Route finding around Bernex pt 1

Col du Pertuis, Bernex
Views of Lac Leman from the Col du Pertuis, Bernex

After a lot of miserable spring weather (really a continuation of the fierce winter we have had), we finally received some settled weather, warm temperatures and sunshine. I have been desperate to get out and explore the trails around Bernex and so when the sun arrived I was out of the door in a flash.

Having spent 11 years living in Chatel, at the centre of this lively ski resort, it is really nice to move 25 minutes down the road. Bernex is a charming, traditional village and ski station nestled between the giant Portes du Soleil ski area and Lac Leman. And one of the best things about moving to a new area is exploring the surrounding countryside.

Bernex from the Col du Pertuis
Bernex from the Col du Pertuis

I took a hike behind my house in Charmet up to the Col du Creusaz, where stunning vistas of Lac Leman dominated the view. Walking around on the Thollon side I was surrounded by the impressive rocky cliffs of Mont Cesar and the Pic de Memises.

Following signs up to the Col du Pertuis, I reached a lovely spot with views of the lake on one side, and views of Bernex on the other. From across the valley I could see storm clouds building so I thought perhaps it was time to get off the mountain.

A walking sign pointed back down in the direction of Bernex. It said “l’échelle” which is French for ladder, and it did also mention “danger”. However, it was the official walking signpost so I figured it would be OK. THe path zig zagged down quite steeply and I assumed that this was the danger, and the zig zags must have resulted in the path being named the ladder.

The Ladder
The Ladder – it really was a ladder!

Then I got to the top of a cliff and encountered this! It turns out the ladder really is a ladder. And a 12m ladder at that. So there was nothing to do but to throw down my walking poles and get on with it.

And what is the moral of the story? Although paths and places are often named after objects, from time to time you might have to take the walking signs literally!