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CHAMONIX-ZERMATT HAUTE ROUTE EXPEDITION

Strenuous France

Chamonix-Zermatt Haute Route Expedition

THE GLACIER TRAIL THAT CROSSES SOME OF THE MOST REMOTE REGIONS IN THE EUROPEAN ALPS.

This one is a mountaineering classic and easily one of the most spectacular glacier trails on the planet. We’ll be using crampons, ice axes and ropes to walk over the glaciers of France and Switzerland from the base of the Mont Blanc to the base of the Matterhorn whilst staying in some of the wildest mountain huts in the alps. If you’re looking for a real challenge that is as engaging as it is rewarding this is most definitely the experience.

Alpine Academy

TRIP TYPE

Alpine Academy

Trip duration

DURATION

10 Days

Trip Destination

DESTINATION

France

ACCOMMODATIONS

Lodge

1

The great glacier crossing that links the Mont Blanc above Chamonix to the Matterhorn above Zermatt.

2

A trip of a lifetime that boasts unparalleled views in the Alps and mountain lodges literally in the middle of nowhere.

3

This challenging experience includes training for first-time alpinists.

Itinerary

This adventure is where trekking meets the glaciers and continues up and over them. Although we don’t go to the summits of the mountains we do cross some challenging terrain that requires a physical and mental commitment beyond traditional dry-trail trekking. That’s why we recommend preparing for this adventure with cardio and endurance focused training.

DAY 1: ARRIVING TO CHAMONIX

Day 1 is arrival day. If you require pick-ups from Geneva airport, please let us know otherwise we’ll meet you at the Rockypop hotel or Chamonix central train station. Check-in starts at 3 pm but we can store our bags at the hotel and roam around if we arrive early. We highly recommend arriving early in order to rent gear. The gear stores close at 7 pm. A team dinner and briefing will take place at 7:30 pm with your team leaders and mountain guides at the Little Boxes restaurant in Chamonix Sud. It may be possible to rent gear on the following day if you can’t make it before the store closes.

DAY 2: ALBERT PREMIER HUT

Our first day together will start at 9:30 am. We’ll put together last minute supplies and handle any last minute rentals before heading by car to Le Tour, a town at the very end of the Chamonix Valley. From there we’ll be taking the cable lifts to the Col de Balme. This is where the trekking starts as we make our way up the clearly marked trail to the Albert Premier hut just above the Glacier du Tour. After checking in and recovering from the walk we’ll be heading to the glacier for skills training. The evening will be spent at the hut.

DAY 3: CROSSING THE BORDER

Our second day will be an early start, typical of the days to come. We’ll be heading out before daybreak in the direction of Col du Tour, the natural border between France and Switzerland. From there we’ll head across the Glacier du Tour and down the Glacier d’Orny before finally reaching the end of the glacier itself. With three glaciers already behind us, we’ll be connecting with the trekking trail that leads to the Breya chairlift above the Swiss town of Champex Lac and we’ll be using it to descend the mountain before taking a shuttle to our accommodation in Mauvoisin.

DAY 4: WELCOME TO THE VALAIS

This is the only day where we don’t step onto the glacier. It is an opportunity to recuperate as we do the relatively short hike from Mauvoisin to the Chanrion Hut. On this day we’ll have the opportunity to visit the Mauvoisin dam and walk alongside the giant lake that it has formed. We expect to arrive at the hut in the early afternoon and will be able to relax before dinner time. A major highlight of the day is having the infamous Grand Combin Massif alongside us throughout the day, home to 4 peaks above 4,000 meters.

DAY 5: CABANE DES VIGNETTES

Another early start to the day is what awaits us as we depart from Chanrion in the Val des Bagnes to the Cabane des Vignettes, high above the Arolla valley. This day is unimaginably rewarding with views across some of the largest glaciers in the Valais Massif. The cherry on the cake is arriving to the hut itself, which sits on a cliff edge underneath the Pigne d’Arolla at the crossing of two giant glaciers.

DAY 6: COL DE L’EVEQUE

The next three days are arguably the most epic days in most people’s mountaineering careers. We’ll depart in the early hours of the morning from the hut making our way down onto the Glacier du Mont Collon before reaching Col de L’Eveque, the natural border with Italy. From there we’ll descend the Haut Glacier d’Arolla back in the direction of Switzerland. At the end of the glacier, we’ll follow a dry trail down to the tree line and finally reach the Swiss mountain town of Arolla where we’ll spend the night.

DAY 7: BERTOL

Today is the second part of our 3 epic days of mountaineering. We start our day early in the morning by reconnecting to the trail that brought us to arolla, only this time we’ll be going in an easterly direction towards the Plan de Bertol at the base of the glacier up to the Cabane de Bertol, a mountain hut that literally sits on a pinnacle surrounded by shards of ice.

DAY 8: SCHNOBIEL

Our final day on the glacier will bring us right up to the Matterhorn, finally connecting the Mont Blanc to its equally famous twin. We’ll depart the Bertol early in the direction of Tete Blanche, ultimately traversing the Stockii glacier before reconnecting with the trekking trail that leads directly to the Schnobiel hut that sits above the glacier moraine with unobstructed views on the Matterhorn, Dent d’Herens and the Monte Rosa Massif.

DAY 9: ZERMATT

The greatest reward of all is seeing the Matterhorn from all sides as we approach it from the west, pass across its north face and finally reach its base at the eastern ridge. From here it’s a straight descent to Zermatt, a tour of the town, a bite and road transfer back to Chamonix where dinner and a well deserved shower at the Rockypop hotel await.

DAY 10: AU REVOIR!

Our final day together will be dedicated to airport transfers and farewells. Breakfast is included on the day. Please make sure that you provide us with your departure details before the first day of the trip so arrangements can be made.

WHAT'S INCLUDED IN THIS TRIP

  • LHO Original Photography
  • Pre-Adventure Guide
  • Airport Pick-Up & Drop-Off
  • All Internal Transfers/Flights
  • Fitness & Nutrition Guides
  • Gear Shopping Assistance
  • Meals in the Itinerary
  • Accommodations in the Itinerary
  • Dedicated LHO Team Leader
  • Guides & Permits
  • Indicated Team Equipment

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED IN THIS TRIP

  • International Flights
  • Entry Visas
  • Tips & Gratuities for Local Team
  • Personal Gear & Rentals
  • Personal Medical Insurance
  • Personal Travel Insurance
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Additional Nights Outside the Itinerary
BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE

BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE

You should be confident and excited to plan your trips. This is why we’ve designed special Covid-19 booking rules to alleviate the stress. If you're affected by Covid-19 restrictions or can't travel due to contracting the virus, please check the Covid-19 booking rules that make it easy to amend or change bookings without losing your booking deposit. Special rules may apply on selected trips where permits are non-refundable, but we'll always do our best for you.

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HEALTH & SAFETY GUIDELINES

HEALTH & SAFETY GUIDELINES

We do our best to ensure your wellbeing on LHO adventures. That's why the facilities we use throughout our trips are required to meet our health and safety standards. We also follow the laws and protocols of every country that hosts our adventures. This extends to national regulations requiring Covid-19 testing, vaccination certificates, mask wearing or any other local guidelines that may apply. Contact us for the most up to date protocols related to your destination.

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Dates & Prices

Check upcoming trip dates, team leaders, availability & prices. If you can't see dates that suite you, contact us we will do our best to assist you.

DATE

PRICE

LED BY

AVAILABILITY

Jun 28 2023 - Jul 7 2023

€3,350

MEDIUM
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Hear From Our Community

What a wonderful experience. Words can’t describe what I went through in a week full of adventures where I pushed myself way beyond my limits. Great team, great guides and wonderful family I met. LHO never failed to impress for one second. From the excellent choice of accommodation, to the rich meals, to the wonderful experience, this team dedicated itself to make every moment as pleasurable and memorable as it can be. I was lucky to be finally considered a part of the Life Happens Outdoors community, and I definitely recommend this wonderful team for any adventure that might come to your mind.

Milad Mahfoud

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Top Questions

How should I train for this experience?

Training for this traverse is all about cardio and strength. The focus of the cardio should be to become comfortable with a high heart rate. The best way to do that is to get into sports that force your heart rate up. If you take up something like spinning, you'd familiarize yourself with the feeling of heavy and fast heart beats so that, even though you won't be experiencing it as acutely or for as sustained a period as during a spinning session, your body would feel comfortable and ready to

Training for this traverse is all about cardio and strength. The focus of the cardio should be to become comfortable with a high heart rate. The best way to do that is to get into sports that force your heart rate up. If you take up something like spinning, you'd familiarize yourself with the feeling of heavy and fast heart beats so that, even though you won't be experiencing it as acutely or for as sustained a period as during a spinning session, your body would feel comfortable and ready to cope when it occurs on the trail. Cardio training recommendations include running, swimming, spinning, cycling, roller blading, or really anything that you can think of that is fun and sustainable for you where you live.

Pilates or Yoga are great for training muscles to adapt to stress positions. Both of them enable your body to work as a whole unit with a focus on engaging the core.

Is this trip suitable for someone not so experienced in the outdoors and who hasn't been to altitudes above 3000 meters?

We run the Chamonix-Zermatt trip based on the assumption that our joiners are putting on crampons for the first time. So, as part of the itinerary, we will be learning the basics of mountaineering, including crampon and rope techniques, in order to complete this trip safely and enjoyably.

In terms of altitude, we don't anticipate that it should be a problem. The max altitude on the trail is 3600 meters and we will be very well acclimatized by the time we reach it.

We run the Chamonix-Zermatt trip based on the assumption that our joiners are putting on crampons for the first time. So, as part of the itinerary, we will be learning the basics of mountaineering, including crampon and rope techniques, in order to complete this trip safely and enjoyably.

In terms of altitude, we don't anticipate that it should be a problem. The max altitude on the trail is 3600 meters and we will be very well acclimatized by the time we reach it.

The Gear List suggests a 30L backpack for this trip but it seems too small to be able to fit everything on the gear list.

30L is the perfect size for this trip and if you feel you may need a little extra space then don't exceed 40L. Adventure gear is designed to be stuffed and occupies very little space when packed efficiently. Don't worry. We'll be there to help you pack efficiently for the week.

30L is the perfect size for this trip and if you feel you may need a little extra space then don't exceed 40L. Adventure gear is designed to be stuffed and occupies very little space when packed efficiently. Don't worry. We'll be there to help you pack efficiently for the week.

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ALL INCLUSIVE PRICE

€3,350

  • LHO Original Photography
  • Pre-Adventure Guide
  • Airport Pick-Up & Drop-Off
  • All Internal Transfers/Flights
  • Fitness & Nutrition Guides
  • Gear Shopping Assistance
  • Meals in the Itinerary
  • Accommodations in the Itinerary
  • Dedicated LHO Team Leader
  • Guides & Permits
  • Indicated Team Equipment

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TELL YOUR FRIENDS
An adventure holiday for anyone with a pulse. No fitness requirements or prerequisites. Come as you are. Great for those who already train 1-2 times per week or would like to use this upcoming adventure as an opportunity to kickstart a fitness journey. Joiners should be comfortable with their physical fitness and regularly train at least 2-3 times a week in the lead up to this adventure. Joiners should be comfortable with their physical fitness and regularly train at least 2-3 times a week in the lead up to this adventure.Joiners should be comfortable with their physical fitness and regularly train at least 2-3 times a week in the lead up to this adventure. Need we explain further? No prior experience is required. Basic skills may be taught during this adventure. The skills necessary to safely complete this adventure will be taught as a part of this experience. This adventure requires prior experience, pre-requisite skills or certifications. See below for details.