Hiking trip report by site editor Rick McCharles. Day 7 of 7.
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The sky was clear at dawn, again. Matterhorn beckoned.
I love these high traverse walks. You have a superb bird’s eye view of the highest peaks on the other side of the valley. But without so much climbing and descending.
Today I planned on nearly 30km walking to finish this trek above Zermatt. The highlight is views of the most sought after mountaineering peak in Switzerland, Weisshorn.
I left a Summit Stone with St. Bernard, the patron of mountain travellers.
He will keep it safe until collected by another High Route walker.
I said farewell to the goats, too. Pretty creatures spending the Summer in this alpine idyll.
The Europaweg has many, many interesting sections.
I heard it was “closed” at one point. Due to rock slide.
This is the most dangerous section. Those tunnels (now crushed) were meant to protect walkers from falling stones.
In the end, I was able to complete the entire route as laid out in Kev Reynold’s guidebook, including the under-the-waterfall section.
FINALLY, Zermatt. It took me at least 10hrs of walking to get here!
To celebrate completing Rick’s High Route, I toasted the Matterhorn.
It’s a wonderful world.
See the rest of my photos from day 7.
Or start reading from the beginning of this 7-day journey, a valuable resource if you MIGHT want to do the Haute Route yourself.
I highly recommend this adventure. You can do it independently as I did. Or sign on with a guide or group. Or … do as another Canadian did. Hire a company to do all the logistics … (booking accommodation, meals, ground transport, etc.) … then hike it independently. This cost about CAD$1500 in his case.
The best guidebook in English is Chamonix to Zermatt: The Walker’s Haute Route by Kev Reynolds.
15 Replies to “Mt Blanc to Matterhorn – day 7”
A brilliant hike and thanks for blogging about it.
thanks great blog,im doing route early sep with 2 friends eany tips
The BIG decision is whether or not to “cheat” by taking chair lifts, bus or train.
Most hikers do.
… It may depend on how much time you have.
Thanks for the trip report. Beautiful photos!
I am proud to say that in 2008 I did the full 14 day hike with a friend, from Zermatt to Chamonix, without cheating. We carried a tent and cooked our own food, sleeping in refuges only twice (self-service ones), once in a watershed area (around Lac des Dix) and once in Le Peuty after crossing the Fenetre d’Arpette in a raging blizzard. Nice to see the pictures of the view from the Fenetre…we couldn’t see a thing!
Those 14 days were the end of 2 months of backpacking in the Alps, and I have to say that I was challenged physically and emotionally on that journey, but that summer and hike were the best experiences of my life.
Thanks for the excellent read.
I’ll put that one on my to-hike list! Thanks!
Where can one shit on Haute Route on the days when sleeping in a tent?
In the woods, of course.
Are you allowed to light fire along the route, or are there restrictions on that?
Sorry Kristian. I cannot recall.
My best guess is that open fires are banned along most of the route.
No problem. – How about tenting, is that allowed wherever you want?
I believe wild camping is not allowed. Not in most parts of the trail, in any case.
But I had no problem doing it anyway, setting up the tent near dark. And being discrete.
How cold is it at night on an average night in August? What was your coldest night? Do you have any good sources to check the weather? I’m looking to go this August, and I’d love to tent if possible. It seems like you did just fine.
It wasn’t all that difficult to find a quiet spot to tent each night. But I did tent one night on a snow patch because I couldn’t find flat ground.
Cold wasn’t a problem.
Thanks for your response Rick! Would you say that carrying a 30 degree Fahrenheit (0 degree celsius) sleeping bag would be the right choice?
That’s all I carry. I wear a down jacket in the sleeping bag until I warm it up.