The Haute Route

In the summer of 2020 I hiked an 11-day Haute Route in Switzerland. Having already walked the French part of this trail during the Tour du Mont Blanc, I started in the nearest Swiss village to discover a magnificent trail up and down high mountain passes.

Haute Route 6: Zinal

Haute Route 6: Zinal

A sunny sixth day on the Haute Route: I hiked along an incredibly blue lake to Col de Sorebois. Leaving the amazing view of the mountain range east I decended to the village of Zinal, where I found the first campsite of my thru hike.

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Haute Route 4: Les Haudères

Haute Route 4: Les Haudères

A demanding fourth day on the Haute Route. After an easy stroll along Lac des Dix, a steep ascent took me to rough and misty terrain full of rocks, under heavy clouds – with sometimes no trail at all. Halfway I encountered the challenging ladder section at Pas de Chèvres. After that, it was all the way down for hours.

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Haute Route 1: Prologue

Haute Route 1: Prologue

The Haute Route, also known as the Chamonix-Zermatt Trail, shares the first 3 sections with the Tour du Mont Blanc, but then continues east into the high mountains. I started my thru-hike in a lovely quiet and green valley as a prologue to another 10 days of desolate fields of glacial rock, almost 3000 meter high alpine passes and stunning views. 

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Gearlist 2020

Gearlist 2020

When I first started backpacking, I had a heavy Fjalräven backpack and a total weight of about 25 kg on my back. Especially since my first major thru-hike in 2018 in the High Sierra, I have been lowering my pack weight significantly. For my last thru-hike on the Swiss Haute Route I brought my base weight down with another 700 grams, to just about 6,8  kg (15 pounds).

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