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Encyclopedia > Haute Route
Part of the Haute Route; two alpinists can be seen following the trail in the snow.
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Part of the Haute Route; two alpinists can be seen following the trail in the snow.

The Haute Route, (or the High Route or Mountaineers' Route) is a cross-country route running between Chamonix, France and Zermatt, Switzerland. First charted by English adventurers at the end of the 19th Century, this route follows the 8+day, 100 km, glacier walk or ski from the Chamonix valley, home of Mont Blanc to Zermatt, home of the Matterhorn. Photo by Seabhcan. ... Photo by Seabhcan. ... Mountaineering is an umbrella term that can variously be used to describe the actions of climbing, hillwalking and scrambling. ... Panorama of Chamonix valley Aiguille du Midi and Mont Blanc seen from Le Brévent, a paraglider is in the foreground Chamonix Valley seen from the south Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, or more commonly, Chamonix is a town and commune in eastern France, in the Haute-Savoie département, at the... In June, the Matterhorn is still snow-covered, while it is spring in Zermatt below. ... Aletsch glacier, Switzerland A glacier is a large, long-lasting river of ice that is formed on land and moves in response to gravity. ... This article is about the Alpine mountain. ... The Matterhorn (Fr. ...

Contents


Walking Haute Route

The route's popularity has been hit lately due to dangerously collapsing glaciers. Some parts of the route have become virtually impassable. This is believed to be due to global warming; however the glaciers have been receding since the Little Ice Age of the 17th century. Global mean surface temperatures 1856 to 2005; this map shows mean surface temperature anomalies during the period 1995 to 2004 with respect to the average temperatures from 1940 to 1980 Global warming refers to the observed increases in the average temperature of the Earths atmosphere and oceans in recent... The Little Ice Age (LIA) was a period of cooling lasting approximately from the 14th to the mid-19th centuries, although there is no generally agreed start or end date: some confine the period to 1550-1850. ...


There are a number of variations to the classic Chamonix-Zermatt route, including Grand Lui Variation, Zermatt-Saas Fee, Verbier-Zermatt. This article deals with the classic route.


Ski touring Haute Route

The Haute Route--or High Level Route--ski tour is likely the most famous & coveted ski tour in the world. Using high mountain huts to allow skiers to stay high & cover substantial distances, it winds through the highest, most dramatic peaks of the Alps. It requires good weather, favorable snow conditions & strong effort to complete this line. Because of this, only 50% of the skiers who begin the tour complete it. Skinning up the mountain Ski touring, also referred to as ski mountaineering, ski randonnée, and alpine touring (or AT), is a form of backcountry skiing (off-piste skiing) involving trekking from place to place in the wilderness, that has parallels with hiking, backpacking & Alpine climbing or mountaineering. ...


While all Haute Routes work their way between Chamonix & Zermatt, there are many variations of the HLR. The purest skiing line, & the most frequently done, is the Verbier variation. The Classic route is the route's original line which crosses over the Plateau du Couloir on the Grand Combin. It involves long climbs & mountaineering with ice ax & crampons.


Verbier Variation (ski)

Day 1: Argentiere village, France, over the Col du Chardonnay & the Fenetre du Saleina to the Trient hut.


Day 2: Champex-Lac via the Val d'Arpette. Bus or taxi to Verbier & the Mont Fort hut.


Day 3: Over the Rosablanche to the Prafleuri hut.


Day 4: Around Dixence reservoir & up to the Dix hut.


Day 5: Over the Pigne d'Arolla to the Vignette hut.


Day 6: A long day to Zermatt over the Col de l'Eveque, Col du Mont Brulé & Col de Valpelline, then a long descent under the shoulder of the Matterhorn & Dent d'Herens.


Day 7: Optional extension to Saas-Fee over the Adler Pass.


Classic Route (ski)

Day 1: Argentiere village, France, over the Col du Chardonnay & the Fenetre du Saleina to the Trient hut.


Day 2: Champex-Lac via the Val d'Arpette. Bus or taxi to Bourg-St.Pierre.


Day 3: Long climb up to the Valsorey hut on the shoulder of Grand Combin.


Day 4: Over the Plateau du Couloir & down the Glacier du Mont Durand to the Chanrion hut.


Day 5: A long climb up the Otemma glacier to the Vignette hut.


Day 6: A long day to Zermatt over the Col de l'Eveque, Col du Mont Brulé & Col de Valpelline, then a long descent under the shoulder of the Matterhorn & Dent d'Herens.


Day 7: Optional extension to Saas-Fee over the Adler Pass.

Vignettes Hut, near Arolla, Switzerland
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Vignettes Hut, near Arolla, Switzerland

Photo By Seabhcan, 2003. ... Photo By Seabhcan, 2003. ...

Huts and villages on the walking route

  • Le Tour village, France
  • Albert Premier Hut
  • Trient Hut or Orny Hut
  • Champex town, Switzerland
  • Valsorey Hut or Chanrion Hut
  • Vignettes Hut
  • Arolla village, Switzerland
  • Bertol Hut
  • Schonbiel Hut
  • Zermatt town, Switzerland

Arolla is a village in the commune of Évolène, Valais Switzerland. ... Cabane de Bertol (Bertol Hut) is a mountain hut located at the end of Val dArolla, Arolla in the Valais region of Switzerland. ... In June, the Matterhorn is still snow-covered, while it is spring in Zermatt below. ...

Peaks and passes on the route

This article is about the Alpine mountain. ... The Grand Combin is a mountain in the Pennine Alps in Switzerland. ... The Matterhorn (Fr. ...

Reference

  • Peter Cliff, The Haute Route: Chamonix-Zermatt ISBN 1-871890-21-7

External Links

  • Cosley & Houston Guides This web-site includes an equipment pack list, maps, photos & route descriptions of the winter Haute Route.
  • Mark Seaton, Mountain Guide This web-site includes an equipment pack list, photos of Haute Routes, links to snow, avalanche & mountain conditions on the Haute Route, stories about the Haute Route & other climbs, a blog with descriptions of recent trips & Google-Earth coordinates for the winter Haute Route.
  • Swiss Topo the Swiss make beautiful 1:50,000 topographic maps with ski routes--including Haute Route variations--in red.

 
 

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