Jun 19 2009
Day Trip – Hiking Above Montreux to Les Rochers de Naye
Prof. Fichter Post: June 14, 2009
This one can be done by a 60+ out-of-shape law professor, and offers several places for taking the easy way out. No special equipment is needed, but you will be grateful for a water bottle, a snack, a hat and something for wiping sweat, and you mother would want you to wear sunscreen. It gets steep enough so that your hands will be touching the ground more than once. In retrospect, bringing a map would have been smart. Here’s what I did, but I make no promises that this is the best way to do it:
I took the train to Montreux (less than $10 from where I live), passing some of the most beautiful vineyard country I have seen. From the train station in Montreux, I took another train up the mountain to Les Avants (I paid $14, but made the mistake of making it a round-trip ticket, as I ended up taking another train down from Les Rocher de Naye). Les Avants is a too-cute, picture-book Swiss mountain village, from which I headed to Jor by foot. All the directions are well-marked with pedestrian route signs that give you an estimate of the walking time. The road to Jor is paved but narrow, passing through woods and fields (think cows with cow-bells, alpine meadows with dozens of types of mountain flowers, and an occasional cuckoo calling in the distance).
From Jor, follow signs to Col de Jaman. You rise above the tree line, where you find a restaurant where you can stop for refreshments and to reconsider your folly. The path to Les Rochers de Naye takes you behind the restaurant and starts to climb. No more road. We’re not talking ropes and crampons here, but you will be grabbing rock before you get to the top at Col de Jaman. The steepest peak (the impossible looking thing to the right in the second picture on this page: http://www.wanderrouten.ch/jaman.htm) is optional, but definitely worth it. There is a trail, so it is not as hard as it looks in this picture. Your grandmother could do it, if she is in shape. Views of the whole stretch of Lac Leman and snow-capped mountains all around. Just ahead on the path, on the way to La Perche, people are hang-gliding on a good day. (Activity definitely not endorsed by Widener University School of Law.) At Jaman, two more options to take it easy: (i) another restaurant, and (ii) a cog train ($6) to Les Rochers de Naye. Or, you can keep walking.
At Les Roches de Naye, views of everything, reindeer, more refreshments, and a cog train all the way down to Montreux ($36). You will have hiked for at least 4 hours by this time, so you may well want to take the easy way out here. Anyway, the train has more great views, including a good one of the famous Chateau de Chillon: http://www.chillon.ch/de/.
Rating: I would do it again.