3 - 4
FATMAP difficulty grade
Stage 5 is one of the most diverse stages of the entire Via Valais, especially if you add the bonus peak, Pigne de la Lá.
If you want to tag the bonus summit, consider a pre-dawn start to be on the summit early enough to watch the first reach the Matterhorn.
The summit adds an extra 600+/- to the day, and requires more hiking and scrambling than running.
If you are comfortable with easy ridge scrambling, the view is absolutely worth the effort! You'll pass by the Moiry hut on the way down where you can eat breakfast, again. When you leave the Moiry Hut for Zinal, you'll traverse the length of the lake, rolling near 2500m, before a climb to the Col de Sorbois and the start of the indirect descent to Zinal.
As you run south, into the back of the Val d'Anniviers, you'll be entertained with incredible views of the Zinalrothorn, Weisshorn, and Dent Blanche.
After dropping more than 1200 meters to the valley floor, you'll follow the river right into the center of Zinal. Bonus Peak: Pigne de la Lé (3396m) 3km, 597m+/- *This is Stage 2 of the 6 Stage Option and now follows the full Via Valais route. Download the GPX file here: http://bit.ly/ViaValais_Stage5