Chamonix and Zermatt - the two great capitals of the Alps. The Mont Blanc Massif and the Valais Alps alone include no less than 69 of the 82 peaks on the official list of mountains over 4000m. With spectacular mountain views, and the long history of the valleys and their people, there is much to entice us on a journey through, and exploration of, the riches of these places…
This alpine trek starts from Chamonix and travels over mountain passes, through eight valleys of the Swiss Wallis region, using trails and rugged terrain, with landscapes varying from lush green alpine pastures to jagged rocky landscapes. Each day several 4000 meter peaks come into view : Grand Combin, Dent Blanche, Zinalrothorn, Weisshorn, the Matterhorn ... The complexity of the route, along glaciers and lakes, through alpine pastures and villages makes this trek one of the greatest of the kind in the Alps. A demanding trek, with long daily hikes, high mountain passes, for which we recommend to prepare yourself quite seriously!
In order to immerse ourselves into a unique alpine setting, we carry all our belongings for the week. Nights in dormitory, in mountain inns or huts. We use public transportation for transfers and get food supplies from villages or from the huts.
Day 1 : Chamonix - Col de Balme
Our hiking adventure starts from the village of Le Tour. Once at Col de Balme, our first hiking goal, we will say goodbye to the Mont Blanc and the nearby needles, and discover the Swiss Alps and pastures. We follow the trail down to Alpages des Grands and lower down to the Trient glacier creek. Col de la Forclaz and our hotel are only 2 miles away.
Elevation gain: 900m - Vertical loss 1000m
Day 2 : Croix de Bovine - Champex - La Fouly
As we hike up to the alpine pastures of La Giète, the Swiss Herens cow breed welcomes our arrival with a typical cowbell melody. While we leave behind us the busy cheese maker, the trail leads to Croix de Bovine. There, the panorama rewards our efforts with an incredible view over the upper Rhone valley. The Bernese Oberland and the Penian Mountains border the Swiss Wallis region. It is time to hike down to the charming alpine village of Champex, where we stay for the night.
Elevation gain: 1000m - Vertical loss 1000m
Day 3 : Verbier - Cabane de Louvie
After a transfer to Le Châble, we take a gondola to the top of Verbier resort. We start our hike on the "Chamois Trail", a panoramic traverse facing the Combins mountain range. The views on Val de Bagnes and the gigantic Corbassière Glacier are just spectacular. After Col Termin, we hike down to Louvie hut sitting by the emerald lake of Louvie.
Elevation gain: 400m - Vertical loss 400m
Day 4 : Cabane de Louvie - Cabane de Prafleuri
Our trail follows old alpine pastures, where chamois and ibexes enjoy grazing the lush mountain grass, hardly accessible to cattle. Then, the trail winds up and across rather steep and rocky slopes, to reach a first mountain pass : Louvie. From there, the terrain is rugged and rocky, glacier moraines and creeks leave little room to
alpine vegetation. We hike across “Grand Desert” to reach Prafleuri Pass. On a clear day we can see Pigned’Arolla and Dent Blanche, part of our next day hike. Today ends with a descent to Prafleuri hut, where we enjoy a well-deserved sleep in a comfortable dormitory. This part of the trip is not very technical, yet it is long and demanding.
Elevation gain: 940m - Vertical loss 560m
Day 5 : Cabane de Prafleuri - Arolla
The day starts with a warm-up hike to the Roux Pass. After enjoying a magnificent view over Lac des Dix, we hike across the Barma alpine pastures and along the lake to reach its far end. From there we hike over “Pas du Chat” to set our feet on the other bank of the glacier creek, and start our long climb to Riedmatten Pass, following the moraine of the Cheilon glacier. As we hike up we can admire Mont-Blanc de Cheilon, and from the top of the Pass - weather permitting of course - we should get a glimpse of the summit of the Matterhorn. On the way down the chaotic Tsijiorne Nouve glacier and Mont Colon slowly come into view. This extraordinary day ends in the village of Arolla.
Elevation gain: 735m - Vertical loss 1360m
Day 6 : Arolla - Zinal
A taxi takes us to Le Cotter, above the village of Les Haudères. The climb up to Torrent Pass is pleasant and not too steep. It is in picture postcard scenery that the trail descends towards Moiry Lake through the meadows, with the Dent Blanche as décor. The Dent Blanche appears in the distance with lush alpine pastures in the foreground. To get to Zinal, we still need to hike over Sorebois Pass. This pass rewards us with an unforgettable view of the surrounding 4000m peaks : Bishorn, Weisshorn, Zinalrothorn, Obergabelhorn. We hike down into Val d’Anniviers. We stay in a small hotel in Zinal.
Elevation gain: 1450m - Vertical loss 920m
Day 7 : Zinal - Grüben
After a steep hike into a superb larch and spruce forest, we quickly gain altitude to admire the Dent Blanche again, and later on the Ober Gabelhorn. We leave the French speaking part of the Wallis region behind us, to enter the German speaking area as we hike over the Forcletta Pass. Local names are different but the views are equally beautiful : the Bishorn and the Weisshorn, the Brunegg and Turtman glaciers. We finally reach the summer mountain hamlet of Grüben in the Turtman valley (Turtmantal), where we spend the night.
Elevation gain: 1220m - Vertical loss 1050m
Day 8 : Grüben - Zermatt
Although the last pass of the trip is quite hard to pronounce, the Augsbordpass is easy to hike to. During the long descent to St Niklaus looking down to Mattervispa valley, we stop at the alpine village of Jungu, and take a moment to admire the surrounding summits : the Weissmies, the Mischabel range with its many 4000m peaks (Dom, Täschhorn, etc...). From Jungu, we hike down an ancient Way of the Cross to the small town of St Niklaus. We reach Zermatt by train, where we spend the night.
Elevation gain: 1070m - Vertical loss 1790m
Day 9 : Zermatt
This last hike takes us to the hamlet of Zmutt, nested at the foot of the Matterhorn : a fantastic area to admire this legendary summit. Our trek ends in Zermatt, in early afternoon.
Elevation gain: 450m - Vertical loss 450m
The guide may have to adapt the route to weather conditions and/or to group physical and/or technical ability.
This hiking tour is accessible only on private booking. No collective group.
Private guiding is the historic relationship between a guide and their clients. It allows you to be alone or in a group with your trekking guide where the guide organizes your outing to suit your specific needs. It is undoubtedly the ideal formula with which you can realize your projects and you are guaranteed a maximum of comfort. You are free to choose your departure date (depending on availabilities in the accommodation).
- Exclusive guide
A more individualized relationship between your group and the professional.
- Choose your date of departure
You can choose your date of departure within the limit of the hut availabilities.
- Flexibility all along the trip
Depending on weather conditions, your level and your expectations, the guide can suggest you some different options of itinerary.
For any further information, please contact our hiking department :
Tel : +33 (0)4 50 53 92 78 or email : email@example.com
Rendez-vous : meet at 8.30 am in front of the Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix on Day 1.
Ability level : 5/5 - The Chamonix to Zermatt - Hut to Hut is a strenuous and demanding trek. More than 1000m (3350ft) vertical gain and about 7 to 9 hours of hiking daily. Some days may be long and demanding, involving altitude and high mountain passes (min.2800m). Hiking on mountain trails and terrain showing exposed and difficult sections. These trips generally require carrying a backpack with personal belongings throughout the trek. For expert hikers only. For very active, well-trained people with a solid experience in alpine trekking.
Guiding policy : By a state qualified trekking guide with a maximum of 10 people in the group. The Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix's guiding policy is one of the strictest in the mountain guiding business. It guarantees the most balanced groups as possible as well as high-quality personalised advice.
- During the trip : 8 nights in mountain hut, or basic hotel (in dormitory or small room). Each hiker carries daily his personal belongings, and the picnic.
- Before & after the trip : we have some hotel partners in Chamonix with special prices for our customers. If you want to receive information just ask Anaïs.
- Participants must have an insurance with repatriation cover. Cancellation insurance is highly recommended. You can take out insurance offering both of these types of cover when you sign up.
- Participants must also take valid ID with them.
Organisation : you are welcome to come and meet your guide the evening before at our office at 6 pm.
- Ankle supporting boots with notched technical rubber sole (i.e. VIBRAM).
- We strongly recommend wearing new boots (several days and preferably hiking) to break them in before the hike.
- To avoid blisters, try rubbing baby talc on dry feet before using boots (sprinkling talc inside boot works too)
- Minimum size recommended 40 L (bigger is better than too small).
- Take out lunch should fit AFTER packing all your personal belongings.
- Bad weather precaution: pack covers are great to protect pack from rain or snow. We also recommend packing your belongings in a large and solid plastic bag (i.e. garbage bag) for a better protection in case of heavy rainfall.
Avoid using cotton underwear. Compared to technical synthetic material, it is heavier and it dries slowly. Wool is also getting popular amongst sportswear brands. Synthetic and wool are warmer; they dry fast, and allow you to pack light (you can easily wash a piece of underwear in the sink as you arrive at the mountain inn/hut. It’ll be dry before you finish your first beer!)
Taking enough time to pack is essential, as you are going to carry every item for several days in a row. Avoiding extra weight can easily be done by packing your clothes tightly, placing heavy items at the bottom of the pack, and avoiding empty spaces. As a result weight is better spread throughout your back and weight impression diminished. Your back pack should not exceed 19 pounds (9kg).
- 1 long-sleeve shirt + 1 Tshirt (both synthetic)
- 1 polar fleece + 1 light down jacket (or a second fleece)
- 1 pair of shorts + 1 pair of hiking pants
- 1 pair of synthetic hiking socks
- 1 Goretex jacket (waterproof windbreaker)
- 1 poncho (large rain cover that fits over your pack) or 1 pack cover
- 1 pair of rain pants (although light Gore-tex pants are expensive, other types of light rain pants work too)
- 1 water bottle (1.5 quart, to 2 quarts minimum)
- 1 pocket knife + 1 « spork »
- Sun hat or ball cap, sunscreen, sun glasses, lip protection.
- 1 warm hat and a pair of gloves
- 1 pair of telescopic poles
FOR THE ENTIRE HIKE
- 2 changes of clothes: (T-shirt, underwear and socks) prefer synthetic to cotton
- 1 pair of long underwear (synthetic recommended)
- 1 pair of ultra-light shoes (i.e. flip flops, slippers)
- 1 pocket light or head-lamp
- Personal first aid kit **
- 1 one-person sleep-sheet (silk is the most comfortable and remains the lightest)
- Ultra-light shower kit (feel free to customize ...) + synthetic « dry fast » towel
- ID card or valid passport + small change/ bills for personal expenses.
- A small amount of laundry detergent- Optional : low gaiters ( early season trekking), camera, binoculars, umbrella, etc …
** Elastoplast (stretchable strapping tape), band-aids, second skin, medicine for common aches and pains (diarrhea, headaches, sore throat…) Don’t forget to bring your personal prescription treatment if you have one. Mountain leaders also carry a complete first aid kit. Remember that packing light is essential.
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