Trail running the Via Valais, Switzerland

<< STAGE 5                        STAGE 7 >>


19km    1687m+ / 841m-
Bonus Peak:  L’Omen Roso (3031m)  1.5km, 187m+/-

Stage 6 crosses the Röstigraben, which is the symbolic border separating the French and Swiss German speaking regions of Switzerland. Val becomes tal, lac becomes see, the Valais is now the Wallis, and potatoes with hot stinky, wonderful cheese are still ubiquitous.

After Zinal, there's not another town in sight until Randa. Straight up from Zinal, you spend some kilometers following the famous descent of the Sierre-Zinal race route before continuing the climb to Forcletta Pass. The berry-lined trail angles down to the Turtmannsee before climbing to the Turtmann Hut.

*This is Stage 3 of the 6 Stage Option and follows the full Via Valais route.

*Consider options for Stage 7 before heading out from the hut. The Schöllijoch stands between the Turtmann Valley and Randa. The crossing is an exposed T5 with ropes, metal rungs, and ladders. More info on the Schöllijoch.

An alternative if you decide not to attempt the Schöllijoch:

  • Option: Zinal to Gruben 17km 1367m+ / 1210m- and Gruben to Randa 27km 1599m+ / 1988m-

Or, if Turtmann Hut with the Schöllijoch is too much for one day, be sure to do the Barrhorn, then add an extra day by stopping at the Topali Hut.

  • Option: Turtmann to Topali 10km 1208m+ / 1060m- with peak PLUS extra stage Topali to Randa 12km 561m+ / 1798m-

  • Stock-up as needed before leaving Zinal. The next town is Randa at the end of Stage 7.
  • The huts provide dinner and breakfast. You can also purchase a sack lunch and snacks from the hut.
Bonus peak:

L ’Omen Roso (3031m)  1.5km, 187m+/-

From Forcletta Pass, follow the rocky ridgeline out and back. Grade: T3 


Turtmann Hut:  At 2519m, the Turtmann Hut is a quiet refuge in the back of the remote Turtmann Valley. It is generally guarded from mid-June to mid-September. For opening dates see website. 


Topali Hut:  As Turtmann Hut is increasingly difficult to get a reservation, an option is to continue to the Topali Hut. This makes stage 6 longer, and you'll go over the Schöllijoch late in the day. But it's a fantastic, friendly hut that will keep you moving the right direction.

Useful links:


Leaving Zinal behind for two big  and wild days before the next town, Randa.


Climbing from Zinal.


About to reach the Forcletta Pass and cross the Röstigraben.


Across the Forcletta Pass, the traverse leads to the back of the remote Turtmann valley.


After reaching the valley floor, a final climb leads to the Turtmann Hut.


Cozy quarters at the hut.


Turtmann Hut.

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