The pictures on the hike can be found at the bottom of this article.
Even on our trip we were planning this hike, so to speak, as a grand finale. She is known as " Walker's Haute Route "and is among the most beautiful hikes in Europe. The route takes in 14 days of 'Chamonix' to 'Zermatt'. Or in other words: From Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn, below ten of the highest peaks in the Alps. The walk promises immersion in a world of glaciers, towering, snow-capped mountains, green Alptälern with a variety of mountain flowers and villages like in a picture book. And indeed, as we saw them too! However, we could not follow the whole original route because of the higher passes still too much snow lay from harsh winter. Therefore we remained flexible and sought anticipated for alternatives.
After two weeks at home, we packed our backpack again. But it was still quite familiar to us. It was funny rather to take the clothes suddenly out of a wardrobe. We made our way into the center of mountaineering in France: 'Chamonix'. The place is overrun by tourists who either enjoy one of the many street cafes raclette or are in full gear as a wanderer on the go. The latter included also we. The weather was not great, but we could have a look at the Glacier des Bossons catch. The glacier comes directly from the Mont Blanc. Our first stage was short: In about two hours we reached the campground in 'Argentière'. This is run by an Englishman, anyway, it seemed to have only English. The Tour de Mont Blanc , another well-known hike, is very popular among them.
The path led us further towards Switzerland. The first pass was to Coercive the 'Col de Balme' (2204 masl). The backpack felt heavy on the rise. In addition, we were surprised by the first rain. But we were well equipped and did not let us keep you from moving on. The descent was steep but the views of the Trient made it easier: He was very impressive with its size and how it flows beautifully into the valley, glorious! With the arrival in 'Trento' we had already left France and were back in Switzerland. In our guide book (incidentally, also written by an Englishman), it was said the shopping in 'Trent' "limited opening times" would have. The fact that the shop but closed all day, which we did not expect. With a little improvisation and nice questions we were finally able to buy a pack "Hörndli" in the restaurant and had so dinner and breakfast!
The next pass led us to the 'Alp Bovine'. The location of this Alp is phenomenal! With the beautiful weather we had almost 360 degree views into the beautiful Rhone Valley. We preferred a quiet grass cookies instead of the crowded terrace of the Alp for our lunch stop. After a hard descent we enjoyed a beer in the sun: These are the moments worth the effort! We stayed in 'Champex', a nest on a small lake. After many carbohydrates for supper we made ourselves comfortable on the lake and enjoyed the sunset.
The next stage took us over 'Le Chable' to 'Verbier'. The rise in the blazing heat was especially hard. After clarifications in the InfoCenter it was clear that we will no longer follow the original route of the 'Haute Route' from here. The roads were not yet officially released in part and we definitely did not want to take a risk. Thanks to the advice of the tourist information in Verbier we found our perfect place to sleep: A barbeque to Verbier including fountain! So we covered ourselves with a grilled meat and white wine and took the last 400 meters in attack. With cold white wine, torch Spiess we left the day before the fire fade sitting and gave our muscles a well-deserved rest.
We followed the cable car up to the terminus. We reached via a pleasant trail to the pass called 'Col des Mines'. After descending the path went along the old water pipes . In the German-speaking Upper Valais they are called 'irrigation channels', in the Lower Valais (French) 'bite'. We could only marvel at this ancient irrigation system! When you consider how much work is behind it and how dangerous it had been, to build this and to entertain. It was always pleasant to be able to follow the water, on the one hand, the tendency was never extreme and we felt and as a witness of a piece of Valais history. The expectations of our goal were obviously much too high. The place 'Siviez', also known as Super-Nendaz, made a very dismal impression on us. In winter, when it is busy, this may be different. But we felt already set back almost to Russia with this big, the collapse of the nearby apartment blocks ... A grocer there was not. So we looked for a nice spot by the stream and contented ourselves with all that the backpack had to edibles to offer.
Along the 'bite' it went on about 'Veysonnaz' to 'Vex'. This village we liked most. It seemed still really intact with a village shop, a pool, a butcher and several restaurants. No comparison to the tourist villages on the way, the downright sleep with their empty apartments in the summer. A cozy campsite would have made the stay perfect ... If it were combined with thunder and lightning have been ... At the right moment we were in the dry and enjoyed our spaghetti therefore even more not only the heavy rain.
The walk took us past the impressive pyramids of Euseigne. The pyramids are one of the most famous natural monuments of Eringertales and the Valais. Only we did not know before. The pyramids are impressive 10-15 feet high! They are caused by prolonged, geological processes and inevitably go against a natural decay. So it's worth, this soon to visit yet! We managed to climb to 'St. Martin 'just before the heavy rain started. To bridge we made ourselves in the restaurant with hot chocolate cozy. The rain and wanted but did not want to stop. So we trotted off anyway and found a hilarious "Accommodation": An open wooden hut next to a petanque field. So we did not have our tent set up in the wet and had yet a dry place to cook.
The weather was lucky us the next day absolutely not hold. It was raining lightly at the start and then went on in a thunderstorm. Not ideal to cross a pass. We had no other choice than to wait in the forest and count the seconds between lightning and thunder, so we knew when we're safe again. A hot stock then awakened our spirits again. We were strengthened and were the 'Col de Cou' now even cope without rain. The sight after the pass reminded us of New Zealand: Pure ... except a few sheep nothing to see Nature! Gorgeous! In 'Vissoie' arrived we bought the cheese to suit your mood, swelled potatoes and enjoyed beer and wine. We had also earned us so right!
The next day we had time to the village 'Vissoie' to explore. It is true urchig walliserisch with the wooden houses and the beautiful stone church. But the next goal uphill was worth seeing: 'St. Luc 'with an almost dreamy mood and a village square out of a picture book. Unfortunately the weather deteriorated again, but we were again lucky to get the tent up before the rain. We chose a campsite next to the 'Lac Combavert'. An idyllic mountain lake. Due to the rapid change of weather a real spectacle was offered to us this evening. Alternately, rain, fog and sun. Each TV would be boring about it!
The 'Meidpass' was our next destination. The climb was fortunately not very steep, yet constant. And the effort was rewarded with a beautiful view! Moreover us a private air show was offered. To date, we do not know what that was exactly. Two Swiss fighter jets practiced any maneuvers over our heads. Because of the location, we were surrounded by mountains, the noise was deafening. The fascination grabbed us anyway, at least David. We met then in a long time other hikers and the best part was, we were able to talk in Swiss German with them! Indeed, we reached the first German city: 'pits'. Here we enjoyed the first time a meal away from home. And we were not disappointed! A super rarebit inspired us already to go a bit towards the next pass. The rain messed up our plan but then. We could set up our tent near a hut just as the rain may establish. At this time we did not know that he no longer stops until the morning and it was less than four clock in the afternoon. The first time we had to cook in the rain and then crept away back in the tent.
Because the weather forecast promised better weather, we let us wake up to the sunrise at 05.40 clock. This has then also very worthwhile. We quickly packed up everything and went. The 'Augstbordpass' (2897 m asl) once again provided us with a great view. But what awaited us after two hours surpassed this: The view the Matter with the glacier right in front of us, Bern (the former ski resort of David) and over high mountains as far as the eye! Moreover talked funny mountain goats with their long shaggy hair and the curved horns. After a steep descent, we reached 'St. Niklaus'. Since there was no campground and we had a shower again even necessary, we moved further upwards until after 'Niedergrächen', where we expected the perfect campground. We were able to cook, take a hot shower and even wash our clothes in one machine!
There followed the first day for recreation. However, the walking time was just under two hours to 'Gas Ried'. There we found a nice place to stay. The "Raiffeisen Roost" was luxuriously equipped with two fireplaces, a fountain and benches. We bought spontaneously in the "consumption" steak and white wine and made us a nice evening. We had to be strengthened for the next day, because a hard climb approached us.
During the night it rained again. When we had the biggest rise behind us, we spread out the wet tent to dry and enjoyed the view of the Bernese Alps and the Matter. We were for the last two days on the European path . It is the Königsettappe the "Tour Monte Rosa", and is sold as a highlight in the life of all nature lovers and hikers, even as the most beautiful trail in the Alps. And indeed he offers a lot: the many glaciers, lush meadows filled with alpine flowers, the narrow paths that are making the rocks ... and yet we were not always well. Due to the permafrost , the whole mountain seems to be in motion. There are warning signs on rocks and we also heard such. If you look at what can cause nature, one is a bit "queasy". Thanks to the adrenaline you are but then at certain places also very quick! The main attraction of the road, a 250m-long suspension bridge that was destroyed by rockfall. Geologists have been no clear signal for this area. That is why the future of this bridge, or perhaps all the way, still in the stars. The trail because of the absence of the bridge almost to the village 'Randa' down and then everything up until it opens again back into the original European path. Exactly on this "detour" we had a very nice meeting. We were in search of drinking water and discovered a well between several mountain huts. Fortunately, just four people there and we could go to a place for our tent asking. We wanted to go to sleep when one of them showed up and invited us to a little drink in her hut. We were thrilled and enjoyed the conversations in the cozy wooden cabin with beer and freshly baked Aprikosenwähe, what a luxury!
On the last day of the hike we got the Matterhorn for the first time cloudless to face! We agreed: This is the most beautiful mountain we have! So impressive as it towers over the valley! With the Matterhorn in mind, we took the last leg in attack. Now the way was again more populated. It was a pleasant trail, which can be reached by train from Zermatt even. Happy and proud to have made all the way from 'Chamonix' to 'Zermatt' with muscle strength, we reached our goal. To top off Roger Federer won Wimbledon this evening, which still gave us another reason to celebrate. On a simple camping in the middle of 'Zermatt' we made ourselves comfortable and rebounded us first once. We enjoyed the time with aperitif, fondue on the camping stove and even raclette à discretion in the restaurant. On the day of departure, we were visited by Karin's sisters and her grandmother. We spent the day together and traveled together back home.
The two weeks on trek were sometimes very hard, exhausting, challenging, very tiring but also fulfilling, impressive and just beautiful, it has to offer a nature! All around a successful end to our trip!
Please enjoy the summer as we sincerely and be greeted!
For anyone interested here are some of the statistics:
Elevation profile of the hike, including the most important waypoints (click to enlarge)
GPS track of the modified route between Chamonix and Zermatt campsites
Pictures of the walk