The north side of the Diablerets, from left to right: Oldenhorn, Scex Rouge and the long ridge to the summit
|Elevation||3,210 m (10,530 ft)|
|Prominence||968 m (3,176 ft)|
|Isolation||14.3 km (8.9 mi)|
|Listing||Canton high point|
The Diablerets (French: Les Diablerets; lit. "the abode of devils") are a huge ice-covered mountain of the Alps, culminating at 3,210 metres (10,530 ft) above sea level and straddling the border between the Swiss cantons of Vaud and Valais. The Diablerets massif, which consists of several peaks, extends for about 10 kilometres near the western extremity of the Bernese Alps, between the two deep passes of Cheville and Sanetsch. The mountain is covered by two distinct glaciers, the largest being the Tsanfleuron Glacier and the highest being the Diablerets Glacier.
The main summit (often referred to as Sommet des Diablerets) is the highest point in the canton of Vaud. In the latter canton, the mountain has given its name to the nearby village and resort of Les Diablerets, which lies on the north side of the massif. On the south side (Valais) the mountain overlooks the hamlet and valley of Derborence. Administratively, the summit of the Diablerets is shared between the municipalities of Conthey (Valais), Ormont-Dessus and Bex (Vaud).
Along with the Wildhorn and the Wildstrubel, the Diablerets are one of the three significantly glaciated masssifs of the Bernese Alps that lie between the Rhone elbow and the Gemmi Pass. The main section of the mountain, between the cantons of Vaud and Valais, is part of the Rhone basin, through the rivers Grande Eau (north) and Lizerne (south). The easternmost part of the massif, that lies in the canton of Bern, is part of the Rhine basin, though the river Saane. The tripoint between the three aforementioned cantons is the Oldenhorn. The two largest glaciers (Tsanfleuron and Diablerets) are both on the Valais side. They form a single inclined plane towards the east, although they are separated by the rocky summit of Le Dôme (2,986 m). They are not very steep, especially the Tsanfleuron Glacier, as the rock strata are close to horizontal. The smaller and higher Diablerets Glacier, however, is much wilder than the Tsanfleuron Glacier as it is steeper and more crevassed. The Tsanfleuron plateau, between Le Dôme and the Sanetsch Pass is only partly glaciated. Below 2,600 m is a large karst zone.
Outside the highest summit, the main peaks are the Culan, the Tête Ronde, the Scex Rouge, the Oldenhorn and the Sanetschhorn. Also notable is the tower-like peak of the Quille du Diable ("devil's skittle") that overlooks Derborence from the edge of the Tsanfleuron plateau.
Along with the Culan, the Tête Ronde, and the Scex Rouge, the main summit forms an amphitheatre of limestone cliffs with numerous water falls, surrounding the valley of Creux de Champ and overlooking Les Diablerets from a height of 2,000 metres.
Tourism and climbing
Since 1964, an aerial tramway connects the Scex Rouge from the Col du Pillon, 4 kilometres east of the village of Les Diablerets. The Tsanfleuron Glacier, easily accessible from the Scex Rouge mountain station, has then become part of a large ski area with several ski lifts on it, culminating at nearly 3,000 metres. The area is also popular in summer for the snow hikes on the glacier. The summits of Le Dôme and Oldenhorn can be reached in a few hours from the station.
The main summit, although not very distant from the Scex Rouge station, can not be easily reached as it involves the crossing of the much-crevassed Diablerets Glacier.
- List of mountains of Vaud
- List of mountains of Switzerland
- List of most isolated mountains of Switzerland
Media related to Les Diablerets (massif) at Wikimedia Commons
- Diablerets on summitpost
- Diablerets on Hikr
- Official web site of the ski resort (available in French, English and German)
- Official web site of the Glacier 3000 ski region (available in French, English and German )