Hike the original Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt - the classic high Alpine trek that links Mont Blanc with the Matterhorn across a series of the most spectacular peaks and mountain passes in Europe. Stunning scenery every step of the way!
This is the original Haute Route, the great classic high Alpine trek from Chamonix to Zermatt. This trip links two of the most iconic mountains in the world - Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn - and will take you over a spectacular series of high mountain passes and vast glaciers from France to Switzerland.
First completed by the English Alpine Club in the 19th century, this classic trek, “The High Level Route”, is 120km long and covers over 10 000 vertical metres of ascent and descent. You will complete the hike over 10 challenging but incredibly rewarding days. Please see the 'Level Requirements' section below to see if you have the necessary strength and fitness to join us on the Haute Route tour.
Along the Haute Route you will stay in high mountain huts where you can admire sunsets over majestic alpine landscapes. You will have time to practice and bring to perfection the fundament skills of mountaineering and glacier travel, as you pass through diverse and beautiful landscapes.
All this will be done under the guidance of one of our highly qualified and experienced mountain guides, who will not only lead the way but will also share their expert knowledge of the area with you, making it a unique and unforgettable experience.
Price per person for groups of minimum 5 personsView Dates
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Arrival day at your hotel in the pretty village of Les Praz, just a few kilometres north of Chamonix centre. Your guide will come to meet you in the evening for a briefing about the itinerary, the weather and conditions. You can check with your guide if you have all the equipment required and ask any questions. The trip package begins with a three-course dinner at the hotel.
A short cable car ride up from Le Tour and a hike of 2-3 hours brings us to the Albert Premier hut at 2720m. This is the perfect place to practice crampon and ice axe techniques in the afternoon. We will have dinner at the hut and spend the night here.
Hiking Time: 2 hours
We leave the Albert 1er hut early in the morning when the snow is still frozen, to catch the best conditions underfoot. Making our way across the Col Superior du Tour (3289m) into Switzerland. From here we cross the glacial terrain of the Trient Plateau, before dropping down the Orny Glacier to the Cabane d’Orny (2831m) where we rest for the night.
Time: 6-7 hours
The day starts with a long but comfortable descent of about 1600m from Cabane d'Orny to Praz de Fort. We then head back uphill on a lovely trail that leads us all the way to our finish point at La Fouly. Take advantage of having your trek bags here, you'll be able to pack your technical gear away as it is not required for the next three days. You'll also be able to enjoy a shower, and pop into the village to stock up with goodies at the local shops and get cash from the ATM.
Hiking Time: 6 hours
A gentle walk out of La Fouly leads to a steeper trail up to Col du Neve de la Rousse at 2752m, a tranquil spot where you have a good chance of spotting marmots, chamois, bouquetins, and other alpine wildlife. From this elevated pass you can also take in wonderful views of the Mont Blanc massif and across to the Grand Combin. A long but steady descent takes us past the snowy waters of the wonderfully-named lake Gouille du Dragon (dragon’s puddle!) and on to Bourg Saint Pierre. We stop here for the night - make the most of your last chance for a hot shower! You'll also be able to buy a few snacks and delve into your trek bag for a change of clothes and any items that you might want.
Hiking Time: 8 hours
We start today with a long but gradual climb towards Tour des Combins. Shortly after crossing Col de La Vuardette at 2440m we traverse across to Pointe de Boveire at 2493m. A descent along a lesser-trodden trail brings us into the La Chaudiere valley and then up again to the west ridge of Mont Rogneux, where we have some fun scrambling over easy terrain to the summit cross at 3083m. We descend via the east ridge, passing a lake on the way down to Pindin where we pick up the 4x4 track that takes us easily down to Cabane Brunet at 2103m – our home for tonight.
Hiking Time: 8 hours
A bright and early start today, beginning with a climb up to the Col des Otannes at 2846m, where in good weather we have fantastic views across the crevasses of the Corbassière Glacier to the impressive summit of the Grand Combin. We then drop down to the Mauvoisin dam where we can refuel with coffee and cake! We continue across the top of the dam to follow a long but gentle ascent alongside the lake to Col de Tsofeiret. From here it is a short sharp descent to our night stop at the Cabane de Chanrion, a beautiful place amid summer pastures and surrounded by mountain lakes where you can enjoy a refreshing dip, if you're brave enough. Our trek bags will be available if we want a change of clothes.
Hiking Time: 7 hours
Glaciers and imposing mountains set the scene for today. Crampons and harnesses come back into action for our ascent of the Otemma glacier, dry at first but becoming snowy as we progress. Long but not steep, you'll have plenty of time to look around and drink in the views of La Singla and Petit Mont Collon to your right, and Pointe d'Otemma and Pigne d'Arolla to your left. We sleep tonight in the Cabane des Vignettes, surrounded by dramatically beautiful scenery.
Hiking Time: 7-8 hours
Leaving Cabane des Vignettes behind us, we continue our glacial journey overlooked by the north face of the Petit Mont Collon up towards Col de L'Eveque (3386m), before descending to the Haute Glacier d'Arolla via snowy slopes and dry glacier. From the glacier's snout we return to alpine trails all the way to the bergerie at Plan de Bertol. Take a breather here, as we have a big push of 600m up to Col de Bertol (3268m) and then a series of ladders to access the Cabane de Bertol. You'll fall into bed tired but happy here, it is not the longest day but it is possibly one of the most demanding! Be sure to enjoy the views of Matterhorn and the Dent Blanche before you close your eyes for the night.
Hiking Time: 8-9 hours
Our penultimate day of trekking offers an optional ascent of Tete Blanche (weather permitting). A bright and early start to the day begins with a scramble back down the ladders from the hut, roped together we set off along the Mont Mine Glacier towards the snow-capped peak of Tete Blanche (3724m) from where we gain a marvellous view of the Matterhorn. The descent is through the labyrinth of crevasses that make up the rugged Stockji Glacier until we reach the rocky island in the middle were we meet the trail leading sharply up to a pleasant alpine path through the moraine on the north side of the valley. Crossing beneath the Smutt Ridge of the Matterhorn, we trek up to the grassy pastures that surround the Schonbiel Hut. All going well, we should arrive in time for lunch and a well-deserved lazy afternoon on the sunny deck of the hut. From here, we're close enough to watch alpinists climb the Matterhorn.
Hiking Time: 8-10 hours
We finish the trip with an easy hike from the hut down to the town of Zermatt. This is a lovely 4 hour descent through alpine meadows, pretty woodland, and charming little hamlets – all overlooked by the imposing north face of the Matterhorn. We’ll arrive into Zermatt in time for lunch and then the afternoon is free to relax with a celebratory drink or to explore the town before dinner. Our last night is spent in a hotel in the town.
Hiking Time: 4 hours
Enjoy a last breakfast with your Haute Route companions. Don’t forget to swap email addresses so that you can share photos of your trip!
This is a high alpine trek involving scrambling, climbing over snow slopes and travelling roped-up over glaciers using crampons and ice axes. You will walk an average of 6-8 hours each day at altitudes of over 3500m, you should be fit and able to hike challenging terrain for up to 8 hours without getting too tired. You will carry all your personal equipment (a well packed rucksack should not exceed 8kg). It is essential that you prepare yourself for this trip by regularly practicing any kind of endurance sport such as ski touring, hiking, running, biking or swimming. We also recommend core strength exercises - Pilates and yoga are perfect.
Fleece or woollen layers
Light puffer jacket
Windproof and waterproof jacket
Windproof and waterproof trousers
35 - 45 litres rucksack
Water bottle - Ideally two 1L bottles
Sun cream high protection (for lips and face)
Headlamp with fresh batteries
Washbag and toiletries
Sleeping bag liner - lightweight
12 days of guiding and instruction by a UIAGM qualified mountain guide.
All accommodation, as described in the itinerary.
Ropes, safety equipment, etc will be provided when needed by your guide.
Our team is based at the foot of the Aiguillle du Midi cable car and will be happy to help you with any questions you may have before, during or after your trip to Chamonix.
Please see the "Equipment" tab to find out what you will need on this trip / course. For private customised guiding, please contact us directly to confirm your personalised kit list.
Travel insurance including a mountain search and rescue insurance is mandatory on all our trips (we can organise the mountai search and rescue insurance for you on request). We highly advice to have a policy covering the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation. When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.
The price does not include lunch or snacks. You can bring your own food and we can stop for a picnic, or there may be the option to buy lunch at a mountain hut. Please make sure that you are carrying sufficient water and snacks as we will be in the mountains for a number of hours.
Accommodation in Chamonix is not included in the price but we would be happy to advise or organise it on request.
The price does not include flights, airport transfers or any other travel to/from Chamonix. However, we can organise airport transfers for you on request, please contact us for details.
UIAGM / IFMGA qualified mountain guides with years of experience in guiding all around the world.
610 Route Blanche