Pointe d'Orny : out and return from the La Breya ski lift.

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.

Technical sheet
No. 2420345
A Orsières walk posted on 14/08/19 by Alwayswiththehills. Update : 21/08/19
Calculated time Calculated time: 7h15[?]
Distance Distance : 13.44km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 1180m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 1177m
Highest point Highest point : 3261m
Lowest point Lowest point : 2189m
Difficult Difficulty : Difficult
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Areas Areas : Alps, Mont-Blanc (Massif)
Location Location : Orsières
Starting point Starting point : N 46.021432° / E 7.103262°
Download : -
Petit Clocher du Portalet from the junction Mont Velan Grand Combin Cabane d'Orny


Park at the ski lift station to the west of Lac de Champex and take the ski lift.
Since this hike begins with a ski lift trip, don't use the function "Go to the starting point". It will guide you at the start of the pedestrian part of the hike and not at the car park of the lift station

(D/A) From the ski lift, take the well signposted path to the Orny and Trient mountain huts. The path is easy to follow, there are some easy sections with hand chains that may be useful when there is snow underfoot. In summer, you will not need the chains. You will come to a junction with another path on your right.

(1) This path leads up/down from/to Val d'Arpette, ignore it and continue along and steadily uphill to a second junction, this time on your left at the start of a flatter corrie.

(2) This second path leads up/down from/to Combe d'Orny, it is a nice way up from Champex if you want to miss out the ski lift. (See walk "Champex to Cabane d'Orny and return via La Breya summit and ski lift.") Ignore this path and continue over the corrie floor and then more steeply uphill through small boulders. At the top, you will have great views of the Petit Clocher du Portalet and come to a third junction, this time on the left.

(3) This path will take you down to Saleinaz in the Val Ferret, ignore the path and continue uphill on a moraine ridge to the Cabane d'Orny. Look out for the remains of the old Orny hut on the right just before a lake. (This section from the ski lift to the Orny hut is T2 see notes below)

(4) Walk in front of the hut and continue along the path. There may be patches of snow to cross and there is one section which requires the use of metal staples to ascend. Other sections have old climbing ropes fixed to use as handrails but depending on your skill level these may not be necessary. You will come to a signpost where there are good views of the Plateau de Trient. Continue up to the Trient hut in about 5 minutes. (This section between the Orny and Trient huts is more challenging than the first section,T3)

(5) From the Trient hut, take a track to the right of the hut and towards a metal rain gauge. (See photo) Continue along fainter tracks over the scree slanting up and right to the ridge and a small col. From the col, lookout for small cairns which mark the path through the scree and boulders below the ridge and to a col. (There is more than one track) From the col, clamber over boulders to the summit. Please note this section is not marked with paint flashes. You are negotiating a rocky, scree and boulder strewn slope; it will require some care and in a few places the use of your hands but it is not technically difficult. (T4 but not marked with paint flashes) In early season, the snow patch seen on the photo may lead to the col but you will need to be competent with an ice axe and use crampons if the snow is frozen.

(6) At the top enjoy the view and then retrace your path back to the ski lift (D/A).

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 2190m - Ski lift station
1 : km 2.04 - alt. 2399m
2 : km 2.7 - alt. 2467m
3 : km 3.63 - alt. 2683m - Lac d'Orny
4 : km 4.3 - alt. 2823m - Cabane d'Orny
5 : km 6.32 - alt. 3172m - Cabane du Trient
6 : km 6.75 - alt. 3261m - Pointe d'Orny
D/A : km 13.44 - alt. 2190m

Useful Information

The Orny and Trient huts both offer a full guardian service with food and drink for sale at a premium. There will be meltwater in the mountain streams but you will find few of these after the corrie and the turn off for the Combe d'Orny.

I would recommend boots capable of dealing with grass, loose scree, and boulders; you may need to kick steps in snow so a good supportive sole is important. Good approach shoes are a minimum but there is a risk of turning an ankle so a full boot will offer greater support.

You are going into high alpine terrain, the Trient hut and the Pointe d'Orny are both above 30000m. Take appropriate clothing and be prepared to turn back if the weather changes or if the walk is too much. Going to the Orny hut and back is still a nice walk.

Swiss mountain trails are well marked and a grading system was introduced to coincide with the markings and signposts. The following translation of the grading system is from http://www.hikr.org/post2984.html further information on Swiss trails can be found at https://www.schweizmobil.ch/en/hiking-in...

(3) T2 – Mountain Hikes

Paths with continuous marked-out route. In case it is marked according to SAW standards: white-red-white. Sometimes steep, the danger of falling possible. Requirements: Sure footedness sometimes needed. Trekking shoes are recommended. Basic orientation skills.

(4) T3 – Challenging Mountain Hikes

Paths are not always visible. Exposed sections can be safeguarded with ropes or chains. The hands might be needed for balance. In case the path is marked: white-red-white. Can have exposed sections with the danger of falling, scree slopes, pathless craggy ground. Requirements: surefootedness, good trekking shoes. Average orientation skills. Basic alpine experience required.

(5) T4 – Alpine Hikes

Path traces are not always present. Some sections require the use of hands. In case paths are marked: white-blue-white. Grounds are relatively exposed, tricky grass slopes, craggy ground, simple firn fields and snow-free glacier sections. Requirements: Stable trekking shoes. Basic ability to judge grounds and good orientation skills. Alpine experience required. A sudden change in the weather can make a retreat/fallback difficult.

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

Take your camera, enjoy the walk and the changing scenery as you ascend. At first the Clochers de Portalet, then the Glacier d'Orny and finally the Plateau de Trient and its surrounding peaks.

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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.)

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