Location: Right bank of the Rhône above Ardon.
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 by 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.
Distance: 12.5 km
Difference in altitude: 1312 m
Total length: 30 km effort
Altitude: between 483 m and 1730 m
National excursion map 1:25’000: Ovronnaz 1305 and Sion 1306
Best period: May to November
Useful information: poles are useful for both the ascent and the descent. Orientation is not a problem, but you have to be careful with the path that fades under the autumn leaves. The route is well marked with yellow signs but an altimeter and a map are always useful on this kind of route.
The start is from the Lizerne power station in Ardon (2’585’989 / 1’118’326 / 598 m). The ascent follows directly the small path that climbs in a winding path and continues westwards on the path of the Bisse promenade, through the vineyards that overlook the old village of Ardon. When you reach the tarmac road, join the village below and follow the yellow signs that take you through the vineyards, under the cliffs of the Six de Gru. From there, the yellow and blue signs marked with an “S” invite the walker to wind through the vineyards to reach the village of Némiaz above Chamoson. At point 950, continue along the pond road for 70 m until you see the sign for Routia, les Ancillons on a T3 path (white-red-white). Caution: this path is aerial and not recommended for people prone to vertigo. The climb can be dangerous if the ground is greasy or in case of heavy rain: the torrential lava has made its beds there. The climb is steep and marked by key passages equipped with handrails. The atmosphere remains impressive. The path rises quickly and overlooks Chamoson, which is drowned in vineyards, to reach the Peuflaire ridge, under the Ancillons. At point 1305 turn left into a forest of majestic beech trees to reach the Ancillons marked by a cross overlooking the valley.
The return follows the ridge northwards and at point 1716, start the descent with its roots and dead leaves. The path is rough and does not allow for a quick run. The yellow signs then regularly indicate the direction of the village of Ardon and the descent does not represent much difficulty. The scenery remains wild and if you are lucky, you may see chamois or, even rarer, lynx. Keep your eyes open.