At the letter N at Chetzeron, meet Catherine Antille-Emery, granddaughter of Louis Antille, the founder of the Hôtel du Parc in 1893, someone who is passionate about nature. She will tell you all about the beauty of Chetzeron and the changes throughout the seasons in this landscape that she loves so much.
Catherine Antille Emery spent her childhood in Plans-Mayens, just below Chetzeron. As a child, she traipsed through the alpine pastures and forests that surrounded her parents’ hotel. So it’s quite natural that she chose to train as a mountain leader, and then specialised in local heritage and the world of wine. She then set up her own business « Valais Wine Tours », blending nature and culture, vines and wine in her guided excursions.
She is also a real globetrotter, but when she returns to Valais, she still sees things with the eyes of a traveller, as if she were discovering the region for the first time, and in this way she continues to travel, and continues to wonder.
Catherine spends time up here in all kinds of weather, and for her, Chetzeron should be experienced throughout the seasons.
In spring, white patches of snow, struggling to disappear, can be confused with the immaculate beds of snowdrops. A little later in the season, it’s not unusual to come across roe deer and chamois, their ears pricked up in alertness. During this period, she heads up to collect coltsfoot, little yellow-petalled flowers, known to soothe and heal respiratory tract infections.
In summer, she escapes the lower slopes for the freshness of the pastures once again. Alpine flora abounds, tender green larch needles contrast with the dark green of the spruce. Cowbells ring in the distance, this heady music enables lost cows to be found when mist descends on the mountain. You can glimpse the Rawyl dam from here, changing colour in just a few minutes, from emerald green to anthracite grey when the clouds pass in front of the sun.
In early summer, roe deer are accompanied by their young, lurking at the edge of the forest. Glimpse them at the end of the day, as soon as the walkers and mountain bikers have left. The chamois are also there, replenishing their reserves for winter…
Autumn is sublime. Nature is on fire, larches flare from yellow to red. The particularly special brilliant light reminds Catherine of her many treks in Nepal. Towards the end of November, the rutting chamois launch into wild chases across the rocks. The mountaintops are veiled in white.
Winter is here at last! Skiers take to the pistes. On the Chetzeron ridge, the wind can blow very strongly at times, ski mountaineering can feel like a polar expedition.
Catherine loves the end of the day at Chetzeron, when the piste is deserted and the sun is setting directly opposite. She’ll also never tire of the days when a sea of mist envelops the entire Rhone Valley, sometimes only the Christ Roi statue in Lens emerges from the clouds. One thing is certain : magic strikes often in Chetzeron.
At over 2,000m, with exceptional views, Chetzeron amazes skiers in winter just as much as hikers in summer.
Sylvie Doriot Galofaro, Samuel Bonvin and Martial Kamerzin will tell you more about the 125 years project and the history of the resort.