Guidebook

Mont Blanc to Matterhorn : The Haute Route Glacier Trek

A classic mountain journey from Chamonix to Zermatt over some of the highest and wildest glaciers in the Alps.

Description

For experienced hikers looking to get into alpine climbing and glaciated treks, this trip is a logical and attainable goal. Before setting off on it you'll need a good level of hill fitness and a mountain skill set which encompasses all aspects of glacier travel, from how to rope up and perform crevasse rescues, through to micro route finding and making line choices.

The trip takes you - over the course of 8 days - between 2 of the most famous mountain towns in the World; Chamonix and Zermatt. In the course of traveling between those 2 legendary alpine centres you'll stay in some gorgeous Swiss mountain huts and travel through huge mountains. The mountain waiting for you at the end of the journey is the most famous of them all - the Matterhorn - and if you make it to the foot of that most celebrated peak, you'll have earned the view!

As with all glaciated journeys, this one requires thorough planning and the ability to make and change plans as conditions and weather evolve. As such, take this information as a rough guide rather than a set route which has to be followed metre by metre - this trek is a true adventure and should be treated as such!

The trip can be done all summer but it's safer (because the glaciers are covered better) and more enjoyable in June/early July.

N.B. The Chanrion Hut is closed for renovations in summer 2020.

If the trip whets your appetite for high, glaciated traverses and you want to up the ante somewhat, check out our guidebook to Switzerland's most famous high alpine journey - the Spaghetti Tour of the Zermatt 4000ers.

https://fatmap.com/guidebooks/1251/the-classic-spaghetti-tour-of-zermatt's-4000ers/@45.8863509,7.6615264,29557.9976467,-90,0,2429.4614745,normal

Haute Route Glacier Trek Day 2 - Albert Premier Hut to the Cabane d'Orny
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Haute Route Glacier Trek Day 2 - Albert Premier Hut to the Cabane d'Orny

Arve Valley
7.9 km
725 m
A gorgeous day across a wild glacier.
Moderate
Private
Haute Route Glacier Trek Day 3 (Part 1) - Cabane d'Orny to La Breya
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Haute Route Glacier Trek Day 3 (Part 1) - Cabane d'Orny to La Breya

1 - 2 hrs
4.4 km
12 m
651 m
A scenic cruise down to a chairlift.
Difficult
Private
Haute Route Glacier Trek Day 3 (Part 2) - Mauvoisin to the Cabane de Chanrion.
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Haute Route Glacier Trek Day 3 (Part 2) - Mauvoisin to the Cabane de Chanrion.

3 - 4 hrs
10.2 km
1,011 m
387 m
A lovely walk past the Lac de Mauvoisin up to a well-positioned hut.
Difficult
Private
Haute Route Glacier Trek Day 4 - Cabane de Chanrion to Cabane de Dix via the Col du Mont Rouge.
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Haute Route Glacier Trek Day 4 - Cabane de Chanrion to Cabane de Dix via the Col du Mont Rouge.

9.7 km
917 m
A high and wild walk through some epic scenery.
Moderate
Private
Haute Route Glacier Trek Day 5 - Cabane de Dix to the Cabane des Vignettes via the Pigne d'Arolla
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Haute Route Glacier Trek Day 5 - Cabane de Dix to the Cabane des Vignettes via the Pigne d'Arolla

7.7 km
977 m
A spectacular day over the Pigne d'Arolla - the highest point reached on the Haute Route.
Moderate
Private
Haute Route Glacier Trek Day 6 - Cabane des Vignettes to the Cabane du Bertol
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Haute Route Glacier Trek Day 6 - Cabane des Vignettes to the Cabane du Bertol

14.2 km
1,183 m
A long, beautiful and circuitous day through some desolate mountains.
Moderate
Private
Haute Route Glacier Trek Day 7 - Cabane du Bertol to the Schönbiel Hut
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Haute Route Glacier Trek Day 7 - Cabane du Bertol to the Schönbiel Hut

11.8 km
718 m
A rugged day which takes you to within touching distance of Zermatt.
Moderate
Private
Haute Route Glacier Trek Day 8 - Schönbiel Hut to Zermatt
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Haute Route Glacier Trek Day 8 - Schönbiel Hut to Zermatt

2 - 3 hrs
11.6 km
23 m
1,104 m
A downhill stroll into Zermatt past some epic scenery.
Moderate
Private
Albert Premier Hut - Charamillon - Short
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Albert Premier Hut - Charamillon - Short

Chamonix
2 - 3 hrs
8.1 km
569 m
562 m
An accessible and beautifully-situated high mountain hut with a variety of approaches.
Difficult
Private