Summit the Mont-Fort at 3330m altitude
and jump up and down at Col des Gentianes 2950m / Get the view without the sweat.
This jam-packed activity day has many stages involved, and each and every one is a highlight and an activity in its own right.
But before you pack your bags, binoculars and get excited for your Swiss Altitude Adventure to 3330m with your kid,
What to consider when visiting and hiking a greater altitude with kids?
Your children will have the same tolerance for high altitude as you do, provide that they have no special health concerns. Babies under 3 months of age do not have lungs which are mature enough to handle the altitude stress, so wait until the baby has reached that milestone to take your trip. Personally, we have only taken our children to greater altitudes from the moment they were able to express their wellbeing themselves.
Doctors recommend to specifically look out for the following symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Vomiting and drowsiness
- Reduced appetite,
- A “cranky” or clingy child
In general, parents should look out for any untypical minor behavior changes and be aware that altitude sickness manifests in different ways in different people.
If you not sure ask your doctor.
Voilà, once this is all checked and everybody is happy you can start your
Swiss Altitude Adventure to 3330m with your kids
During the summer holiday months the whole area offers amazing mountaintop visits by cable car. Situated in the centre of the 4 Vallées domain, the Mont-Fort is the highest peak in this area and offers incredible views. On a clear day, the mountain peak tick-list is endless, including the famous Mont Blanc and its massive in France, our even more famous chocolate mountain, the Matterhorn or Cervin as it’s called in our area, and most of Switzerland’s 4000ers. Strenuous hikes and weeks of training normally allow you to experience a view as rich and breathtaking as this one. Well guess what, not in Nendaz and the 4 Valleys.
Simply purchase a day pass at the ticket office in Siviez which is a 10 min drive from Nendaz centre by car or by public bus. And best of all, kids up to 6 years will enjoy the view for free. Family passes are also available. Check out the links at the end of this article where you can find all the information needed for these activities.
Let this epic mountain journey begin with a chairlift ride up to Tortin. Take the ride pretty early if you can and you will be greeted by the cutest locals, the mountain Marmots. If you’re lucky you will see at least one and as many as twenty. Some are playing in the morning sun just in the open field, whilst others are getting comfortable on their rocks and observing the area. Remember you must be quiet to spot them. They are normally literally just below the chair lift.
1-2-3 hop off the chairlift and enter the big cable car which will deposit you at Gentianes at 2950m altitude.
Around half way through the journey search on the large rocky face on your right side for the Alpine Ibex, also known as the Steinbock or by the locals le Bouquetin. Best to ask the cable-car person if they have spotted some already. They will normally help and can point them out to you.
The next cable car – yes another one, how cool is this – will be your last one and will deposit you at 3330m. You will be able to enjoy the ride above the Tortin Glacier, which by the way, we ski during winter along with all the other areas you have crossed. But this is another chapter and another blog.
Grab a coffee from the “Igloo” give the kids a packet of chips and take it all in. There are panorama boards with all the names listed of the peaks you can see. Sorry, but you will see by yourself when you’re standing in front of them that there are just too many to name them all. Remember if you are seeking the Matterhorn you must find the name “Cervin” as this is how we call it in the French part of Switzerland.
The steep hike up to the cross will bring you just a little bit higher, so you can really feel on top of the world. I let you be the judge on whether your family is capable of climbing up there or not.
Have the kids learn some of the names of the peaks showing on the panorama boards, that will keep them busy!
Trampoline at Gentianes
You probably can’t get enough of this amazing panorama up at the Mont-Fort, but I guess you promised the kids a jump around on the trampoline that you have spotted whilst riding up in the last cable car.
During the summer months les Gentianes has installed a great play-area. Not only a trampoline but also a bouncing castle and some swings are there to be used by your loved ones. Surely the temptation of building a summer snowman, yes, there will be snow patches at Les Gentianes, will be too great and a memory the whole family will talk about for years to come.
Refreshments and great food are on offer in the larger Igloo Restaurant right next to the play area. A perfect place to have lunch with a view.
Hike back to the car park in Siviez
From les Gentianes, take the big cable car back down to Tortin from where you can then catch the chairlift to the car park in Siviez, or walk down with the whole family.
A gentle downhill path will guide you through alpine meadows, along a mountain stream and past a real alpine cheese making cabane.
Ask if they have some “Sérac” for you to try. This is 100% typical Valaisanne specialty, made from the whey which is left over during the making of cheese. A very special taste!
The walk will probably take about 1-2 hours depending on the ages of the children.
You could mountain bike down from Tortin. Just simply hang your mountain bikes on to the chair lift from Siviez up to Tortin in the morning – bikes ride free of charge – and leave them there whilst summiting the Mont Fort.
Warm Jackets have to be in your backpacks, even if it is a hot summer day. Remember you’re going up to 3330m. It can also get chilly on the first chairlift. We ALWAYS wear jackets to go up and I even have the kids thin hats with me.
Check the timetable for the lifts, as the Mont Fort transportation system is only open a limited time of the year. If the weather is cloudy, save this activity for another day when the rewards will be better. You can still go up to Tortin and walk or cycle down for example.
If you have any doubt on whether you should bring young ones up to this altitude, check with your Doctor. We live here and are used to the altitude and have a different relationship with the mountains. Our pediatrician always says, as long as the kid can express himself and tell you how he/she is feeling a visit to greater altitude is ok. But you have to be the judge on this.
Good to know
If you are patient and a bit lucky you will be able to see; Ibex, Deer, Marmots and Chamois.
If you want the “Real Swiss Feeling” organise a cheese fondue at the igloo at the Mont Fort summit! It just cannot get any more Swiss than that. You’ll love it! Contact these guys to make a reservation
Where best to stay
If you stay in the village of Nendaz you are perfectly nestled in the heart of the Valais and its 4 Vallées domain. It is only a 10min drive to Siviez from where you start your Swiss Altitude Adventure to 3330m with your kids.
If you also prefer to stay in a chalet than a hotel contact Alpine Comfort. They have a great selection of beautiful family chalets.
And even better, if you book your accommodation with these guys, mention Packed Again and you will get 15% reduction on your stay!
Voilà, are you ready for your Swiss Altitude Adventure to 3330m with your kids? If you liked the blog feel free to share it, tell a friend and come and visit.
Any questions please do leave a comment below or GET IN TOUCH
Never forget to travel!
Thank you Corina
Hi, my name is Corina, a mum of twins, a wife, a small holiday rental business owner and founder of Packed Again – family travel & adventure site. We live in the most amazing mountain valley in Switzerland, the Valais.
Being out there as a family, either locally or whilst travelling is super important for our whole well-being and sanity Travelling has always been a passion of mine. Globetrotting the world for over 14 years, part of it together with my husband, has shown us some of the most amazing places and we were able to make some incredible encounters with locals, animals and the nature itself. The love and passion for all the above has now been transferred to our children who already at three are some great nomads in the making.
It is our aim to encourage all families which are daunted and uncomfortable taking the kids travelling to go out there as a family. Do it once and you will not regret it!
Never forget to travel!
Thank you Corina
TRAVEL is the only thing you buy, that makes you RICHA happy traveller
You can find all mentioned points for the epic Swiss Altitude adventure to 3330m with your kids on the map below!