Chamonix to Zermatt Haute Route • April 12 - 19, 2010

For our Verbier Haute Route this year we were joined by faithful friend Fred Larke of Denver, along with some new faces: John and Will Clausen, Gary Hohl, and Bob Travers.

Other Trips with some of these folks

Fred - Haute Route - April 2009
Fred - Stubai - April 2008
Fred - Silvretta - March 2008
Fred - Berner Oberland - May 2007
Fred - Ortler - April 2006
Fred - Haute Route - April 2005

Return to all recent trip

The Gang's all here: from left to right, Fred, John, Will, Gary, and Bob, with Kathy (looks like she's cold!) in the foreground.


For our Vallée Blanche day, good weather and the touring season brings out the crowds.


Hey! Not bad for April snow!


Day two, heading up the glacier to the Col du Chardonnet.


Getting some climbing in, we took in the high version of the col crossing to avoid crowds. A bit more work, but more tranquil in the end.


Gary tops out at the col.


A belayed side-slip brings us safely down the steep north side of the col.


Onward up the Fenêtre de Saleina, our last major climb of the day.


After a long first day, we enjoy Thierry's fine cooking at the Trient hut.


On day three we have the long descent of the Val d'Arpette to look forward to. We begin the ski here near the Col des Ecandies.


From Champex to Le Chable by taxi, then up to the Mont Fort hut via the lift system at Verbier, the weather closed in as we traveled. Not such a nice afternoon for lounging on the terrace.


But the next morning dawned gorgeous and clear. The Mont Blanc massif catches the early light behind the Mont Fort hut as we leave.


Gary, John and Kathy approach the Rosa Blanche, with the Col du Chardonnet in the background.


Arriving at the Prafleuri hut, the weather has once again closed in a bit.


Day four. Three skiers traverse near La Barma, during the long contour above the Lac des Dix.


Firm snow underneath, a light dusting on top, and good cold temperatures made for a pleasant ride on this sometimes aggravating traverse!


Pretty nice conditions for skinning too. Mont Blanc de Cheilon peaks out ahead.


Cresting a morainal ridge, we can check out tomorrow's climb up the Glacier de Tsena Refien and the Serpentine.


The last few zigzags before we catch sight of the Cabane des Dix...


 ... et la voilà!


Just in time for lunch.


After lunch, a lap up La Luette to work back an appetite for Pierre's fine dinner.


We're out early the next morning for the big climb of the week.


Heading up the glacier, with Mont Blanc de Cheilon's imposing northeast face as a back-drop.


Skiers skin up the Serpentine, in rare good ski-able shape this year. More often one is better off removing skis and booting up this section with crampons, but the conditions were perfect this time to avoid this.


Leaving the Vignettes hut early on our last morning, the lights look beckoning!


Conditions improved somewhat as we neared the Col de l'Evêque.


However, our day was destined to be a mixture of cloud and clearing.


Gary and Kathy top out on the Col du Mont Brulé, our second climb of the day.




The Matterhorn did not cooperate by showing itself on the Col de Valpelline, but by the time we got down onto the Zmutt Glacier, the Dent d'Hérens was in view.


On the pistes above Zermatt at last, it looks like we all made it!


The following day dawned cold and clear, so we decided to take in our favorite last-day's tour, the Schwarztor. First though, a trip to the top of the Klein Matterhorn lift station complex to admire the scenery back toward our start point in the Mont Blanc massif.


Oh, my! The snow is even better than expected!


Down at the bottom of the glacier, the exit gorge has a new twist! Lots of running water and inadequate coverage is no problem when Swiss engineers are available to come up with a solution. Fred negotiates the ramp. A spicy ending to a great week!