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[!] Mountaineer's Haute Route

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[!] Mountaineer's Haute Route

Postby sm176811 » Sat Feb 28, 2009 3:18 am

Hi Guys:
I am from the US so have very limited knowledge of the hikes in Europe. My knowledge is limited to the short hikes around Chamonix and Grindelwald.

This summer, my friend and I wanted to do the Mountaineers Haute Route. We are decent mountaineers and have climbed/hiked in the pacific Northwest of the US and are comfortable hiking on snow and have done south side of Mount Adams, Mount Hood...

Unfortunately, we are not good skiers. Therefore I had the following questions regarding the Haute Route (Mountaineers). We are planning to go end June/ early July.

1. Can it be done without skis? What if we hike up and hike down the slopes, how long will the entire route (Chamonix to Zermatt) take?

2. Can we do it without guides?

3. What are good sources to find out more about the routes?

4. Are the routes well marked?

5. Where can we make the reservation for the Huts?

6. Can we stay in the hut if we go on our own?

7. Would it be possible to stay in tents near the hut, but buy food and use the toilets in the hut?


Thanks guys, and once again your help would be really appreciated.
Regards,
John
:idea: :?: :!:
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Postby Moni » Sat Feb 28, 2009 2:43 pm

I can answer questions 5, 6 and 7:

You call the individual hut to make the reservations. Some huts allow camping and others do not. You would have to pay to use any of the hut's facilities, so you might as well stay there. There is the environmental impact of camping to consider as well. It doesn't matter if you have a guide or not, huts are open to all. Crowded huts will give a bed first to alpine club members. So sometimes you end up of the floor.
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Huts

Postby georgen » Sat Feb 28, 2009 6:50 pm

The majority of hut custodians do not care if you are member of alpine club or not.You live in the past Moni...They just care about your spending in the hut.To make reservation is absolutely necessary!!! :(
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Postby Mihai Tanase » Sat Feb 28, 2009 8:24 pm

First of all you have to learn french :twisted: if you want understand the informations from this amazing link

http://www.philippe-bourgine.com/chamon ... techniques

Yes, you can do it without skis but you need more time from Chamonix to Zermatt, at least 10 days depending on snow and weather conditions.

Yes you can do it without guide but are you enough experienced to navigate with map, compas and GPS on this kind of terrain ? Chamonix-Zermatt is not like short hikes arround Cham or Grindelwald.

No, the route is not well marked, because there is no marked trails on glaciers. :wink:
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Postby sm176811 » Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:45 am

Thanks guys for the feedback.

- So sounds like if we walk/use snow shoes it should take us approximately 10 days to go from Chamonix to Zermatt

- We are quite comfortable with GPS/Maps, so should be able to navigate our way. Besides, I guess there might be other parties doing the trail at the same time.

- Sounds like to be on the safe side, it's better to make the reservations for the hut in advance. Also it sounds like that it's better to stay in the hut than to lug your tents and sleeping etc.

- Thanks once again for the AWESOME link. I do know a bit of French, but it is not good enough to comprehend the site. Google translator worked quite well - http://74.125.95.132/translate_c?hl=en& ... 38spQyS95w



Some quick follow up questions:

1. Do we need to take ropes for the glacier traverse?
2. What is the weather like in the month of June/July?
3. Do the huts provide blankets and pillows or do you have to take your own sleeping bag/pad?


Thanks once again guys. I really appreciate your help.
Regards,
John
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Postby Mathias Zehring » Sun Mar 01, 2009 4:29 pm

sm176811 wrote:Some quick follow up questions:
1. Do we need to take ropes for the glacier traverse?
2. What is the weather like in the month of June/July?
3. Do the huts provide blankets and pillows or do you have to take your own sleeping bag/pad?

1. Ropes, ice axes and crampons - and the ability to handle it - are a must.
2. Mostly there will be a fine morning, cumulus clouds occuring during the day and a shower or thunderstorm in the afternoon. So you should start your days vey early. June will have very much snow. the huts will probably not be guided in June as this is the gap between ski and summer season.
3. Yes there are blankets and pillows. For hygienic reasons it is advisable to carry your own light-weight sleeping bag (one made of silk has a weight of only 100g or so)
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Re: Huts

Postby Moni » Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:41 pm

georgen wrote:The majority of hut custodians do not care if you are member of alpine club or not.You live in the past Moni...They just care about your spending in the hut.To make reservation is absolutely necessary!!! :(


They do care if there are too many people: club members get the beds and the rest get the floor. Been there done that not all that long ago. And yes, it's always been about the money in some areas. Not in others.
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Postby sm176811 » Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:34 am

Thanks guys for the invaluable help!
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Re: Mountaineers haute route or walkers haute route?

Postby mvs » Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:44 am

pilatus wrote:Beside your mountaineers haute route, there exists an easier hikers haute route from Chamonix to Zermatt:

http://www.stefanieundaxel.de/unterwegs/0209_hr/index.htm

So if your route is too strenuous or the weather too bad, you might change to the easier one...


I did this solo a few years ago and really enjoyed it. Interestingly, the trail was empty. I went from Zermatt to Chamonix while most people go the other way. I would meet a few people at noon, or in the hut in the evening. I really enjoyed the solitude I got by traveling that way.

I've heard that the true Haute Route has melted out unpleasantly in some places (former glacier passes are now loose moraine and scree). Still it sounds awesome, if I'd had a partner I would have gone that way!
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Postby wkriesel » Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:06 am

hi,
this exchange has been valuable for me too. I will be in Chamonix in late june and have similar ambitions for the high route. However, I will be alone. I am not very experienced, with only Mauna Loa, Longs Peak and Aconcagua as my high points. Therefore, I will wimp out and use a guide service from:
http://www.chamonix-guides.com
870 euros for a 6 day trip.
If anybody has a better suggestion I am dying to hear it.
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Postby Flachlandtiroler » Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:40 am

wkriesel wrote:I am not very experienced, with only Mauna Loa, Longs Peak and Aconcagua as my high points. Therefore, I will wimp out and use a guide service


:shock:
I would rate a person who climbed Aconcagua as quite experienced...

wkriesel wrote:If anybody has a better suggestion I am dying to hear it.


The walkers haute route is just hut-to-hut walking, which you surely + easily could manage on your own IMHO.

Martin
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