Location: Right bank of the Rhône above Leytron.
Description: technically average trail with an aerial part on the summit ridge not recommended for people afraid of heights. The summit can be avoided by passing through the Mayens de Chamoson. The route is a mountain path T3 going from the plain to the summit of the Ardève in a very interesting geological setting. Easy orientation and well marked paths but sometimes dangerous if the humidity is too high. The route alternates between deciduous and coniferous trees on a path overlooking the plain and its vineyards. The summit remains a long and bushy ridge, populated by larches and junipers. Unique and a real colour festival in autumn.
Total length: 31 km-effort
Altitude: between 533 m and 1487 m
National excursion map 1:25’000: Ovronnaz 1305
Best period: June to October
Useful information: Sticks are useful in the first part of the trail. Orientation is not a problem, as the trails are well marked in yellow, but a map is always a guarantee of safety on this kind of route.
Use the roadside in the vineyards to the east of Chamoson (2’583’125 / 1’116’157 / 598 m) and follow the signpost to the Ardève. The path quickly rises in altitude to Le Clèves, La Planche and the Mayens de l’Ardève. The ground markings are outdated and sometimes stuck to the trees. The climb leaves little rest until the dirt road at pt 983. Continue to follow the signs for l’Ardève on the same road, which allows for a faster pace. The section below the summit ends with a path warning hikers that this is an aerial section and not suitable for those prone to fear of heights. The view from the summit is impressive over the Rhône plain. The ridge leads further northwest to the Pointe de la Lacha.
The descent on the north face is littered with roots; the path is steep and requires constant attention. A tricky 15 to 20 metre section requires the use of the handrail, which makes it easier to get through the unstable ground. At the place called Les Dzardis, the route runs due south, under the resort of Ovronnaz, along the Torrent de Valeresse and passes through the pastures of the region. The ground is wet and muddy with roots. The signs for Montagnon and then Produit are clear. From these villages the path is asphalted and winds through villas and vineyards. At the altitude of 605 m, below the village of Produit, turn northeast to the cantonal road at the altitude of 574 m and follow the road for 100 m before joining the path that overlooks Leytron in its vineyards to La Barme. The rest of the way is signposted to your starting point.