Day 1 - Arrival day
Arrival day at your chalet in Argentiere, you will be welcomed by the Yeti Lodge team and shown to your room. You can then either relax at the chalet or go for a stroll around Argentiere until the rest of your group arrives. You will meet your group and guide in the evening for a briefing about the itinerary, the weather and conditions. You can check with your guide if you have all the equipment required and ask any questions. The trip package begins with a three-course dinner at Yeti Lodge.
Day 2 - Argentiere to Albert 1er Hut
A short cable car ride up from Le Tour and a hike of 2-3 hours brings us to the Albert Premier hut at 2720m. This is the perfect place to practice crampon and ice axe techniques in the afternoon. We will have dinner at the hut and spend the night here.
Hiking Time: 2 hours
Day 3 – Col Superior du Tour to La Fouly, via Cabane d'Orny
We leave the Albert 1er hut early in the morning when the snow is still frozen, to catch the best conditions underfoot. Making our way across the Col Superior du Tour (3289m) into Switzerland. From here we cross the glacial terrain of the Trient Plateau, before dropping down the Orny Glacier to the Cabane d’Orny (2831m) where we enjoy a short break and wonderful scenery. A pleasant descent of about 2 hours brings us to the La Breya chairlift, which takes us down to the pretty lakeside village of Champex where we take a taxi to La Fouly and lay our heads for the night in dormitory accommodation. There is a small supermarket here to stock up on trail snacks and essential items.
Time: 8 hours
Day 4 – Col du Neve de la Rousse to Bourg Saint Pierre
A gentle walk out of La Fouly leads to a steeper trail up to Col du Neve de la Rousse at 2752m, a tranquil spot where you have a good chance of spotting marmots, chamois, bouquetins, and other alpine wildlife. From this elevated pass you can also take in wonderful views of the Mont Blanc massif and across to the Grand Combin. A long but steady descent takes us past the snowy waters of the wonderfully-named lake Gouille du Dragon (dragon’s puddle!) and on to Bourg Saint Pierre. We stop here for the night - make the most of your last chance for a hot shower! You'll also be able to buy a few snacks and delve into your trek bag for a change of clothes and any items that you might want.
Hiking Time: 7-8 hours
Day 5 – Col de la Vuardette to Cabane Brunet via Mont Rogneux
We start today with a long but gradual climb towards Tour des Combins. Shortly after crossing Col de La Vuardette at 2440m we traverse across to Pointe de Boveire at 2493m. A descent along a lesser-trodden trail brings us into the La Chaudiere valley and then up again to the west ridge of Mont Rogneux, where we have some fun scrambling over easy terrain to the summit cross at 3083m. We descend via the east ridge, passing a lake on the way down to Pindin where we pick up the 4x4 track that takes us easily down to Cabane Brunet at 2103m – our home for tonight.
Hiking Time: 8 hours
Day 6 - Cabane Brunet to Cabane Panossière
Today is a relatively easy day, starting with a leisurely breakfast at the Brunet hut before setting off along a pleasant hillside trail and crossing over a pretty stream. The route continues past some old “bergeries” (shepherds' huts) at La Maya and then begins to climb up to another bridge, this one crossing the flowing melt water of theCorbassièreglacier. We carry on to Plan Gali and make our last ascent of the day up to Cabane Panossière at 2669m. We'll spend the afternoon enjoying a late lunch and relaxing on the terrace with a magnificent view of Grand Combin. The hut has a free open air shower, complete with mountain view, or you can pay to use the new indoor showers.
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Day 7 – Col des Otannes to Cabane de Chanrion
A bright and early start today, beginning with a climb up to the Col des Otannes at 2846m, where in good weather we have fantastic views across the crevasses of the Corbassière Glacier to the impressive summit of the Grand Combin. We then drop down to the Mauvoisin dam where we can refuel with coffee and cake! We continue across the top of the dam to follow a long but gentle ascent alongside the lake to Col de Tsofeiret. From here it is a short sharp descent to our night stop at the Cabane de Chanrion, a beautiful place amid summer pastures and surrounded by mountain lakes where you can enjoy a refreshing dip, if you're brave enough. Our trek bags will be available if we want a change of clothes.
Hiking Time: 7-8 hours
Day 8 – Cabane de Chanrion to Cabane des Dix via 4 Cols
Today is a big day in which we cross no less than four mountain passes, leaving behind the green landscape of the lower Alps to enter into the rocky and icy terrain of the glaciers. We start by climbing back up to Col de Tsofeiret into a more rugged environment, with the spectacular view of the Brenay Glacier in the distance. The second climb up to Col de Lire Rose (3115m) is a good place for seeing the famous edelweiss flower and spotting ibex. A steep descent brings us to the boulder-strewn glacier, before climbing back up to Col de Mont Rouge at 3325m; we may need to use crampons at this point to get across the steep snow slope. The final climb brings us across the Gietro Glacier to reach the Col de Cheilon then it's a short glacial descent to the Cabane des Dix (2928m), a comfortable hut renowned for serving good food. If we make good time we may arrive in time for a hot lunch and then we can relax and enjoy the surroundings. This hut has a basic 'panoramic' open-air shower.
Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
Day 9 – Pigne d’Arolla to Cabane des Vignettes
Another early start today, in preparation for the reaching the highest point of our route at almost 4000m. The day starts with a short descent from the Cabane des Dix hut to the Glacier de Cheilon, where we put on our crampons and rope ourselves up ready for a glacial traverse. The climb up to Col de la Serpentine is a dramatic one, surrounded by deep crevasses and looming rocks. Once at the col we'll take a quick breather and take in the incredible view of the Matterhorn and the Dent d’Herons before ascending a short but steep ice slope. From here we reach the easier upper slopes of the Pigne d’Arolla as we hike up to the summit at 3796m, 360 degree views make it worth the effort. After a short glacial descent we should arrive at the Vignettes hut (3160m) in time for lunch, then we can spend the afternoon relaxing in impressive surroundings before settling in for the night.
Hiking Time: 6-7 hours
Day 10 - Col de l'Évêque to the Cabane de Bertol
From our resting place at the Cabane des Vignettes, we traverse glacial terrain beneath the north face of Petit Mont Collon to reach Col L’Évêque at 3386m. The icy adventure continues as we cross the snowy slopes and bare glacier of the Haute Glacier d’Arolla, descending to a small trail at the snout of the glacier. Following the trail across the eastern slopes of the valley towards Plan de Bertol, we then have one last climb of about 600m to reach Col de Bertol at 3268m where we will find our lodging at Cabane de Bertol. Reaching the hut is via a series of ladders, an exciting way to end one of the routes more challenging days!
Day 11 – Stockji Glacier to Schönbiel Hutte
Another early start today so that we have the opportunity to ascend Tête Blanche if conditions are good. We start by clambering back down the ladders from the Bertol hut and then roping up to traverse the Glacier du Mont Miné and summit the snow-topped peak of Tête Blanche at 3724m – a beautiful but easy ascent rewarded by magnificent views of the Matterhorn. To descend we must navigate the deep crevasses of the Stockji Glacier until we reach a narrow trail that takes us across steep slopes traversing the glacial moraine on the north side of the valley. Crossing beneath the Smutt Ridge of the Matterhorn, we eventually reach our destination and enjoy lunch on the sunny terrace of the Schönbiel hut, surrounded by green alpine meadows.
Hiking Time: 6-7 hours
Day 12 - Schönbiel Hutte to Zermatt
We finish the trip with an easy hike from the hut down to the town of Zermatt. This is a lovely 4 hour descent through alpine meadows, pretty woodland, and charming little hamlets – all overlooked by the imposing north face of the Matterhorn. We’ll arrive into Zermatt in time for lunch and then the afternoon is free to relax with a celebratory drink or to explore the town before dinner. Our last night is spent in a hotel in the town.
Hiking Time: 4 hours
Day 13 – Leaving Day
Enjoy a last breakfast with your Haute Route companions. Don’t forget to swap email addresses so that you can share photos of your trip!