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In 14 days from Chamonix to Zermatt

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.

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(All pictures can be enlarged by clicking)

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.

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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! :)

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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.

2012-06-28-20-34-42_dsc_0085 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.

2012-06-29-15-47-31_dsc_0135 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.

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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.

2012-07-01-12-36-35_dsc_0176 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.

2012-07-03-13-26-23_dsc_0244 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!

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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.

2012-07-05-09-48-40_dsc_0611 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.

2012-07-07-09-46-09_dsc_0666 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! :)

2012-07-09-11-28-54_dsc_0927 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)

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Height difference in meters per day - Total 13'996m ascent and descent 13'050m, an average of 999.7 m to 932.1 m and descent daily (click to enlarge)
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(Click to enlarge) Total 249km, an average of 17.8km per day - Distance traveled per day
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Spending per day - Total 397 CHF per person or an average of 28.35 per day per person (click to enlarge)
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GPS track of the modified route between Chamonix and Zermatt campsites

"Original" Haute Route (click to enlarge)
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Pictures of the walk

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Take it home!

2012-05-19-13-00-33_dsc_0292 In 'Kiev' we enjoyed the time with Julia and Sergey, who spoiled us with a lot of self-Boiled. We were lucky, because the two are also wine lovers. So we could generously wine in our favorite store Good Wine shop and these contribute to the Ukrainian specialties. During the day we explored the city. It is very clean, you get it on every corner fresh draft beer and we could see many churches and monasteries. A monastery was particularly impressive: The Pechersk Lavra "Kiev Pechersk Lavra" . Years ago, more than a thousand monks built underground caves, which they used as the burial of deceased monks. Along all gears are in niches the coffins of many monks, whose bodies mummified in the coffins over the centuries. Parts of these caves are also available for tourists, also for us, accessible. We bought a candle that lit the way for us. Many believers visited coffin to coffin and kissed the glass during the prayer. It was a very eerie, but very exciting experience!

2012-05-20-08-50-46_dsc_0294 Our next destination in Ukraine was the historic 'Lviv' or German 'Lemberg'. The beautiful old town invites you to stroll, eat ice cream and coffee drink. We liked the cozy atmosphere. We were particularly pleased us through the ingenuity of Ukrainians shortly before EM-Start: They dressed a number of statues with the dress of the Ukrainian national team, a glorious sight! :)

The Hungarian capital 'Budapest' was our next destination. Our desire to feel like tourist attractions after visiting several cities in succession left left. Instead, we explored the city on foot and left us amazed by the buildings, the many bridges and the culinary digressions! ;) Also, this city is absolutely worth seeing!

2012-05-27-12-13-46_dsc_0333 In about four hours by train we reached 'Vienna', in time for the Whitsun weekend. We were able to stay with Alenka, a former colleague of David, her boyfriend and Fredy dog ​​"Milo". The weather was pleased with us and showed itself from its best side! We ate sushi, as much as we could, visited the city with its beautiful buildings and squares, grilled on the balcony and ate a schnitzel the size of a pizza! :) It was just gorgeous! Thank you three for the nice days!

2012-05-30-18-39-26_dsc_0401 On our way home we were able to once again visit a friend. Udo we learned in Peru know and he lives coincidentally just an hour west of Vienna. We were able to spend two nights with him and his family. We felt like we were at home. The quiet village with its green surroundings very reminded us of the Switzerland! Again, we were spoiled culinary: With fresh strawberry dumplings! At this point again a big thank you for the hospitality!

2012-06-05-11-54-12_dsc_0423 The nervousness increased as we were already very close to home! After all the eating, drinking and sweet idleness we wanted to move. We opted for the South Tyrol. In Molveno, a small town right on the lake, we moved to a nice room with a lake view in the Hotel Olympia . We were interested especially the Brenta Dolomites near. The weather left something to be desired, but we still enjoyed the effort, the meadows filled with alpine flowers and the ibex, which we found the same in a whole herd. So just before the season we met almost no other hikers, the quiet was so refreshing! After hiking we darted straight into the sauna and the Turkish bath: The perfect relaxation for our muscles.

To get to know one additional region, we moved to three nights get rid of for 'Cavalese' into Hotel Lagorai . As you can see, we just left us at the end again go really well! :) The multi-course meal in the evening we wanted to earn it during the day with walks in the rose garden and Latemar. The typical Dolomite Mountains fascinated us total! Even if we had to go detours in part because of the snow fields, a visit to this region worthwhile. What to be desired, however, are the public transport network. The compounds are not ideal, it is rare buses and you have to be happy obviously when they come at all. :)

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Around eight hours took the drive from Cavalese to Davos, including seven times transfers. Our travel experience was tested one last time! In Davos we were welcomed by Sandro, a friend of David. We could not believe it: Switzerland has us again! :) The first shopping at Migros was then a little awkward ... We enjoyed to the products, which were so obvious on the shelf. We grabbed Rivella and Petit Beurre and enjoyed our first Barilla spaghetti for a long time! We were particularly pleased by the sight of our francs, especially the "coin". :) As a foreign currency and yet so familiar. Of course, we got used to it very quickly!

When we bought the tickets for our train the next day we realized very clearly that we arrived back in Switzerland! :) In Zurich we made ​​a short stop for the unbeatable pizza in the Cucina ! A long cherished plan: "If we are home, we first go eat pizza." No sooner said than done. The adrenaline rose steadily ... In Baden we could Brigitte, Karin's sister, salute first. All other did not know when we arrive exactly. So we could gradually surprise our love. The pleasure was huge!! It was followed by a toast after the other and of course Karin's birthday party on Sunday.

We are very happy and thankful to be healthy again at home. These 19 months, we will certainly never forget! We now look forward to the next phase: The arrival and processing. We Also we have concocted our next trick: A two-week trek in the beautiful Switzerland. You'll hear from us! ;)

Images Ukraine, Hungary, Austria & Italy

GPS Track Eastern Europe

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Yunnan - China

The launch in China was not exactly easy for us. First, the customs officer Karin did not recognize on the photo in the passport, which led to longer waiting time and review by several border officials, then put nasty bacteria Karin for two days lame.

2012-03-08-13-47-43_dsc_0463 With new energy we continued our journey north. The energy needed we then really: the bus ride is one of the worst ever. This time not because of the driver or a dangerous road, but because of the behavior of the Chinese passengers. In full minibus was smoked like mad! Not only Cigarettes! Also huge water pipes were used. We were fogged normal. Added to this was the continuing accompanied by unpleasant noises spitting, even in the bus. Due to the winding route, some women had to pass again and again. Dealing with the waste was also shocking. No matter what kind of waste; PET, glass, zigis, plastic ... everything is just thrown out the window! We felt like part in the wrong movie! These twelve hours in the bus we probably will not soon forget. The impression of the uncivilized (of course for our understanding) China hit us with full force!

2012-03-08-07-10-22_dsc_0400 The first stop we made at the famous rice terraces around 'Yuanyang' a. The season was perfect because the rice fields are filled with water and then there are beautiful reflections. In the city we met traditionally dressed women. A beautiful sight: the bright colors of the clothes combined with the ornate silver headgear. We are stationed in the village 'Duoyishu' in the middle of the terraces. The idyll of the village but it is already tarnished. People are changed by tourism. They do seem to lack nothing but begging children and the women, once they see one. Once begged a little girl with his mouth full of food ... The state has invested mightily to the village. It was a huge big terrace for the Chinese mass tourism built so that all the amateur photographers have a good look at the rice fields. However, we were looking for a spot in the terraces to enjoy the sunrise. That was really worth it ... watch the color change, to see how the sun slowly rises over the mountain and emphasizes the beauty of the reflecting surfaces.

2012-03-10-13-20-43_dsc_0521 By overnight bus we went to 'Dali'. We read in the guide that this place is very touristy. But since there were actually only Chinese tourists, we did not mind that. It turned out that we were usually the biggest attraction. People wanted to be photographed with us again and again, the brave few we caught behind our backs, as they secretly took pictures of us! :) Here we observed the young, obviously wealthy Chinese for the first time. They ordered at the next table all kinds of food. When it was served it not ate it. After poking around a few times they paid and left the restaurant. This experience was not the last. For a mystery to us, they might want to show that they are so rich that they do not have need of the food. We spent the time roaming in the very clean for once streets with old wooden houses, which were lined with pink flowering trees. It was a relief to have a menu card in English in front of him. The language barrier caused us quite namely troubles. Fortunately, we have the most important words in Chinese characters in our guide. Without whom we would be lost again. Even the sign language for the numbers is different. This we have learned but meanwhile, so that we can show to the market on something at least and with the hand signal the number. :)

2012-03-11-13-24-09_dsc_0550 A short hike took us to the 'Cang Shan' mountain range. There we were allowed thanks to Amelia and Philippe in high Erland Inn quartered and celebrate David's birthday, so to speak again. The accommodation is very familiar; we felt good from the start. The dinner was a highlight. On the big, round table sorts fine dishes were uncovered and all helped themselves to suit your mood. A day hike gave us a beautiful view of the city. Although very tedious was wading in deep snow. However, the huge Pinientannzapfen way and the thought of fine supper left us the effort soon forget! Thanks again to you both for the successful gift! :)

2012-03-12-19-58-24_dsc_0620 The small village 'Shaxi' especially surprised us with its pretty village square. A real idyll! The old wooden houses along the cobbled streets and the large tree in the middle are simply out of a picture book! We had a very original accommodation . Horse stables have been converted into accommodation. Each room had a very small space toilet and a shower. The way to the toilet has never been so short as in those nights, which was much appreciated in the cold! :)

2012-03-15-20-10-44_dsc_0679 The peace did not last long. 'Lijiang' was our next destination. This place topped 'Dali' by far in terms of tourism. The old town is supposed to be one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world. And we knew it not before our visit! That's when you realize how many people live and travel here. The masses are frightening part. The old town is more a cultural Disneyland as a place to live. It consists almost exclusively of souvenir shops, restaurants and hotels. At night, the atmosphere is very cheesy. The visit was nevertheless entertaining and also a real challenge for our sense of direction. The narrow streets are a real maze, we were glad to have each time again found to accommodation!

2012-03-19-19-23-43_dsc_0721 The next leg of the trip took us further north. We passed the famous Tiger Leaping Gorge (Tiger Leaping Gorge), which is supposed to be the deepest gorge in the world. The landscape was changing. We saw yaks on wide pastures and houses in the Tibetan style. The city 'Shangri La' is situated on the foothills of the Himalayas. And these mountains aroused our interest! However, there were still a few hours bus ride included Pass crossing in front of us until we were finally able to take a first look at the stunningly beautiful mountain range 'Meili Xue'. On a newly built observation deck of the mountains towering majestically in front of us: 13 peaks over 6,000 meters! Such mountains we had never seen before. We had a very lucky with the weather, the view was perfect! In addition, it had snowed a few days ago, which made the picture really perfect.

With Chinese students who fortunately spoke English, we started our two day hike to admire the mountains from close. A hard climb of over 1000 meters above sea level was necessary. Especially hard because part was still snow on the way. At the top we saw once again one of those magical moments: The entire mountain chain shone in the sun, the blue of the sky formed a nice contrast to the white of the snow. And the many prayer flags gave the place a bit mystical. Just gorgeous! The descent to the village 'Yubeng' went of their own accord. We were glad for the translator, we had it. So we quickly found a simple accommodation, drank a beer and enjoyed a fine supper. David was so excited that he even at sunrise the rise again took upon himself. That it was worth it can you see here equal to itself:

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The second day of hiking took us through a valley always along a river. Never before have we seen such a clear river in China. The traces of the people, whether they are just a pair of empty PET Fläschli, but always accompanied us on the trek. Along a deep gorge with impressive rock walls, we walked to the Mekong, which we had to cross. Here, the water looks even more like a wild mountain river, no comparison with the peace and width in Laos! We met on the way to other hikers. With them, we went by minibus back to the starting point. This hike was varied and offered us views that we will not soon forget. David has it here documented for anyone interested.

Several hours in the bus took us along 'Lijiang' to the railway station, from where started our journey to the next province. The ride was thankfully uneventful. The predicted snowfall would have prevented the pass road and we would probably still there today.

China is not yet easy to travel. It's not just the communication problems, but especially at the totally different culture. Perhaps we can sometimes gruff manners and the ruthlessness in everyday life used to the. What the "Gekoddere", "smacking" and "Geschnuddere" is concerned, we have our doubts ... :)

We leave you sincerely salute from the Middle Kingdom and are delighted that you is so true to the sun! :)

Image Gallery Yunnan:

GPS Track of Yunnan