The start of the hike is at the great dam of Lac des Dix. High up the valley of Val d'Herens lies the Grande Dixance dam, it's... more » Europe's highest dam and looks very impressive when you drive to the parking area. Parking is free.
The first part in the guide is to climb to the top of the dam. You can take the lift but since you must leave early, it could be that it is not open yet. Once up the dam you'll leave immediately in the direction of Cabane des Dix. Since you'll have to do a lot of kilometers it's better that you walk on the dam when you return.
The first long part of the guide takes you along the lake of Lac des Dix from where you'll get very nice views on it's surrounding mountains. The paths are wide and flat but that will change once you've reached the end of the lake.
At the end of the lake you'll cross a small bridge and after that you'll leave the big path behind and start the climb to Cabane des Dix along Pas du Chat. There are no roadsigns and the path is not very clear, only bits of remnants of red paint. So take a good look at the GPS so that you are on the good track. The Pas du Chat is a tricky one to cross, it's small and you must climb a bit without chains. Be careful.
After Pas du Chat the path joins the white-red-white labeled path. A bit further, after crossing the water Torrent de Cheilon, you'll walk on a small ridge with a steady climb to the summit near Tête Noir. Once on top, you can see the Cabane des Dix but we advise you to walk to your left on a little higher summit with a cross. From there you'll have the best sight on Mont Blanc de Cheilon and the surrounding mountains.
You'll descent to the Cabane in the valley of the glacier. The Cabane itself lies a bit higher on a rock. It's the best resting point with the best view you'll ever have. Take a breath and have diner here, the best has yet to come! From the Cabane you'll get a glimpse of the glacier crossing, can you see the "path"?
Once ready, you'll descent further and follow the sign to "Col du Riedmatten" - "Pas de Chevres" - Arolla. The path is indicated with red paint and red rocks. They will guide you over the debris fields and ice parts. The first debris field is relatively easy, after that you'll get your first path on ice followed by an other debris field and yet another icy part.
Getting out of the glacier pit is not so easy, big rock parts where you'll find your way through. So again, be careful and keep on the trail. Once out, you've survived the glacier crossing. Now it's a long descent to the lake, but when you think it would be so easy, you are wrong. Some debris fields, steep and craggy paths awaits you. That's why the descent does take a while, but you'll get amazing views in return.
At the end of the descent you cross the water Torrent de Cheilon again over a bridge before getting back on the big path along the lake. The return to the dam is the same as you'll did in the start of the day. less «