The famous “Haute Route” leads from Chamonix/France to Zermatt/Switzerland (or vice versa). It is a direct route across glaciers and high alpine trails linking these two towns. Ski mountaineers tackle this route usually in April and hikers can either take the direct route across the glaciers or use well marked hiking trails.
The distance is roughly 100 miles with 30,000 feet of ascent. My plan is to run and hike this route in 6 days. Overnight stays will be at mountain huts and hotel dormitories where meals and food can be bought.
Day 1 Zermatt to St. Niklaus and Gruben, 34 KM (21.5 M):
The run from Zermatt to St. Niklaus is straight forward along the valley floor via Taesch on runnable trails, followed by a steep climb from St. Niklaus via Augstbordpass to Gruben.
Day 2 Gruben to Zinal and Cabane de Moiry (hut), 28 KM (17.5 M)
Day 3 Cabane de Moiry to La Sage and Arollo, 20 KM (12.5 M)
Day 4 Arollo to Cab. Prafleuri and Cab. de Mont Fort (hut), 27 KM (17 M)
Day 5 Cab. de Mont Fort to Le Chable and Champex, 22 KM (14 M)
Day 6 Champex to Trient, Argentiere and finally Chamonix 37 KM (23 M)
Gruben: Hotel Schwarzhorn, this hotel has a dormitory. The price is approx. $ 45 per person/ night. There is a picture of the dorm on the hotel’s website. It’s a very nice dorm! In this small village we can shop for food, eat pizza and enjoy a cold beer after the first stage.
Cabane de Moiry: This is an alpine ‘hut” in the French speaking part of Switzerland (don’t worry, I speak French). It has been renovated and has showers. This hut has only dorm style beds. The approx. price is $ 40 per person/night. Dinner and Breakfast costs an additional $ 45. You don’t have to eat at the hut and you can bring your own food. In my experience these huts offer a good three course dinner, including soup, salad and desert. For the next day’s run, we can use some of our food (power bars) or buy a sandwich at the hut.
Arollo: Hotel Aguille de la Tza, our third night is again in a village where we can shop. This hotel also has a dorm and even a kitchen. The price per night depends on the size of the group but I’m sure it is not more expensive than $ 40-50 per person/night.
Cabane du Mont Fort: This is another alpine hut, owned by the Swiss Alpine Club. If you’re a member of the American Alpine Club, it is sometimes possible to get a discount at the Swiss huts. The price is also $ 40 per person/night plus dinner and breakfast $ 40.
Champex: Relais d’Arpette, Those of you who ran the UTMB have passed through this village. Last time I checked, this hotel charged $ 65 per person/night. This is the last overnight stay before heading to Chamonix.
Note: This site only serves as information for friends who consider to join. Each runner will have to make his/her own travel arrangements including hotel/hut reservations.
“Dress Code” and Equipment:
This is just my recommendation based on my experience at the 6 stages/7 days G2G run:
Back Pack 20-25L (I like the INOV 25L)
Water Bottles (check out front bottle holders of THE ROUGH COUNTRY)
Poles (Black Diamond Ultra Lite)
Headlamp with batteries
Sleeping Bag Liner (silk)
Sunscreen and Lip Palm
Detergent (eco friendly)
Water Purification Pills
Wind/rain proof soft shell jacket
Wind/rain proof soft shell pants
Down vest or jacket (“Uniglo” are light, very packable and cheap)
1 Long Running Pants
1 Short Running Pants
1 Short Sleeve Shirt (recommend Icepack or similar)
1 Long Sleeve Shirt (same)
1 Long Underpants
Note: Remember the more you carry, the heavier the pack! I suggest you also read my report “G2G” -> Ultra Running