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Duration
10 days
Activities
  • guided alpine walk
Accommodation
  • 9 nights mountain refuges/ gîtes in dormitory style accommodation
Meals
  • 9 Dinners
  • 10 Lunches
  • 9 Breakfasts

Price

$2099USD

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Overview

Trip Code: CTZ

Trip highlights


  • Trek through stunning alpine scenery amongst the highest peaks in Western Europe including the Matterhorn and Dent Blanche
  • Follow the historic route from the head of the Chamonix Valley to Zermatt
  • Enjoy culinary specialties such as Raclette
  • Share your walking day with a group of like minded travellers

The Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt is steeped in mountaineering legend, a route first taken by British climbers at the end of the 19th century. We join this historic route using the 'trekkers version' from the head of the Chamonix Valley, where we are immediately immersed in the incredible mountain scenery. Skirting glaciers we ascend passes gaining breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks, including the 4000m+ peaks of Dent Blanche, Zinalrothorn and Weisshorn. On reaching Zermatt we take in the instantly recognizable form of the Matterhorn and appreciate the scale of this mountain and its tumbling glaciers. Staying in a mixture of comfortable alpine huts, gîtes and hotels, we experience traditional European mountain culture and the camaraderie of our fellow travellers. Suitable for experienced trekkers, this route is rugged at times with considerable altitude gains of between 800m and 1300 metres per day, and requires participants to have a high level of fitness and endurance.

Trip Grading

More info about grading system

Leaving from the village of Le Tour we take the scenic high mountain path of Balme heading towards Switzerland. Weather permitting you will be able to take some wonderful photos of the Mont Blanc chain including the impressive “La Verte”, the Drus and the Needles of Chamonix. We will cross the border between France and Switzerland before making our way down to the village of Trient for overnight accommodation. (9km, +894m/2932ft, -900m/2953ft)

Meals:  L,D

There are two alternative routes between Trient and Champex. The first is via the Mountain of Bovine which involves crossing the Forclaz Pass (1527m) where there are beautiful lake views. The other is the “Fenêtre d'Arpette” (2665m) route, which is a variant on the Tour du Mont Blanc and quite challenging. Our aim is to always take this trail except in bad weather. It is not as well defined as the Bovine route but, as with many pass crossings, the rewards on a good weather day are the extraordinary views to the Trient Glacier. The descent to Champex is steep, though you'll have the opportunity to have a hot shower at the lodge. The decision on which path will be taken is always at the discretion of the guide. (18.6km, +1400m/4593ft, -1000m/3280ft or +900m/2953ft, -650m/2132ft)

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we have a short bus transfer to Bourg Saint Pierre in the Entremont valley. We then walk along a wonderful panoramic trail with views over the whole Mont Blanc range and Dents du Midi to reach the Cabane des Mille. (+800m/2625ft).

Meals:  B,L,D

The trek today takes us across the Alp du Val de Bagnes where we can appreciate the wonderful mountain scenery. On a clear day there are views of the Grand Combin and Mont Blanc. Tonight we will stay overnight in a mountain hut. Note: You will need to carry your overnight gear including sleeping bag, clothing for day 5 and toiletries, as the luggage transfer is not possible today. (+600m/1968ft, -700m/2297ft)

Meals:  B,L,D

An early morning start as it's a big day trekking across three alpine passes. We may encounter ibex as they are often seen on the remote mountain passes. A steep descent leads to the Grand Desert, a moraine-strewn area of dry glacier. We will cross the glacier to reach the Col de Praz Fleuri at 2965m/9730ft, then continue on a final steep climb to our refuge. (+910m/2985ft, -525m/1722ft)

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we will walk up the banks of the Dixence River and over the Riedmatten pass. We may get our first glimpse of the Matterhorn. Continue down to the village of Arolla and onto Les Hauderes, where we will stay in a Gite and can have a well deserved shower! (+714m/2343ft, -1327m/4353ft)

Meals:  B,L,D

A shorter day as we walk through flower filled pastures to get to the Torrent pass (2919m/9575ft). We continue through the Moiry Valley and to the Sorrebois pass (2800m/9185ft) and can enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding 4000m peaks of Valais: Dent Blanche (4356m/14,290ft), Zinalrothorn (4221m/13,850ft), Obergabelhorn (4063m/13,330ft) and Weisshorn (4504m/14,775). (+858m/2815ft, -841m/2759ft)

Meals:  B,L,D

The route today takes us across the Anniviers Valley located on the left bank of the Rhone. We are now heading towards the Forclettaz pass (2871m/9420ft) before we descend to the village of Grugen. Our accommodation tonight is in a hotel in the village of Grüben in the Turtmantal, a very narrow valley inhabited only in summer and where German is the main language. (+1090m/3576ft, -972m/3189ft)

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we will trek via the Augstbord Pass (2894m/9495ft), enjoying panoramic views of the Oberland and Valais. We will travel through Jurgen and St Nicklaus before arriving into the Zermatt Valley. We will either catch a bus or a train into the lively resort town of Zermatt, where we stay overnight in a hotel. (1075m/3527ft, -990m/3248ft)

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we will follow the Hornli Ridge on the flanks of the Matterhorn. The ridge follows a beautiful and exposed line between the steep east and north faces of the peak. The Matterhorn is steeped in history of human dramas. The first attempt to reach the summit was made in 1857 with the first successful attempt made by Edward Whymer in 1865. After a few hours walking along the flanks of the Matterhorn we will return to Zermatt, where the tour ends. (+443m/1453ft, -443m/1453ft)

Meals:  B,L


Inclusions

  • 9 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 9 dinners (does not include drinks) – continental breakfasts are served and usually consist of breads, jams, coffee, tea and juices. Lunch is picnic style. Dinner will consist of 2 or 3 courses which include regional specialties
  • 9 nights mountain refuges/ gîtes in dormitory style accommodation. Dorms will usually accommodate between 8 and 20 people, with separate mattresses (duvets currently not provided, you will need to bring a sleeping bag and we suggest earplugs). Alternatively you can upgrade to 4 nights dorm, 5 nights double room - supplement applies.
  • Luggage transfer by minibus (except day 4 & 5) – 15kg limit
  • Experienced mountain guide
  • internal transfers between walks by minibus

  • Travel to and from the trail head
  • Drinks
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Storage of luggage
  • Transfers
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Bus or train from trail into Zermatt - allow EUR10 per person
  • Sleeping bag and towel
  • Optlional uggage transfer (limited capacity) from Chamonix to Zermatt (ie 'main' luggage not needed for the trek) - on request only, supplement applies, ask our office for details.

Grading

  

This trip is graded challenging (5) and includes daily walks of 4 to 8 hours and an average daily ascent of 1100m. There are some challenging stages during the walk with steep uphill, descents, and many sections of the trail which require care. The accent is on keeping a steady pace with time to stop and take photos (subject to weather conditions). You will need a good level of fitness to participate fully in this adventure. It is considered suitable for experienced walkers only with a good walking pace. Early in the season (June) you may encounter snow on the passes which may be quite deep and make the trip more challenging. At any time during summer, weather conditions may be variable and you should be prepared for all conditions including snow, ice, strong sun and extreme winds. As with all our challenging programs, we expect participants to be regular outdoors people, enjoying aerobic sport around four or five times a week over some period of time. Preferably this has been a long term interest but if not, you have set a program of fitness preparation with at least three months lead in time to your trip. The fitter you are for your trip, the more of a holiday it will be. Activities as close to the actual activity on your trip are the best training; in this instance walking with and without a pack. This builds leg strength, aerobic capacity and confidence in your ability to travel comfortably with a pack for extended periods. At the same time, you are also comfortable with the layers you like to wear and footwear. Important note: good quality walking boots with ankle support are a pre-requisite for your participation. Runners or shoes without ankle support are not suitable for the conditions encountered on this walk.


Departure dates


Notes

DN1
Walking boots with good ankle support are a requirement for this walk. Please ensure you read the full trip notes prior to booking.
DN2
Please ensure you read the downloadable trip notes prior to booking.

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$2099USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Main luggage drop from Chamonix to Zermatt - per 15kg bagUSD$140
  • double room supplement - 4 nights dorm / 5 nights double where possibleUSD$310
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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