Bella Vouarda (bonus peak: Le Toûno)
A nice loop with fast forest running, a tucked-in canyon, and an optional peak
We started out slowly, thanks to a late summer heatwave and our reluctance to leave the homemade granola, strong coffee, and eggs with bacon at our trail runner's basecamp, La Bergère. But with so many trails out the door, we started up through the old village houses of Ayer and into the forest shade. The Valais region tends to have many of our favorite runs, and even after a week in the Val d'Anniviers, we couldn't get enough of the traversing forest trails.
Above treeline, we cruised singletrack on both sides of the Bella Vouarda pass. Le Toûno loomed above, but an intricate passage along a river trail called us in its direction and we followed it down towards Combavert and another fantastic forest traverse. Finally, a mix of gravel road and trail merged back to the trail we came up on, and we dropped right back to where we started and ready for a home cooked dinner. Seeing Ayer's ice cold fountains as tiny swimming pools, we didn't let the curious looks of the faces peering through curtains stop us from jumping in.
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Start: 46.177300, 7.604220
- Le Toûno (3018M) bonus peak adds 5km | 600m+/-. Head up for a view of big mountains all around.
- Look forward to one of the many fountains in Ayer to drink and soak at the same time.
- There are streams but no huts along the way.
After we put in all the climbing, we switched into singletrack mode at Bella Vouarda
Beginning the descent to close the loop, or to veer off for a climb up Le Toûno
We tucked into this river canyon with a flowing trail
Soaking hot feet in a cold spring
Besides big mountain views, another best thing about the Val d'Anniviers: so many kilometers of dreamy forest trail
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