Chamonix to Zermatt

The classic Walker's Haute Route

By Kev Reynolds

Guidebook to the Walker's Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt. The 225km route typically takes 2 weeks to walk. Described in 14 stages, the route crosses 11 passes between Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn and involves more than 14,000m of ascent and descent. A complete guide for planning and walking the route, with accommodation information.



Alpine summer walking, so mid-June to mid-September; snow could remain on higher passes well into July.


Chamonix, Argentière, Trient, Champex, Sembrancher, Le Chable, Verbier, Arolla, Les Haudères, La Sage, Zinal, Gruben, St Niklaus, Zermatt


225km 11 passes and 14,000m of ascent make this a fairly tough trek; high alpine mountain walking, some sharp cols; final 2-day section on Europaweg is challenging and exposed, with some parts protected by cables and a 500m suspension bridge to cross
Must See

Must See

Mont Blanc and Chamonix's Aiguilles, Grand Combin, the Grand Desért, the fabulous Vals d'Herens and Moiry, the Twära view of the Dom, Weisshorn, the view of the Matterhorn on the approach to Zermatt 
6 Jun 2019
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.4cm
  • Overview

    A guidebook to the classic Chamonix to Zermatt trek from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn. The 225km Walker's Haute Route through the French and Swiss Alps crosses 11 passes, gains more than 14,000m in height and is a strong contender for the title of Most Beautiful Walk in Europe. The high-level route is described in 14 day stages, with optional variants, and is suitable for walkers with a good level of fitness and some previous alpine trekking experience. The final approach to Zermatt adopts the dramatic Europaweg, a high-level traverse of the east wall of the Mattertal, crossing the 500-metre suspension bridge at Randa. An alternative valley route to Zermatt can be taken if this does not appeal.
    Alongside clear route descriptions and mapping for each stage of the trek, there is essential practical information on travel to Chamonix and return from Zermatt, as well as advice on accommodation in alpine villages and mountain refuges, trekking safety, equipment, itinerary planning and preparation.
    Taking 2 weeks to complete, this challenging but rewarding trek encompasses the greatest collection of 4000 metre peaks in the Alps – Mont Blanc, the Grand Combin, Dent Blanche, Weisshorn and the Matterhorn – and visits some of the most spectacular valleys, including the Val d’Hérens, Val d’Annivers and the Mattertal.

  • Contents

    The Walker’s Haute Route
    Getting there and back again
    When to go
    Notes for walkers
    Not enough time?
    Paths and waymarks
    Safety in the mountains
    Wildlife and plants
    Recommended apps
    Using this guide
    Chamonix to Zermatt
    Stage 1 Chamonix – Argentière
    Stage 2 Argentière – Col de Balme – Trient
    Stage 3 Trient – Fenêtre d’Arpette – Champex
    Stage 3A Trient – Col de la Forclaz – Alp Bovine – Champex
    Stage 4 Champex – Sembrancher – Le Châble
    Stage 5 Le Châble – Clambin – Cabane du Mont Fort
    Stage 5A Le Châble (Les Ruinettes) – Col Termin – Cabane de Louvie
    Stage 6 Cabane du Mont Fort – Col Termin – Col de Louvie – Col de Prafleuri – Cabane de Prafleuri
    Stage 7 Cabane de Prafleuri – Col des Roux – Pas de Chèvres – Arolla
    Stage 8 Arolla – Lac Bleu – Les Haudères – La Sage
    Stage 9 La Sage – Col du Tsaté – Cabane de Moiry
    Stage 9A La Sage – Col de Torrent – Barrage de Moiry/Grimentz
    Stage 10 Cabane de Moiry – Col de Sorebois – Zinal
    Stage 10A Barrage de Moiry – Col de Sorebois – Zinal
    Stage 11 Zinal – Forcletta – Gruben
    Stage 11A Zinal – Hôtel Weisshorn/Cabane Bella Tola
    Stage 11B Hôtel Weisshorn/Cabane Bella Tola – Meidpass – Gruben
    Stage 12 Gruben – Augstbordpass – St Niklaus
    Stage 12A St Niklaus – Gasenried
    Stage 13 Gasenried – Europa Hut
    Stage 14 Europa Hut – Täschalp – Zermatt
    Stage 13A/14A St Niklaus – Täsch – Zermatt

    Appendix A Walks from Zermatt
    Appendix B Climbing from Zermatt
    Appendix C Useful contacts
    Appendix D Bibliography
    Appendix E Glossary

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Kev Reynolds

A lifelong passion for the countryside in general, and mountains in particular, drives Kev's desire to share his sense of wonder and delight in the natural world through his writing, photography and lecturing.

Claiming to be The Man with the World's Best Job, he has enjoyed a fruitful partnership with Cicerone since the 1970s, producing over 50 books, including guides to five major trekking regions of Nepal, and to numerous routes in the European Alps and Pyrenees, as well as walking guides for Kent, Sussex and the Cotswolds.

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