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The hut of La Sarouche

For this destination in the mountains of the Pays d’en Haut, it had been planned with the group to leave from Gérignoz to go up on snowshoes to the Cabane de la Sarouche. That was without considering the very weird winter we experienced. Normally, during this period, there should be enough snow, so that one can go up without having to carry the snowshoes by hand for a long distance (or even put them on from the bottom). This time it was nothing.

The entire high basin of La Braye, above Château d’Oex, was until recently used for ski slopes. The ski lifts were abruptly shut down during the 2017 winter season and the area has become a paradise for ski touring and snowshoeing (provided there is snow). The facilities are at a standstill, but the Cabane de la Sarouche has remained open, like the neighboring Cabane des Monts Chevreuils. The whole area is ideal for winter hiking, as there are very few slopes over 30°.

Admittedly, the cattle were not yet in the paddocks, it was tempting to cut across the meadow. However, in doing so, one muddies the shoes. This is why we finally opted for the paved road. It’s less fun, but it’s also less muddy. Following the road, one passes two camouflaged entrances. This is the artillery fort of La Braye, the purpose of which was to prevent the passage from the Swiss Plateau to enter the Sarine valley. The fort, completed in 1945, had two batteries of 4 guns each. The particularity was that one of the batteries was made up of guns on field carriages.

Arrived on the ridge on which the hut is located, one enjoys a beautiful view of the Diablerets, the Para and the Pic Chaussy. Through the opening of the Col des Mosses, there is a view of the Dents du Midi and Mont Blanc.

Itinerary: Gérignoz – Braye d’en Bas – Braye d’en Haut – Cabane de la Sarouche – Gérignoz
Distance: 10.8km
Altitude gain: 620m
Duration: 4 hours

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