Chamonix -Zermatt - Haute Route
Chamonix-Zermatt (called Chamzer by those who knows it
well) is considered as the most beautiful trekking in the Alpes glaciers,
connecting two « sacred beast », Chamonix and Zermatt.
Day 1 From the Tour village (1453m) to the Col de Balme
You will meet your guide for an equipment checkup and a briefing of the following days.
You leave from the Tour village (1453m) by cable-car. You then take a chairlift to the Col de Balme, where you start hiking through the forest towards the Albert Premier refuge (2702m), with great views of Mont Blanc and Switzerland. You’ll spend a nice and warm night at the refuge.
Ascent : 550m / Max. Alt : 2702m / Accomodation : Albert 1e refuge
Day 2 The high Tour pass, Trient glacier and Champex village
Wake up bright and early, tuck into breakfast and head towards the authentic village of Champex, crossing the Swiss border through the High Tour pass and walking on the Trient glacier to join the Orny pass. A path leads you then to the Breya chairlift, at the edge of the Aiguilles d’Arpette, getting you down to Champex. You’ll spend the night in this Swiss mountain resort with some shopping facilities.
Ascent : about 750m / Drop : about 1000m / Max. Alt : 3289m / Accomodation : Diner and night in Champex lodge (shower)
Day 3 Champex, hiking to the Chanrion cottage (2462m)
Transfer by car from Champex to the Mauvoisin dam. Today is a beautiful and varied step from where you can enjoy panoramic views of superb peaks: The Great Combin and the Frozen Mont. Pass old farms, quiet villages and quaint houses, as you make your way to the Chanrion cottage (2462m).
Ascent : 600m / Max. Alt : 2462m / Accomodation : diner and night in Chanrion cottage
Day 4 The Otemma glacier, and climb to the Vignettes hut (3158m)
Today you’ll pass the Otemma glacier, which is even bigger than our famous Mer de glace: it has a 22km² surface and is 10km long. Your walk on the glacier gets you to discover the Pigne d’Arolla path, that mountain climbers love. You make your way to the 3158m-high Vignettes cottage, hooked on the top of a cliff, where you’ll rest up and recover.
Ascent : about 850m / Drop : about 150m / Max. Alt : 3158m / Accomodation : Vignettes cottage
Day 5 Arolla glacier, Bertol cottage (3311m) and the Matterhorn viewpoint
One of the toughest days so far. You leave the glacier valley to access a path getting you to Bertol cottage (3311m) in two hours. Up there, you’ll have a jaw-dropping viewpoint on the Matterhorn. Arrive at the Bertol cottage (3311m), hooked on a rocky outcrop.
Ascent : about 1150m / Drop : about 1000m / Max. Alt : 3392m / Accomodation : Bertol cottage
Day 6 Hiking to Tête Blanche and descent of the Stockji towards Schönbiel
For the penultimate day, you start hiking to Tête Blanche (3724m). You’ll see delightful mountain villages on your route and admire magnificent views of the Dent d'Hérens, the Dent Blanche, the Matterhorn and the Zermatt Valley. You’ll make your way through meadows and farmland heading down on the Stockji glacier before settling in for the night at the Schönbiel cottage (2694m).
Ascent : 650m / Drop : 100m / Max. Alt : 3724m / Accomodation : Schönbiel cottage
Day 7 Zermatt descent (1616 m)
On your final day, you walk along a path that hugs the Matterhorn before finishing up in the tiny, lovely mountain village of Zermatt around noon. You can spend the afternoon visiting the village. For those wishing to go back to Chamonix, you will take a bus or a taxi to get there (70 euros per person according to the number of people, to be paid on the spot).
Ascent : about 1100m / Max. Alt : 2694m
Period & budget
When to travel?
The best period for travelling is during the following months:
The budget is an indication of the price per person, subject to availability. Your local agent will send you a customized quote with the exact price. The price can vary according to availability, level of services, period of travel, number of participants, booking time frame and other items.
- The technical organization of the stay
- Half-board accommodation from day 1 (evening) until day 7 (morning)
- Lunch picnics (except for day 7 in Zermatt)
- All cable cars (needed for the normal program)
- Transfer from Champex to Mauvoisin
- Mountaineering with high mountain guides
- Safety equipment needed
- Individual technical equipment (see equipment section)
- Snacks: dried fruits, cereal bars, chocolate bars, etc ..
- Lunch meal in Zermatt on day 7
- All the drinks and personal expenses
- The way back from Chamonix to Zermatt by bus (about 550 Swiss francs to divide according to the number of person willing to go back)
- Insurance and assistance
- Application fees (18€ per person)
- Anything that is not mentioned in the "price includes"
Terms and conditions
- More than 30 days before departure, you will be charged for the amount of 50€
- From 30 to 21 days before departure, you will be charged for the amount of the deposit (30% of the trip’s price)
- From 20 to 14 days before departure, you will be charged for 50% of the trip’s price
- From 13 to 7 days before departure, you will be charged for 75% of the trip’s price
- Less than 7 days before departure, you will be charged for the whole trip’s price
- Airline fixed costs : plane tickets are bought in advance to avoid too high airline prices, however they are non refundable in case of cancellation or plane changes. In that case, the charges above apply to the price of your trip without the plane ticket’s price
- Ground fixed costs : you will be charged for the fees that were paid early
- Insurance fees : Insurance fees will not be refunded if you subscribed to a multi-risk or cancellation insurance. The specific conditions will be written on your subscription confirmation
Changes to travel contract
- Lunchs : picnics
- Diners : meals prepared by shelter keepers
- Take some snacks according to your own tastes (cereals bars, chocolate bars, dry fruits,…). You can buy some in Champex village if you need.
- Water is not for free in refuges (from 5 to 8 euros one bottle). We advise you to bring some water purification tablets (Aquatabs or Micropur) in order to drink tap water.
- Bring some Swiss francs for coffees, fruit juices, coke or beers during breaks… Shelters usually don’t accept bank card payments and Euros.
Budget & exchange
- collective equipment (ropes, compass ...)
- slippers and blankets while in refuges
- Mountaineering boots that you can fit crampons onto (with rigid soles)
- Ice axe, crampons, helmet, harness with locking carabiner, helmet (you cannot rent locking carabiners, you must buy your own)
- One pair of collapsible walking poles (depending on what you are used to), it is highly recommended for descents in particular (possible to rent)
- One pair of gaiters
- One sleeping bag
- One toilet bag : toothpaste, toothbrush (ask for samples in pharmacies), baby wipes or one small soap (no shower during the trip)
- One solar cream (face and lips)
- One headlamp (LED-type), with battery and replacement bulb
- One clasp knife
- Toilet paper + lighter
- Two or three plastic bags (100L) to cover your backpack in case of rain
- 1 waterproof pouch where you will place your id papers, your phone, money, and insurance contract with all the emergency numbers
- A warm hat
- A sun hat and/or a scarf
- Sun glasses for glacier
- One pair of shorts
- A pair of warm gloves or mittens
- A pair of fleece or wool gloves or mittens
- Breathable underclothing
- Breathable technic undershirt (carline, light polar fur,..)
- Polar coat
- Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Goretex or similar)
- One pair of breathable technic tights
- A pair of comfortable mountaineering pants
- 2 pairs of socks : a warm one and a lighter one
- Analgesic (avoid aspirin)
- Anti-inflammatory (pills and cream)
- Bandages and second skin
- Elastoplast (excellent to prevent blisters)
- Sunscreen (SPF 50)
- Biafine cream (for sunburns)
- Pills to purify the water (e.g. Aquatabs). Water in bottles is VERY expensive in refuges (5 to 8€ a bottle)
- Light sleeping pills (if you need some) and/or Quies ear plugs
- Up to 90 days visit in Switzerland : citizens from most countries do not need a visa to visit Switzerland.
- Over 90 days visit in Switzerland : non-EU or non-EFTA citizens must have a visa to visit Switzerland over 90 days.
Health information & recommendations
- Most of our accommodations are run by locals, thus ensuring that the largest part of the revenue generated through your trip will stay within the region.
- France is known for its exquisite cuisine. The art of cooking and the joy of eating are part of everyday life. Each region has its particular foods and flavors which we would like you to explore and appreciate.
- Water is a precious and rare good. Our team and those travelling with us are thus advised to use it with consideration and avoid excessive water use where possible.
- Please try to recycle your waste whenever possible, even though recycling may not be a well-known concept in all areas.
- Be cautious and respectful when hiking. Make sure to wear suitable footwear and avoid picking flowers, moving stones or lighting fires.