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Holiday Overview


  • From Chamonix in France to Zermatt in Switzerland.
  • The classic mountain walk from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn.
  •  Optional ascent of the Breithorn (4165m). 
  • Atmospheric high Alpine mountain huts

This is an alpine glacier trekking holiday along the Haute Route from Chamonix in France to Zermatt in Switzerland, taking in the high glacier crossings of the longer Classic Haute Route and culminating in an ascent of the 4,000-metre Breithorn. In only 6 days this route takes a dramatic and uncompromising line through the heart of the European Alps from Chamonix at the foot of Mont Blanc to Zermatt below the Matterhorn. By including a single short vehicle transfer from Champex to Chanrion we can complete this challenging high altitude trek in just 6 days, all of which involve glacier trekking. Expert guidance is essential, on a trekking route that crosses several high and testing passes and numerous glaciers. During the course of our trek along the Haute Route, there is time to practice the fundamentals of mountaineering and the skills needed for safe walking on glaciated terrain (ice-axe and crampons required). From our comfortable French Alps chalet base in the Chamonix Valley, to our arrival at the famously picturesque ski-town of Zermatt in the Swiss Alps, we accumulate more than 8000 metres of ascent and descent. Offering a blend of amazing scenery and overnight stops at some of the very best Alpine refuges, this one week Haute Route trekking holiday through the Alps of France and Switzerland ranks amongst the world's great mountain walks.


climbing equip white backgroundFREE EQUIPMENT HIRE on all Alps Climbing holidays when you book more than 2 weeks prior to departure!

Already booked on this holiday? Or looking to book on one of our departures in 2016? ALL clients benefit from FREE EQUIPMENT hire worth £100 - when booked in advance.

Climbing offer includes: Harness pack, ice-axe, crampons and helmet.

>> Further details about this offer


Is this holiday for you?

This is real mountain travel, following good trails to the snowline and also involving sections of scrambling, snow-slope climbing and glacier travel, where ropes, crampons and an ice-axe will be used. We average 6 to 8 hours walking each day, with some longer days and tough climbs. During the trek, we will stay in mountain huts which are inaccessible by vehicle and this means that group members will carry all of their personal equipment throughout the trip. With careful planning, and given the fact that sleeping bags and camping mats are not carried, the total weight of your rucksack can be pared down to around 8 kg. Previous experience of walking in crampons is essential for this holiday. Guiding for this holiday is at the ratio of 1:6

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group's chalet in Argentiere in the Chamonix Valley.
  • Cable car from Le Tour. Short walk to the Albert Premier Hut (2702m). Skills practice.
  • Trek Col Superior du Tour (3289m) to Cabane d'Orny (2831m) and cable car to Champex. Transfer to Chanrion Hut (2462m).
  • Trek along the Otemma Glacier to the Vignettes Hut (3160m).
  • Trek to the Cabane de Bertol (3311m).
  • Optional ascent of the Tete Blanche (3724m). Descend Stockji Glacier to Zermatt (1608m).
  • Trek to Furj and cable car to Klein Matterhorn. Ascent of Breithorn (4164m summit) and return. Cable car to Zermatt
  • Departure day
Sat 03 Sep - Sat 10 Sep Code SHR /03/16/
Adult$2,010 Status Sold Out Call Us
More information
  • One Week Haute Route - Mont Blanc to Matterhorn - One Week Haute Route - Mont Blanc to Matterhorn
  • The departure reference for this tour is SHR /03/16/
  • This tour begins on Sat 03 Sep and departs on Sat 10 Sep
Sat 08 Jul - Sat 15 Jul Code SHR /01/17/
Adult$2,235 Status Available Book now
More information
  • One Week Haute Route - Mont Blanc to Matterhorn - One Week Haute Route - Mont Blanc to Matterhorn
  • The departure reference for this tour is SHR /01/17/
  • This tour begins on Sat 08 Jul and departs on Sat 15 Jul
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
Sat 22 Jul - Sat 29 Jul Code SHR /02/17/
Adult$2,235 Status Guaranteed Book now
More information
  • One Week Haute Route - Mont Blanc to Matterhorn - One Week Haute Route - Mont Blanc to Matterhorn
  • The departure reference for this tour is SHR /02/17/
  • This tour begins on Sat 22 Jul and departs on Sat 29 Jul
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
Sat 05 Aug - Sat 12 Aug Code SHR /03/17/
Adult$2,235 Status Available Book now
More information
  • One Week Haute Route - Mont Blanc to Matterhorn - One Week Haute Route - Mont Blanc to Matterhorn
  • The departure reference for this tour is SHR /03/17/
  • This tour begins on Sat 05 Aug and departs on Sat 12 Aug
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
Sat 02 Sep - Sat 09 Sep Code SHR /04/17/
Adult$2,235 Status Available Book now
More information
  • One Week Haute Route - Mont Blanc to Matterhorn - One Week Haute Route - Mont Blanc to Matterhorn
  • The departure reference for this tour is SHR /04/17/
  • This tour begins on Sat 02 Sep and departs on Sat 09 Sep
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
We sell this holiday on a Land Only basis joining in Chamonix and departing from Zermatt. The nearest convenient airport for both these towns is Geneva, approximately an hour's drive away from Chamonix and three hours by train from Zermatt. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements & transfers' for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the departure is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

If flying from the UK there are a number of low cost airlines offering flights to Geneva. These include Easyjet who have flights from London, Manchester, Liverpool & Glasgow and Jet 2 who have flights from Manchester, Leeds Bradford & Belfast. Other airports may be available.

If you would prefer to book a 'flight inclusive package' using scheduled airlines from the UK please contact our flights department for a quote. Whilst flight prices are likely to be more expensive you will benefit from full financial protection.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure Travel is a fully ATOL licensed and bonded tour operator with ABTA and AITO.


Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • point
  • trip direction
  • peaks
  • trek
  • transfer
  • cable car

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group's chalet in Argentiere in the Chamonix Valley.

    Rendezvous at the group chalet in Argentiere (1240m), just outside Chamonix. Here, you will be welcomed and made to feel at home. At 7.00pm we will be joined by our guide and have an informal chat about the week ahead. There will also be a chance for the guide to check out your clothing and gear and to decide if you will need to pick up any further items of equipment before setting out in the morning. KE Land Only services begin with the evening meal.

    • Accommodation Chalet

    • Meals d

  • Cable car from Le Tour. Short walk to the Albert Premier Hut (2702m). Skills practice.

    The first stage of our trek takes us from Argentiere to the Albert Premier Hut (2702m). We start out by way of a short cable car ride from Le Tour to the Col du Balme. From here, it's a comfortable 2-hour walk to the Albert Premier Hut, which we aim to reach by mid afternoon. The nearby Glacier du Tour is a great place to practice snow and ice skills. There are great views of Mont Blanc and the Aiguille du Chardonnay on the walk to the hut.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Ascent 600m

    • Distance 4km

    • Meals bd

    • Descent 80m

    • Time 2 hrs walking

  • Trek Col Superior du Tour (3289m) to Cabane d'Orny (2831m) and cable car to Champex. Transfer to Chanrion Hut (2462m).

    An early start from the hut allows us to make use of the best snow conditions underfoot, whilst the snow is still frozen. Today we cross over into Switzerland, by way of the Col Superior du Tour (3289m). At the col there are great views of the Mont Blanc range on one side and of the peaks of Switzerland (Valais Alps) to the other. We then cross the flat, glaciated, Trient Plateau and descend to the Cabane d’Orny (2831m) for lunch. After lunch we follow a pleasant footpath, traversing the hillside to the small chairlift station of La Breya, from where we take a ride down to the idyllic village of Champex where we will meet with our transfer to the Canrion Hut (2462m)

    • Accommodation Gite / Hostel

    • Ascent 760m

    • Distance 9km

    • Meals bd

    • Descent 640m

    • Time 7 - 8 hrs walking

  • Trek along the Otemma Glacier to the Vignettes Hut (3160m).

    Our route today ascends the Otemma Glacier, which runs through the heart of the Valais Alps. To reach the glacier we first descend a short way to a gorge to access the Otemma Glacier which is stone covered initially. Now we can enjoy a long and easy-angled ascent, amongst spectacular mountain scenery, to reach the broad Col de Chermotane 3053m at the head of the valley. From here it is a steeper ascent to the Vignettes Hut (3160m) below the Pigne d'Arolla. The hut is in a very dramatic location surrounded by glaciers. We can see the next day’s route over the Col de L'Eveque and the Bertol hut on the skyline across the valley.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Meals bd

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs walking

  • Trek to the Cabane de Bertol (3311m).

    Today we cross beneath the north face of the Petit Mont Collon on glaciated terrain to reach the Col de L'Eveque (3386m). This takes 3 hours. From here, we descend onto the Haute Glacier d'Arolla,
    traversing snow slopes and then bare glacier. At the snout of the glacier, we pick up a trail leading towards a bergerie Plan de Bertol on the eastern slopes of the valley. Beyond this, we are faced with a 600 metre ascent to the Col de Bertol (3268m). Our overnight halt is at the Cabane de Bertol (3311m), which is spectacularly located at the col. Access to the hut is via an exciting series of ladders - a sting in the tail! This is a basic mountain refuge with no running water. There are good views eastwards to the Matterhorn and the Dent Blanche.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Ascent 1230m

    • Distance 14km

    • Meals bd

    • Descent 1070m

    • Time 8 - 9 hrs walking

  • Optional ascent of the Tete Blanche (3724m). Descend Stockji Glacier to Zermatt (1608m).

    This is our crux day and involves another early start. (Note: we do need good weather to climb the Tete Blanche and then make the descent down the heavily crevassed Stockji Glacier). We descend the ladders from the hut, rope up and start the long, gentle ascent of the Mont Mine Glacier, heading for the easy snow peak of the Tete Blanche (3724m). This takes 3 to 4 hours and as a reward for the ascent we are treated to even more impressive views of the Matterhorn. We descend by way of the complex and heavily crevassed Stockji Glacier to our exit point at the Stockji (a rocky island in the middle of this glaciated terrain). Here, we pick up a narrow trail which traverses steep slopes, leading to an alpine path on a moraine on the north side of the valley. This nice path does not last for long! Now we have to cross the huge rock-covered glacier below the Zmutt Ridge of the Matterhorn and pick our way up steep moraines to the Schonbiel Hut, a welcoming but basic hut in green meadows. The hut has washing facilities but no showers. We take lunch at the hut and have the afternoon on the sunny terrace, spotting climbers on the Matterhorn.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals b

    • Time 7 - 8 hrs walking

  • Trek to Furj and cable car to Klein Matterhorn. Ascent of Breithorn (4164m summit) and return. Cable car to Zermatt

    Today, we make the easy, yet splendid 3-hour walk down to Furi. From where we take the Klien Matterhorn cable car to its top. From here we make an easy ascent of the Breithorn 4164m (2 hrs/ 360m ascent) returning by the same route. We take the cable car back down to Zermatt. From here an easy amble through Zermatt in time for a late lunch. After booking into our hotel in Zermatt there is time to look around or relax before dinner.

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs walking

  • Departure day

    KE Land Only package services end after breakfast at the hotel.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • Professional guide or guides at a 1:6 ratio
  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • All transfers (except airport transfers) and cable car fees
  • Travel Insurance
  • Airport transfers
  • Some meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.

Food provided in the huts is usually very good considering the locations. There will normally be a menu choice of soup, main and desert which will include a vegetarian option. Beer, wine, soft drinks and bottled water can be purchased at all the huts.

All breakfasts and 6 dinners are included in the trip price. Packed lunches and snacks can be bought in the huts. On most days there will also be the possibility of having a hot lunch either at a hut encountered on route or a late lunch taken at our overnight halt. You should allow around CHF15 per lunch. Most groups prefer to choose a restaurant for the final evening meal in Zermatt and we have therefore not included this meal in the price of your holiday. We suggest 25 - 30 Swiss Francs should be sufficient to cover this.
The group will rendezvous at the Yeti Lodge in Argentiere on the evening of day 1 of the trip itinerary. For clients arriving by air, the easiest way to get to Argentiere is to fly to Geneva Airport and make use of an airport transfer service. We recommend KE clients can get transfers from €27 each way by entering the promo code YETI. Please note that transfers are subject to availability and your flight details are required a minimum of 72 hours before your arrival in Geneva. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

Returning from Zermatt
This trek ends in Zermatt. KE services end after breakfast on Day 8 of the trip. The most convenient way of returning from Zermatt to Geneva is by train. To make a booking with Swiss Federal Railways, go to their website at, or telephone on 00 41 900 300 300. There is a station in Geneva Airport and there are several connections throughout the day. The journey takes approximately 3.5 hours from Zermatt and costs approximately CHF 95. If you are returning to Chamonix at the end of the trip please contact the KE office.
During this trip the group will spend 1 night in a chalet in Argentiere and 1 night in a hotel in Zermatt. Whilst in the mountains, there are 5 nights spent in mountain huts or similar accommodation (gites). Accommodation throughout the trip is on a non-segregated, dormitory-style basis. In the high mountain huts washing facilities are limited. Single rooms are not available.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

After breakfast at our overnight accommodation, we try to get a reasonably early start. Where we are faced with a long day, when climbing the Tete Blanche for example, or when snow conditions dictate we will have a very early start - the classic 'Alpine start'. For food during the day, we carry snacks and/or packed lunches which we tend to eat on the move, as we are normally under pressure to complete the day’s walk whilst the snow conditions are good. On most days we usually arrive at the next hut in time for a late lunch and this is an alternative to carrying a packed lunch. The afternoons are often free for relaxing in the sun on the terrace of our overnight refuge or exploring the immediate vicinity. A set, 3-course evening meal is provided at each of the mountain huts and by 9.00pm most people have settled down for the night.

The group will be led by an IFMGA guide. Guiding is at a ratio of 1:6 during the trip.

The package price includes guides, valley transport, cable cars and mountain railway tickets, all accommodation, and all meals except lunches and the final evening's dinner. You should allow approximately CHF15 per day for your lunches and 25 - 30 for your final meal including wine. Wine, beer and soft drinks can be purchased at the huts. Note: bottled water, if bought in the huts, is very expensive. We recommend you take approximately. 50 Euros plus 200 Swiss Francs to cover typical personal expenses including thiose mentioned above. Please note that almost all of the route is in Switzerland and you should take most of your money in the form of Swiss Francs. You will need some Euros for the time that you spend in France. There are cash point facilities in Argentiere and in Zermatt. If you are intending to hire or purchase items of equipment, you should budget accordingly.

Group members will carry all of their personal equipment during the trek and it is vitally important to keep the overall weight of your equipment to a minimum. Since you will not be required to carry either a sleeping bag or a camping mattress it should be possible to keep the weight of your pack to around 8 kg / 18 lbs. Whilst in the mountains you will leave your main trek bag and travel clothes in the group’s hotel/chalet in Argentiere and these will be transported to your final hotel in Zermatt.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

This holiday involves going to high altitude. During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 3500 metres. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude on our website which can be viewed via the link below. You can also talk to one of our trekking experts if you have any concerns about altitude.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your pack to a minimum.

You must bring the following items:

  • Mountain Boots (see notes below)

  • Crampons – MUST be fitted with anti-balling plates*

  • Crampon bag

  • Ice Axe*

  • Mountaineering harness*

  • Screw gate karabiner x 1*

  • Trekking poles x 2 (with baskets)

  • Gaiters

  • Socks – walking socks are best (2/3 pairs)

  • Trekking Trousers (i.e. not cotton)

  • Waterproof overtrousers - with long leg zip designed to put on whilst wearing boots
  • Underwear

  • Thermal Base Layer x 2 (one long sleeved for glacier travel)

  • Fleece jacket

  • Waterproof jacket (with hood)

  • Extra warm layer – (primaloft or lightweight down)

  • Sunhat

  • Warm hat

  • Sunglasses – category 3 or 4.

  • Thin gloves - thermal or leather
  • Very warm winter type gloves or mittens
  • Sleeping bag liner/sheet sleeping bag (silk is lightest)

  • Rucksack (30 - 40 litres should be sufficient)

  • Rain cover for Rucksack

  • Head torch and spare battery

  • Sun Protection (high factor for skin)

  • Lip salve – with sunscreen

  • Water bottle minimum 1 litre

  • Small, lightweight wash kit and pack towel

  • Plastic Bag to keep essentials dry

  • Basic First Aid Kit including: Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters, blister treatment (zinc oxide tape and ‘Compeed’), insect repellent, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).

The following items are optional:

  • Change of shirt and trousers

  • Thermal underwear

  • Shorts (for non-glacial travel)

  • Earplugs (particularly if you are not the one snoring!)

  • Repair kit – (eg. Pocket knife, needle, thread, duct tape etc.)

  • Camera,

  • Travel Clothes (can be left at your hotel)

  • Travel Shoes (can be left at your hotel)

  • Small Padlock (for trek bag)


Mountaineering Boots: Recommended boots for this trip are comfortable, warm and sufficiently stiff to take a crampon securely (a sturdy B1 or a ‘worn in’ B2 boot is ideal). Rigid B3 boots are NOT suitable for this trek.

Crampons: Modern strap on crampons are perfectly acceptable for this trek and will fit any boot. All crampons MUST be fitted with anti-balling plates. Grivel Crampons - G10 or G12 with a strap system are excellent and they come fitted with anti-balling plates. We do not recommend semi-automatic crampons for use with softer boots since with this system, the pull on the heel can lead to blisters.  Aluminium crampons are not suitable for this trip (they are not strong enough over mixed terrain).

Equipment hire: Equipment marked *can be hired from KE. This can be reserved either when you book your trip or closer to your departure but we advise booking hire equipment as soon as possible to ensure availability. We do not hire mountaineering boots, but there are several shops in Chamonix renting boots that are suitable for this trip.

Sleeping bags: These are NOT required as bedding and hut shoes/slippers are provided at mountain refuges. However, you should bring a sheet sleeping bag.

Needle Sports (specialist mountaineering equipment shop)

Needle Sports is the English Lake District's foremost specialist climbing shop supplying mountaineering, rock, ice, alpine and expedition equipment worldwide. Internationally recognised as among the very best of the UK's top technical climbing gear retailers. They have a good range of equipment appropriate for this trip and offer knowledgeable advice both on their website and in store. View >>




For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport for each country that you visit.

Visa Europe

UK and USA passport holders do not require a visa.

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations. UK residents should obtain a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment, but is not a substitute for medical travel insurance which is still vital when travelling overseas.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on a trekking or climbing trip getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. Mountaineering and hill-walking on a regular basis is the ideal preparation but if this is not possible, we suggest that you adopt a weekly exercise regime leading up to your trip. Jogging, squash and swimming are good for developing better stamina. Before departure, we suggest that you try to fit in at least one 'refresher' outing into snow-covered hills wearing crampons.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

The temperatures that we can expect to encounter during the day will be reasonably warm, ranging from 10°C / 50°F to 25°C/ 77°F. It can be cool in the evenings at our highest overnight stopping places, falling close to freezing point at night. The weather is usually stable during July and August, but mountainous areas do generate their own weather systems and occasional rain and even stormy weather cannot be ruled out. You should be prepared for all eventualities!

  • The Haute Route, Chamonix – Zermatt. Peter Cliff.

Swiss Topo 1:50,000 Special Edition Hiking Maps

Special edition hikers maps from the Switzerland Topographic Survey at 1:50,000. These maps have the same excellent cartography as the general network which covers the entire country in 78 sheets, but are centered on particular tourist regions and generally cover a larger area than the normal sheets. For the Haute Route you will need two sheets from the Hiking series: 1. 5027T. Gr. St-Bernard, Combins, Aro 2. 5028T. Monte Rosa - Matterhorn

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