Moments: Chutes and Ladders

Moments Cohen Cabane du Bertol

Click to Englarge. Photo: Lee Cohen


The ladders and chains that take you up to Cabane du Bertol hut are a neat finish to a day of ski touring. The Cabane du Bertol is accessed along the Haute Route, but a slight detour off the common path. We came up from Arolla, staring at giant Mt. Collon as we climbed, passing buried cabins at a crossroads where only the rooftops stuck out of the snow, then ascending the final giant bowls to the pass where the ladders head up the rock to Cabane du Bertol. Perched precariously on top of the escarpment, Bertol has views in every direction. The Matterhorn pokes its head out in the distance among a string of giant Alps, and to the south you are looking into Italy. The next day, it’s off to Zermatt.—Lee Cohen