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Ke Classic
Ke Classic
Holidays

Classic Haute Route

Switzerland, France, Italy
4 reviews
Available Departures: Jun, Jul, Aug

13 days from

US$4,615

without flights
Mountaineer
Guided Group
TOUGH TOUGH

Traverse the Alps from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn - the ultimate Alpine mountaineering holiday

Trip Code: CHR
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Classic Haute Route

Highlights
  • Take on a challenge and complete an iconic Alpine traverse from Chamonix to Zermatt
  • Reach high summits, including the Tete Blanche (3724m)
  • Trek hut-to-hut and overnight in atmospheric high mountain refuges
  • Hone skills with our experienced IFMGA guides

At a Glance
  • Group Size 4 to 6
  • 11 days trekking and climbing
  • Max altitude - 3796m
  • Join In Chamonix

Accommodation & Meals
  • 12 Breakfasts
  • 11 Dinners
  • 2 nights Hotel
  • 2 nights Gite / Hostel
  • 8 nights Mountain Hut / Refuge
Overview

This is the ultimate high Alpine trekking adventure, following the iconic Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt. Taking a dramatic and uncompromising line, the classic Haute Route traverses the heart of the European Alps, linking Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn by a series of high cols and impressive glaciers. Expert guidance is essential on this challenging walking route and during the course of the traverse, there is plenty of opportunity to hone mountaineering skills.

From the start point at our comfortable hotel base in the Chamonix Valley of the French Alps, to the end point in the famously picturesque ski-town of Zermatt in the Swiss Alps, we will have walked 120km and accumulated around 10,000 metres of ascent and descent. Offering the most breathtaking scenery in the Alps and overnight stops at some of the very best Alpine refuges, the Classic Haute Route from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn, ranks among the world's greatest mountain walking adventures.

Is this holiday for you?

This is real mountain travel, following good trails to the snowline and also involving sections of scrambling on exposed ridges, 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. On route, we will stay in mountain huts which are inaccessible by vehicle and this means that …

This is real mountain travel, following good trails to the snowline and also involving sections of scrambling on exposed ridges, 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. On route, 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 10 kilograms including water. Previous alpine mountaineering experience is not a pre-requisite and time permitting; full instruction in the various techniques required will be given by the guides. Participants must have a good level of fitness and previous experience of walking with crampons is useful, however being well coordinated and capable over steep rocky ground are essential.  The group will be led by an IFMGA guide at a ratio of 1:6.   Please be aware that routes in the high glaciated mountain regions are subject to changing conditions and difficulties. The Alpine Guides may need to make changes to your planned route at very short notice.

Why KE?

Our itinerary includes 11 full days trekking, our expert IFMGA guides will be with you every step of the way and are incredibly passionate about what they do and receive rave reviews - the perfect people to help you complete this superb Alpine challenge.

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Itinerary

Meet at our hotel in the Chamonix Valley.

Situated beneath some impressive mountain scenery, the views are awesome from the start!

You will be joined by your guide in the evening to chat through the route and prepare for the next day. The evening meal will be served in the hotel restaurant.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

D

In the morning, there is the 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 off. The first stage of our trek takes us from Le Tour to the Albert Premier Hut (2702m) and includes the opportunity for us to practice our snow and ice skills. 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 Chardonnet on the walk to the hut.

Accommodation

Mountain Hut / Refuge

Meals

B D

Ascent

600 M

Descent

80 M

Time

2 hours walking

Distance

4 KM

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 du Tour (3289m). After this we cross the Trient Plateau, a flat glacial area and then descend the Orny Glacier to the Cabane d’Orny (2831m).

Accommodation

Mountain Hut / Refuge

Meals

B D

Ascent

850 M

Time

6 - 7 hours walking

Distance

10 KM

After a comfortable night in the Cabane d'Orny we make a long descent (c.1600m) on a good path to near the village of Praz de Fort. Here we join the popular trail of the Tour du Mont Blanc, where an excellent trail takes us gently up to La Fouly, where we will spend the night. (Supermarket/Equipment Store and ATM available nearby. Showers available). A short walk beyond the village takes us to our overnight accommodation.

NOTE: There will be a brief meeting with your treks bags in the late afternoon. At this point you can pack your technical gear into your trek bag, as it is not required for the next three days (except in the event of late season snow). For the next three days it is possible to walk in light trekking boots or approach shoes.

Accommodation

Gite / Hostel

Meals

B D

Ascent

500 M

Descent

1640 M

Time

6 hours walking

Distance

16 KM

From the Gite, we make a short descent to the village of Ferret starting out easily on a road which peters out into a track. Higher, this becomes a steep zig-zag trail which leads up the Col du Neve de la Rousse (2752m). This is not a well-travelled route and there are great opportunities for spotting alpine wildlife, including marmots, chamois and bouquetins (ibex). From our high point, there are great views of the Mont Blanc range and the Grand Combin. We then make a long, gentle descent passing a lake, le Gouille du Draggon, to Bourg St. Pierre, where we overnight in a Gite. Here, there is the opportunity to buy basic snacks and take a long shower!

Accommodation

Gite / Hostel

Meals

B D

Ascent

1350 M

Descent

1140 M

Time

8 hours walking

Distance

16 KM

Today starts out with a long and initially easy-angled ascent, following the way of the Tour des Combins. Shortly after crossing the col of La Vuardette 2440m, we take a traverse to Point 2493m, where there is a small lake. From here we ascend a less worn trail into a valley named La Chaudiere. This leads us onto Mont Rogneux's west ridge, where some easy scrambling brings us to the summit cross (3083m). Descent is by way of the east ridge, passing a lake and the grassy ridge of Les Capucins. At Pindin (2397m) we meet the 4x4 track leading us easily down to Cabane Brunet and a well-earned beer.

Accommodation

Mountain Hut / Refuge

Meals

B D

Ascent

1400 M

Descent

1000 M

Time

8 hours walking

Distance

14 KM

Today we can have a relaxed and leisurely breakfast before setting off. From outside Cabane Brunet a
pleasant path traverses the hillside, crossing the first steam by a small suspension bridge. The route continues to contour, passing old bergeries at La Maya. We continue until a short climb leads us to the spectacular suspension bridge, crossing the outflow of the Corbassiere glacier. This gives access to Plan Gali and our final ascent up to Cabane Panossiere (2669m), where we may arrive in time for a hot lunch. Here there is a free open air shower, complete with views or indoor showers for an additional charge. The afternoon can be spent relaxing on the terrace, with the stunning view of the Grand Combin (4314m).

Accommodation

Mountain Hut / Refuge

Meals

B D

Ascent

880 M

Descent

40 M

Time

3 - 4 hours walking

Distance

8 KM

A slightly earlier start today. We begin the day by climbing up to the Col des Otannes, where weather permitting, we have fantastic views southwards across heavily glaciated terrain (the upper part of the Corbassiere Glacier) to the lofty summit of the Grand Combin. We then descend to the Mauvoisin dam where we can take a short break for coffee and cake before heading across the top of the dam to pick up a long, gently ascending trail on the eastern side of the lake to the Col du Tsofeiret. From here a short steep descent takes us to the Cabane de Chanrion located on summer pastures and with views of the Grand Combin from a different direction than the previous hut. There are also plenty of mountain tarns if you fancy a swim!

NOTE: We will briefly have access to our trek bags late in the morning and this will allow us to get a change of clothing and to offload any superfluous items of gear and pick up your technical kit.

Accommodation

Mountain Hut / Refuge

Meals

B D

Ascent

995 M

Descent

1170 M

Time

7 hours walking

Distance

14 KM

A trek up the Otemma glacier, into the heart of the big mountains to reach the stunningly situated Cabane des Vignettes. A short section of downhill, though alpine meadows lead us to the moraines of the Otemma Glacier and a sudden change of scenery. When the ice is reached, it's crampons and harness on. This long glacier is dry ice at first, becoming snow covered higher up. It's a gentle angle and allows time to look at the surrounding peaks, to the right La Singla and Petit Mont Collon and left Pointe d'Otemma and Pigne d'Arolla.

Accommodation

Mountain Hut / Refuge

Meals

B D

Ascent

870 M

Descent

210 M

Time

7 - 8 hours walking

Distance

14 KM

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 to 4 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. Now we have a sting in the tail of the day, a 600-metre ascent to the Col de Bertol (3268m). Our overnight halt is at the Cabane de Bertol, which is spectacularly located above the col. Access to the hut is via an exciting series of ladders - a thrilling way to end a spectacular day! There are good views eastwards to the Matterhorn and the Dent Blanche.

Accommodation

Mountain Hut / Refuge

Meals

B D

Ascent

1230 M

Descent

1070 M

Time

8 - 9 hours walking

Distance

14 KM

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 begin by descending the ladders from the hut. We then 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 improving alpine path on a moraine on the north side of the valley. Finally, we cross the huge rock-covered glacier below the Smutt Ridge of the Matterhorn and pick our way up to the Schonbiel Hut, a welcoming hut in green meadows. The sunny terrace is a great place to relax, spotting climbers on the Matterhorn.

Accommodation

Mountain Hut / Refuge

Meals

B D

Ascent

890 M

Descent

1440 M

Time

8 - 10 hours walking

Distance

13 KM

Today, we make the easy 4-hour walk down to Zermatt. From the rugged high mountain scenery, we soon find ourselves amongst pleasant woodland and pretty hamlets. This is a splendid walk, with the towering north face of the Matterhorn in full view and gives us time to reflect on the journey just undertaken. Arriving in Zermatt in time for lunch, we can pause to reflect on the trek that we have just completed, whilst enjoying a drink and the impressive sight of the majestic Matterhorn. After booking into our hotel in Zermatt there is time to look around or relax before dinner.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Ascent

150 M

Descent

790 M

Time

6 - 7 hours walking

Distance

7 KM

KE Land Only package services end after breakfast.

Meals

B
Download Trip Notes
The Route
Point Point
Direction Direction
Trek
Transfer

Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • Professional guide or guides on a 1:6 ratio
  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • Accommodation as detailed
  • All cable car fees

  • Travel insurance
  • Airport transfers
  • Some meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.


TRAVEL TO YOUR DESTINATION

In some cases you may choose to take a ferry and/or train to your holiday start and end destination. Please see further information on Travelling by Train.

If flying from the UK there are low cost airlines available to the start and from the end of your holiday.

To benefit from full financial protection, ease your holiday planning, and avoid dealing with airlines, we can book scheduled flights from the UK as part of a flight inclusive package. Scheduled flights are usually more expensive that low cost alternatives, however potentially less stressful if your flight is cancelled or delayed. If you book flights through KE Adventure Travel we will offset the carbon of your flight.

The group will rendezvous at our hotel in the Chamonix Valley on the evening of day 1 of the trip itinerary. For clients arriving by air, the easiest way to get here is to fly to Geneva Airport and make use of an airport transfer service. We recommend mountaindropoffs.com. Transfers from €40 each way. 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 13 of the trip. The most convenient way of returning from Zermatt to Geneva is by train. Tickets can be purchased at the railway station in Zermatt or online at http://www.sbb.ch/en/index.htm. If buying your ticket online use Zermatt Bahnhoff at the selected station. There is a station in Geneva Airport and there are several connections throughout the day. The journey takes approximately 4 hours from Zermatt and costs approximately CHF 100.

All breakfasts and 11 dinners are included in the trip price. Packed lunches or hill-food 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. Depending on your choice you should allow (€15 - 25 or CHF 25 - 35) per lunch. Dinner on the last evening in Zermatt is also not included in the holiday price in order to give the widest possible range of options to the group for this meal.

When in the towns and villages all tap water is drinkable. In mountain huts there is usually not a sustainable drinking water supply. Water in plastic bottles is brought in to the hut. All huts have a recycling point. If you have to purchase water in plastic bottles please buy the largest bottle you can so as to use less plastic. Please take purification tablets or a filter bottle (such as a Water-To-Go bottle) to treat your water if you can fill from a local stream. Bottled water is not provided. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles. Local authorities are working to find solutions to using plastic water bottles in huts. We monitor the situation carefully for updates.

Breakfasts and all dinners (with the exception of the last night in Zermatt) are included in the trip price. Packed lunches and some snack items can be purchased along the way and in the mountain huts. Hot lunches, if you prefer, can usually be purchased on arrival at the hut.

During this trip the group will spend 1 night in a hotel in the Chamonix Valley and 1 night in a hotel in Zermatt. Whilst in the mountains, there are 10 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 very limited. Single rooms are not available.

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

This holiday involves going to moderately high altitude. During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 2500 metres. Most people will have no difficulty with this level of altitude but before coming on the holiday, we recommend you read the advice on trekking at 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.

www.keadventure.com/page/altitude.html 

The package price includes valley transport, cable cars and mountain railway tickets, all accommodation, all meals except lunches and the last dinner, and guiding. You should make an allowance for drinks, including bottled water. Note: bottled water, when bought in the huts, is very expensive. Beer, wine and soft drinks are available every night. About €60 plus about 430CHF (Swiss Francs) should be sufficient to cover all personal expenses including lunches. 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 Chamonix, La Fouly and in Zermatt. If you are intending to hire or purchase items of equipment, you should budget accordingly.

For this holiday you should take one piece of luggage and a daypack (of around 30 - 40 litres). For international flights please check your baggage allowance with your airline. Since group members will carry all personal equipment during the trek, it is important to keep the overall weight of this equipment to a minimum. Neither a sleeping bag nor a camping mattress is needed and it should be possible to keep the weight of your pack to under 10 kg.

At the start of the holiday you will leave your main bag and travel clothes in the group’s hotel/chalet in Chamonix and this will be transferred to Zermatt. You will have brief access to your main bag on day 4 and day 7 to allow a change of clothes and offload any unneccessary items. Luggage with wheels is useful for this holiday.

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.

Europe

Your passport must meet 2 requirements. It must be:

  • less than 10 years old on the day you enter (check the ‘date of issue’)

  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)

For the latest details on visiting countries within the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA), please check the UK Government website

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

If you have a severe allergy please inform the KE office before you travel. We will do all we can to help, but we cannot guarantee an allergy free environment on KE trips. You will need to carry your own treatment for the allergy with you, as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' are not carried as standard by KE leaders and staff. You should inform your leader on arrival of your allergy, and let them know where you keep your adrenaline pen.

Vaccinations

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations.

GHIC / Medical cover

UK residents should carry a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment when you're visiting an EU country or Switzerland. This is not a substitute for medical travel insurance which is vital when travelling overseas.

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. Regular walks in hill country is the best way to build up stamina and fitness, but if this is not easily possible than you should start a programme of regular excercise designed to raise your heart and breathing rate for an extended period and gradually build up the time spent excercising as you get nearer to departure day.

The temperatures that we can expect to encounter during the day will be reasonably warm, ranging from 10°C to 25°C. 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!

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov 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 FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

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

282T Martigny. Swiss topo online. Hiking Map 1:50 000.  ISBN: 978-3-302-30282-9.  Edition: 2019.

 

283T Arolla. Swiss topo online. Hiking Map 1:50 000.  ISBN: 978-3-302-30283-6. Edition: 2019.

 

Swiss Topo 1:50,000 Special Edition Hiking Maps

Swiss survey maps are highly regarded for their superb use of graphic relief and hill shading, presenting an almost 3-D picture of Switzerland's mountainous terrain. These are 'special edition' maps from the Switzerland Topographic Survey at 1:50,000 have the same excellent cartography as the general network which covers the entire country in 78 sheets, but are specifically designed for hikers and are centered on particular tourist regions. They also cover a larger area than the normal sheets. For this holiday you will need the following sheets: 5027T. Grand St-Bernard - Combins - Arolla and 5028T - Monterosa-Matterhorn 1:50 000

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

Please note that a paper copy of your travel insurance is required if you are travelling to Huaraz and the Huayhuash region.

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* (when hiring crampons a bag is automatically included / can not be hired separately)
  • Ice Axe*
  • Mountaineering harness*
  • Screw gate karabiner x 1*
  • Helmet*
  • 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 or pullover
  • Waterproof jacket (with hood)
  • Extra warm layer – (primaloft or lightweight down)
  • Sunhat
  • Warm hat
  • Sunglasses – category 3 or 4.
  • Thin thermal or leather gloves
  • Very warm winter type gloves or mittens
  • Sleeping bag liner/sheet sleeping bag (silk is lightest)
  • Rucksack (30 - 40 litres should be sufficient)
  • Headtorch and spare batteries
  • Sun Protection (high factor for skin)
  • Lip salve – with sunscreen
  • Water bottle 1 litre x2 (we encourage re-filling water bottles rather than single use plastic)
  • Water purification tablets
  • Small, lightweight wash kit and pack towel
  • Dry bags(s) for daypack/kitbag contents (to ensure they keep dry)
  • Small hand sanitizer gel
  • 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 baselayer - leggings

  • Shorts (for non-glacial travel)

  • Rain cover for Rucksack

  • 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)

  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping (to avoid plastic bags)

Notes

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 with a *can be hired from KE. This can be reserved when you book your trip or closer to your departure but we advise booking hire equipment as soon as possible to ensure availability - equipment hire must be booked through the KE office prior to your departure. Any hired equipment will be collected on arrival from your guide, we do not hire mountaineering boots, but there are several shops in Chamonix renting boots that are suitable for this trip.

Sleeping bags 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 >>http://www.needlesports.com/

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

Reviews

4.8 out of 5 from 4 reviews

Haute Route Summer '17

By Peter from United Kingdom | 11 December 2017

Awesome Challenging Trek across the alps ★★★★★

If you are looking for a challenge and a never to be forgotten experience in the Alps then this is the trip for you. Combining fabulous scenery both below and above the snowline, challenging days of trekking and stays in atmospheric remote mountain huts. This trip has it all. Our guide Twid (Mike) was a hugely experienced mountaineer who kept us safe and was helpful & friendly throughout. What advice would I give to fellow trekkers (or those thinking about going on the trek)…read on. Trekk ing on glaciers usually means being roped together so everyone has to work as a team. Glaciers have crevasses and skirting around (or over) them requires balance and sometimes a little courage (to jump). There were some occasions where you walk over ice/snow bridges and so being able to think yourself a few kilos lighter comes in handy! You don’t need any experience of trekking on glaciers – I had none. However, a good sense of balance and co-ordination is useful. A good level of general fitness and conditioning is important for this trip. The days can be long and can be extended further if the weather turns bad. This happened a couple of times with us and so you need to be able to push through even after an already hard day. Also you have to be able to get up the next day and do it all again! In our group half were in their 50’s and the rest were in their 60’s so it’s not all about age (or gender). Personally I am a regular gym goer (3-4 times a week) and added in some long hikes at low level (20-30km) plus a couple of long week-ends in the Brecon Beacons climbing up and down Pen-y-fan (trying to hit 1000m elevation gains each day). If it’s good enough for the SAS then it should be good enough for an Haute Route Trekker. Equipment is really important on this trip as you will be carrying all your own stuff. So pack wisely even if like me you like your home comforts. I would definitely target a total dry weight (inc. rucksack) of 7kg as you will then add in water, lunch, ice axe, crampons, harness and helmet on top. Oh and carrying the rope gets shared out as well so you can be carrying between 10-12 kg at times. It is a lot easier if you are wearing this stuff as it seems a lot lighter for some strange reason. Make sure your ruck sack is really comfortable - I used an Osprey Stratus 36 (36 Litres) with a mesh back to keep me cool on hot days. I brought everything on the trip packing list except insect repellent – not many biting insects at 3000m. Here is a couple of extra notes:- + In the first week you can recharge phones at huts however in the second week it is harder so a 2 day power pack may come in handy if you are using your phone as a camera (I did and you can see my pics on the trip page). + I used a water reservoir during the day which allowed me to drink on the go which helped avoid dehydration. However some huts provide a tea (Marche Tea) for free in the mornings and so having a small 1L bottle for this would avoid your bladder getting stained. Water is expensive so free stuff is welcome. + Make sure your boots are well worn in – no-one on our trip had blisters which was a miracle even with worn-in boots. + You can get a litre of hot water in huts for around CHF4 which is the cheapest and most refreshing way to recover from a long day. Bringing your own teabags can save you CHF2. Beers is also refreshing but I wouldn’t suggest you bring your own. + Bring plastic bags or dry stuff sacks in case it rains – I had a rucksack cover but it blew away in a strong gust of wind on day 2 ? + Wet wipes are a good thing to bring as you don’t always get washing facilities (but usually there is cold water available). And finally what is it like to stay in huts? Well communal living & sleeping are all part of the experience. So expect some disturbances during the night. Generally we were in bed by 9pm and up again at 5am (but twice up at 4am). The food was pretty good with a three course meal every night. The huts also serve cake and other snacks - a welcome treat on arrival. WC’s varied in quality, the most interesting & exposed one was at Cabane de Bertol particularly if you had to go out in the night. A good head for heights is needed there. Don’t let anything above put you off. This is an incredible trek with amazing scenery and physical challenge. You will come back changed by your experience – by how you see yourself, what you are capable of and awareness of the impact of global warming on glaciers.
By Peter from Brentwood | 20 August 2017

Awesome mountaineering expedition into the Swiss Alps ★★★★

The Classic Haute has been on my short list for a couple years now, and it exceeded every one of my expectations. It is notably more arduous than any of us had expected. Difficulty level was at times at 10 or 11 with the daily prolonged ascent/descents, but the pay-off's and reward were unobstructed views, breath-taking vistas, idyllic meadows full of bell-ringing cows,charming encounters with cheese-makers, auberge-keepers and cow-herders dramatic scenery only seen on Planet Earth or in the mov ies. Our group ranged in age from 30 to 60 and in fitness levels from search-and-rescue mountain readiness to minimally active, but we all managed to complete the adventure. Do as much training as you can manage beforehand because you will inevitably wish you had done more. Why choose this trip? If you are looking for an intense, active, outdoor adventure with unobstructed views and scenery, this ones for you. What would your advice be to potential travelers? Train, train and train some more. You will be travelling with a group for nearly two weeks in circumstances that can put modesty to the test. Grand accommodations do not exist in these parts. Be prepared for the comedy of sharing community showers and bunk bed rooms in the Refugio, sharing bathrooms in one or more of the inns; and showers in your room that may suggest emphasis more on exhibitionism than hygiene. It is all part of the adventure. -Pros Group Camaraderie Once in a Lifetime Experience Well Organised Itinerary Guides Exceeded Expectations Activity Level Good Swiss and French Food
By Matthew from New York City | 13 July 2017

Great trip! ★★★★★

I loved this trek. The trails were great, the views were fantastic, the food was amazing, and the huts were cozy (and often perched in the most amazing spots!). I had never been hiking in Europe before this and had therefore always camped on my treks, but the hut-to-hut experience was fun. It's definitely a different approach, but it was more social, and having a warm bed and good food waiting for you was pretty nice! Our guides were all great and took good care of us. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this trip. Go!
By Leslie from BROOKLINE | 20 October 2016

An epic undertaking with fine guides, amazing huts, lovely hotels....and summits ★★★★★

The guides told us this is the most difficult trek KE offers in the Alps. It required determined effort to cover the distance and 30,000 feet of elevation gain and loss. Some of the trails are very steep and the downhill speed is hard on the knees. The summits offer views of this unbelievable set of mountains. Kathy the lead glacier guide is a low key talented skilled caring leader with a fine sense of humour. I hope to engage her again in 2016. Dave was also excellent ever watchful and experien ced and highly skilled glacier and rock climber. I would give them both 5 stars and will follow them on other trips. If you can ski, that would be the best and a preferable way to complete the Haute Route.
By Grace from SOUTH LAKE TAHOE | 16 December 2015

Traveller Reviews
4.8 out of 5 from 5 reviews

Haute Route Summer '17

By Peter from United Kingdom | 11 December 2017

Awesome Challenging Trek across the alps
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
If you are looking for a challenge and a never to be forgotten experience in the Alps then this is the trip for you. Combining fabulous scenery both below and above the snowline, challenging days of trekking and stays in atmospheric remote mountain huts. This trip has it all. Our guide Twid (Mike) was a hugely experienced mountaineer who kept us safe and was helpful & friendly throughout. What advice would I give to fellow trekkers (or those thinking about going on the trek)…read on. Trekk ing on glaciers usually means being roped together so everyone has to work as a team. Glaciers have crevasses and skirting around (or over) them requires balance and sometimes a little courage (to jump). There were some occasions where you walk over ice/snow bridges and so being able to think yourself a few kilos lighter comes in handy! You don’t need any experience of trekking on glaciers – I had none. However, a good sense of balance and co-ordination is useful. A good level of general fitness and conditioning is important for this trip. The days can be long and can be extended further if the weather turns bad. This happened a couple of times with us and so you need to be able to push through even after an already hard day. Also you have to be able to get up the next day and do it all again! In our group half were in their 50’s and the rest were in their 60’s so it’s not all about age (or gender). Personally I am a regular gym goer (3-4 times a week) and added in some long hikes at low level (20-30km) plus a couple of long week-ends in the Brecon Beacons climbing up and down Pen-y-fan (trying to hit 1000m elevation gains each day). If it’s good enough for the SAS then it should be good enough for an Haute Route Trekker. Equipment is really important on this trip as you will be carrying all your own stuff. So pack wisely even if like me you like your home comforts. I would definitely target a total dry weight (inc. rucksack) of 7kg as you will then add in water, lunch, ice axe, crampons, harness and helmet on top. Oh and carrying the rope gets shared out as well so you can be carrying between 10-12 kg at times. It is a lot easier if you are wearing this stuff as it seems a lot lighter for some strange reason. Make sure your ruck sack is really comfortable - I used an Osprey Stratus 36 (36 Litres) with a mesh back to keep me cool on hot days. I brought everything on the trip packing list except insect repellent – not many biting insects at 3000m. Here is a couple of extra notes:- + In the first week you can recharge phones at huts however in the second week it is harder so a 2 day power pack may come in handy if you are using your phone as a camera (I did and you can see my pics on the trip page). + I used a water reservoir during the day which allowed me to drink on the go which helped avoid dehydration. However some huts provide a tea (Marche Tea) for free in the mornings and so having a small 1L bottle for this would avoid your bladder getting stained. Water is expensive so free stuff is welcome. + Make sure your boots are well worn in – no-one on our trip had blisters which was a miracle even with worn-in boots. + You can get a litre of hot water in huts for around CHF4 which is the cheapest and most refreshing way to recover from a long day. Bringing your own teabags can save you CHF2. Beers is also refreshing but I wouldn’t suggest you bring your own. + Bring plastic bags or dry stuff sacks in case it rains – I had a rucksack cover but it blew away in a strong gust of wind on day 2 ? + Wet wipes are a good thing to bring as you don’t always get washing facilities (but usually there is cold water available). And finally what is it like to stay in huts? Well communal living & sleeping are all part of the experience. So expect some disturbances during the night. Generally we were in bed by 9pm and up again at 5am (but twice up at 4am). The food was pretty good with a three course meal every night. The huts also serve cake and other snacks - a welcome treat on arrival. WC’s varied in quality, the most interesting & exposed one was at Cabane de Bertol particularly if you had to go out in the night. A good head for heights is needed there. Don’t let anything above put you off. This is an incredible trek with amazing scenery and physical challenge. You will come back changed by your experience – by how you see yourself, what you are capable of and awareness of the impact of global warming on glaciers.
By Peter from Brentwood | 20 August 2017

Awesome mountaineering expedition into the Swiss Alps
★ ★ ★ ★
The Classic Haute has been on my short list for a couple years now, and it exceeded every one of my expectations. It is notably more arduous than any of us had expected. Difficulty level was at times at 10 or 11 with the daily prolonged ascent/descents, but the pay-off's and reward were unobstructed views, breath-taking vistas, idyllic meadows full of bell-ringing cows,charming encounters with cheese-makers, auberge-keepers and cow-herders dramatic scenery only seen on Planet Earth or in the mov ies. Our group ranged in age from 30 to 60 and in fitness levels from search-and-rescue mountain readiness to minimally active, but we all managed to complete the adventure. Do as much training as you can manage beforehand because you will inevitably wish you had done more. Why choose this trip? If you are looking for an intense, active, outdoor adventure with unobstructed views and scenery, this ones for you. What would your advice be to potential travelers? Train, train and train some more. You will be travelling with a group for nearly two weeks in circumstances that can put modesty to the test. Grand accommodations do not exist in these parts. Be prepared for the comedy of sharing community showers and bunk bed rooms in the Refugio, sharing bathrooms in one or more of the inns; and showers in your room that may suggest emphasis more on exhibitionism than hygiene. It is all part of the adventure. -Pros Group Camaraderie Once in a Lifetime Experience Well Organised Itinerary Guides Exceeded Expectations Activity Level Good Swiss and French Food
By Matthew from New York City | 13 July 2017

Great trip!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I loved this trek. The trails were great, the views were fantastic, the food was amazing, and the huts were cozy (and often perched in the most amazing spots!). I had never been hiking in Europe before this and had therefore always camped on my treks, but the hut-to-hut experience was fun. It's definitely a different approach, but it was more social, and having a warm bed and good food waiting for you was pretty nice! Our guides were all great and took good care of us. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this trip. Go!
By Leslie from BROOKLINE | 20 October 2016

An epic undertaking with fine guides, amazing huts, lovely hotels....and summits
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The guides told us this is the most difficult trek KE offers in the Alps. It required determined effort to cover the distance and 30,000 feet of elevation gain and loss. Some of the trails are very steep and the downhill speed is hard on the knees. The summits offer views of this unbelievable set of mountains. Kathy the lead glacier guide is a low key talented skilled caring leader with a fine sense of humour. I hope to engage her again in 2016. Dave was also excellent ever watchful and experien ced and highly skilled glacier and rock climber. I would give them both 5 stars and will follow them on other trips. If you can ski, that would be the best and a preferable way to complete the Haute Route.
By Grace from SOUTH LAKE TAHOE | 16 December 2015

DATES & PRICES

Private Departure?

Gather a few friends, family or club and take over your own departure.

2025

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

Status

More Information

  • Classic Haute Route
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: CHR /01/25/
  • This trip begins on Sun 29 Jun and ends on Fri 11 Jul
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$550
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Classic Haute Route
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: CHR /03/25/
  • This trip begins on Sun 27 Jul and ends on Fri 8 Aug
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$550
  • Download Trip Notes

Land Only Information

We sell this holiday on a Land Only basis and recommend that you book your flights to Geneva Airport which is approximately an hour's drive from Chamonix and three hours by train from Zermatt. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements and 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, Bristol, Edinburgh & Glasgow. 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.

ZEN_HOLIDAY_DATES_PRICES_LAND_ONLY_USD_NOTICE


Changes to flights

Please be aware that the flight industry is experiencing a high level of service fluctuation and changes to your flights may occur. This may also require amends to the transfers and joining arrangements. Thank you all for continuing your patience and understanding.

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 is a fully bonded tour operator. We hold an ATOL license (No: 2808) and are bonded with ABTA (Membership No: W4341)


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