The Haute Route, a.k.a the High Route or Mountaineers' Route between Chamonix, France and Zermatt, Switzerland is "the mother" of all hut-to-hut alpine traverses. From Europe's tallest mountain, the Mont Blanc (4807 m= 15770ft.) to the Matterhorn, our route leads along some of the most exciting mountain scenery to be found anywhere. Contrasting the huge glaciers and rugged peaks are beautiful valleys with steep high pasture farms and quaint mountain villages. The highest point of the trip is the summit of the Tete Blanche at 3800m (=12500 ft). After spending a week high in the mountains, walking down Zermatt's bustling main street will feel like returning into a different world.
We will lodge in remotely and spectacularly located huts of the Swiss Alpine Club. The food is good and plentiful, the dormitories clean - but you should be able to survive without a hot shower for three days until we hit the hotel mid way through the trip in Arolla. The lodging in the valleys will be in family-run hotels in single (additional charge) or double bed rooms with excellent multi-course dinners certain to feature the regional cuisine and wines.
With a week of acclimatizing on the Haute Route under your belt, why not take two more days and try the Mont Blanc, the Alp's highest peak.
Can I do it?
Strenuous alpine trekking. Although technically not very difficult, the trip requires up to 9 hrs of hiking - mostly uphill and at times on rough, steep trails and on glaciers, where you will be roped up with fellow hikers and your guide. The use of crampons might sometimes be required (Introduction and training day on the first day of the trek!).
The Haute Route Glacier Trek is also referred to as the Mountaineer's Route and should not be confused with the so called Hiker's Haute Route, which is a low level traverse on hiking trails with lodging mainly in hotels rather than high altitude huts. Should you be interested in this less demanding Haute Route, we recommend the trip of our friends Karin & Lou.
Optional Ascent of Mont Blanc (two additional days):
The Mont Blanc ascent is technically more difficult than the Haute Route, implies more objective dangers and requires a client to guide ratio of two or three to one, depending on the conditions on the mountain at the time. Cost is US$ 1070 per participant, US$ 1440, if only one participant per guide. Price includes pre and post ascent lodging in Argnentier, guide's fee, cable car fee, rental of technical equipment and lodging with all meals in the hut. Early decision for the Mont Blanc ascent is required because the huts book out early.
Either Geneva International (closest Airport) or on the first day at our Hotel in Argentiere, about 10 min. Up-valley from Chamonix.
Climate, Weather, Temperatures:
High season for all mountaineering in the western Alps is mid-July through August, mainly due to the stable weather that time of the year. Day time temperatures can vary between 30C (86F) in the valleys to -10C (14F) on clear mornings, when we start our day from a high level hut.