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New Trek for 2023 Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Walker's Haute Route Full Self Guided Trek

Independent hiking from Chamonix to Zermatt

Journeying over a distance of 180 kilometers the Walkers Haute Route is fast becoming a 'must do' long distance trek. This trek is rigorous to say the least and is reserved for the fittest of mountain walkers as the daily height gain on the Walkers Haute Route full self guided trek can be substantial with the overall accumulation of 12,000 meters. The Haute Route self guided trek takes you over 11 mountain cols and through 2 alpine regions within France and Switzerland from Chamonix to Zermatt. Not for the faint hearted and when undertaken self-guided, a good deal of mountain experience is advisable.

suggested intinerary

DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN CHAMONIX:

As we are based in Chamonix please ask if you wish to have a self guided trek briefing to go through any aspect of your trek before you start on your adventure.

If you require a briefing on your day of arrival please specify at the time of booking so we can make sure someone will be available.

Accommodation

Hotel, private en-suite rooms, B & B

DAY 2 CHAMONIX TO TRIENT:

You take a short bus ride to Montroc where you start the route with an ascent to the Col du Balme via the beautiful Aiguillette des Possettes. You make your way to the col by crossing the border into Switzerland and descending to the Swiss village of Trient.

Daily stats:

Time: 7hrs | Height gain: +1100m | Descent: -1000m

Accommodation

Auberge, private rooms with shared facilities, evening meal with breakfast.

Guide notes:

The route over the Aiguillette des Possettes is magnificent and one of my favourite peaks in the Chamonix valley. Enjoy the 360 degree far reaching views over the Mont Blanc massif, the Aiguille Rouges and the Swiss Valais. Refreshments of a kind at the Col du Balme but don't expect service with a smile!! It's worth the experience nonetheless!

DAY 3 TRIENT TO CHAMPEX-LAC:

Leaving Trient, you climb steeply to the Fenetre d’Arpette. A tricky descent over boulders leads us to pastureland and to the picture postcard village of Champex-Lac.

Daily stats:

Time 8hrs | Height gain: +1400m | Descent: -1200m

Accommodation

Hotel with private rooms and en-suite, evening meal with breakfast.

Guide notes:

Option to take the Bovine route if the weather isnt so good which is more sheltered in poor weather. The true Haute Route goes over the Fenetre d'Arpette and although tough you wont be disappointed.

DAY 4 CHAMPEX-LAC TO CABANE DE LOUVIE:

You start the day with an easy descent into to the Orsiére Valley and trough the Swiss villages of Sembrancher and Châble. From Châble, you will take the 30 minute bus ride to Fionnay. From Fionnay, make a steep ascent through beautiful terrain with spectacular views of the emerging Grand Combine. A warm welcome awaits at the Cabane de Louvie.

Daily stats:

Time: 8hrs (Inc. transport) | Height gain: +750m | Descent: -700m

Accommodation

Refuge, dormitory with evening meal and breakfast.

Guide notes:

A lovely leisurely start to the day as you wander down to Le Chable. Enjoy the easy angled terrain before the final descent to the refuge. Fabulous terrain to come over the next few days!

DAY 5 CABANE DE LOUVIE TO CABANE PRAFLEURI:

An easy start as you traverse the Lac Louvie before the steep ascend over rocky terrain to Col de Louvie. The descent from the col takes you into the the vast moraine filled Grand Desert with its river crossing & receding glacier above. You will pass a series of small tarns before ascending once more to the Col de Prafleuri and descend steeply to the Cabane de Prafleuri.

Daily stats:

Time: 6hrs | Height gain: +900m | Descent: -550m

Accommodation

Refuge, dormitory with evening meal and breakfast.

Guide notes:

It’s up and out early as possible today as the day is long and hard. Amazing views of the Grand Combin & the lunar landscape of the Grand Desert. The statistics don’t give the day justice, as the high altitude terrain is larger than life!

DAY 6 CABANE PRAFLEURI TO AROLLA:

Passing over the Col des Roux, you descend to the Lac Dix and contour above the shoreline for several kilometers before rising again to the Col de Riedmatten. Descending from the col, you finally reach the small Alpine village of Arolla.

Daily stats:

Time: 7hrs | Height gain: +850m | Descent: -1400m

Accommodation

Hotel in private en-suite rooms, evening meal and breakfast.

Guide notes:

Another big day over challenging terrain so an early start is a must. Fabulous views of Mont Blanc Cheilon as you ascend the glacial moraine. There is of course the option of the Pas de Chevre for those with a head for heights!

DAY 7 AROLLA TO LA SAGE:

An easy day as you make your way via Lac Bleu to the typical Valaisian village of Les Hauderes and on to the hamlet of La Sage in the Val d'Herens. You arrive in Val d'Herens around mid-afternoon with time to rest and relax.

Daily stats:

Time: 4hrs | Height gain: +215m | Descent: -700m

Accommodation

Hotel with private en-suite rooms, evening meal and breakfast.

Guide notes:

At last an easier day! Enjoy the lofty traverse & rest a while at the beautiful Lac Bleu with wonderful views back down the Arolla valley and the mighty Mont Colon.

DAY 8 LA SAGE TO ZINAL:

You climb steadily to the Col du Torrent before descending via Lac Autannes to Lac de Moiry and the barrage. From here, you have two options. Ascend towards Col de Sorebois and descend steeply through the ski area where you take the cable car to Zinal, or take the bus from the barrage to Zinal to shorten the route and reduce the height gain and descent (dependent on weather, fatigue and time).

Daily stats:

Time: 8hrs | Height gain: +1750m | Descent: -900m

Accommodation

Hotel with private en-suite rooms, evening meal and breakfast.

Guide notes:

This potentially can be a very long day but we have options! Don't underestimate this col as its high at 2916m, with far reaching views from the col back towards Arolla and its significant peaks, on a good day you can see Mont Blanc!

DAY 9 ZINAL TO GRUBEN:

A steady climb through woodland to the high mountain pastureland passing the remote Barnueza Alpage. Once at the Col du Forcletta, you make your descend in to the Gruben valley to the small village of Gruben.

Daily stats:

Time: 7hrs | Height gain: +1200m | Descent: -1000m

Accommodation

Auberge with private rooms & shared facilities, evening meal and breakfast.

Guide notes:

Making your way over the Col de la Forcletta and into one of the most remote valleys of the trek is a fabulous experience. This valley is closed off from autumn to spring and is used during the summer months for cattle farming. Get ready for the Hotel Schwartzhorn which seems totaly incongruous to this remote valley.

DAY 10 GRUBEN TO ST NICKLAUS & GRACHEN:

Another steep climb from Gruben to high-level pastures of the Augustbordpass. You make your descent steadily from the col towards Jungen where you take the little cable car to St Niklaus and a short buss ride across the valley to Grachen.

Daily stats:

Time: 7hrs (inc. transport) | Height gain: +1100m | Descent: -1000m

Accommodation

Hotel in private en-suite rooms, evening meal and breakfast.

Guide notes:

The Augustbordpass passes without any notable acclaim as the col seems to be somewhat hidden away, the views are reserved for later in the day with the narrow traverse above Jungen which reveals the delights of the Matterhorn valley!

DAY 11 GRACHEN TO TASCH:

Low Route via the Matterhorn Valley
Departing Grachen you traverse along the Wanderweg to Gasenreid and beyond before descending into the Matterhorn Valley and taking the valley path to Tasch.

Daily stats:

Distance: 5 hrs | Height gain: +200m | Descent: -460m

Accommodation

Hotel with private en-suite rooms, bed and breakfast.

Guide notes:

Day one of the Europaweg is now permanently closed, therefore, you will need to take the alternative route via the Wanderweg.

DAY 12 TASCH TO ZERMATT:

Take the train one stop to Randa. Departing from Randa, you ascend to the Europaweg and take the impressive Charles Kuonen suspension bridge for the final day on this stunning traverse via Taschalp and finish taking the hight route into Zermatt.

Daily stats:

Time: 9hrs | Height gain: +1175m | Descent: -850m

Accommodation

Hotel in private en-suite rooms, B & B.

Guide notes:

In August 2017 the Europaweg was reopened after closure for some years. Therefore there are many options for today, which can be decided before the day. My recommendation would be to include the final stage from Taschalp, which has stupendous views on the mighty Matterhorn.

DAY 13: DEPART ZERMATT:

Breakfast is included however on the departure day you are free to leave at any time you wish.

Option to add an additional day in Zermatt.

Guide notes:

Once you have completed the trek I hope you will agree that the Walkers Haute Route is truly an exceptional trek and has a worthy place as of one of the worlds top 10 long distance walks.

"Take only memories, leave only footprints"
Chief Seattle

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