FATMAP difficulty grade
Stage 6 crosses the Röstigraben, the symbolic border separating the French and Swiss-German speaking regions of Switzerland.
The Valais is now the Wallis, val becomes Tal, lac becomes See, the, and potatoes with hot, stinky, wonderful cheese are still the main thing on the menu. After Zinal, there's not another town in sight until Randa, the end of the next stage.
Straight up from Zinal, you spend some kilometers following the famous descent of the Sierre-Zinal race route before continuing the climb to Forcletta Pass.
Over the pass, the berry-lined trail slants down to the Turtmannsee before climbing to the Turtmann Hut. Bonus Peak: L’Omen Roso (3031m) 1.5km, 187m+/- *Before heading out from the Turtmann Hut, consider options for tomorrow's Stage 7 .
Between the Turtmann Valley and Randa, is the Schöllijoch.
The crossing is an exposed T5 downclimb, fitted with ropes, metal rungs, and ladders that should not be attempted with vertigo or in bad weather. *If you decide not to attempt the Schöllijoch on Stage 7, an alternative option is to go from Zinal to Gruben 17km, 1367m+ / 1210m- and then Gruben to Randa 27km, 1599m+ / 1988m- to continue on stage 8 from Randa. Download the GPX file here: http://bit.ly/ViaValais_Stage6