For the first part of this hike, see hike N° 21 which allows access to the Fenêtre de l’Arpette in 3h30. One can picnic at the Fenêtre de l’Arpette before starting the long journey down to Champex which takes 2h30.
From the pass, the trail swings towards the valley of Arpette on a very steep slope through fallen rocks. The rocky trail continues much of the way down and runs alongside the river Arpette. At about 1,700 m one reaches the charming Arpette valley with its herds of Hérens cows. A wide gravel path leads to the Arpette hotel-restaurant (1,630 m). The trail continues to Champex-Lac through the undergrowth and along the Bisse (reach). You pass near the start of the Breya chairlift before gaining Champex-Lac (1,460 m) to spend the night (accommodation to be booked in advance).
Champex-Lac is a quiet resort in the enchanting site of the alpine lake of Champex and a major stage in the Tour du Mont-Blanc.
The second day, join the TMB and its well-marked route to the hamlet of Champex-d’En-Haut (1,434 m). Continue along the stream towards the village of Champex-d’En-Bas (1,359 m). After crossing the stream, the trail soon joins the pasture of Plan-de-I’Au (1,330 m). Allow about 1h15 from Champex-Lac. The first path goes gently sloping to the chalet de la Jure, then continues with a steep winding path. You reach the Bovine pastures then the chalets (1,975 m) in 2h30 from the Plan-de-l’Au. One can picnic at Bovine where there is a panoramic vue on Martigny, the Swiss Valais and the Rhone Valley.
It will take another 1h30 to reach the Col de La Forclaz (1,526 m). From Bovine, a final short climb to the Col de Portalo, highlight of the second day (2,049 m), then you tackle the descent into the forest via the chalet de La Giète (1,884 m) and its large clearing.
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