Walking boots for some and a good pair of trainers for the others, a fleece, a water bottle and a little snack in the rucksack : here we were ready to discover the Panoramic Path at Tracouet ! With my two daughters and one of their friends we meet up with a friend of mine and her two boys. For children aged between 3 and 8 years, the ride up in the gondola is already a fun experience in itself. They jostle each other for the best place on the bench or for the best viewpoint by the window as we leave the resort behind.
Departure in the gondola
As we arrive at 2200 metres in altitude, we enjoy the cool breeze, a relief from the lowland‘s stifling heat. What a great surprise for the children : slides, swings, a fire-engine and a trampoline and a great surprise for the parents : a restaurant with a pretty terrace from where you can keep an eye on the kids. But how do you convince the little ones to go for a walk when this place is so much fun ? The promise of an ice cream and a long playtime on the way back is enough to make them decide.
There they are rushing off to the starting gate. They love running from one yellow signpost to the next. Who will get there first ! After a few moments, they slow down a little as this first climb is a little steep. First stop next to a giant pinecone. The little ones hurry to climb on top of it. Then, having let off some steam, they pay close attention to the information post which presents the speckled nutcracker and the surrounding pine trees, which grow in number in this region, at between 1600 and 2400 metres in altitude. What‘s the link between this tree and this bird ? You can find out during your next walk in Tracouet.
Climb on a giant pine cone
We set off once again along a winding path. « Mummy, it‘s a little scary here, I feel a little dizzy ! », Gwenaëlle calls out to me. The path is very safe but the incredible view over the Rhone Valley is impressive, like a breathtaking balcony over the Alps. The next post is amidst the avalanche protection barriers. I ask the children if they know what these huge structures are. « Are they turnstiles for the mountain goats ? » asks one. « A work of art ? » asks another. « Look, they aren‘t all the same ! », exclaims a third showing his talent in observation. While explaining what these barriers are for, we take this opportunity to make them aware of the dangers of the mountain.
Be stunned speechless for a few seconds thanks to the view
After a few more minutes of effort, we take a break on the panoramic viewing platform ; a kind of wooden sofa on which there‘s enough space to seat the five children and two mums ! « I can see grandma‘s house », cries out Mathilde. We admire the view, take a sip of
water and we‘re off once again !
A little further on, with the help of an information post indicating the names of the mountain summits, we look for the peaks mentioned in the immensity of the scenery before us. One more last effort and we reach the highest point of this walk. Here we can test our balance. While the little ones show their agility along the wooden beams, mum‘s hand is still welcome on the slackline.
After a few metres down the Dent ski slope, which we enjoy discovering on this summer‘s day, they have a new opportunity to let off some steam while jumping from one log to another.
Test your balance
That‘s when we spot a picnic area below, which is just in time because all this fresh mountain air has opened our appetites ! The walk ends on the banks of the black lake at Tracouet. An information post presents the amphibians living here. But seeing is much more fun than reading : what could be more fun than watching tadpoles swimming in the pond and trying to spot a newt !
Admire the tadpoles, frogs and newts
We then join the popular play area and offer the little hikers their promised ice cream which they enjoy in the sun, comfortably seated on the deckchairs provided. This 1,8 km loop takes about 45 minutes of actual walking time. By taking our time and allowing the children to have fun on the various modules, we did it in about 2 hours.
Please be aware that the Tracouet gondola is open bewteen 27th June – 18th October 2020. During this time there is also a treasure hunt on offer for the panoramic path. To take part you need to collect your adventure book from Nendaz Tourisme and once you have finished, you can take it back to earn a prize.Arrival at an outdoor seating area with a nice play area