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Day 15 Tuesday 22.8.00  

By now our feet were feeling the strain of all the walking, and we seriously considered not completing the walk to Montreux. It was a mistake not having a rest day at Gsteig, and attempting to walk 5 days continuously was over-ambitious. The American couple we’d met had had a rest day every other day!

The last day dawned absolutely perfect so, after some indecision, we decided to complete the walk. However, we chose to take the Post bus for the first 4 kms to La Lecherette.Then we walked the route suggested by Kev Reynolds via the Lac d’Hongrin, rather than the alternative route via the Col de Sonolomont. Finally we took  the rack railway down to Montreux from Chaux. This effectively shortens the over-long day of 31km to a more manageable 22km. The APR is supposed to be fun and not a route march.  

Lac de l'Hongrin

Leaving La Lecherette we walked along the lane, by the lake, to the dam at Barrage de l’Hongrin (the lake supplies water for Montreux).  Then the route continues through a short tunnel, with sidewalk, before dropping down into the valley at La Vichoude d’en Bas. 

La Vichoude d’en Bas. 

We met the alternative APR route here before continuing up a path through meadows and woods to Chalet de Chaude. We had expected this last day to be a letdown after the high mountains but, whilst not as spectacular as the very high mountains seen earlier, the landscape was delightful and the walking not un-challenging.  

Col de Chaude from the east...the last pass! 

A final look east from Col de Chaude.

We were certainly delighted with our view of Lac Leman (Lake of Geneva) as we breasted the pass at Col de Chaude (1621m). There, spread out before us was a breath-taking panorama of the lake and beyond the French Alps.  

Lac Leman (Lake of Geneva) from Col de Chaude.

The route continues first along a lane and then drops steeply down on paths through woods before finally reaching a relatively level section  that contours around to Sonchaux. After a drink in a café we continued along the lane by now able to look down on Montreux. The APR drops down here into the urban jungle of Montreux, but we headed for the station of Chaux on the Rochers de Naye rack railway. In fact the journey down this incredibly steep railway, added a dramatic touch to the end of our walk, which would have been missing if we’d actually walked down into the town.

We’d completed the walk despite a few mishaps and sore feet. By my approximate calculations we walked 279kms (175miles) out of a possible route length of 325km(207miles). On arrival Fran said, “Let’s walk back to Sargans.” I think she was almost serious!  

Lac Leman and Montreux from Sonchaux