|The Haute Route was established a hundred years ago as a high mountaineering route that linked together two of Europe’s premier mountaineering centers; Chamonix and Zermatt. It was then developed into a ski route and more recently a high-level mountain Trek. The Classic Haute Route is a technical trek at high altitude and is lead by an Alpine Guide. Starting in the village of Argentiere, France, in the Chamonix valley, and finishing in Zermatt, Switzerland, the route is 100 miles long and traverses more than a dozen glaciers with a total ascent and descent of 10,000m/ 32,808ft.
A little bit more about the trek
During this 10 day trek, you will be taught mountaineering skills required, including use of an ice axe, crevasse rescue and general rope techniques. The idea of the Classic Haute Route is to cross the backbone of the Alps by foot. It is one of the most spectacular treks in the world with amazing scenery throughout. Guide ratio is 1 to 6.
Few long distance hikes offer the variety and grandeur of landscape as this spectacular and adventurous route.
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Arrive in the Chamonix valley and get dropped off to your accommodation in Argentiere. You will have a meeting with your Mountain guide to go through any last minute bits and pieces and to check your equipment.
Argentiere to Cabane D’Orny(2,702m/8,865ft). You will get the cable car and chair lift up to the col du Balm. The path to the Albert Premiere takes a rising traverse around the hill side. Twenty minutes beyond the hut you come to the first glacier of the trip. You will cross the col du Tour (3281m) and drop onto the Trient Plateau. You will pass the Trient refuge and continue down to the Orny glacier to the Cabane D’Orny for the night.
Cabane d’Orny to Bourg St. Pierre. You will follow down the Orny Glacier to chairlift at La Breya. The lift will drop you at the outskirts of Champex. From here you will take a bus via Orsieres, to Bourg St Pierre where you will stay for the night.
Bourg St Pierre to Cabane de Valsorey. Gentle start along the Valsorey valley. The path steepens at the Chalets d’Amont. This section is equipped with chains and cables. The path then continue on up to the hut under the slopes of the Grand Combin.
Cabane de Valsorey to the Cabane de Chanrion. Ascend the Plateau Couloir (3664m). From the plateau you will drop down again to the Sonadon Glacier. Ahead and to the east is the Col de Sonadon (3,504m/11,496ft) which brings you to the Durand Glacier. This is the last glacier of the day. Once off the glacier you can relax and enjoy the magnificent views. The refuge situated just above the Mauvoisin lake formed by the huge Mauvoisin dam.
Cabane de Chanrion to the Cabane des Vignettes. Today the route will either be gentle and follow the impressive Ottoman glacier with no major obstacles, or weather permitting and group willing, you can instead follow the Brenay glacier and make an ascent of the Pigne d’Arolla (3,796m/12,454ft). Both options end at the Vignettes hut perched high above the Arolla valley.
Cabane des Vignettes to Cabane de Bertol. The first col of the day is Col de la Charmotane (3,053m/10,016ft) which takes you over to the Glacier du Mont Collon. Next you will cross the Col de L’Eveque (3,392m/11,129ft). You then continue steeply at first down the Haut Glacier d’Arolla to pick up the path to the Plans de Bertol. You will have tome of a break here before climbing again up the Bertol Glacier to the Col de Bertol (3,276m/10,748ft).The hut is just above the colaccessed by chains and ladders and surrounded by glaciers.
Cabane de Bertol to the Schoenbeilhutte. Today is a day to have your camera at hand. Traverse the upper section of the Glacier du Mont Mine and Climb the Tete Blanche (3,224m/10,577ft) to get a fantastic view point the Matterhorn which is suddenly huge. You will continue down the Stockjigletcher via Col de la Tete Blanche to join a zig zag path through moraine to the Schonbiel Glacier. A steep section brings you to the hut.
Schoenbeilhutte. Today is a short 3 hour walk along a good trail. The trail goes above the Zmutt Glacier and through the hamlet of Zmutt, one of the areas oldest settlements. Continue down to Zermatt and take in the atmosphere on the high street. Overnight in Zermattand end of the trip.
Departure Day. The itinerary may be changed to better suit conditions this will be at the discretion of the guide.
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