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Canton Valais

Bisse of Trient

Keyword
2019 Mai
  • Date de Visite
    26.05.2019

Bisse of Trient


The Bisse of Trient is a bisse that flows from the Glacier bar (buvette du Glacier) under the Trient glacier carrying water from the Trient river to the Forclaz pass.

The route along the bisse.
The route along the bisse.

Path of the bisse


The path starts from the Col de la Forclaz to reach the Glacier refreshment bar and back by the same path. The walk is practically flat and on a relatively easy path taking 1h30 for 6.5 km round trip.

The bisse of Trient is relatively recent compared to other Valais bisses since it was created in 1895 along the path that already existed to transport ice. The aim was to bring the water from the intake on the Trient at 1580 metres to the Col de la Forclaz in 1527 to irrigate the “Combe de Martigny”, which does not have a natural water supply.

The Torpille team displays below some images of the route along the bisse of Trient from the Col de la Forclaz to the “Glacier bar”.

The beginning of the route at the Col de la Forclaz.
The beginning of the route at the Col de la Forclaz.

The beginning of the trip in a clearing.
The beginning of the trip in a clearing.

A metal footbridge installed following a landslide at the beginning of the course.
A metal footbridge installed following a landslide at the beginning of the course.

The village of Trient and its pink church from the metal footbridge.
The village of Trient and its pink church from the metal footbridge.

Educational panels on the theme of water accompany the visitor along the route.
Educational panels on the theme of water accompany the visitor along the route.

The path through the fir and larch forest.
The path through the fir and larch forest.

A wooden canal to conduct water.
A wooden canal to conduct water.

A hammer that makes it possible to signal to the guard, by tapping more or less quickly, the speed of the bisse water flow.
A hammer that makes it possible to signal to the guard, by tapping more or less quickly, the speed of the bisse water flow.

The final part of the course with a part subject to landslides and frequently maintained.
The final part of the course with a part subject to landslides and frequently maintained.

The end of the route just before the arrival at the Glacier refreshment bar. The Trient glacier is visible at the top right. The latter has withdrawn strongly in recent decades.
The end of the route just before the arrival at the Glacier refreshment bar. The Trient glacier is visible at the top right.

Ice transport


An amazing story was the exploitation of the ice of the Trient Glacier from 1865 to 1900. The ice was extracted from the glacier not without risk by about thirty workers who slid the blocks on fir toboggans down to the level of the current refreshment bar. From there, the ice was placed in small wagons pulled by a horse to the Forclaz pass. Then, the ice was transported by carts to Martigny and finally by steam trains to the cities of Marseille, Paris or Lyon. Sawdust was used to protect the ice from premature melting.

A didactic panel showing the path of ice from the Trient glacier to the terraces of large cities at the end of the 19th century.
A didactic panel showing the path of ice from the Trient glacier to the terraces of large cities at the end of the 19th century.

An old wagon on its rails, it was used to transport ice.
An old wagon on its rails, it was used to transport ice.

Glacier bar


The Glacier bar is located at the same level as the water intake of the bisse. Open in summer, it offers traditional Valais dishes such as cheese crust or dried meat dishes. Fondues and raclette must be booked in advance by using the phone number (079 635 96 44) or email ( info@buvetteduglaciertrient.ch) of the refreshment bar.

The refreshment bar with the terrace.
The refreshment bar with the terrace.

The bar was completely destroyed by a winter avalanche in February 1978 and rebuilt in a very unsightly way in 1988 by the Diablerets section of the Swiss Alpine Club.

Children at the place of the water intake of the bisse of Trient.

A bridge over the Trient next to the refreshment bar.
A bridge over the Trient next to the refreshment bar.

Video


A video documentary on the Trient Bisse.

Webcam


Webcam from the village of Trient below the path of the bisse.

Related attractions


Attractions in the canton of Valais
Attractions in the region of Martigny

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