The Haute Route
In the summer of 2020 I hiked a 10-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.
The tenth and final day of the Haute Route started with the nerve wrecking Charles Kuonen suspension bridge and featured more sketchy passages along the trail to Zermatt, the end of the thru hike.
On day 9 of the Haute route I hiked the valley bottom of the Mattertal to the village of Herbriggen, because the first half of Europaweg to Zermatt was closed. Then I climbed out of the valley again, up to the Europahütte, halfway the Europaweg trail.
Day 8 on the Haute Route was a hot and very tough day. From the Meidsee down to Gruben, ascending again to the Augustbordpass and then all the way down to the village of Sankt Niklaus. A total of more than 2.600 meters of exhausting descent.
A long and spectacular day 7 of the Haute Route brought a view of Val d’Anniviers with the Bernese Alps in the distance. Then the first view of the Matterhorn peak and excellent wild camping at the Meidsee at the end of the day.
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.
Day 5 on the Haute route was a day of rain, snow and mist. And because of poor visibility quite demanding. Especially the climb up to Cabane de Moiry on a rocky zig zag path with 29 turns in complete mist was exhausting – but beautiful.
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.
An amazing third day on the Haute Route. I climbed four mountain passes, sled down a snowfield and crossed glacial waters. On the way there were turqoise lakes, a herd of ibex and I reached the highest elevation of the entire Haute Route.
My second day on the Haute Route was a full day of ascending, with exciting views of the Massif du Mont Blanc and the snowy peak of Le Grand Combin. Gaining more than 1.600 meter in elevation, I reached Cabane du Mont Fort early in the afternoon.
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.