The impression you get about Sasseneire (3253 m) strongly depends on your point of observation. From the southeast side, like for example from the Moiry hut or Pigne de la Le mountain, it looks like a very dangerous sharp peak.
[Atahualpa Yupanqui – La pobrecita]
If you are on the north side, at the Becs de Bosson hut, it is a ragged and unclimbable wall in front of you. However, from the Moiry lake side, its gentle slopes look so inviting, and I would say this is the true face of Sasseneire.
Going to the summit of this mountain belongs to what I would call a true mountaineering, a simple and yet demanding walk-up. I do not use the word easy for such altitudes, because it is never so, but is truly unproblematic and achievable by anybody with ordinary physical conditions. In this page, I give you essential information about Sasseneire mountain, which you will need to know prior to going there.
Coordinates of the mountains are the following
- latitude: 46.14386
- longitude: 7.51538.
The mountain is located in the Wallis province of Switzerland, to the west from the Moiry lake, between Val de Moiry and Val d’Herens and there exist nice mountaineering routes from both valleys. If you climb Sasseneire, the highest point to come by car or by bus is at the dam of the Moiry lake (2249 m).
There is a restaurant at the dam, and a regular bus line from Grimentz. From the restaurant, you simply walk along the dam and continue in the western direction by following the signs towards Col de Torrent (2919 m). Note that there are no signs of Sasseneire whatsoever.
From the dam, there is a gravel road which you will follow to a cattle house, and from there you will continue up the mountain towards the lake Autannes (2696 m). This is a pleasant walk over pastures and meadows.
From the lake Autannes, you will have wonderful views over several 4000 meters high mountains which close the Moiry valley from the south. This includes Dent Blanche (4357 m), Ober Gabelhorn (4063 m), Zinalrothorn (4221 m), Grand Cornier (3962), Pointes de Mourti (3564), Pigne de la Le (3396 m), and many others. If you would like to camp somewhere in the area then this is the spot for it.
Col de Torrent is directly above the lake in the west direction (see the photo below), and the route to the Coll is visible. So you will continue to the Coll and from there suddenly you will have all Val d’ Herens in front of you, and you will even be able to see Mont Blanc far away, and many mountains in between.
From the Coll, you will see a beautiful ridge of Sasseneire stretching in the northwest direction. This is your way to the summit, a simple walk-up on the rocky terrain.
Regarding the time needed for this adventure, you will need about 2.5 hours from the dam to the Col de Torrent and one hour more from the Col to the summit. If you start from Val d’Herens then you will like to go to the village Villa, which is at 1750 m above the sea level. The route from the village goes to Col de Torrent. I did not pass the route from that side, but most of it was visible from the mountain, and it looked rather straightforward, zigzagging toward the Col de Torrent where it joins the Moiry route.
No special equipment is needed. Here is my summary:
I climbed Sasseneire in August 2011 from the Moiry dam. I spent the night camping at the glacier lake below the Moiry hut and in the early morning went by car back to the dam. I set-off from the dam at 5 am, it was completely dark and this remains so for another 90 minutes. There was nobody around all the way up, and you will see no people on my photos from this climb. But do not be mistaken, this is a rather popular and crowded area later during the day, and this was indeed so when I came back from the mountain; the parking area around the dam was full of cars, and the bus from Grimentz was coming full of tourists.
The first sunlight that morning was at the Autannes lake (2696 m), while the valley below was still in darkness. Those were moments that remained in memory forever. I made a few beautiful photos; the one you see above is one of my favorite.
If you are reading these lines then you obviously share a similar love for mountains, and I am sure you will be able to feel at least partly what I felt at the lake in those moments. Just look at the picture for some time and try to place yourself into such an environment, and imagine the silence of the mountain around you.
On my way back I was at the same spot again, and I made some photos. But they were not the same, the magical moment of the sunrise was over. That is one of the reasons for going into the mountains so early.
After some break at the lake, I continued toward the Torrent pass where I arrived at 7:30. Now this was something again, a new horizon opened up far in the distance, ending up with Mont Blanc. And there was this beautiful Sasseneire ridge which you may see on the pictures above. So after taking a few pictures I continued and in one hour I was at the summit of Sasseneire. Only when I was back far below the Torrent pass, I met some people there.
I highly recommend Sasseneire for everybody. You will not need any special equipment, but I suggest you consult this page in the site, where some mountain climbing equipment is described.
As for the accommodation in the surrounding villages, I suggest using some agencies which I myself used in the past, and you will find more information about this issue here.
If you have been there already, please share your memory in the comment section below. If you have any question I shall be happy to assist you, just ask.