Plan Monnay

A lovely circular walk for a half day out which is good if the weather is forecast to deteriorate in the afternoon. It can also be extended if you want a longer walk. Amazing views from the top of Plan Monnay.

Technical sheet
No. 24888525
A Liddes walk posted on 04/08/22 by Alwayswiththehills. Update : 08/08/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 3h50[?]
Distance Distance : 8.23km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 506m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 505m
Highest point Highest point : 2103m
Lowest point Lowest point : 1597m
Moderate Difficulty : Moderate
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Alps
Location Location : Liddes
Starting point Starting point : N 45.992504° / E 7.162053°
Download : -
From Plan Beu Western edge of the Mont Blanc Massif Saleinaz Galcier to Aig. du Chardonnet (L. of centre) Grande Fourche and Aig. Dorees Val Ferret with Mont Blanc Massif beyond


Start : Car park chair lift at Vicheres.

(D/A) From the parking walk along the road passing a sign post on the left up some chalets (Nid d' Amour and Bavon), ignore this and continue straight on. The tarmac road ends and becomes a stone track, walk along this in a Northerly direction.

Ignore the first turn back on the left (which goes back to the chalets) and continue straight on. At the next bifurcation, ignore the path that descends on the right and continue ascending via the left hand track. This will soon bring you to another turn back on the left. Again, ignore this turn back and continue ascending straight on (North-North-West), after about 500m you will arrive at a third turn back on the left.

(1) As before, ignore this turn back and continue straight on.

(2) After about 600m there is a further, less defined, turning on the left which you can take or, as shown, continue to the end of the track.

(3) At the end of the track take the path on the left uphill (South-West) which brings you onto the path from (2). This is marked with a prominent wooden post and yellow makers for a cross country ski trail. Turn right (West) and continue uphill to where the path flattens out in front of a boulder and multiple sign posts with the first of the great views in front of you. (Plan Beu 1828m)

(4) From in front of the boulder take the path on the left, marked with wooden sign 'Bavon' and then yellow diamonds. This path will continue to the top and you will follow, yellow diamonds, yellow flashes on trees, magenta paint flashes and some magenta snow shoe trail markers, numbered 12.

The path winds its way up through the forest following these markers. The ascent is steepest in the middle part but the trees provide shade. As the angle eases and the trees thin out there are minor branches off the path, ignore these and continue to follow the paint flashes to a good view point. Following this you will come to a distinctive split in the path.

(5) Take the right hand path that heads uphill (yellow paint flashes). It will bring you to a magnificent view over the Val Ferret and the western end of the Mont Blanc Massive, but be careful you are on the edge of a sheer cliff face. Continue upwards to the top at 2111m. where the trees thin out and the 360 degree view is spectacular. This is a great place to eat your sandwiches and enjoy the view.

(6) From the summit head on down the path in a southerly direction towards the edge of the trees until you arrive at the workings for a button tow. Below you on the left is a small cabin and the lower mechanism and a further chair lift. Walk past the button tow mechanism to where the grassy path bends left and the right to pick up a track beside the chair lift.

(7) There are three tracks leading away from here. You need to take the left most (lowest - South-West) track. You will pass under the cables from the chair lift from Vicheres and arrive at a split in the track.

(8) Take the track on the left and descend to another junction. (The path on the right goes to the cow sheds at Bavon, if you like cows then you may find a fine herd here)

(9) At this point you have two choices for the descent. The track GPX track shown is described here and an alternative in Useful Information below. Take a grassy path on your left descending ahead of you to a cabin and ski lift mechanism. (Blue piste sign at (9) Chapalet)

At the cabin turn left again and follow the path descending across the pasture, skirting the edge of the forest and then briefly through the trees (ignore the path on the right in the trees) and then across the pasture again to the chalets at Le Chapelet just above the parking. Follow the track down past the buildings to the path that descends to the end of the car park.

(1) Turn right and follow the track descending gently back to the car park (D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 1597m - Chair lift at Vicheres
1 : km 1.3 - alt. 1706m - Junction
2 : km 1.88 - alt. 1726m - Junction
3 : km 2.08 - alt. 1735m - Yellow makers
4 : km 2.44 - alt. 1825m - Boulder
5 : km 3.8 - alt. 2069m - Yellow paint flashes
6 : km 4.05 - alt. 2103m - Tsamonay summit
7 : km 4.9 - alt. 2015m - Downhill
8 : km 5.54 - alt. 2022m - Junction
9 : km 5.95 - alt. 1988m - Junction
D/A : km 8.23 - alt. 1598m - Chair lift at Vicheres

Useful Information

Parking : Park at the car parking for the chair lift at Vicheres. The chair lift is closed in the summer but there is plenty of parking, although none in the shade; a reflective shield for your car windscreen will help to keep the heat down.

Alternative descent
From waypoint (9) turn back on yourself and follow the obvious broad stony track that descends to pass beneath the line of the chair lift, you may find a herd of Herens cattle in the pastures to your left. This good track descends gently and enters the forest, it passes beside a slabby outcrop of rock and brings you back to (1)

Facilities : There are no restaurants open in the summer so take all your water and refreshments with you. The top is a great place for a pic-nic.

Note :

  • Take appropriate clothing; this walk can be done wearing approach shoes or trainers with a suitable sole for grass, rock and soil.
  • Please note that the way down crosses summer pasture and cattle may be grazing. The farmers train the animals to stay within the pasture using electric fences. These may be on or off and you may have to cross them. This is easily done but please take care to keep any electric fences intact.

This walk can be extended.
At the same level of difficulty; from the button lift just before (7) continue up the grassy slopes to Le Tejeur and the top chair lift station. Then take the path on the left down to the cattle sheds and Bavon and descend from (9) as described.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

The views from the summit are amazing, you get a full 360 degree panorama from Cotogna past Champex-Lac, the western peaks of the Mont Blanc massive, the Val Ferret, Tour de Bavon, across to the Grand Combin and the slopes of Mont Brule and Six Blanc above Orsieres.

There are many interesting breeds of cattle, some of which are unique to a particular area or which are used to make certain types of cheese. On this walk you may see Abondance, Simmental and Herens.
Originally unique to the Valais are the Herens breed, which are originally from Val d' Herens . These stocky animals are still entered into competitions where pairs of animals lock horns and head wrestle for the title 'Queen of queens.'

The slabby rock that you pass on this wall is the same formation that makes Li Blanche on the side of Catogne across the valley. It is a type of sedimentary rock with a mineral content that was heated and metamorphosed. It outcrops in the region (most prominently at Li Blanche) an

Other walks in the area

Raccard du Blé
distance 8.09km Vertical gain +375m Vertical drop -378m Durée 3h25 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Orsières - Valais

A circular walk in the lower part of the Swiss Val Ferret. One of the walks publicized by the tourist office and well signposted. There are information boards (in French) about the construction of traditional barns made from local stone and timber. Easy walking, navigation and some interesting information. The first section is on a quiet road.

Pointe d'Orny : out and return from the La Breya ski lift.
distance 13.44km Vertical gain +1180m Vertical drop -1177m Durée 7h15 Difficult Difficult
Starting point Starting point in Orsières - Valais

An ascent of an easy alpine peak starting from the La Breya ski lift and via the Orny and Trient mountain huts. Superb views over the Trient Plateau.

Le Belvedere circular walk
distance 7.29km Vertical gain +619m Vertical drop -613m Durée 3h50 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Orsières - Valais

This is a variation on the Sentier Le Belvedere walk which is described in the Pays du St-Bernard tourist booklet.

Sentier du Bisse
distance 4.1km Vertical gain +153m Vertical drop -154m Durée 1h35 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Orsières - Valais

A short and easy walk from Champex Lac, taking the well signposted and good paths beside the Bisse. These are the water channels made to control and route the flow of water for irrigation purposes. The path returns to Champex via part of the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) path.

distance 12.47km Vertical gain +1302m Vertical drop -1271m Durée 7h15 Difficult Difficult
Starting point Starting point in Orsières - Valais

6th stage of the Mont Blanc tour: from the Relais d'Arpette to the Forclaz Pass via la Fenêtre d'Arpette.

Champex to Cabane d'Orny via the Col de la Breya.
distance 11.28km Vertical gain +1521m Vertical drop -823m Durée 7h35 Difficult Difficult
Starting point Starting point in Orsières - Valais

A circular walk from Champex Lac; ascending via the Bisses to the Arpette valley and then taking the path uphill through forest to the Col de la Breya. Then descending and joining the path to the Cabane d'Orny (refreshments available). The descent is via the path back to the La Breya chair lift taking in an optional ascent of La Breya.

Champex to Cabane d'Orny and return via La Breya summit and ski lift.
distance 12.64km Vertical gain +1567m Vertical drop -863m Durée 8h05 Difficult Difficult
Starting point Starting point in Orsières - Valais

A circular walk from Champex Lac; ascending the tranquil and beautiful Combe d'Orny and joining the path to the Cabane d'Orny where there are refreshments available. The descent is via the path back to the La Breya ski lift taking in an optional ascent of La Breya. (It is also possible to descend by foot via the Val d' Arpette or from the ski lift, similarly the walk can be shortened and height gain reduced by taking the ski lift up.)

Chemin de Bouquetins / des Bergers
distance 8.4km Vertical gain +118m Vertical drop -503m Durée 2h45 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Orsières - Valais

This walk is a mixture of the Chemin de Bouquetins which coincides with the Sentier des Bergers in places. It takes advantage of the ski-lift in Fouly to save on the ascent but you can always walk uphill if you choose. These walks are both publicized by the tourist office and are well signposted.

For more walks, use our search engine.

The GPS track and description are the property of the author.