Hikes

Hikes

From Cabane Brunet to Cabane FXB Panossière

High-altitude hike to a mountain refuge beside the Corbassière Glacier at the foot of the Combin massif. Highlight: traverse of a 190-metre suspension footbridge.

This panoramic hike leads to a mountain refuge dramatically sited on the lateral moraine of the Corbassière Glacier – the fifth longest in Switzerland (10 km). The Cabane FXB Panossière offers a grandstand view of the great river of ice as well as the glaciated peaks that tower above: the massif of the Grand Combin, the second-highest summit of French-speaking Switzerland (4,314 m). The trail begins at another mountain refuge, the Cabane de Brunet, located at the treeline, and snakes up through subalpine pastures offering sweeping views. The path crosses a short suspension bridge across a ravine before leading around the steep flanks of the Becca de Sery. The terrain becomes increasingly wild, dominated by mighty boulders and rock sculpted and smoothed by the passage of ice. Eventually the Corbassière Glacier appears, and with it, a second, much more impressive pedestrian footbridge: the Passerelle de Corbassière. Inaugurated in 2014, the bridge has a span of 190 m, passing 70 m above the tip of the glacier. (Hikers who suffer from vertigo can skip the crossing by following an alternative path, lower down the valley.) Pause to read the signs by the bridge. Its patron is the Swiss engineer Toni Rüttimann, who has spent his life building suspension bridges in developing countries using donated materials and labour. So far “Toni el Suizo” (“Swiss Toni”) has built more than 650 bridges linking remote villages in Asia and Latin America, affecting the lives of more than 2 million local people. The first Swiss company to offer a cable for one of his bridges was Téléverbier, which runs the cable cars around Verbier, further down the valley. Beyond the bridge, the trail climbs the lateral moraine of the glacier to reach the Cabane FXB Panossière. Highlights Welcoming mountain refuges at the start and finish Giddy suspension footbridge, 190 m long and 70 m off the ground Spectacular views of the Corbassière Glacier and the Combin massif

Turn-by-turn directions

From Cabane Brunet (2,103 m), follow the signs for Cabane FXB Panossière, crossing the small suspension footbridge across the Dyure de Sery before skirting the flanks of the Becca de Sery. To avoid the high suspension bridge across the glacier, follow an alternative route that crosses the valley lower down: look out for the turning to the left, hike down to the river and climb back up the other side to rejoin the main route up to Cabane FXB Panossière (2,641 m).

Here, hikers have the choice of returning to the Cabane Brunet by the same route (2 h 10 – downhill nearly all the way) or by a variant, e.g. via the Col des Avouillons (2,649 m). Alternatively, head from Cabane FXB Panossière down to the village of Fionnay in the floor of the valley. The hike between the two mountain cabins can also form part of a scenic 2-day hike (Le Châble–Cabane Brunet–Cabane FXB Panossière–Fionnay).

NB Cabane Brunet is open early June to early October; Cabane FXB Panossière late June to late September.

Start: Cabane Brunet (2101 m)
Destination: Cabane FBX Panossière (2630 m)

Author's recommendation

Stop at both cabanes, which have a very different character; and order a slice of freshly baked fruit tart at each!

Technical information

  • Altitude

    2630 m 2076 m

  • Ascent

    608 m

  • Descent

    80 m

  • Technique

    Bewertung: 3.0 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Stamina

    Bewertung: 4.0 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Experience

    Bewertung: 6 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Landscape

    Bewertung: 6.0 von 5.0 Punkten

Public transport

Train to Martigny, change to local train to Le Châble. Taxi to Cabane Brunet. Option: extend hike by walking from the Cabane FXB Panossière down to Fionnay, and take postal bus to Le Châble. Free travel on postal buses for guests who have spent at least one night in the region thanks to the Verbier Infinite Playground Pass (VIP Pass). Find full timetable information at sbb.ch.

Approach

A9 motorway, exit 22 (Gd St-Bernard). Follow signs to Verbier as far as Le Châble; at entrance of village, turn right to cross bridge and follow signs for Mauvoisin. After passing the village of Lourtier, look out for a turning to the right marked Cabane Brunet.

Parking

Near Cabane Brunet (free). At end of walk, retrace steps to Cabane Brunet (alternative variants possible).

Equipment

We recommend: 

  • good footwear
  • clothing suitable for the weather: always carry a waterproof jacket
  • hat or cap
  • sunscreen
  • bottle for water
  • picnic
  • camera
  • binoculars (optional)
  • hiking poles (optional)
  • printout of this hike (click “Print” icon, to download)  

For certain walks:

  • Swimwear

Safety information

Use of the trails and the information on this website is at hikers’ own risk. Local conditions may entail changes to routes. Valais/Wallis Promotion accepts no liability for the accuracy and completeness of information on this website.

For all hikes:

  • Bring a map. Download full description of this route including large-scale map by clicking on “Print” icon, top right of this page.
  • Use marked trails only, and observe all signposting – for your own safety, to safeguard grazing animals and to avoid disturbing wildlife.
  • Close gates after passing through.
  • Please be considerate to other trail users, and to the plants and animals.
  • Do not leave any waste in nature.

For mountain hikes:

  • Take extra care protecting yourself from the sun at altitude. UV radiation can be exceptionally strong, even in cloudy weather.
  • Plan hike carefully: take into consideration fitness level of each participant, weather forecast and season.
  • Weather conditions can change quickly in the mountains, without warning. Appropriate clothing is therefore essential, along with adequate supplies of food and water. In uncertain weather, turn back in good time.

For high-altitude hikes:

  • Inform others of the route you plan to take. Whenever possible, avoid going alone.
  • Do not venture onto glaciers without a mountain guide.
  • Take note of the warning signs that point out the constant danger in river beds and along watercourses below dams and reservoirs: water levels may rise rapidly without warning.

Literature

The tourist office in Verbier/Val de Bagnes has got brochures and information material about hiking in the region.

Maps

SwissTopo maps 1:25’000: 1346 Chanrion