Day 1 – Arrival Day
Arrival day at your chalet in Argentiere, you will be welcomed by the Yeti Lodge team and shown to your room. You can then either relax at the chalet or go for a stroll around Argentiere until the rest of your group arrives. You will meet your guide and other group members 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 Yeti Lodge, while you get to know your hiking companions.
Day 2 – Argentiere to Trient
A hearty breakfast will set you up for your first day on the trails. We leave the chalet behind and hike along the Petit Balcon Nord to Le Tour, where a gradual ascent brings us to the alpine pastures of Col du Balme (2186m), before dropping down into Switzerland on the other side. A simple hotel in the hamlet of Trient is our home for the night.
Hiking Time: 6-7 hours
Day 3 – Col de Forclaz to Champex
Today starts with a quick ascent of the Col de Forclaz to the Chalet des Glaciers, where we can enjoy a morning coffee with a magnificent view of the Trient Glacier. Our first tough climb takes us through forests before opening out at the Fenetre d'Arpette, a high mountain pass with stunning views across the glaciers of the Trient Plateau. A steep drop down through the Val d'Arpette brings us to the pretty lakeside village of Champex, where we rest for the night.
Hiking Time: 8 hours
Day 4 – Champex to Verbier
A relaxed start to the morning with a gentle hike through alpine meadows into Val des Bagnes, where we enjoy a cable car ride from Le Chable to Verbier. From the top of the cable car it is just over an hour's walk to Cabane du Mont Fort - an impressive old stone refuge with unbeatable views from its vantage point of 3330m. We will enjoy a traditional meal and watch the sun set over the mountains before falling into our bunks for a good night's sleep.
Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
Day 5 – Three Cols from Verbier to Prafleuri
One of our favourite days, this section offers dramatic views from beginning to end. We start by dropping down from Cabane du Mont Fort beneath towering cliffs, following the trail back up to our first of three cols - Col Termin at 2648m. From here we reach Col de Louvie at 2921m and then sharply downwards onto the edge of the Grand Desert Glacier, before heading back up to Col de Prafleuri at 2624m. It is then a short descent of about 360m to the Cabane de Prafleuri, where we spend our second night in a typical mountain hut.
Hiking Time: 8 hours
Day 6 – Prafleuri to Arolla
We start today with a short sharp climb up to Col de Roux, overlooking the impressive Grande Dixence Dam and its reservoir "Lac des Dix". The trail then brings us gently down beside the lake and we follow it round to the far end, where we have another steep ascent up to the foot of Col de Riedmatten. From here we can either continue to the top of the col, or we can go for the more exciting option of the Pas de Chevre ladders to another col, before dropping down into our final destination of Arolla. Today's route offer splendid views of the Glacier des Dix, the distinctive pyramid of Mont Blanc de Chelion, and the famous ski touring terrain of the Pigne d'Arolla.
Hiking Time: 7-8 hours
Day 7 – Arolla to La Sage
Halfway to our destination, we enjoy a nice leisurely day today with a gentle route through shaded woods to the beautiful waters of Lac Bleu. The trail continues gradually downhill, passing via a splendid gorge to pause for lunch in the charming hamlet of Les Hauderes. A short climb from here brings us to our stop for the night in the small farming village of La Sage.
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Day 8 – Col de Torrent to Zinal
Feeling refreshed from our easy day yesterday, we step it up again today with the longest section of the route and two high cols to cross. First of the two is Col de Torrent, a long but gradual ascent up to 2912m, then we drop back down to Lac Moiry where we can picnic beside the incredibly scenic lake with views of the Dent Blanche (white tooth). From here we have another climb up to Col de Sorebois at 2835m, greeted at the top by amazing views of the Weisshorn and Zinal Rothorn. Take a few moments to enjoy the scenery and rest your legs, because we have a long steep descent down to Zinal before we can put our feet up for the day.
Hiking Time: 9 hours
Day 9 – Zinal to Gruben
We start today with a steep but short climb up through a beautiful forest of larch before the trail mellows out to a gentle gradient, passing through lush meadows with wonderful views across the valley. We have the option of two routes today - either a traverse of the Col de la Forcletta (2874m) or of the Meidpass (2790m) - both excellent routes with stunning views glaciers. Your guide will decide which option is the best on the day, depending on the mountain conditions. Either way, you'll descend to Gruben via bucolic farmland and pretty alpine pastures before arriving at the quaint village.
Hiking Time: 9 hours
Day 10 – Gruben to St. Niklaus
One of the most spectacularly scenic days of the trek, today we set off through fragrant forests and continue up to high mountain pastures. Our surroundings become more rugged and wild as we emerge into a rocky landscape, which opens up to absolutely breathtaking views as we continue onwards to Augstbordpass at 2894m. A steep descent takes us to our resting point in the popular ski town of St Niklaus.
Hiking Time: 7-8 hours
Day 11 – Taschalp to Zermatt
Today we start with a taxi transfer to the remote cluster of cottages at Ottavan, high up in the Taschalp valley (2214m). This "shortcut" affords us more time to enjoy the wonderful high altitude trail that traverses the valley towards Zermatt and the incredible view of the Matterhorn, looming ever larger as we get closer to the end of our trek. We arrive in Zermatt in time to drop our bags at the hotel and explore the town before celebrating our adventure with dinner at a restaurant.
Descent : 1100m
Day 12 – Leaving Day
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!