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Regions - Trip reports, destination advice, recommended routes, etc. => International => Topic started by: IanyZen on 21:32:45, 14/01/17

Title: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 21:32:45, 14/01/17
 
Hola amigos,
For my big walk for 2017, I’m planning to trek from Chamonix to Zermatt along the Walker’s Haute Route.
I would really appreciate any tips from anyone on here that’s done it.
Or are you thinking of going yourself?  O0
 
As usual I will be trekking with my dog, Zen, camping virtually all the way.  :)
We had a superb 3-week trek from Torla to Espot (GR11) in Spanish Pyrenees in 2014, so I’m hoping for more of the same.
Plan to start last week in June, and have about 17/18 days, to travel from Brighton (night ferry to Dieppe, train to Chamonix), 12-14 days trek, a couple of nights in Zermatt then train & night ferry back to Brighton.
Does anyone know where the best place to buy French and Swiss train tickets is?
Am I going too early?
I’d prefer to see snow on the mountains, plus later in July the weather will probably be uncomfortably hot for the dog. We made detours in the Pyrenees to avoid the stifling valley heat.
The level of snow in June/July is usually due to the amount that falls during the proceeding winter, though I’m aware fresh snow can fall as later as August.
Are there any website that monitor the snow fall in the area?
 
With regard to camping, how are the Swiss about camping near the mountain huts?
It would be great to camp nearby and shower & eat at the huts. Is this possible?
What’s the food like at the huts?
Are there any huts I should definitely visit/avoid?
Cabane du Mont Fort, Cabane de Moiry, Europahutte  ??
What walking snacks do you recommend from the local shops?
 
Having my dog with me is a good excuse for not taking the ladders at Pas de Chevres, and going over Col de Redmatten instead.
My dog is like a mountain goat, but does not like walking over grates, as I suspect he’s afraid of his paws falling into the gaps. :-[ [size=78%] I’m training him on these as there is at least one bridge like this on day two of the Europaweg section. I’m intrigued to see how he’ll cope on the huge swinging suspension bridge! [/size] :D
Are there any other ladders /tricky sections I should be aware of?
 
I speak excellent Spanish, which is not much use.  :( [size=78%]My French is pretty poor & German non-existent. Should I focus on learning a bit of both, or just one?[/size]
I am thinking on just taking the recent Cicerone guide book & old Trailblazers one for the sketch maps. Should I take any maps?[size=78%] [/size]
Cheers
Ian & Zen
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: alewife on 23:22:41, 14/01/17
Can't answer your questions but, wow, your trip sounds phenomenal. Very envious O0. Welcome to the forum and look forward to reading about your trip when you get back.
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: gunwharfman on 11:31:16, 15/01/17
I hiked part of the Haute Route a couple of years ago in July. My intention was to hike to Zermatt but never made it. I got as far as a high Refuge (can't remember the name) beyond Verbier (took me 4 days, I was in no hurry) only to be told that there was deep fresh snow ahead and no one had got through for a week. Except for the site in Champex I wild camped. So I had big think and re-routed myself in the direction of Aosta, finally ending up in Courmayeur 10 days later. After a bumper meal I caught a bus through the tunnel to Chamonix and then flew home from Geneva.

The route from Chamonix to Champex was fairly easy, just a bit of a puff, up and over the Col du la Forclaz. From Champex to Le Chable it was just a pleasant stroll through farmland, all very attractive and neat. From Le Chable it was just up!
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: gunwharfman on 11:33:19, 15/01/17
For ladder climbing look on You Tube, there is one big one, that looks fun!
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: Owen on 16:14:38, 15/01/17
I've skied in but not walked it, strictly speaking wild camping in Switzerland is not allowed so you need be prepared to be discrete. Camping by hut and using their facilities is often looked down on by hut wardens, they want you to pay for their beds and your night tax. The food is generally very good in the huts, all the ones on the Haute route are very popular and very busy.   
Title: Mad Dog and an Englishman go trekking . . Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 23:48:08, 23/07/17
 Hola amigos, I’m Zen, the four-legged cute one in the photos.

(http://i67.tinypic.com/2cdhp39.jpg)
Taken at picnic area Le Hattey 1860m near Chamblin

After you liked my trip report on WHW last November (http://www.walkingforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=33915.0 (http://www.walkingforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=33915.0)) I’ve grabbed the laptop again to tell you about my latest adventure with Ian, my best buddy. Walker’s Haute Route – Chamonix to Zermatt.[/font]
I hope you like it.  :)
As it’s a b*gg*r typing with these paws, I’m going to let the photos do most of the talking – I apologise in advance, as I’m no good at rotating the photos.
Same paw excuse (pun intended)  ;D


Day A & B – evening Thurs 22nd June & Fri 23rd June: Brighton to Les Contamines, France
Ian has set me ‘challenges’ on the trip – I’m always up for a challenge!] O0
Now I have been called a bit of escapologist – but this is definitely not my idea of a challenge –


(http://i65.tinypic.com/2d7dbus.jpg)
I’m getting that déjà vu feeling


(http://i59.tinypic.com/2yva2hs.jpg)
2014 on the way to Spanish Pyrenees

Mind you, this did get me reminiscing of our last adventure (Pyrenees 2014) which started in the cage -
Oh please more views like this …


(http://i61.tinypic.com/97qtmb.jpg)
Pyrenees, Spain

"Hey, you guys don’t have a monopoly on all the pre-walk excitement. I’ve been super excited since Ian told me we’ll be soon off on another long walk, but he can be a bit secretive about where, so I have to be a keen detective, listening, observing, eagerly picking up clues . .  .

You may think us, dogs always are living for the moment . .. but we do plan for the future, conserving energy (ie sleeping/dreaming) for when most needed . . Now I’ve learnt from experience . . 4 years ago I thought we were off on a 2 or 3 day long walk, so I had a ball running around like a springer spaniel on speed ..  little did I know we were walking the Pennine Way . . I was frankly ‘dog-tired’ before Pen y Ghent . . I also learnt Ian is a founder member of the Lucky B*st*rd Weather Club .  . so it’s nearly always sunny (PW – 17days sunny + 2days w/rain) & water can be scarce . . "

I’ve been keeping a beady eye on him. I’ve noted that he’s packaged up three large parcels of my favourite trekking food to mail on & pick up later.   O0  He normally does this – now ‘three’ is significant as each package lasts about 3 or 4 days … you’re doing the maths okay ..

[
Now, Ian loves walking but loves his free time more & he is very pragmatic – he doesn’t travel 4 hours for just a 4 hour walk . . so . . . after the cage on the night ferry, a couple of trains to Paris, a walk across Paris & another long train then another & a bus at the end. . (20 hours - home to camp site in Les Contamines). . . Now maths is not my strong point. . but I reckon a two weeks’ trip, minimum.   Fantastic.] :smitten:


"Ian, I know you told me ‘half the fun is getting there’, but . . ."

 (http://i68.tinypic.com/t7bu38.jpg)
I’m just not feeling the fun at the moment – :-\
Zen not impressed with his Hannibal Lector impression on French train

A break in Annecy ….
(http://i66.tinypic.com/28i17xe.jpg)

Finally made it to campsite - Camping le Pontet - Les Contamines around 6pm (20 hours after leaving Brighton home)

 
We both slept like a dog – Worryingly, Ian’s becoming more like me every day …  :D
Title: Mad Dog and an Englishman go trekking … Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 00:40:46, 24/07/17
Day C Sat 24th June: Les Contamines to Les Houches, via Col de Tricot
Ascent 1320m / Descent 1480m
(1st day walking, 1st day of four on Tour du Mont Blanc
We’re off . .  :)
Ian familiarised himself with the signs . . fingers crossed he’s got it as his map reading is worse than his French . . oh la la !  :D
(http://i67.tinypic.com/33u6a8z.jpg)


Me, places to rest . .
(http://i66.tinypic.com/9qvh8g.jpg)


It’s brill to be back in the mountains . .  :)
(http://i63.tinypic.com/11cdvdg.jpg)


Challenge 1 – cross a metal grated bridge, which I don’t like as you can get your round paws stuck in the square holes – now I know why Ian had forced me to walk across the huge grates in Paris – challenge passed – I like bridges & these challenges, so far . .

First real climb (600m) to Col de Tricot (2120m) – no worries, but it was 33°C
(http://i67.tinypic.com/14tuex0.jpg)


Ian chatted to a couple of Kiwis on their final day of Tour de Mont Blanc & everyday had been a scorcher – 30+°C. which I didn’t like the sound of – Ian had promised me snow !
Every guide book advised starting after mid-July, so we have come in June to get some snow & avoid everyone & their dog, ¡Qué horror! :(
It was v hot and already busy!
Just when you make it to the col, thinking you’ve achieved something to be proud of, reality brings you down - 50 school kids easily achieving the same – not to mention the noise.

(http://i68.tinypic.com/qx3zux.jpg)
(http://i64.tinypic.com/e85qtk.jpg)
views from Col de Tricot

Didn’t to deter Ian – we had a great long lunch break. Chance for me to get a power nap – hope he makes this a habit  :P 

Challenge 2 – Himalayan swinging suspension bridge -

(http://i67.tinypic.com/aylhg2.jpg)


What was I saying about bridges & challenges –


“Ian, not a dog’s chance in hell. Call it a bridge. It’s got gaps bigger than my legs, it’s old, it’s made of wood, it’s got a raging torrent below, it’s got no real sides & it swings, a lot – find another way, please”

Ian can be stubborn! I spread my paws as much as possible, crouched down as low as can be, closed my eyes, lent heavily on Ian & he dragged me across – we made it.  O0 O0 

I’ve changed my mind – I don’t like bridges & I don’t like these challenges ..  :-[ 

Ian explained that challenges are part of life, and not to worry as if we can avoid them we will do, so it’s “we’ll cross that next bridge when we come to it, or maybe not!”  ::)


Then he mentioned ‘ladders’ – I like ladders –

(http://i66.tinypic.com/6qglsk.jpg)
Coast to Coast path, Lake District June 2016


Err .  then again I said that about bridges . .  :-\


The Mont Blanc Tramway – highest rack & pinion railway in France.
You'll have to look closely to see the train -
(http://i65.tinypic.com/2s9vqx4.jpg)


with the line going up to Bionassay Glacier -
(http://i68.tinypic.com/15xsjlf.jpg)


Views from Col de Voza, with Chamonix below -
(http://i65.tinypic.com/2hnuflw.jpg)
 
We camped at Bellevue campsite in Les Houches  :)
Title: Mad Dog and an Englishman go trekking . . . Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 01:34:00, 24/07/17
Day C Sun 25th June: Les Houches to Lacs de Chéserys, via Le Brévent
Ascent 2020m / Descent 910m
(2nd day walking, 2nd day of four on Tour du Mont Blanc)
We had rain, thunder ‘n’ lightning during the night, and awoke to cloudy skies & an outer wet tent (Ian hates packing a wet tent, ‘cause of the extra weight.  >:(
Me too, ‘cause it takes longer to put the separate inner & outer up. After a long day I just want to get inside.  ;D
During our last walk along the South West Coast Path it rained for the first 5 days until I reminded Ian to pay his subscription to the Lucky B*st*rd Weather Club. We had sunshine for 10 days thereafter.
So I politely asked him – “No worries”, he said, “I’ve doubled my subscription – the clouds will lift”. Top man. Money well spent.  O0


Ian said he had been dreaming of this day, possibly the best day on the whole Tour du Mont Blanc, unbelievably, one that most walkers don’t do – Balcony walk to Le Brévent then on to Lac Blanc & Lacs de Chéresys . . Would his dreams come true?  :smitten:


Ian popped into the supermarket to stock up with bananas/bread/cheese & ham as we’d be wild camping up high for the next two nights. He even got me some extra dog food :) , though I was dreaming of decent French cheese. Yummy.  :smitten:


Our first (of many  :) ) forest paths . .


(http://i64.tinypic.com/1y0ldf.jpg)
These metal steps made it tough for me to climb the rocks. :tickedoff:


(http://i63.tinypic.com/2mxlwso.jpg)
Ian at the super friendly Refuge de Bellachat. [/font] :)
Ace breakfast stop for me . . I always have breakie a couple of hours after we start . . I hope Ian keeps choosing such great spots. [/font] O0


"Hey, Ian, you are not going to believe this!"
"What’s got your attention away from Mont Blanc, Zen?"
(http://i63.tinypic.com/folopt.jpg)


(http://i66.tinypic.com/501xet.jpg)
Shocking!  :knuppel2:


(http://i65.tinypic.com/111mtso.jpg)
Le Brévent


(http://i67.tinypic.com/206hqpi.jpg)
Finally, some snow to play in.

(http://i65.tinypic.com/14t7o1g.jpg)
Path looking back towards Le Brévent.
(Ian pull your finger out . . of the way :knuppel2: )

Challenge 1 - Ladders – avoided. Sensibly we took the ski-scarred route towards Plan Plaz, avoiding the ladders via Col du Brévent. Good choice mate.  O0
Cool spot  :)
(http://i68.tinypic.com/qxumut.jpg)


Having trekked up over 1500m Ian was feeling pretty chuffed with himself . . . then reality bumped into us, well, rather hundreds of Chamonix marathon & ultra runners.

(http://i64.tinypic.com/33lng2s.jpg)
(http://i65.tinypic.com/qx9gg5.jpg)


It took a while to ‘swim against the tide’ of runners but we finally made it to Refuge La Flégère.
Now, me & Ian have a ran a few trial marathons together over the South Downs, so I had a quick glance to see if he was taking a little too much interest. Fortunately, he’d read my mind and said we’d stick to the Downs. Phew!

(http://i63.tinypic.com/14ae7a8.jpg)
View back towards Refuge La Flégère on route to Lac Blanc & Refuge Lac Blanc.

We saw lots of these, in pairs & in families all having fun sometimes oblivious to us, sometimes overly curious they’d come to spy on me from above.
(http://i64.tinypic.com/wbbe6h.jpg)


(http://i64.tinypic.com/2lbjm1k.jpg)


(http://i63.tinypic.com/2lthno4.jpg)


(http://i64.tinypic.com/w0jp8k.jpg)

Finally arrived at Refuge Lac Blanc. I wanted to have a paddle in the Lac. It was so refreshing…Ian kept telling me my ripples ruined his photos. Never mind, we did share an omelette outside the Refuge whilst watching the clouds melt away, before descending to Lacs de Chéresys, via the ladders . .

(http://i67.tinypic.com/2nbcciw.jpg)
Lac Blanc

(http://i67.tinypic.com/f2t2x3.jpg)
Lac Blanc

Challenge 2 – avoid more ladders.

It was easy to find an alternative way down the rocks.

(http://i68.tinypic.com/fan62e.jpg)

Not my photo, but you get the idea. For us, there was no one about, only a family of Ibex, though I did count eight other tents around Lac de Chéresys -

Magnificent -
(http://i68.tinypic.com/359et6v.jpg)


(http://i65.tinypic.com/k386kw.jpg)


(http://i67.tinypic.com/2me6zq8.jpg)


Today was majestic, the best ever . . camping high above Chamonix with ibex & spectacular views.

You’ll never guess what Ian said to me . . “This was just a taster . . the main walk, Chamonix – Zermatt starts tomorrow”
Wow . . woof . . wow !  :smitten:


(more to follow, but be patient pls - Day One - Lacs [/font]de Ch[/font]é[/font]resys to Refuge les Grands)[/font]
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: glovepuppet on 07:48:26, 24/07/17
Really enjoyed this, and looking forward to further instalments!  :)


Great photos too!  O0
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: Jac on 09:11:59, 24/07/17
 :D great TR - next please
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: Ridge on 09:47:03, 24/07/17
Great report Zen, post some more when you can get your paws on the laptop.
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: pdstsp on 12:57:28, 24/07/17
Great writing Zen and very small world - me and two friends stopped and chatted with you and Ian the next day - we were on our way up to Lac Blanc from the col de Montets and you were pretending not to notice an ibex in the hope it would come a bit closer.
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: Dovegirl on 13:37:10, 24/07/17
Great TR Zen   :)
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: gunwharfman on 17:36:50, 24/07/17
Ah! Memories, great memories! Its a gem of a hike isn't it! So much to see, to do and so many people to meet. It was at a campsite just north of Cormayeur that I popped into their little camp site bar and ordered a 9 euro pizza. I thought it would come out of a freezer, but no, a lady in full white regalia, plus large white hat made it for me from scratch and did the twirling bit above her head as well! Incredibly entertaining!

When she bought it to my table, the pastry was thin, it was as big as a dustbin lid and totally delicious!

I hope the weather stays clear and dry for you.
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: Mel on 19:51:43, 24/07/17
Brilliant report and pics so far Zen.  It looks like you're enjoying the views as much as your human companion  :)
Title: Mad Dog and an Englishman go trekking … Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 20:00:48, 24/07/17

Day 1 (Chamonix – Zermatt) Mon 26th June: Lacs de Chéserys to Refuge les Grands
Ascent 774m / Descent 874m
(3rd day walking, 3rd day of four on Tour du Mont Blanc)
"I had a weird dream last night about waking up camping near a white mountain or fountain – oh, never mind . . I was probably in the car park of the White Lion.
Or maybe not . . "

(http://i66.tinypic.com/15pso69.jpg)


(http://i66.tinypic.com/xmmyxu.jpg)



Understandably Ian was not in any hurry to move, so I could enjoy the views of Mont Blanc. . whilst he had a dip in the lake . .



(http://i67.tinypic.com/2ijngww.jpg)


Views back over Lacs de Chéserys towards Refuge Lac Blanc above


It was a glorious morning walk . .  :)


(http://i64.tinypic.com/21jxbuo.jpg)


(http://i63.tinypic.com/24nh0u1.jpg)




Great writing Zen and very small world - me and two friends stopped and chatted with you and Ian the next day - we were on our way up to Lac Blanc from the col de Montets and you were pretending not to notice an ibex in the hope it would come a bit closer.


Yes, I remember. Ian was a spoil sport & never did let me off the lead here to try and catch an Ibex. Ibex burger would've been tasty. How about you?
Hope you had a great trek.


(http://i67.tinypic.com/o6cvfc.jpg)


I got lots of lovely attention from squeezing passed the hundred or so school kids :smitten:
– Well done kids! That was some climb in the morning heat. O0


(http://i66.tinypic.com/w9wm0o.jpg)


Views down to Le Tour


(http://i67.tinypic.com/2j0d0z5.jpg)
Another lovely lunch stop at Tre-le-Champ.

Followed by a climb through forest to Aig des Posettes.
'I love the forest – now known as ‘freedom forests’ as I’m always free, off the lead to dart around the trees. Sorry, I was too fast for photos." ;D 


(http://i63.tinypic.com/15wcgpl.jpg)

Views back from near Col de Balme - Chamonix

(http://i68.tinypic.com/i1fz2u.jpg)


Hi to Switzerland! My seventh country, after Mexico, Holland, England, Scotland, France & Spain – not bad for an 8yr old dog.

Whilst Ian rested out of the wind at the closed Refuge du Col de Balme practising his Spanish with some Belgians (?) I saw the most disturbing sight, too disturbing to publish a photo – a fellow four-legged friend carrying all their stuff in their own back pack ¡Qué horror! ¡Pobre perro! :'(
I prayed Ian hadn’t seen it. Gulp, he had!  :-[
I'd better watch myself – I’ll never complain about Ian not carrying enough food & water for me again…


(http://i68.tinypic.com/6ep3pk.jpg)
Views down to Triente (usual destination for TMB).


(http://i67.tinypic.com/261f0d2.jpg)
This was my kind of path - one narrow path with no deviations, just contouring & undulating around spurs giving tantalising views of marmots below. I was keen to impress Ian by sticking to the path & not indulging in a fruitless marmot chase. ‘Every dog has its day’ & mine will come!  ;)


(http://i64.tinypic.com/j64gw4.jpg)
Views of Glacier du Trient


(http://i64.tinypic.com/2yy9w9j.jpg)
Refuge les Grands
A self-catering hut – Closed, so we had to camp, with fresh water & decent loo with fab views of glacier (above) –
"You got to love a loo with a view."  O0
“Ian, I haven’t forgotten - You promised me a hut stay!"  ::)


Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: Dovegirl on 21:51:00, 24/07/17
Enjoying your trip report Zen    :)
Title: Mad Dog and an Englishman go trekking - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 23:44:23, 24/07/17
Day 2 (Chamonix – Zermatt) Tues 27th June: Refuge les Grands to Champex via Fenêtre d'Arpette
Ascent 1080m / Descent 1730m
(4th day walking, 4th/last of four on Tour du Mont Blanc)


It rained last night – Ian was worried/excited today’s pass would be white with snow . . no such luck  :(


“How about some challenges today, Ian?”
“How about these wet slippery rocks, first thing Zen?”  O0
 
(http://i66.tinypic.com/15gz3wy.jpg)
I flew down this . . Ian was not so swift!  ;)


(http://i63.tinypic.com/29arvjs.jpg)


(http://i65.tinypic.com/2ch97x2.jpg)
Freedom forest path  :)  – “Come on Ian!”


(http://i63.tinypic.com/f9gp5v.jpg)
Chalet du Glacier 1583m - not open yet


(http://i65.tinypic.com/2q3sxnr.jpg)


(http://i65.tinypic.com/24nl4lc.jpg)
Chalet warden crossing the bridge carrying boxes of flowers – the Swiss love to decorate their places with flowers
Nice place, but a bit early for my breakie – Anyway, we had a serious climb – 1082m to Fenêtre d'Arpette 2665m – (one of ?) highest points on TMB


(http://i64.tinypic.com/5o9n3d.jpg)
Chilling  :)


(http://i63.tinypic.com/25qejpd.jpg)


Shady breakie stop with cool views – Ace choice again Ian  O0




(http://i65.tinypic.com/11kzfd0.jpg)
Close - Feel the crisp cool Glacier air. Hear the crack of ice  :smitten:


(http://i65.tinypic.com/30ngef8.jpg)


Almost there – Ian’s lagging behind – time for a view check – Amazing!


(http://i67.tinypic.com/30a49oi.jpg)


Fenêtre d'Arpette 2665m

(http://i68.tinypic.com/11c3ync.jpg)
“Can we hang here for a while?”  “Sure”


(http://i63.tinypic.com/2ce6sdk.jpg)


“Zen! One of the challenges was NOT to eat the most Swiss cheese” ;)
English & French trekking together


(http://i67.tinypic.com/2z5t92v.jpg)
“Ready for another challenge, Zen?”  “Por supuesto! Vamos”


(http://i65.tinypic.com/2z569v9.jpg)
First boulder challenge on descent – This rocked! Passed O0
 
(http://i64.tinypic.com/29wlpa1.jpg)
Spotted - Leader of the pack !


(http://i68.tinypic.com/2hq9zbl.jpg)


(http://i67.tinypic.com/2j45wk6.jpg)
White water!


(http://i68.tinypic.com/2zrotao.jpg)
Champex built around it's lake

Camped at Camping Les Rocailles, Champex – busiest camp site we stayed at, with Exodus group & several other TMB trekkers

"Yeah"  :)  - Picked up new food package for me.  Ian, the sly dog, slipped some treats in for himself  :D     
Ian said tomorrow will be a half day - "What; your treats weighing too much?"  :2funny:   

Tomorrow we leave Tour du Mont Blanc - "We could be trekking alone, Zen?"
"I'm never alone with you" :smitten:



Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: pdstsp on 08:50:22, 25/07/17
Another great write up Zen - and yes we had a great few days.  In fact we must have just missed seeing you again the morning you walked down to Chalet de Glacier near Trient as we walked up that way that morning (glad I didn't have to share that man made balcony bit with you though!).  Those kids you passed were all at the Lac Blanc when we got there - not very tranquil!


I also bought one of your harnesses and stretchy leads when I got back to England, for my friend Daisy the labradoodle, so that she can stop me chasing the sheep in Snowdonia and the Lakes!


Great pictures - camping spot near Lac de Chesery looks wonderful. 
Title: Re: Mad Dog and an Englishman go trekking - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: Jac on 09:43:22, 25/07/17
Tomorrow we leave Tour du Mont Blanc - "We could be trekking alone, Zen?"
"I'm never alone with you" :smitten:

 :) You're one lucky dog, Zen and one lucky human to have him, Ian :)
Title: Mad Dog and an Englishman go trekking - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 18:52:31, 25/07/17
Day 3 (Chamonix – Zermatt) Wed 28th June: Champex to Le Chable
Ascent 104m / Descent 749m  (5th day walking)
A gentle rise in the morning with a gentler walk through Champex & a pleasant valley stroll through sleepy Switzerland villages –
No challenges for me then (apart from dodging the sprinklers) – How about a navigation one for Ian?


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Lake at Champex


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Valley views to Sembrancher


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Lunch stop in Sembrancher village square (we were sitting behind the fire hydrant on next photo)
"What did I say about pulling you finger out . . of the way!"


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It took us ages to find the way out of Sembrancher - photo from the guide book (below) actually shows a trekker walking the wrong way  >:(

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White water, now grey ?? The strong current was great at massaging the muscles.
Whizz bang! Whizz, bang! Disturbed the tranquillity.
“What’s the noise Ian?”  “Sounds like a . . a gun .  . but can’t be. This is Switzerland, you know, peaceful with no army”
Suddenly, above, on zip lines a metal target shoots back towards where the shots came from.
Seriously someone was shooting live ammo over our heads! :knuppel2:
We didn’t hang around for photos.


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Soon arrived in Le Chable where Ian had a pleasant surprise for me – a hotel bed.  O0
Stayed at Hotel du Gietroz over the river in Villette.
Even better, Ian washed his stinky socks   :D  whilst I had a long afternoon siesta.  :)
Not so good later, was Ian getting as sick as a dog   :-[  (not my favourite expression) & throwing up – I suspect the underground stream on yesterday’s descent from Fenêtre d'Arpette
Stinky socks were bad . . His uncontrollable farts & number twos were knock out material !  :tickedoff:
If this continues tomorrow, were tossing a coin for the tent.
With stomach cramps (they looked painful) he said it’s probably ‘Giardia’
“Ian, does this mean that you’ll bring me back all the ham & cheese from breakfast? Oh, and don’t forget the Nutella”  ;D


Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: Mel on 22:29:26, 25/07/17
Enjoyed the latest instalments Zen  :)
Title: Mad Dog and an Englishman go trekking - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 00:23:20, 26/07/17
Day 4 (Chamonix – Zermatt) Thurs 29th June: Le Châbleto Cabane du Mont-Fort
Ascent 1636m / Descent 0m  (6th day walking)
Up, up & away – heading back into the mountains  :)  - This is day for those who hate going down.
“Continental breakfasts are a bit light though Ian did share his ham & cheese & didn’t forget the Nutella”  O0

"Sorry, I got too much cheese on my paws & couldn't rotate the photos"

Well, then. Both well rested, both not so well fed, one well & one getting well, we set off.

Even though this was our 4th day in Switzerland we hadn’t been through any little Swiss mountain villages . . from today this was joy & everlasting cultural experience until the end.  :) 

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The Swiss seem to have a tradition of hanging trade equipment on the outside of their houses – much more on these later

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Yeah – Cuckoo clocks (on the house wall) . . now we really are in Switzerland!  :)
 
“Ian, check these out - Swiss doggy poo bags, with instructions – You’ve got to love the Swiss”   :D
“Ian, can we keep a few for souvenirs? Empty ones, preferably”   “Bravo”

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“What about priority for dogs?”
We meandered steeply & gradually up, sharing paths with mountain bikes –
Passed a few tournament standard MTB trails near Verbier – seriously scary steep stuff with lots of safety nets.


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Views down the valley from yesterday’s walk towards Sembrancher


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Swiss drinking fountain with a difference – Cold beer   :)
(Near Clambin restaurant, above Verbier – both in the photo – if anyone fancies popping over for a free beer – Ian left a few)
 
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Another cracking lunch stop at a picnic area, Le Hattey, above Chamblin – Wow, Ian you’ve done your homework. You even splashed out on quality Swiss cheese. :smitten:


I was pushing my luck about ending up in the dog house with chasing a wild goat & . .

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“You roll in anymore [censored], we won’t need to toss a coin to decide who sleeps outside!”
Sounds like Ian’s feeling better with his wise cracks. Then again . .


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Les Ruinettes Cable Car station

“What? Have you gone barking mad? You’ve got a free cable car ticket from Le Châble to here!”

His stomach may be fine . . what about his head? It took us 6 hours to climb here.

“Zen, what’s the rush? We only take gondolas or cable cars in an emergency”

“Boy, he can be stubborn!  ::)
In hindsight, he was wrong, it’s not half, it’s all the fun in getting there!  :smitten: 

And we soon arrived at Cabane du Mont-Fort 2457m (photo tomorrow) as snow was falling.

Ian was a little nervous how they would be about wild camping nearby.
– Daniel, who has been running this Cabane for years assured him there was no problem. Top bloke.   O0 

I was a little wet, cold & nervous about the snow falling.  :-[ 

After pitching the tent, Ian did something super surprising – he separated the waterproof bivvy bag protecting his down sleeping bag from a wet dog like me & laid it on the freezing tent floor for me  ;) 


Fab, for later … Now, I snuggled up on the sleeping bag whilst Ian ate the famously delicious food served up by Daniel Bruchez
– again Ian had done his homework as Cabane du Mont-Fort has always been one of the best huts on the Haute Route
(Cabane de Moiry is possibly the best)

“Hey, Zen, remember Day C to Lacs de Cherseys?”

“How could I forget!”

“We have another awesome day planned tomorrow  O0   

“What about the snow?”

“All taken care of to make it more special!”

 “I felt special . . and lucky. Ian forgot about the coin toss!”  :)
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: pdstsp on 07:29:17, 27/07/17
Great write up again - and Ian must love you Zen - you must have ponged after rolling in whatever it was you rolled in!
Title: Mad Dog and an Englishman go trekking - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 09:34:04, 27/07/17
Great write up again - and Ian must love you Zen - you must have ponged after rolling in whatever it was you rolled in!


"Revenge for his farts!"
Title: Mad Dog and an Englishman go trekking - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 10:11:46, 27/07/17
Day 5 (Chamonix – Zermatt) Fri 30th June: Cabane du Mont-Fort to Refuge des Escoulais
Via 4 passes - Col Termin, Col de Louvie, Col de Prafleuri & Col des Roux
Ascent 1027m / Descent 969m + a little more from getting lost in the Grand Desert

Lucky 7th Day walking

“Phew, I can breathe easily now - amazingly some codamol relieved Ian’s stomach cramps yesterday & the rest of his symptoms had disappeared by this morning, but what about those snow clouds?”

“What I love about wild camping in the mountains is the morning anticipation:
The hopes & dreams, the nervous tension, even anxiety, when you go first to open the tent door, to spy on the view!”

"Let’s have a peak outside . . "


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Our igloo – It was all snug inside.  :)

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Ian had to break all the ice entirely covering inside & outside of the outer tent.

Tomas, (the Hungarian) had already past us really early.
Tomas, who we bumped into regularly, was one of only three trekkers we met walking the whole Chamonix – Zermatt trek.


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View towards Col de Chaux – alternative route to Col de Louvie, apparently easier than via Col Termin, though a few days later we met an Israeli couple who disagreed as it was covered in snow.
The blue sign refers to another route to Col Termin for mountaineers – best avoided.

Cabane du Mont-Fort and views towards the Grand Combin with a fresh dusting of snow

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"You can make out our path round the spur."

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"My kind of path, narrow with spectacular views, though I think Ian would’ve preferred it to be without the sheer drops"

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Col Termin ahead – you can make out the two female French trekkers (we only saw 7 trekkers all day until Refuge des Escoulais)


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Fab breakie stop.  :)

It had taken 3 hours to do a suggested 1hr 40min walk – the views of Grand Combin & Val de Bagnes 1500m below were just spectacular – you’d be crazy or dead to walk & look at the views at the same time. Nice dilemmas.  :)

Views down to the sparkling Lac Louvie & refuge

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Beautiful grassy slopes was in sharp contrast to what followed over next Col - Col de Louvie

Title: Mad Dog and an Englishman go trekking - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 11:05:20, 27/07/17


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Col de Louvie & views behind
We made better time getting here from Col Termin

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“Note the times to Col de Prafleuri & Refuge, plus the Lac de Grand Désert, where we don’t want to go, Ian”   “or maybe we do?”


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A family of four descending into the Grand Désert towards Col de Prafleuri. (The father was lagging behind)
 
“Should have followed them, Ian”   “Hold on, what about lunch?”   “Okay, twisted my paw”  :)


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The wilderness of scree, moraine and a dying glacier spilling from Rosablanche – The Grand Désert is well named.

“If you able to zoom in you may be able to see the rock with a white dot (between one & two o’clock).
We are heading in this direction – I hope.”


You cannot miss it now –

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Well, Ian did ! :D

Our ‘desert’ journey took us across blue glacier lakes & scree to Lac de Grand Désert . .

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Ian. ¡Rápido! ¡Apurate! A la vuelta de la esquina. ¡Mira!”  :)





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From edge of Lac de Grand Désert


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From above the Lake.

Ian was impressed I ran back!
Fear!   :-[  … Have you seen those horns & when it lifted its self on to its hind legs it was equally magnificent & terrifying!


At the end of the lake Ian realised we had gone wrong, about 30min downhill wrong, 45mins back up the scree wrong . .

but two wrongs can be right, when you get soo close to such a magnificent beast.  O0


“Ian, that was cool, getting lost in the Grand Désert . .

 . . there are worst places in the world to get lost, namely Mexico City & we did that a few times.”

With those thoughts we were quickly back on track . . albeit a rocky, snow one.


"I had a nightmare here"  . .  :-[

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Ian had gone ahead across the deep soft snow and down the steep slope . .


“Ian, ayudame!”  :(

I sank a lot in the snow with razor sharp rocks beneath & the steep slope  . .  Ian urged me on . .

I ran here & there to find a better way . . I couldn’t find one . . .  :-[ 

 . . but found the courage.  :)

"Sometimes you have to face your own challenges Zen"

We soon got to the Col de Prafleuri – for cheese & Nutella.  ;)

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Fascinating photo - now knowing the route forward today & tomorrow

"Sorry, I haven't perfected holding a pen to draw you the route -
The lower scree slope at 9 o'clock is Col des Roux.  Glacier de Chelion at 12 o'clock, we cross tomorrow & up over the treacherous Col de Reidmattten to it's left. "


"I needed this" 


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Hmm, might take a siesta now as well – Col des Roux can wait. Hope you can too.  O0
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: pdstsp on 16:24:15, 28/07/17
Loving these write ups Zen - got me thinking about next year's walk already!
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: Mel on 12:22:58, 30/07/17
Loving it.  More, more, more  O0
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: vizzavona on 13:46:54, 30/07/17
Better than 'Travels with a donkey'.
I do think that the strong animal, just coasting along, should have a couple of pannier bags strapped across his back....his food in one side and feeding dish in the other. :)
A fine tale of travel. O0
Title: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 09:39:11, 31/07/17
Hi guys,
Tinypics are not allowing me to upload any photos at the mo -  It says my photos have been moved or deleted  :tickedoff:
They have not got back to me about the issue.  >:(
Does anyone know of another way to upload photos easily?
Ian
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: Ridge on 09:55:06, 31/07/17
It says my photos have been moved or deleted  :tickedoff:
I hate to be a grass but you may want to check your keyboard for paw prints Ian.
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 17:48:02, 31/07/17
"It was my white hairs between the keys that gave me away.  :(   I just couldn't dig them out."
Zen  :P
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: Dovegirl on 21:59:58, 01/08/17
Tinypics are not allowing me to upload any photos at the mo -  It says my photos have been moved or deleted  :tickedoff:
They have not got back to me about the issue.  >:(
Does anyone know of another way to upload photos easily?
Ian

I've used Tinypic but have now gone over to Flickr.  I found it took a bit more getting used to but I've managed to upload my photos from it to the Walking Forum without difficulty   :)
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: gunwharfman on 16:29:12, 02/08/17
I'm just trying out Flickr, I've managed to download a few photos but do you know if I can rearrange them from A to Z, at the moment they are all over the place.
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: Dovegirl on 18:12:57, 02/08/17
I'm just trying out Flickr, I've managed to download a few photos but do you know if I can rearrange them from A to Z, at the moment they are all over the place.

You can put them into albums. I haven't tried it though!
Title: Mad dog and an Englishman go trekking - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 23:09:42, 02/08/17
“Arrr . that was a a nice kip!  :)
Now,  where are we .  ."

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Looking back into the Grand Desert  O0


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The way ahead . . arrow points to Col des Roux


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I’ve got these grid bridge sorted now . .] ;)


We whizzed past Cabane de Prafleuri onto the Col. Even though I was a little tired the disused quarry setting was not so appealing for camping – maybe I’ve been spoilt for tent door views.
In Ian I trust.  :angel: 

The Cabane also has a bad reputation for its food, comfort, showers/toilets and rudeness of manager. Which was back up later by Thomas (the Hungarian) and Israeli couple who stay this night.

I’m no geologist, but the variety of rocks & their colours has been amazing. The path up Col des Roux sparkled from the late afternoon sun with an abundance of quartz . .  all the way to the col, to reveal  . .


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4323/35531153723_3c7ca26173_c.jpg) (http://)

“I had to close my eyes, then look again to believe it . .
“Wow, top decision to continue onto a 4th Col Ian .  . now where are we kipping . .  in a hut ??? ”
 [/font]
Refuge Des Ecoulaies (2575m) was open “Yeah”,  :)  but not for dogs “Huh”   :'(


Indecision Ian – “Stay & camp or continue & hope for better at Refuge de la Gentiane la Barma, another self-catering hut 20mins downhill”

Neither us fancied walking anymore today & even less the idea of walking back if it was closed –
We camped. Ian cooked. We shared. We slept.  :P


"Today had been memorable, from an igloo to an Ibex with incredible views throughout.
Today had been emotional, from anticipation & awe, to frustration & fear, to courage & contentment.
Tomorrow, your turn Ian. " :) 
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 23:25:31, 02/08/17
Day 6 (Chamonix – Zermatt) Sat 1st July: Refuge des Escoulais to Arolla via Col de Riedmatten
Ascent 695m / Descent 1289m  (8th day walking)
It rained during the night. It would take more than a wet tent to dampen our spirits. :)
A pinch to check I was not dreaming, and for Ian a punch for first day of the month . . I got a kick to get me up quick.  :D
A helicopter was coming to take away the Refuge’s rubbish 
“Don’t want them to get confused with your tent, Ian.” :-[
“I’m not the one that smells bad, Zen”
“Ha Ha ! You crease me up.”

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4397/35531152703_b0df129db4_c.jpg) (http://)



Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: April on 13:42:44, 03/08/17
Really enjoying your report Zen  O0 Wonderful scenery you are a lucky doggie  :)
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: pdstsp on 15:35:05, 03/08/17
Another great write up - and those views are spectacular!
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: gunwharfman on 20:29:48, 03/08/17
Yes, keep them coming!
Title: Mad Dog and an Englishman go trekking - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 10:52:17, 04/08/17
Day 6 (Chamonix – Zermatt) Sat 1st July: Refuge des Escoulais to Arolla via Col de Riedmatten
continues . . .
“Vamos Zen . . .”

As the helicopter came -

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Val des Dix - 5 km lake

We had a short break at the open Refuge de la Gentiane la Barma. I chatted to a little dog – yes, you guessed it, dogs were allowed in the lovely warm, dry kitchen . . .

"Poor decision Ian - I’ll forgive you.
Let’s not forget, though - You promised me a hut stay!"  :P 

The gentle grassy slopes to the reservoir we’re filled with flowers – beautiful (though Ian's photos are no so)

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& marmots screeching – annoying  :knuppel2: [size=78%][/size]


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I couldn’t resist chasing them, to Ian’s dismay.
 
He’d yell at me to come back. Which I chose to ignore – selective hearing – one of my many talents.  :D


Ian planned to have lunch at Cabane des Dix (2928)

Ian couldn't get lost with signs like these, could he?  ::)
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4360/35556755713_b44bd35d9a_c.jpg) (http://)

Quite inventive with the white rock - Now I must find a red rock one.
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This one almost hit him - ;D
 
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4370/36196426932_70593ed239_c.jpg) (http://)


After the junction we were graced with fluffy white snowflakes which got heavier as were climbed to the saddle of Tête-Noir – The Matterhorn would have been visible on the ascent, from this angle - a different profile to Zermatt view – another day.
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4369/36228584361_40de08a6d8_c.jpg) (http://)


We descended on the only path from the saddle . .
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4342/36228341761_f9f21cb2db_c.jpg) (http://)


“Zen, it’s not there! Cabane des Dix, I cannot see it”   :-X 


At the foot of the path on the valley floor we came to some snow – no footprints.  :-[


‘Where is it, Zen.  . . Where are we?” :(


I could sense Ian’s anguish & despair. He could sense my disbelief – losing one’s way was one thing – losing a hut? 
This was not so cool.

“Patience”  - we wandered back up the path . .  through the mist & snow . .



(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4357/35529244764_b58f06531e_c.jpg) (http://)
 


Relief. :)
Ian ordered a rosti - "mmm, Ian, don’t forget me – take a doggy bag, pleaseeeeeee” O0 

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4383/36320858466_88e4335397_c.jpg) (http://)

Cabane des Dix with its beautiful wooden interior had some fascinating photos adorning the walls –
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4344/35556502153_8b5c31b3bb_c.jpg) (http://)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4375/35968208180_d65296c675_c.jpg) (http://)
Either I waited outside in the snow or inside the smelly boot & wet sock & jacket room - neither option was particularly appealing.  :crazy2: 
Quite a few trekkers/climbers arrived offering sympathy & comfort, whilst adding to the aromas.
“What about the wet doggy smell, Zen?”   “Heavenly :smitten: 
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: Islandplodder on 17:43:22, 04/08/17
Zen, your TRs really cheer up a dull day.  Looking forward to the next instalment!
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: vizzavona on 06:13:44, 05/08/17
Yes, a grand area around Dix and Mont Blanc du Cheilon.  I hope that it clears so that can view the area.  So good to have a dog that can sniff out the red and white flashes. :)
I await the next installment to find out about the ladder climbing abilities of the dog on the way to reach Arolla.
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: gunwharfman on 17:06:01, 05/08/17
I've seen the main ladder on YouTube, looks fun!
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: vizzavona on 20:19:05, 05/08/17
Yes as I recall it is two sections with a wee shuffle to get from one to the other.  Only ever been down it myself to reach MB du Cheilon for a traverse and then up on to Pigne D'arolla to reach the Vignettes hutte.  Never ascended the ladder. :) ....but he looks like a wilely dog.
Title: Mad Dog and an Englishman go trekking - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 23:23:53, 06/08/17

"Hi guys, sorry, I was out having fun . . "  ;)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4416/36367079336_965dde7d9a_c.jpg) (http://)


The snow ceased & we felt the sun’s warmth – now for crossing the rubble strewn Glacier de Chelion.

Ian stopped to survey the scene –

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4348/36015364520_0d8a4e226b_c.jpg) (http://)


“Do not run around here!  Got it, Zen”
“Got it, Ian”
He put me on the lead, probably fearing I didn’t hear.  :-\ 

Definitely no Ibex or marmots here so I wasn’t sure why, until he showed me this -

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4358/36015229320_e8ee5cb297_c.jpg) (http://)
"It was quite deep! Who knows what’s hidden beneath the snow "


“Do not lose the path here! Got it, Ian”
“Got it, Zen”

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4388/35604069783_46a4dd7fd9_c.jpg) (http://)

So good to have a dog that can sniff out the red and white flashes. :)
I await the next installment to find out about the ladder climbing abilities of the dog on the way to reach Arolla.

"Ian, at least someone recognises my talents.   O0 


I have never been so pleased to see red spot in front of my eyes."

 (https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4348/35604068683_bb328b75c2_c.jpg) (http://)

Leap of faith challenge for both us -

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4355/35576662604_50e5d8d878_c.jpg) (http://)


Passed – My treat was to be off the lead.  O0
 
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4417/36243908192_d66c49b2b9_c.jpg) (http://)

Ian confessed, being with me gave him a good excuse to avoid the daunting vertical ladders at Pas de Chevres.
though, that was before we set off towards Col de Riedmatten (2919m).

“Bouldering is fun as well as mentally & physically challenging.

I’m becoming quite adept at it and can usually follow the route, but here there was no distinguishable path up through the boulder field – Chaos - it was as if they had recently fallen here, rocking all ways, even with my weight – I feared for Ian as any red spots were hidden.  :-[ 

Above the rocks I raced ahead up the super steep muddy slope to the col with ease. Not so Ian.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4378/36411873105_373f891d10_c.jpg) (http://)


I waited & watched from above – with encouraging eyes, hiding my concerned frown -

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4377/36275367151_77c52151b4_c.jpg) (http://)


He repeatedly slipped, digging in for grip, grabbing rocks, only for them to lift out of the loose wet earth. Scrambling for life, he reached & grasped the red & white chains. 

He found the strength and hauled himself up to join me, both relieved.  O0 

I had thought about going back to pull him, but . . .
 “Sometimes you have to face your own challenges, Ian”   ;)

He took this photo, but strangely not the one looking down the path we’d come – Maybe he didn’t want that memory.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4353/36275365741_4a1e5229ae_c.jpg) (http://)


Ian didn’t fancy hanging around the narrow col. As the snow began to fall we descended on an easy gently path.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4433/36243913092_94e22c41b3_c.jpg) (http://)

Without warning Ian suddenly stopped and froze – the snowflakes were floating down – the silence was breath-taking – we stood transfixed in mid path, mid valley, in the middle of nowhere special, yet the serenity was magical . . in the space of a few minutes the snowflakes melted away just around us and were bathed in sunshine – we were alone yet with each other.

Soon we could see Arolla below, so Ian decided to take a more direct path until –

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4376/36411874585_ef4956caa8_c.jpg) (http://)


Do cows have horns or just bulls, Zen? 

“Not sure, I’ll wait here while you find out, Ian?”

“Nrr, not today, Zen”

We back tracked & found another way.
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4372/35604303503_6588972912_c.jpg) (http://)



(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4334/36015543990_d51c8577b4_c.jpg) (http://)

There’s a restaurant somewhere behind those flowers –
I did my best to wee against all the flowers pots, almost knocking over a few to Ian’s embarrassment.  :D 

April, at the camp site was lovely – even better, she had a new package for me “Yeah”
Ian, eagerly ripped it open, only to discover it had food just for me – “Yeah”  ;D 

“Pobre Ian” – It had been an emotional day – We celebrated together with the rosti left overs & a visit to the local pub until late –
just as well tomorrow will be a half day, but no less special.  :smitten:
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: Islandplodder on 08:58:00, 07/08/17

Another gem to put a smile on the Monday morning face, Zen.
Lovely to see the photos too,  the scenery is fantastic and I know the walk is probably beyond me.
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: vizzavona on 09:19:31, 07/08/17
I knew that dog Ian would be clever enough to avoid the Ladders or maybe he was just worried about a confrontation with goats. :)
We based ourselves further down the valley at Evolene another village groaning with hanging baskets of flowers.....base tent there and them move up to use the refuges for getting closer to the hills...never had any problems leaving a tent and possessions while being away from a site in Switzerland.
Title: Mad Dog and an English go trekking - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 00:17:10, 08/08/17
Day 7 (Chamonix – Zermatt) Sun 2nd July: Arolla to Les Hauderes via Lac Bleu
Ascent 215m / Descent 779m (9th day walking)

We woke to discover our little rubbish bag ripped apart and some contents scattered about & some had vanished . . . definitely
'a curious incident of the dog in the night-time'.  ???

It was a lazy morning or what – Ian’s excuse was that the local shop didn’t open until 9am.
I was just thankful it was open at all on a Sunday.

The lady in the shop educated him on the delights of Swiss local cheese & which Lindt chocolate is made in Germany & which in Switzerland. Ian loaded up with bread & Swiss cheese, but no chocolate ??  :-\


Views from the path -
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4334/36295678311_d0f7c85d59_c.jpg) (http://)


“Freedom forest path through alpenrose & juniper – cool”   O0 


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4436/36265046632_052572c920_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4381/36432515945_41d2100f06_c.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4427/36035785720_b50ae50477_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4409/35597440344_a76c6647e4_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4395/36036066410_d4a58dc19f_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4347/36036187400_815b3f4f62_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4394/36295487531_f23e6e9f1d_c.jpg) (http://)


“Ian why do we always have to take the ‘chemin difficile’?

“Because they always go to the most beautiful places”
“oooh – I sense another top lunch stop”   :smitten: 





(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4399/36387349856_702a0610cf_c.jpg) (http://)


Some say Lac Bleu is the most beautiful tarn of all – I hope Ian’s photos do it justice.  :)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4352/35625016353_31ebe77e2b_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4385/36387100966_3f3344ec89_c.jpg) (http://)


Ian had a dip . .  not in the lagoon, in the campsite pool.  :)

Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: April on 08:54:35, 08/08/17
Great stuff Zen  O0 it is odd seeing all those metal signs en route, nothing like that in the Lakes. Enjoying this report a lot, thanks  O0
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: vizzavona on 10:51:03, 08/08/17
Hello,
An easy day after all of that beer ;) [size=78%]....on to Refuge Moiry next?  What did the campsite folks say after the dog jumped into the pool....or maybe this a leg-pull?[/size]
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: bricam2096 on 15:00:56, 08/08/17
Great stuff Zen  O0 it is odd seeing all those metal signs en route, nothing like that in the Lakes. Enjoying this report a lot, thanks  O0

Yes, it's very reassuring not only seeing routes well signposted but also in many cases they also tell you how long in hours rather than mileage, to other places. I liked this as if it says I had an hour to go, I knew I had about an hour to go but if I see a sign saying 3 miles to go in the UK, I know it depends on the ascent/descent in those 3 miles how long I'll be.

Why don't they do this in the UK?

p.s. enjoying reading this. I have the guide book for this walk and looking for ides for next year...it's up there, lol
Title: Mad and an Englishman go Trekking - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 16:01:17, 08/08/17
Day 8 (Chamonix – Zermatt) Mon 3rd July: Les Haudères to Cabane de Moiry via Col du Tsaté
Ascent 1832m / Descent 459m (10th day walking)

Ian promised a big day – ‘Big skies, big climbs, big mountains, big views, big glaciers & even bigger lunches’

“Zen, big effort needed today – Are you up for it?’
“You bet, Ian - I adore Blue Monday’s – blue skies & a walk into the mountains”   :smitten: 

His enthusiasm was definitely rubbing off – I was positively shaking” 


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4436/36306636951_9628b657d9_c.jpg) (http://)


Camping Molignon in Les Haudères was a really chilled out campsite – just over the road from the trail. (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/)
It had been early to bed & early to rise and we were off, up & up to La Sage – arguably the prettiest Swiss village on the whole Walker’s Route (Ian said we would have stayed here but the very little accommodation was booked out.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4430/36306633581_9bd0060597_c.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/)


Views of Les Haudères, Val d’Hérens and the magnificent Dent Blanche, which has four long ridges angled almost perfectly with the points of the compass.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4388/36046993680_fa8f05860b_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4345/36275668632_9b9ebecb62_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4400/35636332693_04eaf117dd_c.jpg) (http://)


"Hey guys, a challenge for you - I'm always in these freedom forest photos - Can you spot me? How about the one from yesterday?"


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4390/35637258133_8ecbb4aa5d_c.jpg) (http://)


“Huh! Even Ian understood this sign – Pity” 
I’m on the lead through the village.  :( 

Ian found the shop – the best well stocked local shop ever – Dangerous, as Ian always gets a little paranoid about running out of food – He stocked up so much that he had to lighten his load with a early breakfast for me - I wasn’t grumbling.  :)

My ‘Salut de Star’.   :D   "Like it?"


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4442/36444048175_40ff291b13_c.jpg) (http://)


Here we bumped into a couple from the States, other than me & Thomas, the only others we met walking the whole route – though saying that we never saw them again, probably as they headed over Col de Torrent (2919m) to Grimentz. They said they had miscalculated the time needed & were doing incredibly long days – I heard this a lot from other doing parts of the walk, who took buses to skip days.

Strangely, they took the bus up to La Sage due to being short of time, yet we arrived at the same time.

“Ian, why aren’t we also going over the higher Col de Torrent. Don’t we always take the higher route?”

“Zen, trust me – The best route is over Col du Tsaté (2868m)”

Hmm, trusting Ian to find the route . . .
I felt better after Ian had a long chat with a Swiss professor who had retired to La Sage who agreed with such a route.
I had to admire the professor, retiring to such a village perched high above the valley. He was not the only elderly guys we met.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4397/36275419332_d0bfafa316_c.jpg) (http://)IMG_1712 (https://flic.kr/p/Xgx1mm) by


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4370/35609008954_b705690512_c.jpg) (http://)


Mayens De Motau, a hamlet of cow sheds – “Anyone home?”

I led Ian on a guided tour – I had to be at my fearsome courageous best to keep the horned beasts in their sheds when Ian passed.

“Thanks, Zen – Challenge passed”   O0 

We had missed this sign –

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4375/36398220276_21386b53d7_c.jpg) (http://)


“OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOuch! What the [censored] was that – a lightning bolt through me”

“I was shockingly unsuccessful at negotiating the electric fence challenge”   :'( 


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4363/36398280126_85c2dd4d31_c.jpg) (http://)


“Thanks Zen for the warning – makes a change from you pulling me in the fences”  :angel:

“Well Ian, you shouldn’t have had me on the lead those times - sometimes you’ve got take the hit”   :D


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4420/36398224096_c8d8637daf_c.jpg) (http://)


Chilling  :)    When a couple of hill runners, more like mountain runners jogged by.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4403/35608893204_a71021c79d_c.jpg) (http://)

“Me, playing with the tadpoles”   ;) 

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4408/35636182133_f13921eb99_c.jpg) (http://)


“Zen . . that's a big of a shaggy dog story -
 More like trying to smash them into smitherings with your paws”  ::) [size=78%] [/size]



After 2 hours we arrived at Remointse du Tsaté (2480m) –
A gorgeous grassy flowery meadow for an early almuerzo   :)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4441/36443898255_4dae8ebe7c_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4365/36443941275_59c2fb3983_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4398/35636537203_cf11941c84_c.jpg) (http://)


“Zen, you’re heading for the dog house, rolling in [censored]!  :tickedoff:
Hey, you never know you might bump into a delightful mate – What will she think of you?”

“Ian, dog’s chance of that happening around here”  :'(


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4352/35608881364_e7bdb058d0_c.jpg) (http://)


Then into two more basins, each one higher, each one more rocky towards the Col du Tsaté (2868m)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4359/35636166243_8f972b9cf9_c.jpg) (http://)


"I just love running ahead to be the first of us to check out the views"   :smitten:

Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: gunwharfman on 17:18:21, 08/08/17
I note you have a Golite Jam. I used one for about 3 years, loved it but wore it out. The company has now gone out of business. The basic design is still made, by Nigor, but I think its much more expensive
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: pdstsp on 17:48:03, 08/08/17
Great stuff again Zen - nice to see you did get some sunshine too!
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 20:45:31, 08/08/17
I note you have a Golite Jam. I used one for about 3 years, loved it but wore it out. The company has now gone out of business. The basic design is still made, by Nigor, but I think its much more expensive
Hi,
I love my Golite (Peak 39 litres), still going strong after a few years.
They are now made by My Trail Company, but I haven't seen them available in the UK -
check out:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlEAulPuUf0 


Ian
Title: Mad Dog and an Englishman go Trekking - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 22:25:51, 08/08/17
Day 8 (Chamonix – Zermatt) Mon 3rd July:
Les Haudères to Cabane de Moiry via Col du Tsaté continues . .


Delicious lunch & delicious dilemmas – which way to look at the col.
This way ?

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4336/36047410430_f1ca2b2626_c.jpg) (http://)

Or this way ?

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4366/35609230194_07e8378c22_c.jpg) (http://)


Looking back – Dent Blanche & Bouquetins ridge
 
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4398/36047389580_898f386a86_c.jpg) (http://)


“Bet you cannot do this with your tongue?”   :P


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4365/36047414180_df1da972ce_c.jpg) (http://)


Looking forward – Val de Moiry & Aiguilles de la Lé, Pigne de la Bayenna & Grand Cornier
 
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4354/36047677400_ef777e38f4_c.jpg) (http://)
                   
Down the path from Col du Tsaté – a Brazilian trekker who raced down & then appeared later behind us ??


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4333/36450224285_29bc3e5293_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4373/35615090384_ef04706481_c.jpg) (http://)


First view of Glacier de Moiry (below) – spell-bounding & if you zoom in can make out Cabane de Moiry (at about 10pm)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4394/36047689400_70599c66a5_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4427/36276116062_e41f27e2e5_c.jpg) (http://)


Plenty to admire beneath us as well

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4418/36047661330_ef5161891b_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4359/36444524025_610485fedf_c.jpg) (http://)


An elderly German couple, who have been walking these valleys for 20 years, looking down Val de Moiry
(tomorrow’s walk, on opposite side of Lac de Moiry)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4411/35636525463_c201281f3a_c.jpg) (http://)
 
“Zen, What did I say about a mate?”  ;)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4345/36307487261_4845248b5e_c.jpg) (http://)


“A passionate roar cry. Oh, I think I’m a bit smitten with her.”  :-* :P 

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4370/35609213164_63d72602d1_c.jpg) (http://)
 
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4427/36047384280_608b90afd3_c.jpg) (http://)

“Cheers, Ian”   O0     He let us play for quite a while.
 
Buses at the unimaginatively named ‘Parking du Glacier’


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4366/36307732251_b9aae39c21_c.jpg) (http://)


Perfect spot!  :)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4370/35636519553_fd4ce72eb1_c.jpg) (http://)


The amazing trek up to Cabane de Moiry –
 
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4378/36047924460_7472934f62_c.jpg) (http://)

The Brazilian, having just passed us again

 (https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4339/35609210414_61b57f0522_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4346/36047722500_beb107bb28_c.jpg) (http://)


“These guys thought it fun to chuck snowballs at me – until I thought them a lesson – beware of the dog – it’s a myth about our barks being worse than our bite”  ::)

“Don’t worry, I didn’t bite them, but I had them scurrying away”   ;D
 
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4401/35609780324_11d64ac5cb_c.jpg) (http://)
 
Path up to Cabane de Moiry (visible in top left corner)  - Is this the hut stay, you promised me Ian?


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4353/35609771474_0922cc43c4_c.jpg) (http://)


Cabane de Moiry, dramatically located among a horseshoe of peaks and glaciers. Extended in 2010 with its modern, chic, stunning glass-walled dining room overlooking the glacier.

The noise, atmosphere & high activity of the hut, packed full of hyper-exuberant mountaineers of all ages was a bit of a shock, but I loved the attention.

I haven’t experienced this since Refugio de Góriz, at the foot of Monte Perdido, in el Parque Nacional de Ordesa in the Spanish Pyrenees.

"Wow . . woof . . wow . . check out the view. Ian"   


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4442/36398712256_de5977b085_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4378/36444525735_c229321989_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4368/36047873910_087850f9f0_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4361/36307495171_4c44e9bfb6_c.jpg) (http://)


“What’s got your attention, Zen?”


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4345/36307481271_3aff673da9_c.jpg) (http://)

These Swiss guys had also made the trek up.

Dining room inside Cabane - taken the following morning -
 
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4439/36399021596_c7c2ff5687_c.jpg) (http://)


Ian dined (with Thomas, the Hungarian) whilst I got fussed & fed by a couple of Swiss student girls up here to walk across the glacier and climb Pointe de Moiry.
They asked me if Ian was here to climb – I told them he was scared of heights, which he is.   :D
They said, ‘I bet he cannot wait for the Europaweg, that’ll challenge him.’   ;)
I’ll keep that last bit to myself.   :2funny:
 
We spied a couple of these wandering below us next to the glacier.  :)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4356/36047706390_9c0b0df0df_c.jpg) (http://)


“Ian, it’d be ace to stay in the hut, pleeease – I don’t fancy the slog back down”
“Zen, even better. We’re camping next to the glacier!”   :)
“Super  O0   oh, . . . with the ibex”    :P
 
“Ian, wow, I’ve been dog lucky to have camped in some amazing places with you.
This one takes the doggie biscuit.   O0
 
“Though, I do have a little bone to pick with you. You lied! You said today would be big –

 It was HUGE ”
 :smitten: 
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: vizzavona on 07:29:36, 09/08/17
The Moiry area is a fabulous part of the Europe. A grand reminder of having reached here some time ago by leaving our tent behind in Evolene then getting up, for an overnight, to the cabane at the  col  Dent Blanche for a traverse of the Grand Cornier and down to the Moiry hutte. We got to Point de Morti from Moiry...the new 'observation pod thing' has, I am sure, has a reflection of Pte.Morti as shown in your image? :)

It is good for Zen to share his adventures with several of his own species.  How do you cope with food supplies for the dog...do you carry the dry pellet stuff for his dinner?
The great thing in Switzerland is the efficiency of the bus system.
Look forwards to the last couple of days of your travels.
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: adalard on 08:27:05, 09/08/17
Can't believe I missed these trip reports - fantastic stuff, I've really enjoyed catching up over a cuppa or two this morning!  O0 O0
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: pdstsp on 09:15:00, 09/08/17
Another great day by the looks of it - becoming very tempted by this route, though not sure my body would be up to it!  Good to see you getting a bit of love time, Zen.  Holiday romance?
Title: Mad Dog and an Englishman go trekking - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 12:46:27, 11/08/17
Day 9 (Chamonix – Zermatt) Tues 4th July: Cabane de Moiry to Zinal via Col de Sorebois
Ascent 462m / Descent 1612m (11th day walking)

What was making this trek extra special was its relaxing pace.  :)
Ian was in no rush any day to set off or arrive.
Actually, come to think of, Ian doesn’t hurry anything . . which I bet can be infuriating for some, but for me,
well it's a dog's life.  :smitten: 

Why change a habit of a lifetime – today was no different, and why would it be with this view from the tent –


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4364/36360739341_f5cd5b46a3_c.jpg) (http://)


Time for a bit of yoga, while watching the climbing groups eagerly trek up to the glacier edge.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4435/36360748441_bee177f4ae_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4338/36101040540_139674c1f2_c.jpg) (http://)
 

We thanked the managers of the hut. They gave Ian some tea for the journey and welcomed us back when it’s not so busy to stay inside – Ooooh so hut stays are possible.   8)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4402/36101049450_2d0a1eac63_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4367/36329780582_10f072d25b_c.jpg) (http://)


Final photo before we leave, what was our highest & best camp at 2825m   O0


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4398/35689448883_a77f429740_c.jpg) (http://)


We followed a superb belvedere trail alongside the hillside roughly level at 300m above the Lac de Moiry

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4405/36361221631_3f6a76903b_c.jpg) (http://)


“Muy feliz”  :)
 
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4341/36451901366_5899ff3d74_c.jpg) (http://)
 
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4398/36101306540_3e16a53e5c_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4394/36498359595_9bdf6fc515_c.jpg) (http://)


Corne de Sorebois 2896m – one of a few 360 panoramas on the trek.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4385/36452120826_37f28ea7bb_c.jpg) (http://)


“Muy muy feliz”   :)   :) 

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4385/36498133145_0e67d2062a_c.jpg) (http://)

Fab long lunch stop with views of Bishorn (4135m), Weisshorn (4505m) & Zinalrothorn (4221m)

Weisshorn, a real mountaineer’s mountain kept a watchful eye over us until Zermatt, with its eye-catching ridges seen from the different angles.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4335/35663426274_0f6aaedc3b_c.jpg) (http://)


Now for the descent to Zinal at 1675m . . let’s make this fun . . .  :D 
Title: Mad Dog and an Englishman go trekking - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 08:32:24, 12/08/17
We sauntered down to the Sorebois Gondola (2475m) & shared an ice-cream.   :-* 

Views of Zinal


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4377/36118512360_9437721509_c.jpg) (http://)


Soon after this, we plummet 700m into the Valley, on a breathtaking, bone-jarring dirt path.

The starting gate –
 
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4359/36515562855_d630f03b40_c.jpg) (http://)


“Zen, the next challenge”
“I’m all ears”
“I’ll race you, Zen – First one over the second bridge at the bottom wins a stay in a B&B”
My kind of challenge, but hey, this seems too easy – not much of a dog fight.   ;D
 

I raced off, pelting done the path, but wasted energy missing sharp turns & having to turn back, ending up behind Ian.
Quick – What would Lewis Hamilton do ? . . think strategy . . be patient . .  8) 
The path zig-zagged tightly through field strewn with fresh cow pancakes. I hung on Ian heels, as he knew the path, avoiding getting the cow muck clogged up in between the paws. We all know how treacherous that can be for your grip and the unwelcome extra weight.
 
Soon the path descended dramatically into a scrubby forest, clinging precariously to the rock walls –
Arr – freedom forest – in my world . .   :D

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4404/35663179944_c8e1c301e0_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4399/36361007291_bf28a16f19_c.jpg) (http://)


I darted ahead . . there was no stopping me . . until . .
Ian, the cheeky  >:D   gave me a 5 second grassing eating penalty for cutting a corner and I had to suffer whilst he whizzed past sniggering & recording it on a photo.   :tickedoff:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4401/36451950136_05d6dbcedf_c.jpg) (http://)


I had underestimated lazy, layabout Ian. He was up for this - This was dog eat dog. :knuppel2: 

I dug in and sneaked pass on a twisty section & then daylight on to the bridges . .  . errr . . bridges . .


Noooooo   . .  a pesky wooden swinging old rickety one clinging to the rock face . .   :'(


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4425/36451953006_1021a648fe_c.jpg) (http://)IMG_1805 (https://flic.kr/p/Xx8MEo) by


Heart in my mouth, unable to breathe, momentum throw me onto the bridge & I scrambled over . . .  :P


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4419/35663188694_04254fc858_c.jpg) (http://)


Hasta luego . . . 
 
The second bridge was a dog walk in the park . . I glorified in my triumph.  O0 

“Where are you sleeping Ian?”  :coolsmiley: :2funny: 
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: vizzavona on 08:53:15, 12/08/17
Hello,
Loads of these tortuous paths in the next valley too. :)
Nice wee place Zinal it was our starting village to get the onto the track up to Tracuit hutte to reach Bishorn. :)
A grand adventure that you are having with the dog.....is he one from two different brands of dog.
Title: Re: Mad Dog and an Englishman go trekking - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: adalard on 10:01:42, 12/08/17
“Muy muy feliz”   :)   :) 

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4385/36498133145_0e67d2062a_c.jpg) (http://)


What a great shot - he certainly looks very, very happy and who wouldn't be with that view!  :)


I'm pretty sure my fitness levels wouldn't be up to such a mammoth trek but I'm enjoying following your progress and seeing these stunning vistas. That wooden bridge does look a little rickety though...
Title: Mad Dog and an Englishman go trekking - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 09:01:44, 13/08/17
A grand adventure that you are having with the dog.....is he one from two different brands of dog.


Hola,
I didn't spend a lot of time with my folks, but I seem to have a bit of (Siberian) husky & (Swiss) shepherd in me and something smaller, maybe chihuahua, as I'm from Mexico.    :D
Yes, I love spicy food.  :smitten:


I leave the chihuahua bit at home & just bring the husky with me.  ;D
Zen
Title: Mad Dog and an Englishman go trekking - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 09:22:43, 13/08/17
We wandered through Zinal’s old town.

I love the drinking troughs – no cows in sight.  ;)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4364/36361062811_9ed3bb0f2b_c.jpg) (http://)


As I mentioned before the Swiss seem to pride themselves on decorating the outside of their homes with stuff showing off their trade or profession. Can you guess them?

Ian was looking for the taxman's house . . .  :D


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4418/36452038536_cc04114603_c.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4425/36452029526_1b8542896a_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4360/36498216325_66bce63ff9_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4333/36101384940_ac6e0d2144_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4442/35689746983_631274c662_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4427/36361069101_61420efef6_c.jpg) (http://)




Found the taxman . . .  :D 

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4350/36498194795_b14b29bb74_c.jpg) (http://)


If you don't have any trees . . design one  :P
 

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4416/35689738103_51a3007e18_c.jpg) (http://)IMG_1827 (https://flic.kr/p/WnMeJ8) by

We stayed at Auberge Alpina.  Real friendly place  O0
Luckily for Ian the room had two beds, so I let him have one. Well, I reckon he had just about earned it.   :angel:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4406/36361082081_f9cbc93b93_c.jpg) (http://)


We were the only guests apart from a group of French trekkers who we would bump into over the next
couple of days.
Ian said the French cuisine was amazing and plentiful. So nice that he didn’t share any.   :o
Not to worry as I got a new food package with treats – Yeah!   ;D
I know you’ve been keeping check, so how many packages has it been? . . .
Well done . .  Three, the last one    :'(
This means our glorious trek is coming to an end, maybe only 3 or 4 days.   ???
 
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: vizzavona on 09:56:06, 14/08/17
Ah!..so that's how it is done.....food parcels  that have winged their way across the continent to keep Zen in good shape. :)
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: bricam2096 on 21:01:23, 14/08/17
I'm assuming you have done the TMB as well so how does the Haute Route compare with that in your opinion? Easier? Harder?
Title: Mad Dog and an Englishman go trekking - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 21:14:57, 14/08/17
Day 10 (Chamonix – Zermatt) Wed 5th July: Zinal to Gruben via Forcletta (2874m)
Ascent 1199m / Descent 1052m  (12th day walking)


It dawned on me, at about dawn that I had had so much fun coming down from Corne de Sorebois 2896m to Zinal (1675m) yesterday, that the only way was up.  ;) 

Probably why Ian skipped loading up at the local shop & relying on the food given to him by the guest house fab manager, or was it to do with the extra 2kg of my food.

“What surprises do you have for me today Ian?”  :)
“Plenty”   :)
“Cool”   8)
“Exactly, Zen”
Hmm, sounds like a clue . . .   :P


Apartments, Swiss style.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4366/36412833471_bcd659338a_c.jpg) (http://)


Avalanche defence tunnel.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4421/36382551442_482e143cbb_c.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/)

I kept joining the French group . . . French trekkers = French food = French cheese  O0
Who would turn down an opportunity for a bite to eat with this round table. No surprise, I joined them   ;)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4437/36154176810_98586dc8f4_c.jpg) (http://)


Views back down to Zinal & Val de Zinal, plus our fun steep forest descent yesterday


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4414/36504650676_e80b9efb04_c.jpg) (http://)


Ian, stop taking photos of the cows . . . they’re coming for me . . . :'(
 
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4359/35741739083_4ed535ae0a_c.jpg) (http://)


“Hey, Zen, what that above my head, and below the cloud?”

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4337/36551029155_c061afc1b7_c.jpg) (http://)


Here’s a close up . .


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4399/36154660150_86d52093b6_c.jpg) (http://)


First views of The Matterhorn   O0


Probably the best flowery meadow on the trek.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4419/36504708456_176ebb640a_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4442/36551015385_0b3816646b_c.jpg) (http://)


The coolest of surprises . .


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4381/36504905956_406e21645b_c.jpg) (http://)


Not . .  Ian gave me a bath in the river –  :o
 
“Zen, how about a smile to show off how clean you are?”
“Not talking to you!”   :tickedoff:
Keep it to yourself, but afterwards I felt ace, totally refreshed on the hot climb.  :P


The German guys said my yoga on ice was the best show of the day – saying something considering the views at Forcletta (2874m)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4400/36551328015_aae7c6e011_c.jpg) (http://)


Coolest spot   :)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4413/36382523312_ff3f08eecc_c.jpg) (http://)



Then a nap, whilst waiting for the French group.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4388/36504690886_1333d95b62_c.jpg) (http://)


and another . .

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4337/36382769682_9e06bfb8f8_c.jpg) (http://)
French fuss   :smitten:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4369/36382574362_2b5ee7d8bf_c.jpg) (http://)


Bit of bouldering


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4425/36551409545_ab15267474_c.jpg) (http://)


This was one col where views got better as you descended -
Majestic views of Bishorn & Weisshorn astride the Turtmann & Brunegg glaciers as the end of The Turtmanntal valley


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4396/36383008572_4e818e0c92_c.jpg) (http://)


From 'The Playground of Europe' Leslie Stephens, wrote of these views -

"Above us rose the Weisshorn in one of the mot sublime aspects of that almost faultless mountain, The Turtmann glacier, broad and white with deep regular crevasses, formed a noble approach, like the staircase of some superb palace. Above this rose the huge mass of the mountain, firm and solid as though its architect wished to eclipse the Pyramids. And, higher still, its lofty crest, jagged and apparently swaying from side to side, seemed to be tossed into the blue atmosphere far above the reach of mortal man. Nowhere have I seen a more delicate combination of mountain massiveness, with soaring and delicately carved pinnacles pushed to the verge of extravagance. Yet few people know of this side of a peak, which every one has admired from the Riffel (above Zermatt)."


It was not just the German mountain names – an instant culture change from Swiss French to Swiss German & it felt so German, with language, faces & signs.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4412/36504553246_7b9328bddc_c.jpg) (http://)


Gruben below, and at 12 o’clock, if you look really closely you can see the white Teepees where Ian wanted to stay, but it was just too far from Gruben.
 

This stopped Ian in a flash . .  :o


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4351/35716200694_b883e2f70f_c.jpg) (http://)


These stopped me in a flash . .  :o


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4342/36504933696_4b75e6a94e_c.jpg) (http://)


More cows . . .  Phew, passed   [/font] O0 . . that felt like a challenge, Ian.

Gruben ahead.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4429/36382595912_8e8e75b47b_c.jpg) (http://)


We wandered around Gruben looking for what the book described as ‘the best well stocked shop on the Haute’ .. but alas it had closed years ago . .   :( 

After umming and arring, Ian decided to stay at Hotel Schwarzhorn (large white building far left)
– why so indecisive – there was nothing else, apart from a wild camp on the other side of the river.
As Gruben was a one-hotel-town we bumped into all the folk we had bumped into over the last few days and bumped into a few new ones.   :D

Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 21:39:54, 14/08/17
I'm assuming you have done the TMB as well so how does the Haute Route compare with that in your opinion? Easier? Harder?


Hi,
We haven't walked the whole TMB. We only walked  four days from Les Contamines to Champex, via Col du Brevent, Lac Blanc and Fenetre D'Arpette.

The Walker's Haute Route is definitely tougher, but how much is difficult to say.
The first few days on the TMB were hard with the extreme heat & a heavier pack full of home purchased goodies.

As the trek went on, the more time I spent higher up, the cooler it was, the lighter my pack and the fitter and more acclimatised I became.

I followed Cicerone's 13 day plan - which was perfect for me. I never rushed any day.

Others we met tried to do more. . and looked stressed and exhausted from rushing it.
There are places you can take buses and gondolas. They will save you energy for sure, but not much time.

Ian & Zen

Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: vizzavona on 07:39:39, 16/08/17
That is a serious looking Viper....not to be played with.
Two days left to get you to Tasch on part of the Tour du Cervin and the finest views of the 'big range' to look forward to. :)
Have rubbed noses with the Zinalrothorn-Trifthorn and the Wellenkuppe but the experience of looking across from the mountains to the East and SE are memorable.
Title: Mad Dog and an Englishman go trekking - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 01:23:07, 17/08/17
Day 11 (Chamonix – Zermatt) Thurs 6th July: Gruben to Gasenried via Augstbordpass (2894m)
Ascent 1604m / Descent 1767m  (13th day walking)
 
I woke dreading the sound of the ‘last day bell’   :-X
Silence   :smitten:
 
Strange morning as there was quite an entourage leaving the hotel after breakfast . .
The climb through the woodland soon dispersed the crowd. (Well, if eight is a crowd)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4379/35807749733_37a5e504a9_c.jpg) (http://)
 
Early snow play time   ;)
 
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4404/36571315656_74b7e41cf2_c.jpg) (http://)


It was our final pass . . . Nothing would stop me being first over Augstbordpass (2894m)
 
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4336/36617537215_04a1f94ba9_c.jpg) (http://)
 
Thomas (the Hungarian) dropped his bag and scrambled up to the summit of Schwarzhorn (3201m) – whose panorama is ‘one of surpassing magnificence’.

I was surprised Ian didn’t join him & that we only stopped for half an hour.

Maybe Ian had other plans?


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4361/36617532635_6cd4388a7e_c.jpg) (http://)
 
Ian found this hilarious article posted on the Walker’s Forum – “10 Types of People You’ll Meet on the Summit”

https://www.ukhillwalking.com/articles/page.php?id=9492 (https://www.ukhillwalking.com/articles/page.php?id=9492)
 
The author missed one – “The Eternal Chatterbox”

For 20 mins the silence at the pass was ruined with one person in this group constantly rabbiting on, probably about office gossip . . I could still hear the monologue on the wind as they descended, luckily to Gruben. I pitied the others in the group.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4430/36571000206_5be6ec1294_c.jpg) (http://)


Title: Mad Dog and an Englishman go trekking - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 01:55:23, 17/08/17
“Ian, just off for more snow playing”


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4435/36220491390_f589b8ec4e_c.jpg) (http://)
 
Creative signs
 
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4350/36448245302_0a398a1985_c.jpg) (http://)
 
Arrrr . . cooling down in a snow oasis from the sun trapped boulders that went on and on . .
 
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4371/36448602262_8c53662cdd_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4400/35782683624_cbcfcbcbc6_c.jpg) (http://)
 
Views back towards Augstbordpass


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4342/36616733725_c6931238d9_c.jpg) (http://)
 

Exuberant teens from California bombing along the path, with views of northern end of Mattertal.




(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4440/36617521025_97a170a6bc_c.jpg) (http://)


“Ian, I need a break . . it’s super hot & all those rocks are giving me sore paws . . . please”
“Patience Zen . . I know the perfect spot . . “   O0
“Wow  . . . woof . . .  wow”     :smitten:
 
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4337/35807285923_e676e525ca_c.jpg) (http://)


The teens are leaving . . . I've got it . .  ;)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4391/36448654692_93be8e5ba2_c.jpg) (http://)
 
Troara viewpoint – undoubtedly one of the finest panoramic viewpoints on the entire trek . .  :smitten:
This truly is the heart of the Alps, one visual gem after another.
View South of Mattertal towards Zermatt at its head (hidden) – a narrow deeply cut valley flanked by the highest peaks in Switzerland – Magnificent
 
“Can we hang here for a while?”   :)
“Sure, but not literally”    O0
 

“Muy, muy feliz”   :)     :)
Views opposite of Dom (4545m) & Reid glacier on Eastern side of the valley.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4336/36448632662_e96e8c3990_c.jpg) (http://)
 

View North of- Bernese Alps & closer avalanche defences
 
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4333/35807328353_27e433ab21_c.jpg) (http://)


“Ian, look, it’s a long way down”
“I trust you, Zen. Take a photo for us”


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4416/36571149286_79aaf130e3_c.jpg) (http://)


View of Grachen (1615m), on opposite side of the valley


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4394/36570267226_5cff9ba4c9_c.jpg) (http://)


Western side view of Zinalrothorn, Schalihorn, Wessihorn, Bishorn & Brunegghorn.
 
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4370/35781584424_e5883d4122_c.jpg) (http://)
 
A turn up – a flat stone mule-path


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4403/36448617562_fa8d0f8628_c.jpg) (http://)
 
Jungu or Jungen (1955m) perched or hanging on a steep slope 900m above the Mattertal, a delightful collection of old timber chalets and haybarns.

Another fascinating photo showing the Western side of the valley with our camp site for the night and the route tomorrow.[


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4372/36448623172_84363eafd9_c.jpg) (http://)


First, the hot energy sapping decent down to St Niklaus (1127m)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4411/36479568691_aec45e842d_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4346/35782421734_00674c1d9a_c.jpg) (http://)


 Ian’s full of shocks today . . upon arriving in St Niklaus, we hopped on a train. .
It can’t be the end . . there was no last day bell. . .   :'(
Worse . .  Ian fell asleep on the train & I had to batter him awake with my paws at the first stop.
Just as well I did as we got off at the second stop, though I immediately regretted it . . .
 
Arrrr. . . I know that pungent sterile aroma of pain & fear . . the Vets   :'( :'( 

The horrible worming tablets . . now we really were close to going home.
At least Ian disguised it’s revolting taste by smothering them with my tasty treats.

Back on the train to St Niklaus station, where we bumped into Thomas, waiting for the bus to Grachen.

“Ian, just once, let’s take the bus . . please. Promise I won’t tell anyone”

“I’ll think about it, while on the way to the supermarket”

Hope he doesn’t remember last time I took the worming pills – we jumped into a taxi zooming round the hairpin bends over the Pyrenees –
I threw up !  :-[


I was worried - Ian makes horrendous decisions when he’s tired   ???


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4405/36479574101_fe699ec10d_c.jpg) (http://)


We walked  . . in the afternoon scorching sun
We walked  . . 500m up to Gasenried
We walked  . . for 2 hours and some
 
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4388/36448619852_ba4cc50f78_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4441/36479587561_dc28976b88_c.jpg) (http://)


Ian got excited with this sign . . the first one pointing to . . .

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4392/35808226063_6e0aaac55e_c.jpg) (http://)


Europaweg . . .   
 
Ian knew I was exhausted when, even though I was off the lead I couldn’t be bothered to chase some sheep we saw.

These were fun to meet & cheered me up . .  :)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4377/36479591971_265220d5f2_c.jpg) (http://)


Ian said he knew of a perfect camping spot . . yeah, but can we walk there?
I was hoping for a bed. . . and I know the perfect spot . . . but we can’t walk there.
Me, of little faith . . Ian’s camp site was beautiful . . with a new friend to make.  :)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4414/36571057856_df6e7bdfa6_c.jpg) (http://)


Flat grassy area, tables, chairs, bar-b-ques, toilets & it even came with an outdoor shower/mandi for Ian . .   O0
I wouldn’t have grumbled if he had thrown me in the bath.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4432/36571063126_2e4f83b83a_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4340/36220011700_5529b933bf_c.jpg) (http://)


“Ian, today was terrific    O0  . . would tomorrow be terrific or terrifying  . . ?     :'( 

“ . . . tomorrow . . . hmmm  . . . The Europaweg . . . sweet dreams, Zen “

“ . . or . . a nightmare, Ian ??” I whispered.    :P

Title: Mad Dog and an Englishman go trekking - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 13:46:10, 17/08/17
Day 12 (Chamonix – Zermatt) Fri 7th July: Gasenried to Europahüttealong Europaweg
Ascent 1131m / Descent 570m  (14th day walking)


Europaweg, created in 1997 is a challenging route stretching 31km between [/font]Grächen[/font][/color] and Zermatt, which climbs as high as 1400m above the Mattertal (valley). It takes between 12-13 hours to walk the two stages of the unstable, everchanging high mountain path. It’s not for the faint hearted.

Ding-aling . . ding-aling . . ding-aling . . . .
“Oh, Ian . . . the last day.”    :'( 
“No . . . last  . . TWO days”   ;) 
“Fab . . . that makes sense . . one day would not do justice to such a magnificent trek.
It deserves a two-day grandstand finale”    O0 
“The Ultimate Challenge, Zen . . . Listo??”
“I was born ready, Ian . . . Vamos”    :coolsmiley:

I double checked the food supply, as I was a little concerned with Ian cooking his last dinner packages last night & polishing off the last bit of his muesli this morning . . .
We are definitely stopping somewhere nice-ish tonight.  :)
Phew . . I had enough doggie food . . and Ian was carrying enough bananas for a family of monkeys & Swiss cheese for,  . . well, for me.   :D

Campsite - Up at 6, off by 7 . .


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4439/36627373145_7bf23a1106_c.jpg) (http://)


Leaving Grasenried, climbing steeply . .


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4337/36230669880_f1c226a925_c.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/)



Yeah . . a cool dense freedom forest.   :)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4408/36489329491_1b8e7947fa_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4331/36489325791_fa792446f5_c.jpg) (http://)


Emerging from the forest after 2hrs or so to wonderous views of Grächen, Bietschhorn & the Bernese Alps


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4417/36580933726_fc9b53ab44_c.jpg) (http://)


This lone mountain goat followed us conspicuously for a while, keeping its distance


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4432/36489443661_dc3463848e_c.jpg) (http://)


Views of Barrhorn & Weisshorn from Grat (2300m) - look closely for the goat


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4338/36580946236_356af242f4_c.jpg) (http://)
 

Up to pay our respects & thanks for such a safe and superb trek, to St Bernard, patron saint of mountain travellers (2460m)  :)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4423/36627452535_dcc4a7e228_c.jpg) (http://)


Precarious . . this rock has probably fallen since the photo was taken.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4428/36627348465_d22257970d_c.jpg) (http://)


“Wow . . . woof woof  . . . wow”    :smitten:
“Ian, you’re amazing . . just stop it, stop it . . . another unbelievable breakfast stop”    :)



(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4416/36627456635_4e4cca23d5_c.jpg) (http://)
Matterhorn  :coolsmiley: :coolsmiley:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4331/36627335825_92ddd5ca8d_c.jpg) (http://)


Riedglestcher and Ried glacier
 
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4346/36580967536_56c360771a_c.jpg) (http://)
 

“Muy muy felix”   :)    :)
We soaked up the 360 panorama for over an hour . . and why not.   :smitten:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4436/36580962016_4c98f74e23_c.jpg) (http://)


It gave me time to get to grips with my pencil . . line shows route yesterday to ‘wild’ camp (first circle), then today, up through freedom forest to St Bernard (second circle), then roughly the path through the treacherous Grosse Graben combe towards Europahütte.  :P


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4404/36628055125_990d33a05d_c.jpg) (http://)

Title: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 00:26:25, 18/08/17
Tackling Europaweg . . .
“Ian, this is relentless. A heart in the mouth, nerve-shattering, white-knuckle ride. I didn’t think my knuckles could get any whiter.  :D
Rubble and scree followed unstable rockfalls and razor-sharp ridges, followed by jumbled boulders & hidden trail markers. Zig-zagging narrow crumbling paths (?) hugged the devastated mountain slopes, up and down, in and out of clefts in the cliffs, with exposed perilous drops.
And still the visual extravaganza of monumental mountains and deep valleys inspired you, urging you on, to look up & down, forward & back, but never to turn back.
Warning signs of impending danger & doom pushed you to hurry when you were slowing to creep across wooden walkways clung to the cliffs.
When needed, there were ropes.
When really needed, there were none.
When desperately needed there was nowhere to fix one.”
 
“Ian’s not an adrenaline junkie . . just as well, as he would have OD on this.  :D
This was not common sense . . this was heightened sensual over load . . . this was sensational.
This was THE reason for tackling the Walker’s Haute Route . . “   O0
 
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4342/35802701134_8eda7df19e_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4342/36468362752_41b49bcc6d_c.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/)


“Ian, where have all these rocks come from?”
“They fell here”
“Gulp   :o   Ian, can we take less photos and move a wee bit faster, please”


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4398/35802703554_9a15b0ce4e_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4390/35802714344_4245b1c1c4_c.jpg) (http://)

We saw the reverse sign 1hr 30min later, smashed up under fallen rocks  :-X


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4410/36637451085_868edce86f_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4412/35802706954_6755338014_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4425/36591142876_63f09e3243_c.jpg) (http://)


Wild goats (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4376/36637442795_dfe3705163_c.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4436/36499731771_50bfaf5f53_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4430/35803068204_2d88f100fb_c.jpg) (http://)


We paused to chat and offer advice . .
“Good luck in finding the path round the next spur”, I wished them.


They replied,
“Good luck in finding the path round the next spur”


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4382/36468318992_8686d8d0ca_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4418/36637457355_6243cc74bf_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4378/36499722831_5359de005e_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4427/36591075716_310d11091f_c.jpg) (http://)





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(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4347/35802723854_388d1cf17a_c.jpg) (http://)


“Zen, how about taking the tree trunk bridge challenge?”

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4337/35828612023_4491d3d424_c.jpg) (http://)


I took the river option. I have had enough of bridges.   ;D


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4411/36240989560_e55f42a0ee_c.jpg) (http://)


Just when I thought I’d beaten every challenge the Europaweg could throw at me.
 
“Nooooooooooooooooooooo” . . . A nightmare!   :'(


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4385/36468599692_1d7a23cffe_c.jpg) (http://)


“No way . . call that a bridge . . thrown together with leftover scraps of wood. Swinging. Uneven. Unstable. No way”
“Together, Zen”
“Inseparable, Ian . . .”


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4429/36240983000_a98e249042_c.jpg) (http://)

!Felicisimo!  :)   :)   :)
“Muchas felicidades Zen. !Desafio logrado!   O0


“Mira Ian . . “   :)
 
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4442/36468353292_7ca97f8af5_c.jpg) (http://)


Europahütte  :)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4384/36468357752_a5c893e80c_c.jpg) (http://)


I waited outside whilst Ian disappeared inside.
“Zen, I’ve got good news & bad news”
“Oh, what’s the bad news . . please  . . no more bridges”
“No camping”  :(
“and the good news?”
“They accept dogs in the hut”   :)
“Whoopee! – finally the hut stay you promised me”   :smitten:
We danced. We dined. We crashed! 
 
“So Zen, how was today?”
“Wunderbar”   O0
“Same again tomorrow, Zen”
I think Ian was joking . .   :P
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: Islandplodder on 09:30:56, 18/08/17
Fantastic views, amazing photos, but I got vertigo just looking at those paths!
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: pdstsp on 09:39:25, 18/08/17
What an incredible few days - I am becoming very very tempted to try this route.  Fancy guiding me Zen?
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 19:38:50, 20/08/17
What an incredible few days - I am becoming very very tempted to try this route.  Fancy guiding me Zen?


"Sure . . . but only as far as the first swinging suspension bridge  :D "
Title: Mad Dog & an Englishman go trekking - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: IanyZen on 20:32:03, 20/08/17
Day 13 (Chamonix – Zermatt) Sat 8th July: Europahütte to Zermatt along Europaweg via Sunnegga Paradise & Findeln
Ascent 948m / Descent 1562m  (15th & last day walking)
Sadly our last day walking :'(  and equally sad, my last trip report.   :(  It’s been dogtastic to write  :)

No surprises to say we were pretty slow in leaving even though Ian said this would be a long day trek.
First, the detour - 600m down & 600m up through the forest
Well, it’s been the detour for the last 6 years since the last bridge was wiped out…
“Phew, Ian. Lucky the new bridge hasn’t been finished yet”  ;)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4369/35886162303_71453d5e7e_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4416/36557839491_9a186ca043_c.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/)


“We wouldn’t have taken it anyway,  . . . would we . . . ?”
“Hmm . . not sure . . nice challenge, Zen”  :D
You can see photos of the new bridge (opened 29th July) at www.europaweg.ch (http://www.europaweg.ch/)


I’ll miss the freedom forest paths . .  :)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4367/36536015451_71261793e5_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4332/36504978612_d3b3dd940f_c.jpg) (http://)


And the mountain ones . .


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4340/36278521860_ea49e97fcd_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4388/36674685115_f43c397825_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4432/35839732984_6e04bac4de_c.jpg) (http://)


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(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4397/35839716154_08393ae029_c.jpg) (http://)


‘Ian, you could have done with a few of these ropes yesterday”  ;D
“My thoughts exactly Zen.”  O0

Our last fab breakfast stop.   :'(    Our first view of Zermatt  :)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4369/36279095830_493f2c9078_c.jpg) (http://)

A closer view of The Matterhorn . . as we circle round above Zermatt the views changed.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4336/36628803726_b389141e5d_c.jpg) (http://)


Easy-peasy grid bridges now, though I’m glad this was not the first one.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4419/35839435164_1890b293ea_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4354/36505395212_0968cd2e22_c.jpg) (http://)

Gorgeous. Any idea what this whispy flower is?

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4408/36628341396_e4a92ac1e5_c.jpg) (http://)


Avalanche defence tunnels


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4406/36628329006_5742d69c75_c.jpg) (http://)


I packed my night vision goggles & raced ahead leaving Ian in the dark  ;D
. . until the light came on. ???

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4384/36278543650_7dbb217e2f_c.jpg) (http://)


Warning . . Beware of the English trekker . . . :2funny:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4337/35886177123_47419e3e11_c.jpg) (http://)


“What about the mountain biker Zen?”
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4364/36504995132_180ae73206_c.jpg) (http://)

I’m going to lose my appetite with no more of these delicious lunch stops. Taschalp ahead.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4442/36505359952_9013387882_c.jpg) (http://)


Reminds me of here . . Pennine Way, our first long trek (2013) . .


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4428/36629168696_593946a67f_c.jpg) (http://)

Hmm . . and our PW celebratory finish  - free half for me as well . . O0
Boy, don’t I look like a fresh-faced naive pup??   :P


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4385/36536716881_93d05f5c3c_c.jpg) (http://)

“Hey, Ian. How are we going to celebrate?
“It’s a surprise”  O0


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4371/36279145600_d40c082782_c.jpg) (http://)


Further down the valley . . Gulp . . cows with horns  :'(
Ahh . . . not to worry Zen, I know where to get a bigger horn . .

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4387/35865585933_37a986e69e_c.jpg) (http://)


An outdoor wedding in Taschalp


Just in case you're missing it . .


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4334/36278959190_235438afdb_c.jpg) (http://)


Avalanche defence barriers . .

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4370/36628588256_aa12872e6b_c.jpg) (http://)

“Ian what would happen if the log at the top broke free . . ?”
“Err, Zen . . let’s move a little quicker”

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4359/36628494926_ce2457b9a0_c.jpg) (http://)


More avalanche protection

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4423/36505201832_5891b3314b_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4387/35840087204_e5fb7625b6_c.jpg) (http://)


It wasn’t tiredness that slowed us down, we just didn’t want the trek to end.  :'(
No surprises then Ian took the long way, via Sunnegga Paradise & Findeln.

On the descent to Zermatt, the sun came out for our last views of The Matterhorn  O0


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4434/36536320831_452145e8c8_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4428/36675034715_d29c4928ea_c.jpg) (http://)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4338/35865085653_e44be2f8d7_z.jpg) (http://)

With the first houses of Zermatt in touching distance . . I stopped . .

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4367/36674446685_e31cd6f6dd_c.jpg) (http://)

“Ian, you know what we deserve . . ”
In union, we said “A five-star hotel”  :smitten:
We’ve earned it.  O0


A perk & reward for the hours I’ve spent looking after the flat while Ian cycles off to do his travel job. ;)
We stayed (free) for a couple of nights at Mont Cervin Palace. Luxurious.   :-*
Yummy - five-star breakfasts & doggie treats.   :D
In 16 days away, we had snow at Cabane du Mont Fort and during Day 6, but no rain, only at night . . .so my surprise . . a light warm rain shower at the hotel, then pampered with soft towels and a hair drier treatment afterwards . . such luxury.
"Thank you guys for following our wonderful trek and your lovely comments.  :smitten:
I hope you enjoyed my trip report as much as I did."


Just one final thing to say about our trek from Mont Blanc to The Matterhorn . . .


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4366/36640799436_6d751e5a82_c.jpg) (http://)


“Ian, a huge thank you . .
for all your love, trust, joy, wonder and surprises,
for helping me overcome my anguish, fear, tiredness and anxieties,

for tantalising tent views, ice cool glaciers and tricky challenges,
for mountain reflections, floating snowflakes and red & white flashes,

for soft swiss cheese, cliff clinging paths and valley vistas,
for a cosy igloo, getting lost, power naps & dreamy siestas.

Ich danke dir sehr . .
for restful cols, wicked wild camps and fresh water troughs,
for freedom forests, big skies and spectacular lunch stops,

for horned cows, inquisitive alpacas and chamois and cheeky marmots,
for being smitten by a shepherd, a majestic ibex and load-haired goats.

Un petit merci . . .
for your knockout farts, my river wash and the ferry cages,
for a shocking electric fence lesson and swinging suspension bridges.

Muchísimo gracias  . .
for rock ‘n’ roll boulders, gorgeous flowery meadows and window boxes,   
for old town chalets, a downhill fun run and super tasty rosties,

for a new bungee lead, avoiding ladders and an ace glacier crossing,
for bravo doggie bags, fav food packages and near perfect planning,

for taking me across the grand desert and yoga and snowy frolics
And for taking me with you, coz it was . . the dog’s b*ll*cks!”


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4371/36458251042_57849477fe_c.jpg) (http://)


  "Sueña con los angelitos" 
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: pdstsp on 23:20:13, 20/08/17
Brilliant - thank you both. 

Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: Mel on 23:34:47, 20/08/17
I've thoroughly enjoyed each installment of your brilliant adventure Zen.  Thank you for pawsting it  :)
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: Islandplodder on 09:45:31, 21/08/17
I'll miss these posts Zen, and all the photos.  They really cheer up a soggy Scottish August.  See and take Ian off for another holiday soon!
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: vizzavona on 10:08:55, 21/08/17
Very enjoyable reports of your journey.  Travels through the mountains with an intelligent pooch.....better than 'Travels with a Donkey'.  :)  I look forwards to hear of your next adventure together.
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: Jac on 10:21:28, 23/08/17
Absolutely brilliant - tears in my eyes now it's all over - feel [email protected] walked i with you ( but thank heavens I didn't have to, some of those paths aaaaarrrrggghhhh.
Zen and Ian - what an amazing combo.

Thank you :)
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: gunwharfman on 16:47:02, 23/08/17
Thank you, very enjoyable.
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: gunwharfman on 16:49:53, 23/08/17
When you were hiking were you sending them to the Walking Forum whilst on the route? If this was the case, how did you do that?
Title: Re: Walker's Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt June/July 2017
Post by: bricam2096 on 18:46:13, 23/08/17
When you were hiking were you sending them to the Walking Forum whilst on the route? If this was the case, how did you do that?

He finished the walk on July 8th so I guess he posted his photos when he got home  O0