Hiking in Col des Mosses

A very quick post to say that we got together with Wendy and Richard yesterday in Vevey (WendyAsh and Riccardo on the board). They are staying at a wonderful hotel, with a large room looking right out on Lake Geneva. I loved their room! We sat on the terrace when the sun was out, then it clouded over and started to rain, so we moved inside. It was amazing watching the storm from their room. We had a great dinner at the hotel with them.

Today we had breakfast at the cafe in Leysin – usually we have it in the apartment, but we were out of bread. It was overcast and the valley was filled with clouds. This town is really growing on me. The cafe is very friendly and fun, the Coop grocery store has everything we need (including organic brown rice!), the newspaper/magazine store is good (bought a Donna Leon mystery today AND they have Pocket Coffee, Steve’s favorite Italy candy), the bakery is very good (I just remembered we bought fruit tartes today!) and they have a good pizza restaurant.

Col des Mosses
Steve in the snowfall at Lac Lioson, near Col des Mosses

The town is full of young Americans because of the American school and some summer camps. Groups of teenagers shopping in the Coop, hiking down the street in their hiking gear and backpacks, hanging around on the sidewalks. It is great to see so many young people enjoying it here – plus the people who live here are very used to Americans!

After hanging about in town and getting groceries (okay, the young Americans blocked the chocolate display where I was trying to find interesting stuff to send to Charisse and Ryan at Internet Brands), we went back to the apartment and the sun came out!! We quickly got organized and drove about 15 minutes to Col des Mosses, a hiking area. We got the hiking map from the tourist office and then got ready to do a 3hr 30min hike.

But, as we were getting ready, it was getting colder. We could see fresh snow not far above us, but the woman at the tourist office said the snow was above Lac Lioson where we were going. We put on our wool hats and gloves. I felt ridiculous packing these back in 90 degree weather in Santa Fe, but I am glad I did. We needed them today.

The hike was 1hr 10min uphill (400 meter gain – 1200 feet) to a perfect alpine lake at the foot of big rocky mountains that were covered in snow. We stopped at the restaurant for some lunch and then, as has happened nearly every time we hiked, the weather got worse. It rained, then it turned to a sort of hail, then snow. Yes, snow. The clouds descended over the lake, but we decided to walk around it anyway and we were walking in a snowstorm. It was really exciting. The photo above is on our walk around the lake.

But, we did not want to do the longer hike, so we just walked back down the road we came up on. By the time we got back to Col des Mosses, it was raining.

I love this weather – I really do. It makes the hiking fun. We would probably do more and longer hikes if it was sunny, but this is pretty interesting.

The days are flying by. Tomorrow is two weeks since we arrived in this apartment and on Saturday we leave for Italy. I can’t even imagine being in warm weather!

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Pauline Kenny

Pauline Kenny and Steve Cohen are US expats living in Dorset. We moved to the UK in 2010. Read about our move. If you would like to talk about travel, please join us on the Slow Europe Travel Forums.

4 thoughts on “Hiking in Col des Mosses”

  1. Pauline,
    Your photos looks so wonderfully pristine and refreshing … Yes, even Steve hiking in the snow! Your blog descriptions and pics are enticing me to develop a fondness for Switzerland. 😀

    It looks like you used your hiking poles today? (Good day for it!)

    Hi to Richard and Wendy!

  2. snow??? You’d better start imagining warm weather, because the forecast for next week in Umbria is mid-nineties and zero percent chance of rain. You won’t be needing the wool hats–only the swimsuits!

  3. Your pics are so great they don’t look real! Yes, hiking in the rain and snow is much better than hiking in muggy, buggy, 90 degree weather!

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