Walker's Haute Route • August 21 - 29, 2018


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Liz and Richard Davies took on the Walker's Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt this year with Kathy.

Day 1: Ready to set off on the long journey. We began near the Col Des Montets, on a gorgeous August morning.


The views of the Chamonix Valley and Mont Blanc spread ever more expansively as we gained elevation and left the treeline behind. The first faint colorings of Fall beginning in the upper elevations.

Cresting our first "top", the Aiguillette de Posettes, we are just beginning!

Toward the end of the day, we get a view of the morrow's challenge, the Fenêtre d'Arpette, waaaaaaay back on the horizon in this photo, the low notch in the ridge on the left. But sufficient unto the day...

Day 2, as we start out from the Col de Forclaz, looks like we have endless choices of destination! We throw a dart (just kidding). We head off for the Fenêtre d'Arpette, and ultimately Champex-Lac.

This day's stage is long and tough, with plenty of steep terrain requiring scrambling skills and sureness of foot. The reward however is ever-more-impressive views of the Trient glacier.

The end is in sight! Celebrating the last few boulder moves to the Fenêtre.

The sun went behind the clouds, and by the time we had descended back into the flower zone, the first drops of rain were falling. Time to take off the boots!

A welcome sight rewards us at our hotel, sunshine and a terrace with a view.

Old world charm and a sun-filled ambience characterize our lodging in Champex-Lac.

Day three, it's time to brave the airy balcony of the "Sentier des Chamois". It's all about the views!

The long climb continues, as the Val de Bagnes falls away beneath us.

At long last it's time to descend again.

Arriving at the Cabane de Louvie, the first of our two hut nights on this trip.

By evening, the forecast change in the weather is announcing itself in dramatic fashion!

It makes for a beautiful sunset as well.

The next morning is wet as promised, but we strike out anyway. That's what rain gear is for!

Looking back at the lake and hut as the squall begins to subside.

We are not alone! These ibex seem not to mind our presence much at all.

Steep and narrow, we're glad the track is drying out now.

The first of two cols on this day, we're glad of a bit of sun and no wind for our picnic.

After a long and bouldery day crossing the well-named Grand Desert, we top the high point of the trip in the Col de Prafleuri, and it's downhill from here to the hut! Well, almost. It's always uphill to the hut, even if just a few short meters.

The Cabane de Prafleuri, in the damp early morning of day 5.

Saying goodbye, we get an early start on this, another long and challenging day.

It's worth the early rise, to get views like this at dawn. The Lac Dix in the morning mists as we top our first col.

Another day, another family of ibex! This one scampers off at our approach.

The idyllic meadows above Lac Dix are truly a home for happy cows.

Much later, as worse weather again rolls in, we conquer the much dreaded ladders of the Pas du Chèvre. Liz looks like she's enjoying them quite a lot actually!

That's that! Ducking in under the wire, weather wise, however.

After a long and rainy hike down to Arolla, we settle in to coziness in our grand old-style hotel.

Day 6, we're off to cross the Col du Torrent.

At the higher reaches, the views are enhanced by the new snow that fell the previous night.

Just a dusting, it doesn't hamper us as we reach the col.

On the back side, nothing but sunshine!

Descending to the turquoise waters of the Lac Moiry.

And a yummy croute for lunch at the lakeside restaurant!

Grimentz, our home for this night.


Grimentz's charming old town center.


Day 7, another sunny meadow, another herd of the famous "fighting cows". This one eyes us warily as we scoot by.


Well on our way to the Meidpass, we leave the livestock behind.


Another pass! Another set of amazing views of distant glaciers and peaks.


We thought WE had it tough!


Descending the high alpine meadows on foot.


Heading down to Gruben with the lovely Weisshorn in the distance.


Ahhhh... Our home from home of this stage has a "beer garden"!


Day 8, we've entered the domain of a more docile breed of cattle. Not, however, un-aggressive! This one thinks she can share Kathy's lunch. Liz Davies photo.


The Kathy's eye view!


It's always rewarding to look back at the accomplishments of past days!


But there is still hard work to be done. Our last uphill steps of this day, before the just-as-challenging descent begins.


But Oh! The rewards. We are at long last pulling in to the Mattertal, home of our destination, Zermatt!


Despite the haze that's come up on this day, we can see familiar peaks of the Bernese Oberland, not so far away.


But of course all eyes are on the alluring sight of the peaks surrounding the distant Zermatt. Misty, but still beckoning.


Our last morning! Fun as it has been, Richard has a song on his lips and a spring in his step at the prospect of a last night in a comfy hotel in Zermatt!


The Weisshorn looking majestic (though not so weiss) in the morning light.


Ta dah!!! Thar she blows at last, the ever-elusive Matterhorn.


One last picnic with a view.


And it's not far now!


Wow, we made it! A perfect day for our triumphal entry to Zermatt.


Weary but jubilant, we're ready for some rest and recovery from our vacation! Thank you both, Richard and Liz, for joining me on this great journey.