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A little bit of history

Two large landslides dominate the story of Derborence.


On the 23rd September 1714, a huge part of rock detached itself from the face under the summit of Diablerets, at a place called Derotchieu and this can still be seen very clearly today. The biggest part of these rocks landed mainly on the left side of the river and afterwards it spread out on the right side until the "Vallon de Cheville" 1500 meters below. It spread in the shape of a cone between the pastures of Derborence and the Godey, over 1800 meters wide. The largest part of the rock fall stayed at this point and a certain amount went through the narrow part of the valley and stopped at about 1100 meters, having slid over 5 and a half kilometers in total.


It has been estimated that the thickness of this rock fall between the Godey and Derborence is around 100 meters. According to the testimony of a local priest from Ardon, fifty five chalets and fourteen people were buried under the rubble and only five people were saved. He came up to the site two days after the catastrophe, to exorcise the "Devils of the Mountains". A second rock fall happened at the same place in 1749. The mass of rocks slid down more on the right side and here started the formation of the lake of Derborence. The people, who were staying in this mountain area during the summer months, could see the rocks gradually beginning to fall, and therefore they decided to leave early and were able to lead their animals to safety. This time 40 chalets and alpine huts were buried, but no human lives were lost.



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Taken on June 29, 2015