Chamonix to Zermatt Haute Route • April 11 - 18, 2009

Our first Haute Route this year was a private trip, via the Verbier route, with a group of friends mostly from Spokane, Washington (and a couple of folks from Colorado and Wyoming as well).

Other Recent Trips

Though they are not recognizable in their heavy-weather togs, from left to right are Bill Pierce, Kathy, Marlene Gemar, Eric Ryan, Debbie Pierce, Dennis Vogler, Sola Didomenico, Lisa Helmbrecht, and Randy LaBeff.


Challenging conditions on the Vallee Blanche shake-down day, we leave the Requin hut to finish our descent.


Surprise! The cable car to the Montenvers train from the Ice Grotto is closed! We take on the hundreds of feet of ladders up the slabs from the glacier edge.


The next day sees us on our way to the Trient hut. It gets a bit hot and sweaty up the final steep slopes of the Fenêtre de Saleina.


Gliding in toward the hut at last.


The following morning dawns clear and cool at the hut. Shown here is the modern addition to the old hut.


Topping out at the Col des Ecandies, it's all downhill from here (for a while).


The Montfort hut is pretty spiff. Salad, even! We had a fairly tranquil evening here, not too many other folks on our schedule.


Day three, still fine weather.


Sola eats it up on Rosa Blanche.


On the way to the Dix hut, weather moves in over the Pigne d'Arolla.


Poor weather forced us to take a low route over the Pas du Chevre to the Cabane des Vignettes. But the following day, weather and conditions were great for our ski in to Zermatt. We shared both the hut and the trail with an astonishing number of people!


But there was plenty of snow for everyone, thanks to the previous day's storm.


The high point is reached at last, the final climb to the Col de Valpelline is behind us, and we pause to appreciate the views. The Matterhorn of course being the star of the show over our shoulders.


It's all downhill from here to Zermatt. The Dent d'Herens in the background here.


Very good snow conditions on the lower glacier.


Having a day to spare, we did our favorite off-piste run out of Zermatt, the Schwarztor. The same large numbers of other people we have been traveling wtih this week also having this brilliant plan, Mark had to take us on some remote side trips to find the un-tracked powder! Have skins, will travel.


We walk uphill a bit to find more like that!


Oh my goodness, THAT was worth it!


Oh ho ho.


No comment!


We take in the run-off channel whoop-dee-doos near the toe of the Gorner Glacier.


And have the snowiest conditions into Zermatt that we've seen in many a year!