Official website of Nendaz Tourism
Magnificent altitude walk along the highest bisse of Nendaz with a very fine view of the Cleuson dam and of the Rhône valley
Water intake altitude 2,370 m, in the Printse above the Cleuson dam
Length 15 km
Date of construction 1862
The bisse flows at over 2,000 m altitude for the whole of its length. Its construction was intended to allow the irrigation of the mountain meadows of Thyon belonging to the peasants of Veysonnaz and of Les Agettes. Unfortunately, following problems of waterproofing and a too low water flow, it only remained in use for a few years.
To ensure the passage of the water on the slopes overhanging the Lac de Cleuson, it was necessary to construct dry-stone walls which are still visible. At this place, the constructors of the bisse engraved their names in the rock. Further away in the direction of Combatseline the canal had to cross a rock face. To overcome this obstacle, an artificial canal was constructed, entirely of wood, suspended from a rock wall. The water passed in the wooden boxes formed of planks called "chenaux" or channels. These channels were supported by pieces of wood, fixed into a recess dug in the rock, of which some are still visible. These engineering feats testify to the difficulties encountered by our ancestors who did not dispose of modern material.
In spite of the abandon of the bisse for many years, we still have the opportunity to follow its trace thanks to the well-maintained hiking path. The trail begins vertical to the Lac de Cleuson across very steep slopes where marmots frolic. One is above the treeline at this level. Soon the view opens up over the Rhône valley and one can admire the mountains of the right bank. Before arriving in the mountain meadows of Thyon, the path crosses a beautiful larch forest, chosen home of the nutcracker bird (nucifraga caryocatactes), typical of these clusters of trees.
Route de la Télécabine 1
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