Guide to Central Valais -Bibliography Section-

This guide has been written for customers of the Chalet Mazel in Nax. All references assume you start form Nax. The guide has been assembled from 15 + years of experience in the area and is intended as a living document.

Please send any additions and improvements to the author for inclusion in the next revision.

The guide is organised into 10 main headings. Some extracts grouped as Summer, Winter, Flora & Fauna Culinary & Bibliography have been ported to the WEB site. Others may appear with time.

Some sections are far more complete than others, sometimes I have the extra material but it has not yet been Web formatted.

The guide runs to c 25 pages of A4 when printed. The Web version has been kept graphic free to speed up downloading. It is assumed you have maps and can read them.

To navigate just pick a main category from the choices and descend through the index levels. Alternatively you might wish to browse, for instance, the walking section from the top.  Walking is filed under   Summer(Topography)

Happy hunting


Books in English

Books in French

Books in German




Reference Books in English:
Footloose in the Swiss Alps by William Reisnyder: A general tourist walking guide with little detail but quite entertainingly written.
The Alpine Flower Book by Christopher Grey-Wilson: Absolutely excellent reference work. Also available locally in French and recognised as "the" definitive flower spotters bible.
The Valais a walking guide by Kev Reynolds: Fairly detailed but only has fixed routes across the area.
The Alpine 4000m Peaks by Richard Goedeke Translated from the German and a bit stilted. A climbers book which has fair detail.
Berlitz Travel guide to French speaking Switzerland:
Bernese Alps West by Robert Colomb: A detailed climbing manual but very out of date.
Bernese Alps Central by Robert Colomb: As Bernese Alps West, please note the Hérens valley is the division point for these two guides
Pennine Alps West by Robert Colomb: The north side of the Rhône valley directly opposite Nax. Comments as the rest of the Colomb books.
Pennine Alps West by Robert Colomb: The western end of the north of the Rhône mountains.
Books in French
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Reference Books in French
Guide de Naturaliste des Alpes by Scaler, Veyret, Favarger, du Chatenet, Hainard & Paccard.: A general guide to geology, climate, flora, vegetation, insects, inferior vertebrates, mammals, birds, architecture, etc. A very good compendium.
Carnaître la Nature en Valais Les Roches by Marcel Burri: An excellent geology book with much local detail and terrific photography.
Carnaître la Nature en Valais La Flora by Philippe Werner: The flower companion to Les Roches and just as good.
Les Riches de La Nature Valais Ramp Sud du Lötschberg by Daniel Maselli: A detailed study of the south facing mountains adjacent to Lötschberg. Very similar to La Flora but in much more detail about a smaller area. Practically a research project but wonderfully illustrated
Les richesses naturelles du Vallon de Réchy: A specialist book on the protected Rechy valley.
Ski de Randonnée - Valais Central by François Labande: A detailed guide book for Ski Mountaineers covering all of the Hérens area and more. A very good book with a fair degree of detail
Ski de Randonnée - Ouest Suisse by François Labande: A similar book but covers the mountains on the north of the Rhône.
Guides des Alpes Valaisannes books II & III: Swiss "black climbing" books that cover every route in the area in massive detail. Hérens divides between books II & II. Highly recommended. Not a picture book.
Guide des Alpes et Préalpes Vaudoises: Black book on Dent de Morcles area
Guide des Alpes Bernois: Black summary book on the Bernese Alpes. Less detailed than the other black books.
Ski alpin-Alpes Valaisannes book III: Very detailed black book covering the Hérens area on Ski.
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Reference Books in German
Berner Alpen 1: Black book on central Bernese Alps
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Swiss maps a wonderful. Real works of art. The 1:25,000 are the best but they are expensive and you will need many to cover the area. A new composite Val d'Hérens Carte de Randonnée has just been produced which combines bits of around 6 maps to cover all of Hérens. This comes complete with a multi-lingual guide booklet and costs 28 CHF (about £13). Joan Pralong takes no responsibility for the text as she was merely the translator and not the author.
Other useful buys are the 1:100,000 maps of the area  to get things in perspective.
Swiss trails are well marked and often more up to date than the maps.
Wilderness areas require the latest maps and a compass. Disregard at your peril, the Alps are not the Brecon Beacons!

Most small shops sell the local maps and a few French language guide books. If you want a wider selection or more technical books you need to go to Sion.
Amacker's is the best bet, the Sierre branch is near Migros in the main street. Amacker's are a stationary and book store and have most things. German language books are not so common in this area.
Maps are available from Stanford's near Leicester Square in London. The best sources for English language books are the specialist climbing shops. Grey Wilson's flower book is widely available in the high street stores. return to top