The Val D’Illiez is an area and a village near Champery (Les Crosets) a famous ski resort in Switzerland. There are thermal baths in the Val D’Illiez village, which was my starting point for two days.
I’m not particularly fond of thermal baths, at least past half an hour, unlike the children. That is why the first day I climbed up to the Signal de Soi at 2000m high, instead.
It was a long climb, but not very steep, about 9-10% average.
The road to the summit is mainly used for cars, which go to small huts, where the cows spend their summer.
At this period of time (fall) in Switzerland, the weather is pretty much the same every year.
In the valleys, it’s cold and under stagnant fog with a summit at around 1500m.
Most of the Swiss population is living in these valleys, enduring fog and cold temperatures for months.
To escape the depressing weather, many people climb in the mountains, where the temperatures are much higher. This phenomenon is called thermal inversion.
As I was climbing, I could really experience this phenomenon first hand. I started the climb at around 800m high and was really cold (4°C) and ended at nearly 2000m with almost 20°C!
The water was already a bit frozen at 2000m, though.
The next day was a bit more complicated as rain was forecast, so I just explored the area without much plan. As it happened, everything was covered in low clouds and fog, thus shortening my ride significantly.
For once, I was very happy to pay a visit to the thermal baths.