The Via Valais Discussion

Share your Via Valais experience

Have you done the Via Valais? We want to hear from you with your thoughts and experience.

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Questions for the Elevation team or other runners

It's complicated... we know. No matter how much info we provide, there are surely questions you will have during your planning. Fire away with your questions and see if other runners can help.

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41 entries.
Lisa Lisa wrote on May 23, 2023 at 12:11 am
Follow-up on my last message from a couple of months ago: Thank you for the recommendations! After coordinating our itinerary and all the moving parts of multiple one-nighters, we are pretty much booked for the trip - staying 2 nights in Evolene and 2 nights in Zinal to perfectly split up the trip and let us take a more leisurely 11-day pace. La Bergère looks amazing, but alas we will have to save that for our next trip 🙂 We're currently taking advantage of Uphill Athlete's Via Valais training program and very much looking forward to our trip. Thank you again for laying out the route and making it easy for those not familiar with the Swiss Alps!
Lisa Lisa wrote on March 8, 2023 at 12:13 am
We are so excited to find the Via Valais, for runners! Thank you AlpsInsight for putting in the effort to link up these trails. We are starting to look at flights and accomodations for late August/early September 2023. We are looking to do it in 11 days so we can include two rest days to recuperate and explore. We are willing to go a little off the route for good rest day options. Any suggestions by the community would be most appreciated! Thank you! Super excited! 🙂
Admin Reply by: Dan Patitucci
Stoked you're stoked! 😁 If you take a rest day at one of the overnight spots, consider staying two nights at the Moiry Hut (they have showers). That way you can get up for a sunrise climb of the Pigne de la Le, which is actually really short, and then back to the hut for breakfast and back to horizontal lounging. Or, what about two nights in the Zinal Valley (Val d'Anniviers) but go down valley to Ayer and treat yourself to two nights at the trail running chalet La Bergère: Overall, I'd say the best places to consider two nights are : Evolene or Arolla, Cabane de Moiry and Zinal. Have fun!
Barbara Barbara wrote on December 4, 2022 at 3:46 pm
Hi Dan and the alpsinsight-team! I was just looking at the photos (for about the 100th time...) from our Via Valais trip this august and I wanted to thank you for sharing this route. It was such a great experience, each day brought something new and each day was beautiful. We enjoyed each of the 9 days and it is safe to say that this was the most amazing trip we've ever been doing. THANK YOU, dear alpsinsight-team!
Admin Reply by: Dan Patitucci
Hi Barbara, Thank you so much for taking the time to write and let us know. This means a lot. A LOT! All the best to you! Dan, Janine and Kim
David Douillet David Douillet wrote on September 22, 2022 at 8:14 am
Just to say thank you for all the content shared here, as per the FB post, we are some SP trail runners willing to do a 400/500K from Oberwald to Le Bouveret with a more alpine route than the current SP360 and there are a lot of interesting ideas out here, so thanks for that, should you have some recommendations on some best trails even closer to Oberwald , happy to hear it, especially running ridge or trails such as the Aletsch glacier or the 9 lakes loop All the best
Thomas Thomas wrote on August 29, 2022 at 11:34 am
Hi Everyone! My partner and I will be setting out on stages 1-5 on September 4th. We will be driving from Nurnberg and are looking to leave our car somewhere between Verbier and Zinal while we run the route. Does anyone have any recommendations where we might be able to park it for 5-6 days? Thank you!
Admin Reply by: Dan Patitucci
There's a parking lot that may be possible right at the beginning of the Val d'Anniviers road from the highway at the bottom. It's literally at the start line of the Sierre Zinal Race. I I've heard people use this for longer term parking but you'll have to look into it.
Jess Jess wrote on August 22, 2022 at 4:01 pm
Hey folks! I am set to start this adventure on September 2nd. Wondering if anyone has recently completed the route (Barbara: I'm hoping you check back once you are done!) and can give an update on conditions? My email is Thanks in advance and happy trails!!
Admin Reply by: Dan Patitucci
I've heard from people that all is good. The only thing different is that the Schollijoch bergschrund is pretty wide and requires a swing on a fixed rope to get across it. The rope is there and people reported it not being a big deal. Of course all things in the mountains are subject to change!
Gilad Kishony Gilad Kishony wrote on August 22, 2022 at 2:20 pm
Hi, could anyone please provide the advertised length of each day in hours for hikers (according to the signs)?
Ian Miller Ian Miller wrote on August 13, 2022 at 12:34 am
My wife and I ran the 9 stage Via Valais from July 9-18. It was an absolutely incredible experience , and we think that it fully lives up to the "best trail run in the world" hype. Here are a few thoughts about our experience that might be useful for others: 1) Heading into thee Via Valais, we both had a lot of trail running and mountain adventure experience, which we felt helped us a lot. We also (roughly) followed the Uphill Athlete training plan. We built up a lot of fitness during our preparation, and we put all of it to use! More fitness = more enjoyment, and more opportunities to climb bonus peaks. 2) We took a rest day in Zinal after stage 5. We're very glad that we chose Zinal over other options. 3) The bonus peaks were very worthwhile. I did the ones for stages 3-7. The Barrhorn and Pigne de la Lé were the best, and felt like key parts of the experience. The latter required a good bit of route finding and some exposed scrambling. Becs de Bosson was also a highlight. All in all, the Via Valais was an adventure of a lifetime, and we're incredibly grateful to have experienced it! Big thanks to the route developers!
Admin Reply by: Dan Patitucci
Goosebumps, Ian, goosebumps! Thank you for that! So stoked you guys had a great trip, and thank you for taking the time to write and share your experience.
Barbara Barbara wrote on August 8, 2022 at 12:07 pm
Hi there! We are planning to do the Via Valais starting on august 21st and are really looking forward to it. Has anybody done it lately and can tell something about the condition on Schölljoch? Is it recommended to take micro crampons (on Schölljoch or general)? And a question to you Dan, do you need to have special mountaineering knowledge to reach Pigne de la Lé? Thanks a lot, Barbara
Admin Reply by: Dan Patitucci
Hi Barbara, I know many people have gone over the Schöllijoch in the last weeks and not needed crampons. Apparently the issue this year is the gap between the rock and the snow, it has gotten very wide. A rope is in place to use to get across. As for Pigne de la Lé, it is mostly an easy scramble but there are sections of exposure and a bit of easy climbing is required. I have not heard of people having problems on it, but it is a "climbing route" that guides rope guests up for. It is up to you to decide how it is for your skill level. I just can't say how it would be for anyone if I don't know their ability. I hope this helps!
Calvin Calvin wrote on May 25, 2022 at 10:23 am
hi, i have few question as i am planning to do the via valais. but still trying to figure things out. 1) is it recommended to shorten the total stages? say combine stage 4 and 5 together for 41km 1932m+? 2) what time do you normally start each morning and what time do each stages take? what time do you normally finish the stage and get to the hut/town? thanks!
andy wiencek andy wiencek wrote on July 23, 2021 at 12:37 pm
Hi There, Like Dan mentioned below, we did the trip from 4 to 11 july and had lots of snow especially in the Col de Forcletta and the Scholijoch but to be fair every Col from day one was covered with alot of snow, the upper 2 we needed the crampons the rest was doable, then after Col de Louvie the gpx takes you on the left of that lake, DONT use the footsteps (if there is still snow) which goes allthe way around ond the right hand side of that little lake, it will save you alot of time and kneedeep fighting with snow and water! You cab see our routes by checking my Strava account, due to bad weather we shortened track 4 and 5 (which we planned on doing in 1day) and were glad we did, it rained from 2pm till 6am the next day non-stop, meaning 15cm of fresh snow above 2400m, wonderfull views but hard work :o) This 9day Route spread out over 6 days was one of the most beautiful things I've "ran" or hiked because as I already told Dan and his crew, for some low-landers like us with a pack varying between 6 and 9kg (food water sleeping gear due to Covid biggersleepingbag and al teh safetystuff ) the runnable miles are rare, If you can go light-packed GO ! So once again thank you guys at Alpsinsight for this wonderfull trip, it was truly amazing and worth a repeat cause no one has claimed an FKT on the original route I saw :o) If one is interested in our pics, to see the snowconditions 2 weeks ago here you go : Warm Greeting from Belgium Bart,Erik and Andy
Emily Emily wrote on July 19, 2021 at 10:35 am
My husband and I have our Via Valais trip booked for next week and can't wait! However does anyone know how the snow conditions are up high? We'll have poles and are very comfortable on snow, but we're wondering if microspikes are needed. Any knowledge would be appreciated! Thank you for all the wonderful information on this website!
Admin Reply by: Dan Patitucci
Hi Emily, I wish I could be of some help but have been in the US the last few months, and only just returned. I am not at all tuned in to conditions in the Valais. I suggest calling the Topali and Turtmann Huts to see what is going on with snow on the Schollijoch - that'll the trickiest part. Also, to find out if the bridges are installed on the descent to Randa. I do know some Belgian runners did it about ten days ago and did run into snow - but I don't know about right now. Let us know hat you find out - thanks and enjoy!
Jacob Wollberg Jacob Wollberg wrote on October 11, 2020 at 7:28 pm
Hi Guys! Travel report from our Via Valais 28/8-6/9 It is truly a fantastic epic trail you have found! Unfortunately we were hit by snow&wind day 2-4 so instead of going to AIGUILLE ROUGE day 2 we were forced down to lower altitudes to the village of Evolene. Day 3 the Bec the Bosson closed due to weather conditions so we went to Vercorin instead. Day 4 we went to Zinal . Day 5 the snow was melting and the sun started to shine, so we passed a snowy forcletta pass but we didn´t dare go the Schöllisch the day after, (because of the snow) so we went to Gruben instead of Turtmanhytte. Day 6 we took the Augustboardpass to St Nicolaus for lunch and then up to Topaliihytte were we spend the night. After that the sun shined from a blue sky the rest of the days and we follow your trails. Our adventure will be one for the books, truly epic. Suz, Challis and myself sends you all in the team a great hug for creating this andventure, we really enjoyed every bit of it, even if some days were cold with wind and rain. But that is a part of a great adventure, isn´t it 🙂 / Jacob
Admin Reply by: Dan Patitucci
Thank you for the write up and nice words about the tour. Yes, the weather this year has been mostly awful, at least you guys got it done. Now you have to return for the sections you had to skip, and this is a nice problem to have and something to look forward to. 😁
Noémie Noémie wrote on August 20, 2020 at 4:29 pm
Hello ! I'd like to do the Via Valais the other way... from Zermatt to Verbier. What do you think about it ? Has anyone done this? Thanks a lot, Noémie
Admin Reply by: Dan Patitucci
I actually do know it's been done this way and is totally fine. Have at it and let us know how it goes! Enjoy!
Jacob Wollberg Jacob Wollberg wrote on August 19, 2020 at 10:02 am
Hi! We are three people going Via Valais 28/8-5/9 and are absolutely thrilled for this adventure!! We have however a problem: We are trying to send bags to Zinal and Zermatt, but they need a Swiss telephone number... anybody who has the same problem?
Nik Nik wrote on August 13, 2020 at 1:17 pm
Hi Dan, To follow up on your question, the Schöllijoch went fine for us. For background, my wife and I are both active rock and alpine climbers and big mountain skiers. So, we might not be the typical trail-running demographic. There were definitely a couple short exposed-feeling sections, but having nice grippy gloves and stiff running shoes (Sportiva Raptors) made it feel super manageable. After each 3-5 meter ladder or rope section, there always felt like there was a comfortable ledge on which to rest. I know some friends that come from only hiking and running backgrounds that I don’t think would enjoy it. That said, I don’t think it would be a problem for anybody comfortable moving through T5-T6 terrain or scrambling 4th class in exposed locations. The crux is definitely the exposure and not any technical difficulties. Don’t automatically trust all the metal rungs as many of the larger ones spin now. I hope that helps.
Nik Nik wrote on August 12, 2020 at 8:48 am
Thanks for drawing up this route for everybody! It's a great trip! My wife and I just did the 6-stage version from Aug 3 - 8. The first couple days it was snowing but, everything was melted out by the time we got to the Schollijoch. You've gotta bring some more stuff for COVID at the moment, but we were able to get a private room at all of the alpine lodging. For anybody interested in this in the near future, Zermatt is getting back to its normal busy self, and the Turtmann Hut was quite busy as well. On all the other sections, we saw almost no one. Stay safe!
Admin Reply by: Dan Patitucci
Hi Nik, Thanks for taking the time to write - much appreciated! If you have a moment, I am trying to get people to share their experience on the Schöllijoch as it is the big question that comes up for many people. How did it go for you? What was your experience with this sort of thing before the Via Valais? Thanks again, super psyched all went well and you had a good experience! Dan & the ALPSinsight Team
Banu Banu wrote on August 1, 2020 at 11:32 am
Hi, thanks for the inspiring page! We want to do the tour on the third week of August. Does anyone know if the bridge to Randa is set up? And is there any need for a running crampon? (I understand not).
Admin Reply by: Dan Patitucci
We just got word from the Topali Hut that the bridge is in. The decision to take crampons is up to each runner, we never used them. Have a great Via Valais!
Hans Hansen Hans Hansen wrote on May 1, 2020 at 3:56 pm
Hi, If traveling is possible by mid/late June I’m hoping to attempt the 9 stages in one push. Anyone with local knowledge about snowpack this early on the season? Also will ladders, chains etc be in place to make the big descent on stage 7 possible? Many thanks for the route descriptions. /H
Admin Reply by: Dan Patitucci
Mid to late June is highly unlikely unless you are willing to travel on a lot of snow. This year is quite warm and dry, but it's pretty likely the higher passes will hold snow until early July. Typically the bridge goes in for the Randa descent around mid-July, but it's not certain it will be opened this year. We're still waiting to hear about the risk of serac fall after sensors were installed. If you do have a go at it in one push, I wish you all the best, and... I would love to hear how it went as we'd like to do the same thing. I hope you get to do it! Dan
Nate Nate wrote on April 24, 2020 at 12:12 am
Hi there. Any news on how Covid is affecting the Via Valais? I am supposed to be out there early September and have some huts booked already.
Admin Reply by: Dan Patitucci
Hi Nathan, Thanks for checking in. I wish we could help, but we are also in the dark about all this - we have no idea what will happen this summer with travel, huts, hotels, etc... I think we all just have to wait and see how this plays out as the summer months get closer.
Paulo Pires Paulo Pires wrote on March 2, 2020 at 10:22 pm
We're going July 6 to 12, a bit early but we already did Haute Route 4 years ago on this week and it was fabulous. We're doing the 6 stages in 5 days, adapting a bit stage 1 and 2 to reduce the overall distance. We know these trails from previous Haute Route trip. We're going to book the huts, and planning the whole trip. Since we'll use the train to Sierre we're considering sending some stuff directly to Zermatt to be there when we arrive. Hope the Charles Kuonen bridge is open this year... We're eager to go, although this is the obivous part.
EWA SIWON EWA SIWON wrote on January 22, 2020 at 7:39 am
Hi, I am planning to do the Via Valais at the end of August 2020 together with my husband. Already booked some huts (even paid the advance) so it is fixed I hope. I have two questions: 1) I combined the stage 4 and 5 into one day which will be from CAB. BECS DE BOSSON to Zinal and cut out a few kilometer section leading to Cab. de Moiry as we will not need it. Do you it is OK? Seemed like the the two easiest days to me 2) I intend to do the bonus peaks but I don't think that access to them is marked on the gpx files which I downloaded from your website. Where can I find routes to the peaks and back? Are they marked somehow? So thrilled about our trip already!!!!!!!!!
Admin Reply by: Dan Patitucci
Hi Ewa, You are on it for planning - great! And... wise. 1. Combining those days is absolutely possible and a good idea to save time. It's the way to do it, you found it! But, you do miss the Pigne de la Le, which is one of the best Bonus Peaks... You'll have to come back. 😉 2. You are right about the route not being on Fatmap. The bonus peak is labeled, but not the route to do it. This is something we are looking into and you have actually reminded me to check in about it again, which I did. So... let's be in touch for that via email if that's okay -- Thanks again, see you on email!
Nate Nate wrote on December 7, 2019 at 1:06 am
Hello. I am planning a Via Valais trip in early September 2020 with a few friends. Will the huts need to be booked in advance for this? If so, when would be the time to book them? I am worried about them filling up. but not ready to lock in dates yet. Thanks!
Admin Reply by: Dan Patitucci
Hi Nathan, The huts absolutely need to be booked in advance. The earlier the better, but you have time so no panic. I'd say get it done by May and keep in mind that some close as early as mid-September. Have fun! // Dan
Johnny Teuchies Johnny Teuchies wrote on November 20, 2019 at 9:56 pm
Hi, we're planning to run a 6 stage via valais next summer. Our first idea was to start at the top of the Crêt du Midi lift from Vercorin and doing stage 4-9 as suggested. But, what I like so much about the mountains is being far away from everything. At stage 5 and 7 the overnight stays are in a hotel in a village, while you stay in the mountains all the time for the first 5 days. Would that be a good motivation to run the 5 first stages (up to Zinal) instead of the last 6? Or do you think we miss the best part then? Anyway, pictures from all stages look amazing. We look so much forward to this. Thanks a lot for this opportunity.
Admin Reply by: Dan Patitucci
Hi Johnny, I think you'll appreciate the overnights in towns as they're small Euro villages and super unique. It's for sure part of the fun and you won't find yourself in anything but fun. Zermatt gets a little hectic, but it's entertaining and feels great to be there. I say go for the 6 day finishing in Zermatt. Let us know how it goes!
Carrie Horn Carrie Horn wrote on September 19, 2019 at 12:56 am
Where to begin!! From the moment this was presented to me about 6 months ago, it seemed like a dream. We(myself and 2 friends) did the Via Valais starting on 9/6/2019 and ended on 9/14/2019. Kim Strom was an amazing help all along the way and it was such a pleasure to meet Dan and Janine Patitucci. The challenges were real, but every bit worth it. Everyday was different and every stay in the huts/hotels along the way were beyond memorable in different ways. Having done the Haute Route 5 years ago almost to the day, I have to say that the views and staying up high is well worth the extra miles and vertical feet. We had rain, snow and lots of cloudy weather the first few days, but were then blessed with bright blue skies and temps in the high 60's. I would Highly recommend this adventure to any outdoor enthusiast that has a thirst for challenge. My hats off to the crew who created the VIA VALAIS!!!!
EWA SIWON EWA SIWON wrote on August 29, 2019 at 6:25 am
Thanks for your prompt reply and useful information!
Ewa Siwon Ewa Siwon wrote on August 28, 2019 at 7:28 pm
Hi, I am planning to do this amazing Via Valais next year and have a few questions. 1) which month offers the best weather to do it between June-August? 2) Which stages are easier and can be connected and done in one day instead of two? I'd like to do it in 4-6 days. I have just finished a fastpacking trip 465 km/ +14000 m in 9 days . 3) Is it safe to do it alone in terms of glacier crevasses, etc.? Best regards, it seems you created a real gem, I can't wait to be there!
Admin Reply by: Dan Patitucci
Hi Ewa, Great to hear you are making some plans! June is not possible as there is too much snow, and July hinges on when a bridge is installed over a gorge, usually mid July - and the best window is then between then and mid-September, anytime. But September is usually great for big things in the Alps. Combining days is a tough call, but 3 is fairly easy, and you can skip the Moiry hut and go straight to Zinal to link 3 and 4. Other than that combo, it's your call, they are all big and hard. As for going alone, I don't think it is an issue for anything other that just getting hurt and needing help. There are no crevasses and no real hazards beyond rolling ankles, falling, weather. Feel free to check in anytime, and keep us posted! Dan
Loic Loic wrote on August 22, 2019 at 2:55 pm
The journey of a lifetime.... it is hard to describe the total feeling of immersion you get by spending so much time high-up. It is also approachable, with the flexibility to enjoy relaxing time at the huts or double-up the stages. And it is not that difficult to reach , little time lot in transportation around the world and half-broken trains. One story in length:!/story.php?story_fbid=10156424170016299&id=516846298&ref=m_notif&notif_t=feedback_reaction_generic
Andrina Küchler Andrina Küchler wrote on August 13, 2019 at 9:55 am
Hi there, I can imagine it's not always easy to quit the stages. Which two stages do you recommend doing if I only have two days of time?
Admin Reply by: Dan Patitucci
I'd say do the first 4 stages the first day, and the next 5 stages the second day... 😉 This is Dan, and for me stages 5, 6, and 8 are my favorites. Maybe start on 5, but with a climb of the Pigne de la Lé early in the morning, then run it through to Turtmanntal Hut. Day 2 is the Barrhorn and descent to the Mattertal, which right now requires a detour to Herbriggen.
Ben & Jen Ben & Jen wrote on August 11, 2019 at 9:46 pm
We did the 6-stage tour from July 31 - Aug 5. It was a fantastic experience! Each stage, and to some degree each valley, has its own feel created by the ever-changing combinations of landscape, plants, geology and people. Coming from Alaska, where wild nature begins at the trailhead, we found it awesome how civilized a 6-day trot in the mountains could be AND how light our packs could be for such an undertaking. In the middle of a run, you can get strudel and iced-tea! You can charge up the Corne De Sorebois in the noontime heat and get the best coke of your life just on the other side! How badass is that?! We packed minimally but still found that the added weight made it pretty tough to keep trotting up most of the significant climbs. We mainly power-hiked the ups and jogged the flats and the descents. The long descents into the villages definitely took their toll, but at the end of each one is a hot shower and cold beer. Starting out on day 3 (from Zinal), we felt pretty ragged, but after that our bodies seemed to get used to the continued effort. If like us, you've never been to the Alps before, you're going to want to take a ton take photos. My camera is too big to fit on the front of my pack, so I was frequently stopping to take off my pack to get the camera. Having a small, light camera you can run with and easily access without taking your pack off will save you more time on the trail than 2 months of interval training. Sending the bags on with the train had its pros and cons. On the pro side, it was nice to have civilian clothes and other personal items in town. On the other hand, sending bags prevents you from leaving town early in the morning and forces you to head into town before the office closes to collect them. It wasn't a huge inconvenience, but I think if I did it again, I'd nix sending bags and put the money I saved toward more strudels. We're just so appreciative of AlpsInsight for giving us all the information to go have this experience. I can't recommend it enough, especially to folks from the US who haven't experienced the wonderfully civilized Alps mountain culture.
Sonia & Alex Sonia & Alex wrote on August 11, 2019 at 5:42 pm
Finished the 7 first days of the Via Valais on Friday! First of all, many thanks to AlpsInsight for creating this amazing tour; we had soooo much fun!! 🙂 Reading through Loic and Chelsea comments, we can confirm that some of the GPS tracks did not match the distance covered according to our Garmin watch (we traveled more distance than what was described); espacially stage 3 probably due to the straight line through Evolene. On day 7, the rocky trail that follows the Schöllijoch was not our favorite part as it was more climbing/trekking than trailrunning.. And the trail to Randa was closed, so that we had to change our itinerary and head to St Niklaus. But overall it was an incredible experience, with most of the time sunny and warm weather, and just one rainy day (that happened on day 4 from Cabane de Moiry to Zinal, but we are sure the views must have been fantastic!). The views along the way are breathtaking and the steep climbs to the peaks/passes are well worth the sweat! We are happy we stopped after 7 days as our knees were suffering from the steep 2200m descent to St Niklaus on the last day. But we would like to finish days 8 and 9 someday and discover these running trails around Zermatt! We were very satisfied with all the huts, the staff was always welcoming and the food was great. We even had the chance to attend a concert of "Les Poissons Voyageurs" at the Cabane des Becs de Bosson; we had a fantastic night! We also saw a lot of wild animals throughout the week (tooons of marmots, deers, ibexes, sheeps, foxes, .. :)). We particularly enjoyed waking up and setting out early so that we could chill at the hut (with a piece of cake mmmmh) in the afternoon 😉 Again a big thank you to the whole team for sharing the gear you packed for the tour; we bought the filter and it was definitely worth it (felt very autonomous and saved a lot of money!). Our Kalenji 15L backpack weighed 4kg without water/food and therefore very light and comfortable for running. We are sooo happy and proud of what we have accomplished and recommend the Via Valais to everyone loving nature, incredible views, the contact with people, stiff legs after a long run (:-P) and of course trail running!!
Admin Reply by: Dan Patitucci
Hey Sonia & Alex, Thank you so so much for writing this! Great feedback and we are literally checking the distances again right this minute. It's been interesting that Garmin watches are what people are using and getting more distance - we actually measured the distances on SwissMobility to get our numbers. Seems the best thing is for us to bump up the distances in our stats to not really make it tough for people. And we're really happy the filter worked for you. That is a key tip! Be sure to get the last two days done, they are some of the best of the whole thing. We're happy for you guys! Thank you again, Dan, Janine & Kim
Chelsea Chelsea wrote on August 9, 2019 at 4:00 pm
Just back from an amazing Via Valais trip! My plan was to do the 9 day route in 9 days. It might have been a good idea to take a rest day partway through (hint hint to others planning the full route) - my knees were suffering from the descent at some point, so I cut a stage and ended up doing 8 stages. I would echo Loic's comments below about some routes and distances - by my Garmin each of the first three days were >30km. The discrepancy from the description on day 3 almost certainly caused by this straight line through Evolene which makes the described distance shorter than the distance you actual travel. Just be aware that your GPS device may not match the Fatmap/webpage distance listings, and pack enough extra snacks accordingly! Overall I had an amazing experience and am so grateful to you guys (AlpsInsight team) for putting this together. It is so cool to see the landscape change from valley to valley as you go over each pass. It is hard to pick out a favorite section, as they are all special in their way, but a few were the stay at Becs de Bosson (a magical place!), going up to Schöllijoch and the Barrhorn (that landscape is so dramatic), and all the great running on the Moiry to Zinal day and around Zermatt at the end. I was pleasantly surprised how runable large sections of this route were. I have done some of the other runs on this website before and even the "easy" ones I find myself doing a lot of hiking, but there were days on the Via Valais where I was really doing mostly running. The route is incredible for including so much great singletrack at runable grades. It's separated by huge and steep passes/cols, but then you're back to running trails! A last tip to others - do make sure you do day 9 instead of just cutting down to Zermatt. The trail running in Zermatt is incredible. It's worth it. When I decided to reduce my trip from 9 to 8 stages I skipped stage 8 so I could still get the Zermatt running in, and I'm very happy with that decision.
Admin Reply by: Dan Patitucci
Hey Chelsea, Thank you so much for posting, and a huge congrats for being one of the first people to do the Via Valais! We really enjoyed following you on Instagram. For us, it is super rewarding to see people experiencing what we found. Regarding distances, yes, we are aware that some days may be longer. It is just so hard to really determine what they are. When we measure it on SwitzerlandMobility, which is by far the most accurate, we get what we listed. Our watches were similar, but we don't trust the watches, and we make photos when out, so we wander around and alter the distance. It's hard to really know. It'll be interesting to see what others say. Thanks again for posting this, Janine, Kim and Dan
loic loic wrote on July 29, 2019 at 8:47 pm
Just back from it. Will post a more detailed report, but a couple of points to check: - Stage 3: (i) it seems like GPS was off through Evolène, there is a straight line; actual distance might be 2km more, and go through city (for coffee and pastry 😉 ) (ii) there is a shorter track going straight up to Bec de Bossons via L'A Veille (and nice restaurant to refill) - Stage 4: there is a pretty long switch back on the forest road; I did not try it, but it might be fun and similar time (-1km, +200m more ascent) via points 2397m / 2554m /2548m - Stage 7: (i) heard the trail to Randa got wiped out and there is now a new one; not sure if the GPS track accounts for that (ii) small section between 5.2km and 5.5km where the track does not follow the actual marked trail (you might have done it in snow ?) - Schöllijoch: it is Stage 7, not Stage 6 - I believe there is a typo in the FAQ - Pas de Chèvre: Stage 2, not Stage 3 ? Same issue in FAQ, or maybe I am confused and lost too many brain cells high-altitude 🙂
Admin Reply by: Dan Patitucci
Hi Loic! Thank you so much for this. Your FAQ stage numbers are fixed - good catch. We'll check the GPX track, but these were actually drawn in to stick to trails by FATMAP, not actual recordings, which would have been hopelessly wrong. Yes, the original route on stage 7, down to Randa, is currently closed and we've adjusted it on the site, temporarily. Waiting to hear what they plan to do as it is a serac issue from high above. We're so glad you did this! Thanks again from our whole team!
Nina Nina wrote on July 25, 2019 at 4:47 pm
Great route!! I completed the small Via Valais (6 stages) a few days ago. Breathtaking views, especially stage 4 (Turtmann Hut to Randa). The trails are very well connected. In some parts it's just you and nature - you will only run into marmots and ibexes. And if you are thirsty for summits... the bonus peaks are really worth the few extra kilometers!
Admin Reply by: Kim Strom
Glad to hear you enjoyed the trail, Nina. Thanks so much for sharing your experience!
Paulo Paulo wrote on May 29, 2019 at 9:29 pm
From what I see it's not possible to download the GPXs from, not even after having created a standard account. Is this the expected behavior? The 3D maps are beautiful, but without a GPX are worthless.
Admin Reply by: Dan Patitucci
Try the Fatmap stage pages now - you should be able to download the GPX files again. Sorry about that!
Shine Shine wrote on April 22, 2019 at 5:08 am
Hi, someone might have asked before regarding the GPX file. Every time I click on the FATMAP of each stage (the map is excellent by the way) , it will lead me to the FATMAP app but the app will shows ALL the trails map which is full of cross crossing line instead of the just the stage map that I wanted to save . Did I do something wrong or is there specific way to do that ? Thanks!
Admin Reply by: Dan Patitucci
I also saw this and notified Fatmap, it seems fixed and now only the Via Valais route is visible on the larger map. Works for me, but please let us know on your end. Thanks!
Enrico Enrico wrote on March 27, 2019 at 7:48 pm
The SBB luggage transport system is only working with a valid train ticket for the same distance as the bag is going. Or if you've got a GA. 😉 Or have you found out a trick and are willing to share?
Will Hawkins Will Hawkins wrote on March 12, 2019 at 8:13 pm
Hello! I am planning to do the route in August! Are you able to offer .gpx files of the stages or a single of the whole? I'd love to drop the route onto swisstopo
Admin Reply by: Dan Patitucci
All the gpx files are available within Fatmap if you go to the actual map page. Just click on the map and it'll take you to Fatmap where you can use their app (great) or download the file if you have an account.
Alain Imboden Alain Imboden wrote on March 1, 2019 at 3:25 pm
First an amazing book and now the Via Valais. Your project is extremely well designed with amazing maps and perfectly fitted for trail runners. I know now what to do this summer! Do you plan to organise running camps in the future?
Admin Reply by: Dan Patitucci
Hi Alain, thanks so much for writing and the excitement for the trail. We don't offer any running camps, but our partners at are offering guided and self guided tours of the Via Valais. I can help connect you if you like. Thank you again, Dan & the Team
Dieter Dieter wrote on January 28, 2019 at 7:52 am
Great Project!! Where to download the gps-tracks? Dieter
Admin Reply by: Dan Patitucci
Hi Dieter, Looks like you found our Via Valais site before it has gone public, we are getting ready to launch it! We're just waiting on the maps to be finished and it'll be linked from our Elevation : The Alps Trail & Peak Running Resource site. Hang tight and the route will be available. All the best, Dan


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