The Dent D’Oche is a striking mountain towering 2221m over Lac Leman (Lake Geneva) and the lakeside towns of Evian & Thonon-les Bains. Those up for the challenge of this hike are rewarded with the most amazing views of Lac Geneva on one side and the Alps on the other.
The track starts in Bernex, about 30 minutes by car from Chalet Cannelle. The tour of the Dents D’Oche is around 8km in distance with a 900m ascent and with some technical aspects, it is suitable for more experienced mountain hikers.
Slowly warming up the legs on this gentle climbing path from the car park La Fetiuere to the first coffee stop at Chalets d’Oche, where we get our first glimpse of what we are about to climb. From here the path is slightly steeper and single track which zig zags up the towards the bottom of the rock faces. We are surrounded by views of Chateau d’Oche and Aiguilles de Darbon which we have already planned for another days hiking. Reaching the top of this slightly steeper section it’s time to put our poles away in our bags and prepare ourselves for some scrambling.
Lots of well placed chains makes this scramble a challenge but with a feeling of total security. There are no very exposed areas on the ascent, it is just mainly pulling yourself up through mini couloirs with good foot purchases the whole way. About half way up this scramble you start to get a good look at the Refuge you are heading towards. It always amazes me how refuges like these are built, into the rock, balanced on the edge, and not least…how the refuge cat managed to make it up there! This refuge will take your breath away.
After taking in the amazing refuge building and views, we continue on to a slightly more exposed section still with chains but no big voids, and then directly on to a small ridge before viewing a cross…a false summit. The real summit is slightly further on where there is plenty of space to relax and take in the most amazing views of Lac Geneva on one side and the Alps on the other. This may not be the highest mountain, but I guarantee, it has the best views in the Abondance Valley.
More chain work on the descent and a few large, steep steps down to make but with a good clear view of your route back it’s a pleasure to walk.