4 - 5
FATMAP difficulty grade
From Champex, follow the road northwest as it descends for 3 kilometres to the tiny settlement of La Poya.
A road branches off left from here - take it and shortly afterwards a path cuts off heading for collection of chalets and barns which make up the little farm of Plan de l'Au.
Continue past Plan de l'Au by passing through a gate (don't forget to close it) and following a large track as it climbs gently up to above the tree line.
Keep following the path as it crosses 3 rivers and traverses the bowl below and east of the Pointe Ronde.
The rivers, when in full flow, can be tricky to cross but generally are straightforward enough.
Once on the far side of the bowl, climb steeply and then traverse into the small mountain restaurant/drink stop at the Fontaine farm, which is 1.5 - 2 hours from Plan de l'Au.
The view down to the Rhône Valley, and the towns of Martigny and Sion is wonderful.
From Fontaine, make a long, descending traverse west for 1.5 hours, past the chalets at La Giéte, to emerge at the restaurant and hotel at the Col de la Forclaz (1528 metres).