Often when people ski they spend days gazing at the mountain tops that surround them, acknowledging their immense beauty and power but also recognising that their summits are unachievable, not a possibility for your everyday person who isn’t a mountaineer. This is not, however, always the case. Sometimes you just need to know the hidden secrets of the place, knowledge that is gained from time and familiarity. Or, alternatively, you need someone to tell you the secrets and point you in the right direction. This is something I can do.
At the top of the Swiss Ski Resort of Chandolin (Val D’Anniviers), a drag lift takes you to the edge of a seemingly uninteresting summit… you may not even notice you are right next to it. But unclip your skis – or snowboard – and walk 5 minutes up the hill, you reach the summit of Illhorn, a Swiss mountain that stands at 2,717 metres above sea level, the highest point in the Illgraben Valley. The view from up here is mind-blowing. Have a seat on the bench at the top and take in the views of the Alps that span all the way from Switzerland to France and Italy. The Matterhorn and Mont Blanc can both be seen from here. It will take your breath away making the long drag lift and walk worth it. I can almost guarantee that you won’t see another soul up here. It’s a secret well-kept!
So if you are ever near Chandolin, take the drag lift up towards Illhorn and you could have an Alpine summit under your belt with only 5 minutes of walking, not to mention the memory of one of the most spectacular views around.
Photo Credits: Alice Kerr