Classic Haute Route
Classic Haute Route
Classic Haute Route: Camonix to Zermatt
Cassic Haute Route: Chamonix to Zermatt
Classic Haute Route - The group catch their breath at the top of the Col Torrent Col de Torrent (2912m - Day 8)
Classic Haute Route - Tibetan prayer flags blowing with the wind on the col de Torrent

Walkers Haute Route: Chamonix to Zermatt

Long distance hiking trip in the Alps

This is one of the world’s great multi-day treks, linking the famous mountaineering capitals of Chamonix, France and Zermatt, Switzerland. Hike over stunning high passes in the footsteps of smugglers, pilgrims, armies and traders. Enjoy the fresh alpine air and stunning views as you create your own alpine adventure in the land of the giants!


  • World class breath-taking alpine scenery
  • 10 days of top quality high level trekking 
  • View many of the highest peaks in the Alps
  • Two hut nights in remote mountain locations
  • The Europaweg 'High Level Route' to Zermatt
  • Highly experienced and expert professional guide
  • Luggage transfers of your overnight bag
  • Single rooms possible for solo travellers

Although demanding at times the route provides a non-technical trek and is suitable for those who would like to experience the very best walking in the Alps. After over 150km (94 miles) and several mountain passes at almost 3000 metres (9840ft) of altitude our walk ends in the famous and historic town of Zermatt, Switzerland, beneath the iconic Matterhorn.

Walking the Haute Route with Tracks and Trails was great from start to finish. Brilliantly organised, fantastically led and incredibly beautiful. I’ll definitely be back for more.

- Will, UK, 2022

I absolutely loved this hike. The views were spectacular, the guide was amazing and the accommodation was very comfortable. Best moment of the trip was the EuropaWeg on the last day and walking all afternoon with the mighty Matterhorn in plain sight as we approached Zermatt.

- Reny, Canada, 2022
I just wanted to drop you a quick note to thank you for my fantastic Haute Route trip. That was huge fun from start to finish. A great group brilliantly led by Dave. It was hard work, but beautiful and great fun. I will definitely be back for more.
- Will, UK, 2022

Beautiful and challenging trip. Spectacular views especially the first sight of the Mattertal. Some excellent accommodation - hotels in Zermatt and La Sage were exceptional.

- Penny, UK, 2022
Emma was a great guide, with the right balance of instruction, friendliness and leadership. The Hotel La Sage was a fantastic hotel in a great setting. The food and wine were also excellent.
- David, England, 2019

I can't thank you enough for the Haute Route trip. Our leader was sensational! At all times very positive and enthusiastic. I don't know how they managed to kept smiling and encouraging all the time! I appreciated their knowledge of the mountains, and their incredible people-skills which resulted in a very cohesive, happy and supportive group. I've been spreading the word about Tracks and Trails and the Haute Route.

- Ineen, Australia

I can see why you love doing what you do so much, it beats the hell out of sitting in front of computers all day! There is no doubt that the Haute Route was the highlight of our trip to Europe, the scenery, company and the guide were all sensational.

- Leo, Australia, 2015

Ignorance is bliss! It wasn’t until day 4 when someone asked at dinner where you rated this walk in degree of difficulty (Your response: one of the harder walks, you should be an experienced walker) that Kelly and I looked at each other and rolled our eyes. It was an experience that we will never forget. At the end of each day it was a matter of reflection, “How did I manage to do that?” We saw some fantastic views/flora and fauna, and thoroughly enjoyed your company and guidance.

- Kelly and Robert, Australia, 2015


  • This evening you will meet your guide at our hotel in Chamonix, France. Lying beneath the stunning north face of Mont Blanc, the views are beautiful from the start! Your guide will give a briefing about the days ahead, and will answer any questions about clothing and gear.

  • We begin our epic journey by easing into our trip with a short journey on the historic Mont Blanc Express train, which for over a century has carried mountaineers along the valley to the start of their routes. We alight at the hamlet of Montroc and begin our climb through the larch woodlands before gaining the flank of the Aiguillette des Posettes. The balcony trail that leads to our first Col offers spectacular views of the glacier at Le Tour, and your cameras will be busy. Many trips then head for the Col de Balme, but we choose to go our own special way round to Les Tseppes, which in our view offers the best views into Switzerland and the Trient glacier. We complete our day with a short climb to reach the Col de la Forclaz where we spend the night.

    Ascent: 1200m (3936ft) Descent: 1100m (3608ft) Distance: 13.5km (8.5 miles) Duration: 6h00-7h00 

  • Today we have the option of taking the challenging route through the Fenêtre d'Arpette, a jagged notch on the ridge above Champex, or the spectacular Bovine route. Either one is to be savoured, and each offers something unique. The trail to the Arpette has been subject to a landslide in 2018 and we will choose this only if the weather is good and the trail in a good state of repair. Otherwise, we will take the Bovine trail from the Col de la Forclaz which climbs through the larch forests with spectacular views down to the Rhone Valley. This route has the added benefit of a brilliant lunch stop at the Alpage de Bovine and a wonderful chance to enjoy the home cooking of Nathalie and her family. They spend the summer months on the mountain tending to the walkers and to their herd of 'fighting cows' - the Race d'Herens. It is by no means a 'second best' option! We spend the night by the lakeside high mountain village of Champex, which is really lovely.

    Ascent: 1410m (4624ft) Descent: 1200m (3936ft) Distance: 18km (11.3 miles) Duration: 6h00-8h00

    NB: If the Bovine route is taken: Ascent: 500m (1640ft) Descent: 660m (2164ft) 

  • We have an easy start this morning as we leave the picturesque lakeside village of Champex to meander down through summer meadows into the Val des Bagnes. We usually pass herds of cows, apple and cherry trees, and vegetable gardens; true countryside bliss. We then take the valley trail through the village of Sembrancher, and then to the village of Le Chable where we catch the Ruinettes cable car via the famous Swiss ski village of Verbier, to reach a spectacular view point at 2200m (7216ft). After soaking up the view, which on a warm day includes the delights of paragliders using this as their take-off point, we continue on our hike. The trail trends around the hillside following an old Swiss 'bisse' or irrigation channel. Never losing or gaining too much height, our route offers breath taking views across to the Mont Blanc Massif and to the Grand Combin, bringing us to the Cabane du Mont Fort at 2457m (8058ft), our first of two nights in the high mountains. The hut has a great terrace where you can enjoy the sun setting on the mountains, and believe us it can be spectacular!

    Ascent: 600m (1968ft) Descent: 1200m (3936ft) Distance: 15km (9.4 miles) Duration: 5h00-6h00

    NB: No access to luggage.

  • We have an early start today to give us plenty of time on what is one of the most spectacular days of the trek, traversing three high cols with dramatic views throughout. At the start, the path wanders in spectacular fashion beneath the cliffs, with views of the Grand Combin and Mont Fort. We then reach the first of our three passes, the Col Termin which sits at 2648m (8685ft). There are often male ibex to be found 'hanging out' on this high Col surveying their territory. A dramatic path then takes us across the mountainside to the rocky and barren Col de Louvie at 2921m (9580ft) which offers a great place for lunch where we can check out our route across the wild terrain ahead. A steep and rocky descent then follows down to the edge of the Grand Desert Glacier. The glacier has long since gone, but the terrain continues to feel wild and remote. Passing several small turquoise glacial lakes we then climb once more to reach the last of our three passes at the Col de Prafleuri at 2987m (9797ft). The final part to our day is to descend down to the Cabane de Prafleuri for our second night in the mountains. On the way down we walk near a rare patch of the the iconic Edelweiss flower.

    Ascent: 1377m (4516ft) Descent: 1170m (3837ft) Distance: 16.7km (10.4 miles) Duration: 8h00-9h00

    NB: No access to luggage. 

  • A short climb greets us today as we quickly gain the Col de Roux, overlooking the blue green waters of the Lac de Dix. Early morning on this col with the views to the glacier and the chance to see ibex is a joy. The early morning light on the mountains brings the detail into sharp relief and some wonderful photos are earned from this climb. A gentle descent then takes us to the lake shore which we follow to its end, with views of Mont Blanc de Cheilon and the Pigne D'Arolla. Marmots are to be found lying in the sun along the whole length of the lake. At this time of year they are eating as much as they can to store fat before the winter hibernation begins. We make a steep ascent to the Col de Riedmatten or the Pas de Chevre and its brand new ladders, where there are more spectacular views of the Glacier de Dix. The Pas de Chevre ladders were replaced in 2015 and now offer a much more secure and easy ascent to the Col. It is then all descent to the gorgeous alpine village of Arolla where we check-in to our hotel and we can sit on the terrace and enjoy a welcome afternoon drink. Tonight you are re-united with your luggage. 

    Ascent: 1100m (3608ft) Descent: 1360m (4460ft) Distance: 22km (13.8 miles) Duration: 8h00-9h00

  • We are now approaching the half-way point of the trek and today is something of an easier day for which we are usually glad. We being from the centre of Arolla taking a trail through the houses and then into the larch woods. We spend the morning hiking across the mountainside to Lac Bleu, a favourite local beauty spot, which is coloured a vivid blue by the combined effects of algae and glacial clays. At Lac Bleu it is not unknown for some of our guests to go for a swim, much to the bemusement of the local cow herds who also have been known to take a dip in the lake in hot weather. From Lac Bleu it is a long easy descent through a beautiful gorge to the village of Les Haudères where we take lunch. A final short climb completes this stage to the small farming hamlet of La Sage. La Sage is really beautiful with ancient chalets and farms and traditional architecture. A quintessential Swiss alpine village. Our hotel is perched on the mountainside with wonderful views to the mountains beyond. 

    Ascent: 670m (2197ft) Descent: 1024m (3358ft) Distance: 12km (7.5 miles) Duration: 5h30-6h30

  • After a great breakfast at our lovely hotel we being our day which will involve crossing two high cols. Wandering past ancient wooden chalets and farms we work our way towards our first pass at the  Col de Torrent which sits at 2912m (9551ft). It is a long climb but the walking is easy and the zig-zags taken by the path mean we gain ground quickly. We pass through the summer meadows where again we usually have large herds of 'fighting cows'. After a break on the Col, we then descend to the turquoise waters of the Lac de Moiry. The water is an amazing colour which apparently is due to the amount of glacial 'rock flour' in the lake. There is a cafe at the dam, and we often stop here for our picnic lunch. Ahead we can see some of the giant peaks of the Pennine Alps, including the infamous Dent Blanche, or 'White Tooth'. Then it's onwards and upwards to the imposing Col de Sorebois, a climb which is shorter but steeper than the ascent to the Col de Torrent, but presents no real difficulty. From here, we have spectacular views of the famous peaks of the Weisshorn, Dent Blanche and Zinal Rothorn. There is the optional extra of taking a cablecar at the end of the day and saving 800m (2624ft) of descent.  If you have tired legs it will seem a bargain!

    Ascent: 1790m (5871ft) Descent: 1781m (5841ft) Distance: 20.5km (12.8 miles) Duration: 8h00-9h00

    NB: If you take the cable car then the descent will be 901m (2955ft)

  • This is a really lovely walk today through larch forests and across the mountain side with Nutcracker birds calling in the trees, and the possibility of seeing chamois. The Nutcrackers collect as many as 30,000 pine nuts in a season! We do only have one Col to cross today, and the hiking is very pleasant and traverses the mountain side until we reach a path junction where we turn off to being the climb in earnest to the Col de la Forcletta which sits at 2874m (9426ft). We take in the views from the Col, and it is easy to see where we will be heading tomorrow. Our descent gives very fine views of the glaciers and peaks of the Turtmann valley, and as we walk through the meadows we have another chance to spot the elusive Edelweiss by the path. Today we leave the French speaking part of Switzerland and enter the German speaking region. Eventually, we descend through forests of Arolla Pines which are unique to this part of the world, instead of having two 'needles' in a cluster they have five 'needles' which apparently makes them rather different and very much loved by the Nutcracker birds. Our overnight is in the remote hamlet of Gruben in an historic hotel used for many generations by mountaineers. 

    Ascent: 1315m (4313ft) Descent: 1165m (3812ft) Distance: 19km (11.8 miles) Duration: 7h00-8h00

  • Another superb walk as we complete our high level trek today. We start out through open woodland, then high pastures and rocky upland wilderness. Early morning we pass several farmers huts and the 'guys' are often to be found enjoying a local apertif even at this time of day. We soon find the cattle which they are herding, and usually wander through several herds enjoying the lush grazing in this high valley. Our final pass is the Augstbordpass at 2894m (9492ft), beyond which we descend steeply into a bowl and take a rocky trail across the mountainside. This is alpine walking at its best with a trail which at times seems to cling to the mountain, but don't worry it's a good path! Eventually we descend to the pretty hamlet of Jungu and on again into the Mattertal and the town of St. Niklaus. We will not hold it against you if you opt to take the 'characterful' cable car down from Jungu and save your knees by eliminating the final 878 metres (2879ft) of descent. Our hotel has a terrace where we can gather before dinner and enjoy a drink to celebrate making it into the Mattertal (Matter Valley) home of the mighty Matterhorn! However, the big 'M' stays well hidden until the following day when we arrive in Zermatt. 

    Ascent: 1070m (3509ft) Descent: 1765m (5789ft) Distance: 16km (10 miles)

    NB: If you opt to take the cable car the descent is 887m (2909ft)

  • Today is the day we reach the iconic alpine town of Zermatt and therefore views of the mighty Matterhorn. Of all the mountains in the world, the Matterhorn is for many THE iconic mountain. We begin with a short transfer up to the village of Randa where we take a trail heading steeply up the mountainside. We make our way up through the larch forests, passing ancient houses and farms to gain the high level balcony trail known as the 'Europaweg'. This trail takes us to the impressive 'Charles Kuonen Suspension-Bridge'. At almost 500m (1640ft) long this remarkable feat of engineering was opened to the public in 2017 and is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world! In the past this route was often closed to hikers due to rock fall, however, the bridge has allowed the route to be re-opened by ensuring hikers are kept well away from any rockfall risk.   After the bridge our trail along the famous 'Europaweg' becomes steadily more spectacular with a footpath that clings to the mountainside. It is a good trail, but there is sometimes a feeling of exposure. It is well worth the effort as eventually the path leads us to stunning views of the Matterhorn. We eventually arrive high above the town and finish our day descending through the forests. If we have poor weather then our alternative route will be to walk to Zermatt along the valley floor which is on an easy and pleasant trail.

    Ascent: 1400m (4592ft) Descent: 1000m (3280ft) Distance: 18km (11.3 miles) Duration: 8h00-9h00

    NB: Valley route; Ascent 450m (1476ft) Descent 0m (0ft) Distance: 13km (8 miles) Duration: 4h00-5h00

  • This morning is your departure day, unless you have chosen to request extra nights to further enjoy Zermatt. 

It is always our aim to complete the proposed itinerary outlined above, however, it may be necessary for our guides/instructors to adjust the daily itinerary based on the weather conditions, group safety and enjoyment.


We always aim to accommodate our guests in well-situated, clean, characterful, family run accommodation. In many cases we have known the management for years, and it’s like visiting friends. Our suggested accommodation, listed below, is subject to availability at the time of booking. We have given details of our favoured venues and those we intend to use. If unavailable we will book alternative accommodation of a similar standard.

Our trip fees are based on two people sharing a room. If you are travelling on your own your booking will be based on a twin bedroom sharing with someone of the same gender. 

However, on many of our trips single rooms are available on request for a supplementary fee. We recommend booking as early as possible to secure a single room as these are always limited in number. Please contact us for details.

During this trip you will spend nine nights in comfortable hotels, with good facilities; showers, restaurant, bar etc. There are also two nights in mountain huts, where the accommodation is on a non-segregated, dormitory style basis. This type of shared accommodation is all part of an alpine mountain experience. Read our Blog on what it is like to stay in a mountain hut. 

In the Cabane de Louvie it may be possible to secure a double room but this requires very early booking, and will incur a supplement. Due to the nature of the accommodation on this trip; small hotels, often in tiny villages and remote mountain huts, single rooms are not readily available, but do ask and we can advise on availability at the time of booking.

Hotel Le Refuge des Aiglons, Chamonix


Chamonix is a vibrant bustling town and offers a range of hotels. For our trips we aim to book the Hotel Le Refuge des Aiglons, but this does require early booking. Otherwise we consider staying at the Hotel Aiguille du Midi, or the Hotel Pointe Isabelle. All these hotels have en suite facilities, and are welcoming and comfortable. 

Hotel Col de la Forclaz


This historic coaching inn has been in the same family for generations. Today it is run by Sophie who is the 6th generation! It was in around 1830 that her ancestor Joseph Gay-des Combes opened the first inn at the summit of the Col de la Forclaz with his wife. The hotel has a range of bedrooms, but due to the traditional nature of the building not all of them are en suite. 

Hotel Splendide, Champex


The Hotel Splendide sits high in the mountains with great views from the terrace down to the valley below. This historic hotel was built between 1934 and 1938 by the grand-father of the owner. All the bedrooms have en suite facilities, and there are various family rooms available. We eat dinner in the lovely old-fashioned dining room, a real touch of history to be found in this family run hotel. 

During the Second World War the army from the nearby artillery fort were stationed at the hotel. Those perfect views down the valley were appreciated by more than just the tourists! It gave the army an excellent position of strength for protecting the route through to Italy. 

Cabane de Mont Fort


The Cabane de Mont Fort is a great venue for the night, offering stunning views across to the Grand Combin, and beyond. Some wonderful sunsets to be had! The Cabane, which sits at 2457m (8058ft) is run by Marc who's father and mother have been managed this hut since 1983. The food is tasty, and it has hot showers, and decent toilets. The accommodation is normally in small dormitories and where possible we get rooms just for our group. 

Cabane de Pra Fleuri


Perched at 2662m (8731ft) on the stage between Verbier and Arolla, we normally arrive at the Cabane de Prafleuri having wandered past Edelweiss and ibex! The hut is run by Babeth and her daughter Marine, and often they will also have staff from around the world all keen to spend a summer working in a high mountain hut. The hut has showers and toilets, and we aim to secure a small dormitory for our own group. Breakfasts are good, and exceptionally for a 'hut' they even serve crepes!


Hotel du Glacier, Arolla


We always are welcomed at our hotel by the most amazing display of flowers! The Hotel du Glacier in the tiny village of Arolla, famous as a climbing base for mountaineers, excels when it comes to 'window boxes'. The hotel was indeed built by a local mountain guide in 1932 and has been hosting climbers and hikers ever since.

Today it is run by  Anita Rong and her partner, Antonio Caldeira. They have extended the terrace in recent years to create a larger space to enjoy the evening sun, the mountain views, and a cold beer!

Hotel de la Sage, La Sage


The family run Hotel de la Sage is one of the most beautiful places to stay on this trip. It is very traditional in terms of style, and is situated on the mountain with magnificent views across the valley. It is run by Joris and Laetitia who since taking over the hotel a few years ago have maintained its style and standards. The bedrooms are mostly en suite, and there is a lovely lounge and reading room. 

We find the food at the Hotel de la Sage to be extremely good, and breakfast will feature home-made jams and breads. There is a gorgeous sun terrace where you can watch the sunset over the mountains. 

Hotel Le Besso, Zinal


The hotel was built in 1893 and is one of the oldest hotels in the small alpine town of Zinal. The hotel has a cosy bar area, and a sun terrace. Dinner will often feature local dishes, and breakfast is a substantial buffet. The rooms all have en suite facilities.


Hotel Schwarzhorn, Gruben


The Hotel Schwarzhorn is an interesting one! It is situated in a remote valley which literally empties of inhabitants in the winter months. For many generations the hotel has welcomed climbers and mountaineers heading to the snowy peaks at the end of the Turtmann Valley. The building itself appears somewhat austere, but inside there is a warm welcome. 

The rooms mostly have a wash-basin, but showers and toilets are shared on the same floor. There are also dormitories on the upper floors. We always aim to book bedrooms but this relies on early booking, and is not always possible. If you wish to check if your booking will ensure bedrooms then do contact us.

Hotel La Reserve, St Niklaus


Peter always provides us with a very comfortable stay at his Hotel La Reserve. This family run hotel has excellent dinners, and breakfasts, and a number of the bedrooms have balconies. All rooms are en suite, with private showers and toilets. There is also a sunny terrace where you can enjoy a drink. 

Hotel Jagerhof, Zermatt


Zermatt is a bustling mountain town and our hotel is nicely situated in a quiet part of the town, while still allowing easy access to the centre and its shops and restaurants. The Hotel Jagerhof is a lovely hotel with comfortable en suite bedrooms, and a lounge/bar area for relaxing. If the Jagerhof is not available then we usually stay at the Hotel Alpenrose.

With regard to the Hotel Jagerhof, the dinner is usually very good at this hotel, with excellent local dishes, and breakfast is also to be savoured. On your departure the hotel can arrange to drive your luggage to the railway station to save you carrying it in what is a 'car free' town. There is also a large garden with seating to enjoy the sun. 

The Hotel Alpenrose is also very comfortable, and again a few minutes walk to the centre giving easy access to the shops without the night time noise of the main street. The Alpenrose has great views to the mighty Matterhorn!

  • Arrival

    Chamonix, France is easily reached from other European and worldwide destinations by road, rail, coach or plane.

    If travelling by train we recommend booking through RailEurope or Trainline.  For coach travel we recommend using Flixbus.  For more information on travelling by public transport, please see our travel blog.

    If travelling by plane, Geneva is the closest international airport, only 1h15 by road which makes shared transfers, buses or trains easy to arrange.

    A range of travel options to reach the Chamonix valley can be found on the Chamonix Tourist Office website.

    Reaching Chamonix from Geneva airport is straightforward with many transfer companies operating this route throughout the day. Either consider a scheduled bus which will drop you at Chamonix Sud Bus Station, such as, or use a private transfer company such as Haute Transfer, or Mountain Drop-Offs which will drop you at your accommodation. If booking with Mountain Drop-Offs you receive a small discount on the route by using our company code of TAT01. This code only applies to transfers in ’normal’ working hours. It does not apply to early morning, or late evening transfers. 

    Please contact us if you need further advice on your specific travel requirements.


    With the trip finishing in Zermatt, you can easily take a train or coach back to any major European city to continue your holiday, or return home if living in Europe or the UK.  You can use RailEurope or Trainline for information on train travel, and Flixbus for coach travel.

    The most convenient way of returning from Zermatt to Geneva airport is by train. To make a booking with Swiss Federal Railways click here. There is a railway station in Geneva Airport and there are several connections throughout the day. Please note that 1/2 price fares are only available to those with the appropriate 1/2 price reduction card. If you have heavy luggage then we would advise you to arrange for your hotel in Zermatt to transfer your luggage to the railway station in Zermatt on your departure day. Please note this cost is not included in your trip fee.

    For transfer Please contact us if you need further advice on your specific travel requirements.

  • When booking a trip we ask you to acquire insurance to cover you for the following:

    Mountain Rescue Insurance

    It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical expenses, injury, illness, death, mountain rescue, cost of repatriation and personal accident risks. Please ensure that your insurance covers you to the maximum altitude given on your trip itinerary. The maximum altitude for any trip can be checked on the 'At A Glance' box on each trip page. Most of our trips have a maximum altitude of 3,000 metres. If you are unsure or are joining a bespoke trip, then please ask us for specific details.

    Trip Cancellation/Curtailment Insurance

    You should also have insurance to cover trip cancellation and curtailment. Please note that your deposit and balance payments are non-refundable, unless it is Tracks and Trails who cancel the trip due to a failure to reach the required minimum numbers. In this case we will offer you a refund or the option of transferring to another trip if one is available. We also advise that you should have insurance which covers baggage loss/equipment damage as Tracks and Trails will not be held responsible for loss/damage to baggage/equipment.

    COVID-19 Insurance

    As well as medical cover, we recommend that you have appropriate travel insurance so that if you fall ill and test positive for COVID-19 prior to (or during) your trip, you will be financially covered for cancelling your trip. You should also consider booking a policy that covers you if you have to cancel or curtail your holiday because you have to self-isolate. If you choose to cancel, cancellation charges will be payable, but if the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim these charges. Please read the clauses below detailing trip cancellation and curtailment.

    Travel Insurance covering COVID-19 is now available from a number of suppliers, Campbell Irvine, Trailfinders and Staysure. Please check their websites for the latest information on what is and isn't covered. It is likely that more companies will offer COVID related cover in the future.

    All of the above insurances are detailed in our Terms and Conditions

    If you are joining a trip in the UK helicopter/mountain rescue insurance is not required as this is a free service.

    For further details, please read the Insurance section on our website.

  • Summer mountain weather in the European Alps can vary considerably, and in this respect it is no different to any mountain environment where the terrain influences the weather and it can change from valley to valley. 

    However, in the summer months it is generally good in the Alps, but it can deliver everything from glorious sunshine, to rain, fog, high winds and even snow. Temperatures can reach over 30°Celsius (86°F) in July and August, but can drop to 5°Celsius (41°F) on the high passes, or 'Cols' as they are known in the Alps. Essentially, as with all mountain journeys, you should be prepared for any eventuality. The average temperatures range from 15-25°Celsius (59-77°F) in the valleys and 5-15°Celsius (41-59°F) on the passes.

    Even in mid-summer we can be faced with overnight snow especially when we have spent the night in a mountain refuge/rifugio/hut at higher altitude. 

  • When packing for a trip in the mountains it is important to have appropriate equipment and clothing. This kit list features items we believe are necessary for the weather you might encounter and accommodation you will be staying in. If you have any questions with regards to what to bring, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.


    • Walking boots - comfortable & waterproof, with a good tread. We have no objection to ‘low cut mountain walking shoes’ if they have a stiff sole for rough terrain. Be aware that early season snow can remain on the high passes and boots may be necessary!
    • Walking Poles – optional, but highly recommended
    • Rucksack – 30-35 litres, ideally with a chest and waist strap, try using it loaded before your trip
    • Rucksack liner or cover - to keep the contents of your rucksack dry
    • Water container - 1 to 1.5 litres, or hydration system
    • Short gaiters – useful, but not essential
    • Umbrella - useful for shade on very hot days/rain showers


    • Waterproof jacket - this MUST be waterproof. We can encounter heavy rain in the mountains and you need to be able to stay dry and warm
    • Waterproof over trousers - we consider these vital items for the reason given above. We reserve the right to ask you to purchase waterproof trousers if we deem them necessary, or to ask you to miss a day of the trip if you are not properly equipped for the weather
    • Trousers - comfortable walking trousers allowing free movement
    • Shorts/skort
    • Sun hat
    • Warm hat
    • Hat - sunhat
    • Gloves x 2 - one thick, one thin
    • Base layer e.g. t-shirt, thermal tops
    • Fleece jacket/shirt
    • Socks - technical walking socks 2/3 pairs
    • Duvet jacket/second warm jacket
    • Thermal leggings - optional


    • Sunscreen
    • Lip salve
    • Sunglasses - eye protection is essential
    • Tissues
    • Antibacterial hand wash - small bottle
    • Swimwear - optional, we sometimes swim in lakes/rivers
    • Supplementary snack bars/chocolate/trail mix
    • Book/Kindle/Music


    • Passport, plus a paper copy
    • Mountain Rescue Insurance - compulsory
    • Travel Insurance
    • Credit Card
    • Cash - Euros/Swiss Francs
    • Waterproof bag for documents

    Personal First Aid

    • Personal medication - if required
    • Antiseptic cream/spray
    • Painkillers/anti-inflammatories
    • Glucose tablets
    • 2 x Rehydration sachets – like Dioralyte
    • A few throat lozenges
    • Blister plasters 
    • Blister tape eg. Strappal
    • Bandaid plasters

    Items for the nights in mountain huts/refuges

    • Sheet sleeping bag 'liner' - lightweight ‘silk or cotton liner’ to be used under the blankets/duvet provided by the refuges/huts
    • Ear plugs - optional, but advised
    • Head torch - plus batteries
    • Teabags – optional, tea is expensive, whereas ordering hot water is less so
    • Toiletries – miniature soap/toothpaste etc 

    Additional Items

    • Camera
    • Slippers for use in refuges/accommodation 
    • Clothing for use at accommodation
    • Travel Kettle - if required
    • Hair dryer - if required 
    • Padlock - for luggage being transferred
    • Toiletries – soap/shower gel; not all accommodation supplies these
    • 1x Medium size kit bag/holdall/suitcase

    Your luggage will be moved each day by a taxi driver. Please restrict yourself to one bag of approximately 15kg (33lbs) per person. Not all hotels have 'lifts' and you should be able to carry your luggage upstairs. There may be a charge imposed by the taxi company if you have more than 1 bag, and we would please ask you to cover this. 

    **Supplementary snacks if you follow a gluten free or coeliac diet**

    Leaders are all first aid trained and will carry their own first aid kit

  • On many of our trips there will be an element of 'group kit' which will be shared amongst our guests. As mountain people you will be used to team work and working together to the mutual benefit and safety of the group.

    The 'group kit' will be minimal and usually just a case of sharing a few lightweight 'survival shelters'. For example on a week-long trip you may carry a small shelter for just one day before passing it on to the next person. 

    If you are booking a trip in winter there will be a few additional safety items. These will be distributed in such a way that no one is over burdened. 

    Other group items necessary for safety and comfort will be carried by your guide/instructor.

  • For each of our trips a minimum number of guests is required before we can confirm that your trip will go-ahead. The minimum and maximum number of guests on your trip is displayed in the 'At a Glance' box on the righthand side of the trip page. 

    We strongly advise you do not book travel until we have confirmed your trip is 'guaranteed' to run. If you book travel before we have confirmed it is 'guaranteed' we cannot be held responsible for any financial loss if the trip does not go ahead.

  • When booking a holiday as a solo traveller a twin bedded room comprising of two single beds, is booked as standard. This will be with someone of the same gender unless you request to pay extra for your own room. Single rooms are often limited in supply so if you would like to pay a supplement for a single room we urge you to get in touch as soon as possible. The single room supplement for this trip is £930. 

  • Tracks and Trails go to great lengths to work with first class guides and instructors who are passionate about their work. They are all fully qualified, insured, and hold the correct documentation for the countries that they work in.

    Please note your guide has complete discretion to make a daily decision on whether or not to take the advertised route based on the weather and the ability of the members of the group. They have our authority to make any route changes they believe are necessary in the interests of safety and enjoyment. 

    Your hiking guide will be a fully qualified and experienced International Mountain Leader. International Mountain Leaders are not only qualified to ensure the safe management of the group, but are also a source of knowledge about the local flora and fauna, and traditions of the area which you are visiting. You can learn more about our guides and instructors on the About Us page.

  • On this point-to-point trip you will have luggage support on all but 2 of the nights, which means your bags are transferred each day to the next accommodation and you only need to carry a small/medium sized 'rucksack' for items you might need during the course of the day. Please refer to the kit list for this trip for guidance on the size of rucksack required. On the nights you are in the mountain huts you will need to carry just a few extra items in your rucksack.

    As your luggage will be moved along the route by taxi we ask that you keep the weight to a maximum of 15kgs (33lbs), and ONE bag per person. Many of the taxi companies who move your bags impose a 15kg (33lbs) limit and restrict the number of bags simply because they have to unload and reload the vehicle many times each day. If you take more than one bag you may be asked to pay a supplement. Also with regard to weight be aware that you may have to carry your luggage to your bedroom, which may involve climbing several flights of stairs as not all hotels have elevators. Luggage on wheels is generally a good idea.

  • We do not include lunches in your trip fee for various reasons. We have found our guests have particular tastes and requirements for 'trail' or 'hill' food and it is better you purchase your own snacks. Buying supplies and trying local specialities is a great way to inter-act with the local people and to practise your language skills. 

    Lunches on our trips are 'picnic' style lunches, in other words you take a packed lunch with sufficient snacks, food and fluid to sustain you throughout your day of activity. If there is the possibility of lunch being taken at a restaurant/farm/cafe beside the trail, your guide/instructor will advise you of this. 

    Each evening you can choose to order a picnic or a sandwich from the hotel, or your guide/instructor will advise you of other options such as a local shop or market and whether you need to purchase items in the evening or if the shop/market is open early enough the next morning not to delay your start. In all cases we would always ask you to settle any 'bill' for lunch or drinks in the evening before you depart, and not on the morning of your last day when there may be a queue.

  • On your itinerary you will find an indication of the amount of ascent and descent you can expect each day. This offers a guideline to how much effort might be expended each day and allows you to decide, based on previous experience, if your fitness and stamina are correct for the trip. 

    We make every attempt to ensure these statistics are as accurate as possible, but ask you to note that the most modern of technology used to record these details can show considerable variations in terms of ascent, descent, and in particular distance. In other words no two people using GPS devices on the same route will have exactly the same details recorded at the end of the day. 

    The statistics given should be used as a 'general' indication of the effort required. 

  • Your leader will carry the correct maps and you are not expected to navigate, but if you would like to have maps of the itinerary you will find that those listed below cover the route: 

    Carte Nationale de la Suisse 5003: Mont Blanc Grand Combin 1:50,000

    Carte Nationale de la Suisse 5006: Matterhorn Mischabel 1:50,000

  • It is useful to arrive at your destination with some cash in the local currency, however, on most occasions it is relatively easy to visit a 'cash machine' after arrival and withdraw money on a credit or debit card. Some of our locations are an exception to this in particular Norway, where the accommodation will often have no facilities for withdrawing cash, but they will take a credit card. 

    On many of our trips we will visit remote cafes/farms where it is wonderful to enjoy a drink and a cake, at places such as these they will only accept payment in the local currency in cash.

  • Food

    On our trips we encourage you to experience local tastes and dishes that reflect the culture of the country and for this reason many of our accommodation options will be family run with a reputation for the traditional food of the region. 

    If you have a 'special' diet because of an allergy or intolerance to a certain food type which will make you ill the accommodation will cater for this as best they can, eg gluten free, nut free, lactose free.

    If you are vegetarian then this is not a problem as the hotels/refuges are used to being asked for vegetarian meals. Our accommodation will try to cater for those with vegan diets but in remote refuges in the mountains this is more difficult. If you would like to discuss the suitability of a trip for a vegan diet please contact us. Gluten-free diets will be possible with regard to the evening meals, but we would advise that you bring along some gluten-free snacks for your breakfasts and lunches.

    If you have a 'special' diet which is NOT because of an allergy or intolerance, and is not 'veggie' then we apologise, but we cannot cater for this. The accommodation on the popular routes will be catering for many people each evening, in some cases up to 70/80 meals per night, 7 days a week, and realistically they cannot produce many different meal options unless the food will result in illness.


    The countries we visit all have tap water which is drinkable. If for any reason a particular hotel is having a problem with a remote mountain water supply they will normally post a sign over the tap indicating that you must not drink the water. At all times you are welcome to ask your guide/instructor if the water can be drunk. We would ask, for environmental reasons, that you avoid using single-use plastic bottles, and bring a water bottle that can be used repeatedly. 

  • A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required for visits to countries outside the EU, such as Norway. 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.  

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

    Note that if your trip involves staying in a mountain refuge/rifugio/hut that electric sockets may be in short supply and for that night you may not be able to charge any items. Although the accommodation will have electricity this will often be supplied by solar panels or a generator and limited to use by the staff. For this reason we advise that carrying a small slimline and lightweight 'battery pack' can be very useful for recharging phones which many of you will also use as your camera. 

  • Before booking consider whether you expect to be in the appropriate physical condition on the date of your  departure to allow you to fully participate in and enjoy your holiday. If you have any doubts because of an illness or injury it would be advisable to check with your doctor.

    For UK residents travelling to an EU country you should obtain and bring with you a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment in certain European countries, but is not a substitute for medical travel insurance.

    If you have a UK European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) it will be valid until the expiry date on the card. Once it expires, you’ll need to apply for a GHIC to replace it. The UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) lets you get state healthcare in Europe at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. Please check this before departing. We advise that you always carry your insurance documents with details of the Emergency Medical telephone number for your insurance provider, and your policy number. 

  • We feel strongly about protecting the environment and do not encourage the use of single-use plastic items. We would ask that you arrive with a ‘water bottle’ or ‘hydration system’ that can be used repeatedly. We would point out that we operate a ‘zero tolerance’ for rubbish, and would ask you to remove all your rubbish items from the mountain even those you consider to be bio-degradable. In particular we ask that you remove any toilet tissue.

    You can read our full policy here.

  • Working across international boundaries, and with various currencies means that the price of our trips can change overnight. We have, however, undertaken to guarantee that once you have paid your deposit the price of your trip is fixed. In this respect we urge you to book early to ensure that you receive the price advertised on our website. The website price may increase due to currency fluctuations, but we guarantee that the price advertised on the date of your booking will be maintained in your individual case. 

  • Due to the specialised nature of our holidays, we co-sell a number of trips with 'partner' companies. These are carefully selected to ensure they reflect our ethos and standards in terms of the service we offer our guests. By encouraging other companies to sell our trips it means that your chosen holiday may reach its 'minimum' number earlier, allowing us to guarantee the trip and to give you the go-ahead to book your travel arrangements.

    There may be occasions when our partners have helped book your accommodation and organise the logistics for your trip. On these occasions your hotel may have recorded your room reservation in the name of one of our partners. 

    We guarantee that companies with whom we work will offer the same package as Tracks and Trails Ltd. The price will be the same, though occasionally they may be operating in a different currency. Your itinerary and the items that are included, or not included in your trip fee, will also be the same. 

    We believe in team work, and enjoy working with other small high quality companies. If you have any questions about this policy please contact us and we will be happy to discuss it with you. 

  • When booking a trip during the pandemic we ask that you keep an open mind and be willing to adapt and be flexible.

    Any holiday taken during the Covid-19 pandemic may be subject to change and with little or no notice of that change. As the past months have proven no-one can predict the situation from one week to the next, however, we will do our very best to gauge the best response to any new developments. New restrictions or guidelines might affect where we eat out, which accommodation we can stay in, and potentially transport arrangements if the numbers in vehicles are restricted. 

    Itineraries may not be exactly as advertised due to new regulations or restrictions. We are sure there will be various scenarios which we have not even thought about that might lead to a change or adaptation in the itinerary.

    Please read our Covid-19 Cancellation Policy and ensure you have appropriate insurance as per our recommendations. We also ask that you make yourself aware of the entry requirements of any country you are visiting on your trip. We have compiled a Travel Links Advice list to help you source the correct information. 

Prices may vary depending on date.


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What's Included

  • Fees of a professional International Mountain Leader
  • Half board hotel accommodation for 9 nights; based on two people sharing a twin room
  • Mountain refuge accommodation for 2 nights
  • Daily luggage transfers, expect for 2 nights in mountain huts
  • The Les Ruinettes cable car at Le Chable
  • Transfer from St Niklaus to Randa
  • Tracks and Trails memento - a gift to take home!

What's Not Included

  • Travel insurance
  • Airport transfers
  • Lunches, snacks and drinks 
  • Cable cars at Zinal and Jungu
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Grade: Expert


At a Glance

From Price £3275
Holiday Type Walking
Duration 12 Days
Group Size 4-10
Minimum Age 18
Maximum Altitude 2987m (9797ft)
Countries Visited France, Switzerland
Meet In Chamonix, France
View all Walking Holidays

Classic Haute Route: Chamonix to Zermatt

Why book with T&T?

  • Highly professional guides
  • Personal service guaranteed 
  • Attention to detail throughout
  • Explore off the beaten track
  • Single rooms on request
  • No surcharge guaranteed
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