Vercorin (or VV) to make it a single route to/from the valley below.

    There isn’t much of anything along the route apart from rocks and views. There is a restaurant at Bendolla at the start/end and that is it. No water, and almost no shade.

    The ridge along to La Brinta is a bit narrow and scrambly at times. Nothing that would bother anyone who is used to the mountains, but it might scare a few people and/or not be all that well suited to kids.

    Notes along the route

    I took the gondola up to Bendolla and then simply followed the signs up the valley to Roc d’Orzival. This was beautiful Alpine meadow filled with cows and marmots (and unfortunately large amounts of ski infrastructure).

    Unimpressed cows.
    Starting off from Bondella.

    The route is uphill all the way to the Roc d’Orzival. This is a fantastic viewpoint. It is prominent, especially looking down to the main valley of Valais, so it had very expensive views in just about every direction.

    Roc d’Orzival looking towards the highest peaks of Valais.
    Roc d’Orzival looking down to the main valley and the ridgeline cutting across to La Brinta.

    From the Roc I carried along the ridge past the Sex de la Brinta towards La Brinta. The ridge is very narrow and the path stays on top or hugs just below one side. This meant fantastic views, especially into the seemingly empty neighbouring Val de Rechy, but also that the path was often very narrow (like as wide as my shoe narrow sometimes) and took a bit of careful scrambling at some points.

    Along the ridge.
    On the ridge.

    Around La Brinta was especially tricky and whilst it was far from mountaineering it still took as much attention as a Swiss footpath has required of me so far. There are unofficial paths going up to what must be a good clear view from the top of the rock, but being alone and not trusting the steep and very dry/loose looking ground I left it be.

    Dropped down to Orzival with some cross country hiking when the path seemed to vanish. There was a cliff on one side and a fenced off area with angry sheep dog warnings on the other, so it wasn’t hard to go in the right direction at least.

    La Brinta.
    Dropping down to Orzival.

    The more scenic option would be to stay high and either drop down to Grimentz or go full circle back to the cable car at Bendola. I wanted a change of scenery and some shade from the hot sun so I descended into the forest, initially following the signs towards St Jean and then to Grimentz when I was lower down.

    Starting to descend into the forest. The distinct hole in the far background is the Gemmi Pass.
    Forest and huts on the last section to Grimentz.

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