Cabane de Moiry

Distance: 4.0 - 6.7 miles (one way)

near Zinal in Valais

Introduction

View of the Moiry Glacier

Situated atop a rocky knoll along the west side of the Moiry Glacier, the Moiry Hut overlooks an incredible river of ice spilling down the north face of the Grand Cornier. Overlooks around the hut offer bird’s-eye-views of this amazing spectacle of ice, covered with seracs and crevasses.

The short, steep hike to the hut ascends through rocky meadows and then climbs steeply up a hillside covered in rock and boulder fields. Fine views along the trail encompass the Couronne de Breona, Point de Mourti and Point de Moiry towering above the west side of the valley. To the north, Pointe du Tsate and Sasseneire rising above the west side of the Lac de Moiry.

Extend the hike with a return trip along the west side of the Lac de Moiry to the Moiry Barrage (Dam). Alternately, this hike can be combined with portions of the hike over the Col de Sorebois.

Cabane de Moiry

The glaicer from the viewpoint above the hut

Distance from Trailhead: 4.0 miles (round trip)

Ending/Highest Elevation: 9,300-ft.

Elevation Gain: 1,577-ft.

Take the postbus to Moiry Glacier. The bus stop is located beyond the head of the Lac de Moiry, a dammed reservoir to the south of Grimentz, and just before the tiny Lac de Chateaupre near the foot of the Moiry Glacier. (See directions below).

Walk a short distance south from the parking lot. Soon you will see signs pointing left (southeast) toward a broad track heading to the Cabane de Moiry (1h 25min). Follow the trail as it skirts the north side of the Lac de Chateaupre, ascending through rocky meadows on easy grades. Views extend southeast to the Moiry Glacier along with the Point de Mourti and Point de Moiry, rising to the west of the river of ice.

At 0.3 miles the grade steepens as the path climbs the hillside along the east side of the glacier. Pass a junction at 0.6 miles with a trail, the Haut Tour de Lac 2500m, branching to the left toward Barrage de Moiry, Sorebois and Zinal. We continue straight ahead toward the Moiry Hut.

Beyond the junction the grade eases. At 0.8 miles the trail curves to the south, traveling along a rocky gully to the left (west) of the terminal moraine of the Moiry Glacier. Use trails split off from the main track and climb to viewpoints along the moraine.

At 1.3 miles the trail starts climbing a series of very steep switchbacks up a hillside covered with rock and boulder fields, gaining 800-ft. in a half mile. Turn around and look northwest for nice views of the Pointe du Tsate and Sasseneire rising above the west side of the Lac de Moiry. Directly across the valley is the Couronne de Breona.

The grade abates at 1.8 miles and soon reaches the Cabane de Moiry (9,268-ft/2,825-meters), an old stone hut with a modern copper-clad addition, at 1.9 miles. From the hut enjoy splendid, bird’s-eye-views of the Moiry glacier.

For the best views follow a use trail which goes around the east side of the hut and then climbs to a rocky overlook (9,300-ft.) at 2.0 miles. To the north the glacier, covered with a morass of seracs and crevasses, spills down a steep incline. Point de Mourti, Tsa de l’Ano and Point de Moiry tower above the valley to the west. Pigne de la Le dominates the view to the south.

When you are done taking in the views, retrace your steps to the bus stop at the foot of the glacier for a 4.0 miles round trip hike.

From the Foot of the Glacier to Lac de Moiry Barrage

The tips of Dent Blanche and Grand Cornier peek above the Moriy Glacier

Distance from Trailhead: 6.7 miles (round trip)

Ending/Highest Elevation: 7,380-ft.

Elevation Gain: -343-ft.

The hike can be extended by walking to Zinal on the Haut Tour de Lac 2500m, which climbs to the Col de Sorebois and then descending to the cable car station at Sorebois, or walking to the foot of the Lac de Moiry along the west side of the lake. See the Sorebois to Moiry hike for information on the first option.

To return to the Moriy Barrage from the Moriy Glacier bus stop, walk north/northwest toward the Lac de Moiry along the road for 0.2 miles and take the trail branching to the left (north/northwest). The path drops steeply through meadows and then travels on easy grades along the right (east) side of the outlet stream carrying meltwater from the glacier, passing a trail branching right and climbing up to the road.

Rock hop across the stream at 4.4 miles and then follow the trail as it cuts across meadows to the southwest end of the Lac de Moiry at 4.6 miles. Nice views extend north across the aquamarine lake to Sasseneire rising to the west above the dam. Turn around for fine views of the Moiry Glacier. The tip of the Grand Cornier peeks above the ice sheet.

The trail now drops down to lake and heads north, traveling along the west side of the lake on easy grades. Turn around occasionally for views of the glacier. Soon you will see the tip of Dent Blanche appear to the south of the Grand Cornier.

A rocky outcropping at the foot of the lake forces the trail to climb to meet a road near the foot of the lake at 6.2 miles. After walking a short distance along the road the trail drops down to the west end of the Barrage de Moiry (7,381-ft/2,250-meters) at 6.3 miles. Here signs point north to a trail dropping steeply down to Grimentz (1h 40min), losing over 2,250-ft. in 3.8 miles.

We turn right (east) and cross the top of the dam on a wide paved road. Reach the café and bus stop at the eastern end of the barrage at 6.7 miles. During the summer regularly scheduled buses depart for Grimentz/Zinal and also travel to the head of Moiry Glacier at the head of the Lac Moiry

Note: You can start this hike either from the foot of the Moiry Barrage (Dam) or at the Moiry Glacier. I prefer to start the hike at the Moiry Glacier so that I get to the hut in the morning when skies are typically clear. Clouds obscuring views of the glacier and surrounding peaks are more likely in the afternoon.

Hike Facts

  • Distance: 4.0 - 6.7 miles (one way)
  • Elevation: 7,723-ft. - 9,300-ft.
  • Elevation Gain: 1,577-ft.
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Basecamp(s): Zinal
  • Region: Valais

 

Elevation Profile

Elevation profile for the Cabane de Moiry hike

 

 

Driving Directions

From Zinal to Moiry Glacier: From the post office in Zinal, board bus #455 bound for Moiry Glacier. The bus ride takes 42 minutes. Note: The bus will stop at Moriy Barrage at the foot of the dam. Stay on the bus and get off at the last stop at Moriy Glacier.

See the SBB website or download the app for the current schedule

From Grimentz to Moiry Glacier: From the post office in Grimentz, board bus #455 bound for the Moiry Glacier. The bus ride takes 29 minutes. Note: The bus will stop at Moriy Barrage at the foot of the dam. Stay on the bus and get off at the last stop at Moriy Glacier.

Buses make several stops in Grimentz. See the SBB website or download the app for the current schedule and stop nearest your accommodations.

From the Moiry Barrage to Grimentz or Zinal: At the dam, board a bus headed toward Zinal or Vissoie. There are several stops in Grimentz, about a 20 minute ride from the dam. If you are headed to Zinal, the best bet is to catch a bus headed directly to Zinal. Otherwise, take the Vissoie Bus to Vissoie where you will need to change for a bus headed up valley to Zinal. The direct buses take a little over a half hour. If you need to change the ride will take an hour and 15 minute or more, depending on the time of day. Schedules are posted at the bus stop by the dam and are available online at the SBB website or download the SBB app.

 

Trail Resources

Trail Photo Gallery / Trail Map

Basecamp(s) Information:
Zinal

Region Information:
Valais

Other Hiking Regions in:
Switzerland