Chamonix and Zermatt - the two great capitals of the Alps. The Mont Blanc Massif and the Valais Alps alone include no less than 69 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 travels through many valleys of the Swiss Wallis region, using trails and rugged terrain, crossing landscapes sometimes lush green alpine pastures, sometimes full of minerals. Each day is dominated by numerous 4000 metre peaks : Grand Combin, Dent Blanche, Zinalrothorn, Weisshorn, the Matterhorn ... This itinerary, extremely varied, passes by glaciers and lakes, through alpine pastures and villages making this one of the most beautiful hikes in the Alps.
Luggage transportation is provided on the entire hike except days 1 & 2 because we sleep in mountain huts.
Day 1 : Verbier - Cabane de Louvie
Meet in Chamonix early in the morning for a minibus transfer to Le Châble (1h15). The Verbier gondola hoists us to the top of the station. We continue our hike by the Chamois trail which overlooks the Val de Bagnes, and join the Col Termin (2,648m), the first pass of our hike. The Combins massif and the gigantic Corbassière glacier accompany us throughout this splendid crossing. Descend to the shores of Lake Louvie. It is in this wonderful setting that we spend the night at the Cabane de Louvie (2,250m). No access to luggage.
Elevation gain : 400m - Vertical loss : 400m
Day 2 : Grand Désert - Cabane de Prafleuri
We begin our hike through abandoned pastures, where chamois and ibex benefit from a rich and abundant grass that is difficult for livestock to access. A long climb, sometimes steep with a few crossings and scree to cross, lifts us to the first pass of the day: Louvie (2,921m). From there, we switch to a more mineral universe, where glaciers and moraines leave little room for vegetation. We cross the Great Desert, up to the Prafleuri pass (2 987m). We then see the Dent Blanche, the Pigne d'Arolla and part of our future stage before going down to the comfortable Prafleuri hut (2,262m) where we will spend the night. Long but exceptional day without being technical, this stage is considered trying, the diversity of the terrains crossed is the main reason. No access to luggage.
Elevation gain : 940m - Vertical loss : 560m
Day 3 : Col de Riedmatten - Arolla
A small warm-up climb takes us to Col des Roux (2,804m). The view of Lac des Dix is superb, which is improves as we cross the Barma pastures. At the end of the lake, the Pas du Chat (2,372m) gives access to the other bank. It’s the start of a long climb along the Cheilon Glacier moraine, against the backdrop of Mont-Blanc de Cheilon. Crossing the Col de Riedmatten (2,919m), where the Matterhorn reveals its peak, then descend to Arolla with the Tsijiorne Nouve glacier and Mont Collon as a backdrop. Magnificent ! Night in a hotel in Arolla.
Elevation : positive: 735m - negative: 1360m
Day 4 : Lac de Moiry - Zinal
Short early morning transfer to Le Cotter above the village of Haudères. A pleasant climb leads us to the Col de Torrent (2,918m). It’s in this postcard setting, against the backdrop of the Dent Blanche, that the path descends through the mountain pastures to Lac de Moiry. To reach Zinal, where we will spend the night, we have to cross the Col de Sorebois (2,812m), from where the view is unforgettable: Bishorn, Weisshorn, Zinalrothorn, Obergabelhorn. On the descent, we discover the Val d'Anniviers, then the cable car to the small station of Zinal. Night in a hotel in Zinal.
Elevation : positive: 1450m - negative: 920m
Day 5 : Col de la Forcletta - Grüben
The departure from Zinal is very steep, but the climb gives us an increasingly clear view. We find the Dent Blanche, then the Ober Gabelhorn. Valais is a bilingual district, leaving Zinal we leave behind the French part. As we cross the Col de Forcletta (2,874m), we pass into the German part. If the topography changes, the landscapes always remain magnificent. Beautiful views of the Bishorn and its two peaks as well as the Weisshorn and the Brunegg and Turtmann Glaciers. It’s in the Val de Tourtemagne (Turtmantal) that The summer village of Grüben is located. Overnight at Hotel Schwarzhorn.
Elevation : positive: 1220m - negative: 1050m
Day 6 : 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: 11000m - Vertical loss 1800m
Day 7 : 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 and vertical loss : 620m
The guide may have to adapt the route to weather conditions and/or to group physical and/or technical ability.
Group session associates several people who don’t know each other. It allows for a planned program to benefit from an attractive price on fixed dates. This formula is ideal for people looking for the friendliness of a group.
Date 2021 : from Sunday July 25th to Saturday July 31th
Price 2021 : coming soon - per person based on minimum of 6 participants.
Included in the package:
- Guiding service and organization by a qualified trekking guide
- Half-board in a hut (dormitories) and basic-hôtels
- Lift passes
- Transportation throughout the trek
- Shuttle back to Chamonix
- Souvenirs and drinks (plan to have euros)
- Repatriation insurance (mandatory)
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.
Rendez-vous : meet at 8.30am et the Chamonix Guides Company, 190 Place de l’Eglise, 74400 Chamonix.
Ability level : 4/5 - From Verbier to Zermatt is a hike of sustained difficulty. A minimum of 800m of positive elevation and 6 to 8 hours of walking on average per day. Hiking on various mountain terrains that may present technical difficulties (equipped and secure passages, short sections with ladders) or vertiginous passages. Certain passages can take place off the trails and on difficult rocky terrain. A good experience of itinerant mountain hiking is required. You need to be physically trained and have a very good physical condition.
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.
Important : no booking accepted in our scheduled groups for people under the age of 18 without a legal guardian.
- During the trip : 2 nights in mountain hut (dormitory), 2 nights in hotel (double room*), 2 nights in inn (dormitory). Each hiker carries daily his personal belongings, and the picnic.
* For people signing up alone, we cannot guarantee that you will share your room with a person of the same gender.
- Before & after the trip : we have some hotel partners in Chamonix with special prices for our customers.
- 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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