Friday, January 28, 2011

Haute Route

I hadn't heard of the Haute Route before I started working here. It turns out it is one of the most beautiful hikes (or it can be done as a ski tour) in Europe. It's an easy life going from hut-to-hut with only a daypack as you make the 11-day journey near Chamonix, France, to Zermatt, Switzerland.

Here's some proof. Check out these photos from AAI guide Jeff Ries. He shot these earlier this summer on a recent trip:

AAI trekkers enjoy amazing views of the Lesser Combin on day 5 of this Julys Swiss trek.

A great view of the impressive Moiry icefall greets the Swiss.

The Matterhorn welcomes trekkers at the end of the trip in Zermatt.

-Dyan Padagas, Program Coordinator


Unknown said...

A friend and I were planning on hiking the Haute route this spring while we are over there. I've heard that the huts can run pretty expensive. I know it isn't the popular thing to do over there, but would it be reasonable to camp along the way instead? Do you know of any explicit restrictions on camping - given that we adhere to LNT standards?

American Alpine Institute said...

I rarely see backpackers camping along the Haute Route. The draw of the route is the ability to stay in huts and hotels, foregoing the need to carry the extra weight of camping equipment. Most accomodations have inexpensive dorms and food is easily resupplied. There was a Russian couple one year who read that there were huts but didn't believe it, so they carried everything along. Some huts and hotels are expensive, many others are not. I can think of many places along the route suitable for camping and even set up for campers. In other places it would take some time to find a suitable spot. Some huts are so primitive that you need to be self supporting. I recommend being flexible and occasionally stay in huts, allowing extra time each day to locate a campsite, which will be harder than in the US.

--Jeff Reis