At 2970m, the Dent de Morcles stands above the valley of the Rhône river towns of St.-Maurice and Evionnaz like one of two sentinels over the narrow defile of the river. With Les Dents du Midi on the far side, the pair make up one of the "Fortresses" of bygone Swiss military strategy.
Dent de Morcles is the most western situated summit of the Muveran massif (highest summit : Grand Muveran 3051 m). This massif spreads from the Rhone valley to Pas de la Cheville in the swiss cantons Vaud and Valais.
The summit is located between Col des Martinets in the north (2613 m) and Col de Demècre in the south (2361 m). Next summits of the Muveran chain in the east are Tête Noire and Tita Seri. In the north remains the little glacier of Martinets (Nant watershed). 500 meters on the north west, we find the Little Tooth of Morcles.
This ruiniform mountain with a complex architecture bristled with pinnacles, towers is a severe wall on its south west face and seen from Monthey seems unreachable for hikers. Swiss military built formerly an incredible steep footpath through this wall : the climb on this side is not difficult but needs an accurate sure step.
On the other side, the normal route from Ovronnaz over Fenestral collar is easier but some rocks must be climbed nevertheless.
Other mountains of the Muveran Massif on Summitpost :
Grand Muveran, the highest summit of the chain
Grand Chavalard, the bulk over the Rhone Valley.
Start points are :
1) Saint Maurice :
- by road :highway A 9
- next station ; Saint Maurice
- next airport Geneva
- by road highway A 9 exit Riddes-Leytron
- next station ; Sion
- next airports : Sion or Geneva
No red tape
When To Climb
- Normal route : all the year
- Military route : summer climb
Meteorology of Valais on the Ovronnaz page
- From Ovronnaz : normal route
- From Saint Maurice : route of the military
1) over Morcles, Les Martinaux
2) over Collonges and l'Au d'Arbignon
- During the Tour des Muverans
1) DEMECRE HUT, 2361 m. Benoît Dorsaz
Tél. 027 746 11 25
Hut telephone 027 746 35 87. Open all the year..
Gardian in july and august and all week-ends of june, september and october.
50 places, view on Dents-du-Midi, Dents de Morcles and Lake Geneva. From Diabley (2471m), at 10 min., panorama from matterhorn to Mont-Blanc.
Email : [email protected] Site Internet : http://www.demecre.ch
2) FENESTRAL HUT, 2453 m. Tél. 027/746 28 00
Raymond Dorsaz 027/ 746 29 79 ou 079/229 32 24
Open all the year.
Gardian in july and august and all the week-ends of june, september and october.
40 places, on the Tour des Muverans.
Terrasse with view on Fully lake and Mont-Blanc massif.
Start point to Dents de Morcles.
In winter access from Ovronnaz only.
Internet : http://www.chavalard.com
3) SORNIOT HUT, 2064 m. Réservation : hut telephone 027 746 24 26 or 079 721 15 58, or 079 246 16 19
Open all the year
Gardian in july and august and all the week-ends of june, september and october. Showers.
Between the lower and the upper lake, Sorniot Hut, 52 places, is located in a large natural comb. From the upper lake, view over Combins massif.
Email : [email protected] Site Internet : http://www.chavalard.com
4) LA TOURCHE HUT 2198 m
SAC Section Monte Rosa
Open juli to september
Camping de la Sarvaz & Relais de la Sarvaz
CH - 1913 Saillon/Valais
Tel. +41 (0)27 744 13 89
Fax +41 (0)27 744 41 33
Geology : the Morcles nappe
Parts of many of the world's mountain belts contain twisted outcrops of rocks that display beautiful patterns of folding and other geologic distortions. Making sense of these formations has been a challenge to geologists for more than 100 years.
The Morcles is a classic alpine nappe structure. A nappe is a large plate of rocks moved from its place of orgin by faulting or folding - in this case folding is the mechanism. The rocks (mostly limestone) in the recumbent folds of the Dent de Morcles have been turned nearly up side down. These rocks date from the Mesozoic Era (65-245 million years ago).
The limestone of the Dent de Morcles is stuffed with many abysses.
Here the names of the most important of them :
- Abyss Pascal
- Abyss Grand Vire
- Abyss Grand Cor
- Abyss Glacière du Spit
More informations : http://www.speleo-lausanne.ch/06_Activites/Explorations/Vs-alpes/Dt-Morcles/Grand-Cor/_Grand-Cor-home.htm