Walker's Haute Route Highlights Trek: Chamonix to Zermatt

Haute Route Highlights Trek

 

  • One of the best treks in the world

  • Trek from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn

  • Stunning scenery every day

  • Fully guided trip with luggage support

Why Choose Cloud 9 Adventure

 

  • We are the Haute Route experts

  • Outstanding fully-qualified guides

  • 7-day version of classic trek

  • We stay in the wonderful Cabane de Louvie

Walker's Haute Route Highlights Trek: Dates and Prices

AT A GLANCE

 

8 nights

7 days' trekking

 

Luggage delivery

 

Group size 4-10

 

Price: £1825

 

Join: Chamonix

 

End: Zermatt

 

Nearest Airport: Geneva

 

ACCOMMODATION

5 nights in hotels

2 nights in mountain huts

 

DIFFICULTY GRADING

8

Challenging

Walker's Haute Route Highlights Trek: Overview

The Walker's Haute Route is one of the world's best multi-day treks, and links the famous mountaineering capitals of Chamonix and Zermatt. We take several short transfers in order to create a 7-day version of this world-famous trek. Our route takes us beneath 10 of the 12 highest peaks in the Alps and across high mountain passes. On the lower sections we pass through green alpine valleys, pretty mountain hamlets and flower-filled meadows. We follow good paths and tracks over mountain passes close to 3000m high, and journey through some of the most stunning scenery in the Alps. 

How difficult is the Walker's Haute Route?

 

Although the walking is demanding at times (and slightly harder than the Tour du Mont Blanc), the Walker's Haute Route Highlights trek provides a non-technical route from Chamonix to Zermatt, suitable for those looking to experience the very best walking in the Alps, without walking on glaciers (so no crampon or ice axe needed). The different Haute Route options are detailed below, but if you need any help at all choosing the best trek for you just ask, and we will be happy to help.

 

Which Walker's Haute Route shall I book?

 

We offer the Walker's Haute Route in 5 different options:

 

Classic Walker's Haute Route - the classic itinerary completes the trek over 11 days. We start hiking in Argentière and trek all the way to Zermatt, using 1 short transfer from Sembrancher to reach the village of Fionnay (this cuts out a rather industrial section that would normally add an extra day). We try to leave the crowds behind - and it is for this reason that we start on a weekday rather than at the weekend - it makes a huge difference. We also stay at the Cabane de Louvie and leave the main trail. This is a pure trekking trip and does not involve glacier travel (so no crampons or ice axe needed).

 

Haute Route Highlights - we use vehicle transfers to miss out a couple of easy sections, enabling us to complete the highlights of the trek over 7 days. Perfect for those who want to maximise their time in the Alps.

 

Self-guided Walker's Haute Route - if you would like an independent trip at dates to suit you, then just let us know. We can offer any number of itineraries for groups of all sizes and budgets from a luxury Walker's Haute Route to a budget trip staying entirely in huts, or a trek with a good mix of hotels and huts. You can add some extra days in order to take a more leisurely pace, or to do an "Every Step of the Way" trip, or perhaps to visit the Cabane de Moiry.

 

Glacier Haute Route - for fit, experienced trekkers only. This is a more challenging version of the Haute Route, crossing glaciers over 7 or 8 days. For this trip we stay high in the mountains, and you will need mountaineering equipment. This trip is normally for private groups but we can organise a group trip if there is enough demand - just let us know if you are interested.

 

Skier's Haute Route - for advanced off-piste skiers and ski-tourers only. This is the most famous ski tour in the Alps and justifiably so. We offer this for private groups (maximum 6 people per guide), and we recommend booking well in advance as the mountain huts tend to be fully booked.

Walker's Haute Route Highlights Trek: Itinerary

 

Day 1 - Arrive in Chamonix

Our trip begins in the famous mountaineering town of Chamonix, at the foot of Mont Blanc. We meet the group at 6pm for a trip briefing  followed by our evening meal.

 

Accommodation: 3* hotel, dinner included

Luggage access

 

Day 2 - Trek from Montroc to Col de la Forclaz (or Trient)

The morning starts with a trip on the famous Mont Blanc Express train to the pretty hamlet of Montroc, at the head of the Chamonix valley. We begin with a climb up through the Larch forests to the stunning Aiguillette des Posettes. The Col des Posettes is our first mountain pass, which has incredible views of the Le Tour glacier and back towards Mont Blanc. While most groups then head for the Col de Balme, we will take a quieter, and more scenic route via Les Tseppes, to the village of Trient. We end our day with a climb to the Col de la Forclaz, where we stay the night. We also have the option to stay in Trient and make the climb to the col the next morning, depending on where private rooms rather than dormitories are available.  

 

Accommodation: Hotel, dinner included

Luggage access

Walking: approx 6-7 hrs

Distance: 13.5 km

Altitude gain / loss: +1200m / -1100m

 

Day 3 - Trek from Trient to the Cabane de Louvie

We start the day with a climb up the Bovine Trail, to the family-run Alpage de Bovine. As well as looking after the herd of prize cows, the friendly owner of this buvette provides refreshments and wonderful home-made cakes. Next we have a steep ascent, with fantastic views of the Grand Combin, before entering the forest trail. After reaching the rustic café at Plan de l'Au, we have a short transfer to the remote village of Fionnay for a quick lunch stop. We now begin our journey into the mountains, and the next two days will be the most rugged of the trip. The spectacularly located Cabane de Louvie is perched some 750 metres above us, and the challenging trail that leads to it offers an increasingly breathtaking panorama across many of the 4000m peaks in the Alps. Thankfully we can get our breath back with a welcome drink at the top!

 

Accommodation : Mountain refuge, dinner included

No luggage access

Walking: Approx 7-9 hrs

Distance: 18 km

Altitude gain / loss: +1250m / -550m

 

Day 4 - Trek from the Cabane de Louvie to the Cabane de Prafleuri

This is possibly the most dramatic day of the trek, as we traverse two cols from one high mountain hut to the next. First we follow the shoreline of the Lac de Louvie, and might even be lucky enough to catch the reflection of the surrounding mountains on the surface of the lake. The trail then leads us steeply up to join a high path that traverses beneath the cliffs. There are a couple of places along this trail where we need to take extra care, and there is often a chain to hold on to. We now head for the Col de Louvie at 2921m, before descending on to the edge of the Grand Désert glacier. The Col de Prafleuri is our next goal, taking us to a height of 2987m. After a short descent we arrive at the Cabane de Prafleuri (2624m), where we spend another peaceful evening in the mountains. At this altitude we have the best chance of seeing families of grazing ibex.

 

Accommodation: Mountain refuge, dinner included

No luggage access

Walking: Approx 7-9 hours

Distance: 18 km

Altitude gain / loss: +820m / -550m

 

Day 5 - From the Cabane de Prafleuri to La Sage

First we have a short climb to reach the Col de Roux. With views of glaciers and the milky waters of Lac de Dix, this is a beautiful start to the day. We follow the lake to its end, descending gently while enjoying views of the Pigne d'Arolla and Mont Blanc de Cheilon, and perhaps passing a few noisy marmottes on the way. Next we cross the moraine of the Dix glacier, followed by a steep ascent to either the Col de Riedmatten, or the 'Pas de Chèvres' and its new ladders, which were replaced in 2015 making for a much easier crossing than in previous years. The rest of the day is all downhill to the village of Arolla, nestled in its very own forest of Arolla pines. We usually take a well-earned break here before taking a transfer to the delightful hotel in the small farming hamlet of La Sage. 

 

Accommodation: Hotel, dinner included

Luggage access

Walking: Approx 8-9 hrs

Distance: 22 km

Altitude gain / loss: +1100m / -1360m

 

Day 6 - Trek from La Sage to ZInal

Today also involves crossing two high cols so we start early and ascend to the Col de Torrent at 2912m. We then descend to the turquoise waters of Lac de Moiry and its impressive dam. We can now see some of the giant peaks of the Pennine Alps, including the magnificent and aptly-named Dent Blanche ('white tooth'). The Col de Sorebois is steeper, but also shorter, than the Col de Torrent, so still manageable. From this high vantage point we are rewarded with fabulous vistas across to the Weisshorn, the Dent Blanche and the Zinal Rothorn. 

 

Accommodation: Hotel, dinner included

Luggage access

Walking: approx 8-9 hrs

Distance: 24.5 km

Altitude gain / loss: +2000m / -1850m

 

Day 7 - Trek from Zinal to Gruben

With just one col on the itinerary today, we can relax on our gentle ascent this morning, and look out for nutcrackers, which are sometimes found in the surrounding woods. We cross an alpine meadow, then traverse the mountainside on a fantastic balcony trail until we reach the junction of the path for two cols: the Col de la Forcletta (2874m) and the Meidpass (2790m). We usually take the Forcletta pass as it offers great views of the glaciers and peaks of the Turtmann valley, however the decision lies with the guide and depends on the conditions on the day. On the descent we may be able to spot the increasingly rare edelweiss. 

 

Accommodation: Hotel, dinner included

Luggage access

Walking: approx 7-8 hrs

Distance: 19 km

Altitude gain / loss: +1315m / -1165m

 

Day 8 - Gruben to Zermatt

The last day of trekking does not disappoint, as we set out through open woodland and soon head into high pastures. Our final col is the Augstbordpass at 2894m. Beyond the pass we descend into a bowl and follow a rocky trail that clings to the mountainside. We stop at the Twära viewpoint for a magnificent view into the Mattertal (although the Matterhorn remains elusive until we reach Zermatt). We then begin our descent to the pretty hamlet of Jungu, followed by a final steep section to the town of St. Niklaus. There is an option to take the 'characterful' cable car down from Jungu to St. Niklaus (not included), which eliminates the final 1000m of descent. From St. Niklaus we take a short train or taxi ride to the iconic town of Zermatt, home to one of the most famous mountains in the world - the Matterhorn. 

 

Accommodation: 3* hotel, dinner included

Luggage access

Walking: approx 7 hrs

Distance: 16 km

Altitude gain / loss: +1070m / -1765m

 

Day 9 - Depart Zermatt

Our trip finishes after breakfast.

 

 

 

Included

 

  • All accommodation 

  • All breakfasts & evening meals

  • All transfers in the itinerary

  • Luggage transfers on all but 2 nights

  • Qualified & experienced International Mountain Leader

Not Included

 

  • Flights

  • Travel insurance

  • Airport transfers

  • Packed lunches

  • Personal drinks & snacks

  • Bottled water when needed in huts

  • Tips

Walker's Haute Route Highlights Trek: Book Online

The Park, Waresley, Sandy, Beds SG19 3BS

+44 208 144 8102     

© 2018 Cloud 9 Adventure

info@cloud9adventure.com

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