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Chamonix-Zermatt Haute Route

- Swiss

Period :

Price :

From 1078 €

Difficulty :

Physical Condition :

Technical level :

Group :

From 6 to 8 personnes

Duration :

7 jours

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Linking the two famous cities of Mountaineering, Chamonix and Zermatt, through the "Haute Route Chamonix Zermatt", the dream of all hikers. From 4,600 feet to 12,218 feet asl, from the huge Swiss glaciers to the mountain pastures of Champex and Zmutt, Chamonix - Zermatt High Level Route offers a superb tour, close to the most famous summits of the Alps: Chardonnet, Mont-Blanc, Argentière Peak, Hérens Peak, Matterhorn. Seven days within a wild environment, in full harmony with nature, to appreciate the authenticity of the mountaineers' welcome and of the Swiss mountain huts. The two last stages of the tour, linking Arolla glaciers to Zermatt glaciers, are known worldwide as the most beautiful stages of all the Swiss Glacier treks.

ROUTE Day 1 Meeting point at MontRoc train station, valley of Chamonix, on the railway linking Chamonix (France) to Martigny (Switzerland), at 1.30 pm. A few minutes walking, and then we catch the cable-car going up from the village of Le Tour, the highest village of the valley of Chamonix, to Charamillon mountain pasture, 6,076 feet. From there, a chairlift brings us to Balme pass, 7,152 feet where starts a pleasant path crossing the mountain pastures, providing a fantastic wiew on the "seracs" of the "glacier du Tour". Following the ridge of a moraine, the footpath will finally reach "Albert 1er" hut, height 8,865 feet. Night in the hut. Duration of walking: 2 hours. Length : 4 miles. Difference of level : 1,713 feet. Day 2 At dawn, a short footpath will quickly bring us up to the glacier. You will rope on, adjust your crampons, and easily acquire the techniques of walking with crampons, linked to other members of your roped party, on the way up to the pass of Le Tour, 10,768 feet, on the Swiss border. By this pass, we will not find any customs officer, but a magnificent wiew on the glacier of Trient, the " Aiguilles Dorées ", and all the summits of the Swiss Valais, including Matterhorn. The easy crossing through Trient plateau will bring us to Orny pass, 10,164 feet, a perfect place for pic-nic. In the afternoon, we will follow the footpath of Orny till the Breya chairlift, 7,178 feet, which will bring us down to Champex village, 4,724 feet. We will sleep by the Alpine Club lodge, on the shore of Champex lake (this lodge has hot showers !). Duration of walking: 6 hours. Length : 10 miles. Difference of level : 1,902 feet up, 3,596 feet down. On day 2, in order to avoid an extra descent of 2,400 feet of variation of height on a uninteresting and stony ski run joining the top of Breya chairlift to Arpette lodge, we have chosen to go down by chairlift right to Champex village, built on the shores of a very nice lake. Champex offers many small shops where to buy food for the next pic-nics, and most of all, a warm welcome by the family De Rivaz which manages the Alpine Club lodge. Day 3 In the morning, a private minibus will bring us to the height 6,443 feet, on top of Mauvoisin dam. Following the footpaths of Paturau and Pierracarro, we will walk through the mountain pastures of Mauvoisin lake, and we may have the chance to see marmots, chamois or ibexs. Far above us, the peaks of Grand Combin, 14,153 feet, tear the clouds of the end of afternoon. Night by Chanrion hut, 8,077 feet. Duration of walking: 3 hours and a half. Length : 6 miles. Difference of level : 2,218 feet up, 584 feet down. Day 4 A splendid stage on Otemma glacier, immense river of ice which moves down of nearly one foot per day, due to the persistent thrust of the glaciers of its basin. We leave Chanrion hut by a easy descent, and then reach Otemma glacier by its downstream side. Just a few crevasses on this wide glacier which makes its way through the sharp-edged peaks of the Italian border (Singla, 12,185 feet, Grand Blanchen, 12,067 feet) and the easiest swiss mountain group of Portons. After four hours walking easily up on Otemma glacier, we will reach the wide snowy pass of Chermotane, and, close to it, the Vignettes hut, 10,361 feet, which looks like an eagle nest built on the top of a vertical wall. Duration of walking: 6 hours. Length : 9 miles. Difference of level : 2,776 feet up, 492 feet down. Day 5 From the hut, ascent of the Evêque pass (11,128 feet), on the Italian border. A beautiful descent on the High Glacier of Arolla, near the Bouquetins hut, will lead us to Plans Bertol, 8,530 feet. This descent, close to the Blessed Virgin summit (10,604 feet) and to the Bishop peak (12,191 feet), has a little taste of Mountaineer's Paradise. From Plans Bertol, a good footpath goes up, following old moraines ridges, till a small glacier, and to the fixed ladders which give access to Bertol hut, 10,863 feet, one of the most beautiful hut of the Alps. Duration of walking: 7 hours. Length : 10 miles. Difference of level : 3,770 feet up, 3,268 feet down. Day 6 Through the high plateau of Mount-Miné glacier, the tracks lead us to the highest point of this tour, Tête Blanche, 12,218 feet. The immense west face of Matterhorn, the giant piles of seracs of Dent d'Hérens north face fill the horizon, while, soon far behind us, the Mont-Blanc group waves us goodbye. The magnificent descent of Stöcki glacier may offer us a few jumps over small crevasses. Further down, the moraine footpath will bring us up to Schönbiel hut, 8,838 feet, from which the wiew on Matterhorn North face is an extraordinary scene. Duration of walking: 6 to 7 hours. Length : 9 miles. Difference of level : 1,991 feet up, 4,016 feet down. Day 7 Following the moraine of Zmuttgletscher, our footpath goes through many small mountain pastures, rich with numerous small chalets with slate roofs, decorated with flowers. Our tour will end right in the center of Zermatt, facing Matterhorn and all the 13,000 feet high summits on its left : Breithorn, Castor, Pollux, Lyskamm, Monte Rosa. Duration of walking: 3 to 4 hours. Length : 6 miles. Difference of level : 3,570 feet down. End of the course by mid-day, in Zermatt. Easy return by train to Visp, Lausanne, Paris or Chamonix valley. To go back from Zermatt to Montroc, we use to reserve, only for clients interested, a private minibus which is allowed to pick us right in the center of Zermatt. A minibus transfer is faster than a train transfer (2 hours 15 minutes instead of 4 to 5 hours by train) and usually cheaper. Your mountain guide will do everything possible to make this tour being a success. But, in high altitude, exceptional risks may exist : storms, fog, .... Your guide, responsible for your life, may change the program of this tour for your safety. June departures : the Vignettes hut may be closed during the second fortnight of June. In this case, the night at Vignettes hut will be replaced with a night at Arolla village. After the night at Arolla village, the group will hike to Bertol hut, following Plan Bertol footpath.

* The price includes : - guiding by a mountain Guide, and all his expenses (food, lodgings, transfers) - the following group equipment: radio linked to the relief organization, pharmacy, survival blanket, ropes, maps, compass, GPS, altimeter - the loan of a mountaineering harness - transfers by private minibus or cable car related to the normal course of the program - the reservation of the places in the mountain huts and lodge - lodging and half-board in the mountain huts and lodge from Day 1 dinner included to Day 7 breakfast included (dinner and breakfast are prepared and served by the hut-keepers) - you can fill freely your water bottle with hot tea when leaving Vignettes hut and Bertol hut * The price does not include : - optional insurances EUROP ASSISTANCE - your lunchs - your drinks in the huts and lodge (in a few huts, where water is not pure, you can buy mineral water or tea to fill your water bottle) - your personal expenses - the personal equipment and the technical equipment required for this tour - additional transfers related to a modification of the program - transfer from your residence to MontRoc, and from Zermatt to your residence - generally speaking, all the expenses not indicated in the paragraph " the price includes "

During all the Haute Route, Le Pays d'En Haut will loan you freely a mountaineering sit-harness. Please, take care of this safety equipment, and, when you do not use it, store it in your mountaineering backpack. You can rent in any sports shop in Chamonix the following technical equipment: mountaineering shoes, ice axe, crampons. Ask the shop assistant to show you how to put on your crampons, and ask him to adjust them perfectly to your shoes. Caution: please, respect exactly this list of equipment : there are significant risks of frosts or accidents due to unsufficient equipements above the height of 3000 meters (10000 feet). In summer, in high altitude, if the wind is blowing, the temperature may drop to - 10 Fahrenheit degrees. ___________________________________________________ Your clothes : * for your head : - a scarf - a balaclava or a high quality woollen hat - a cap for the sun - a pair of high quality sun glasses * for your upper body : - warm underclothing (wool, or light polar fur) - a warm long sleeve shirt: on a glacier, the underarms must be protected from the sun rays - a thick and warm polar fur, or a high quality pullover sweater, or a down jacket - to protect you from the wind or from bad weather : a Goretex mountaineering jacket, with a hood (you may use a high quality windproof and waterproof skiing jacket) * for your legs : - warm sports skin-tights - light cotton mountaineering trousers (to wear in a hut, or while walking on the footpaths) - windproof and waterproof Goretex trousers (you may use high quality windproof and waterproof skiing trousers) * for your feet : - two pairs of woollen socks, a pair of cotton socks - a pair of mountaineering gaiters * for your hands : - a pair of silk undergloves - a pair of high quality mountaineering gloves (you may use high quality skiing gloves), waterproof and windproof, designed to endure a temperature of - 10 Fahrenheit degrees ___________________________________________________ In your mountaineering backpack : - additional underwear - a few toilet paper sheets - tooth paste, tooth brush, light razor - large plastic bags to store your clothes in your bag pack in case of rain (no backpack is perfectly hermetic) - a very light LED Head Lamp. Place a new alkaline battery in your head lamp, and bring with you an additional battery. - to sleep in the huts, do not bring a sleeping bag. The hutkeeper will deliver you woollen blankets. For Glaciers Treks in Switzerland (including Chamonix-Zermatt Haute Route), Italy and Austria, you must bring a silk or cotton sheet (obligation imposed by the hut-keepers). - a water bottle ( 1.5 liter minimum ), light, isothermal (thermos) - a pocket knife - sun cream, lipstick - medicines : "Compeed" to prevent blisters, Aspirins, eye-drop lotion, earplugs (many people snore in the huts !), personal drugs, elastic adhesive wrap (3-Cut tape) - a survival blanket (made of aluminium) - a hermetic bag containing : your passport, Euros (for your drinks in the huts; most of the huts do not accept Visa or American Express Cards), your Alpine Club Card (if you are a member of this Club, tell it to your guide ) - camera ___________________________________________________ Technical equipment : - a mountaineering backpack with a volume between 50 and 60 liters. For your comfort, your backpack should have broad and comfortable straps to carry it, and small straps on its back to fix your ice-axe when you will be walking on footpaths. - a light ice axe (length between 60 and 70 cms). Do not choose a technical ice axe, choose a ice axe designed for beginners. - a pair of crampons with automatic bindings. Your crampons must be perfectly adjusted to your shoes (this is the job of your shop-assistant). Choose crampons of category C 2 : semi-flexible crampons that can be used for both walking and climbing at harder grades, suitable for most alpine routes. Your crampons must imperatively be equipped with "Anti-balling plates" (plastic sheets placed under the crampons, in contact with the snow when you walk and climb). These "Anti-balling plates" will prevent the wet snow from sticking to your crampons, and will avoid accidents due to this hoof of wet snow covering the pins of the crampons, transforming them into skis ... All the good mountain sports shops hire only crampons with "Anti-balling plates". - a pair of mountaineering boots , with Vibram stiff soles. We advise you to test your boots before your training course, and to protect the zones of friction on your feet with "Compeed". Choose boots of category B 2 : stiff 4-season boots with a supportive upper, having facility for heel clip bindings to be fitted. Boots designed for hiking, even expensive hiking boots are inefficient and dangerous when climbing or walking on glaciers. - telescopic walking sticks, if you are used to bring them when you go hiking. A participant in this training course not equipped with mountaineering boots, or not equipped with "Anti-balling plates" on his crampons will not be authorized to attend the course. In this event, no refund will be made by Le Pays d'En Haut.

- one night in lodge at Champex, in dormitory, with hot shower. - 5 nights in mountain huts, in dormitories. Hot shower at Vignettes hut.