Wednesday, 23 August 2017


The team arrive at the Mattertal 

Descending from the Augstboard Pass 

Morning light above the Turtmantal 

The Tashhorn


Hot enough for lizzards

The Brighthorn at the head of the Mattertal 
Today it was a much easier section for the team on the Haute Route. From Gruben over to St. Niklaus in the Mattertal.  Just one Col, The Augstboard Pass. All the King of the Alps flowers have no gone for the summer near the top of the pass. Only a short flowering season for these guys. Once over the pass it's mostly downhill on rocky terrain. Just has the trail heads South around a corner one of the finest views of the trek comes into sight, the Mattertal Valley.  The vista from here is tremendous.  An array of big 4000m peaks towering above the trench of the Mattertal,  the Matterhorn Valley. The lovely trail descends to the wonderful alp village of Jungen, it's like stepping back in time here. Another pair of young Golden Eagle seen again today. Another cloudless sky day and hot by afternoon.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017


Weisshorn from The Meid Pass
Dent Blanche above Zinal
Bishorn & Weisshorn 
Weisshorn Hotel

I've guided the Haute Route many times but never walked the route over the Meid Pass. The usual Route from Zinal to Gruben goes via the Forcletta Col. The beauty of having a small, fit and adventures group like on this trip is they are up for the bigger days. So we headed over the Meid Pass via the Weisshorn Hotel. Fabulous clear skies all day with warmer temperatures than yesterday.  The views out of Zinal are stunning.  The Dent Blanche,  Point de Zinal,  Matterhorn and Zinal Rothorn are all on show in a sweeping seeing circle around the Val d'anniveres.  At our usual elevenses break we were going smacked when a young Golden Eagle was acompanied by the adult, just 50 metres away from us. We watch for a full 5 minutes as they soared at eye level! Then two Alpine Choughs made an appearance but were quickly seen off!  Great stuff. We mingled with the tourists at the Weisshorn Hotel before heading over the pass. The views from here of the Weisshorn's north ridge are superb.  The descent down to Gruben in the Turtmantal was just beautiful in the afternoon sun. Another brilliant day.

Monday, 21 August 2017


Val de Herens 

With ease 
Lac Moiray
Another glorious morning. Today's stage of the Haute Route goes from La Sage over the Col de Torrent,  down to Lac Moraiy then a second col, Col de Sorbois and down to Zinal in the Val d'anniveres .  A 2000m ascent and almost the same descent day. Some of the big mountains of the Valley now in view. The Matterhorn is getting closer! 

Sunday, 20 August 2017


Wonderful traverse path above Arolla
Lac Bleau
Plenty of old buildings today 

Easy descent into Les Hauderes 
Good summer for Butterflies 
End point today,  La Sage
Half way through the Haute Route and after the last two big days it is always a well timed 'rest day' for groups. The section from Arolla to La Sage is very easy. Despite it being an easy day it still has many fantastic points of interest and amazing views. From Arolla we head back up to the tree line, on the friend of Alpine meadows.  The views back to Mont Collon and the Pigne d'Arolla are just wonderful.  Within a couple of hours we come to Lac Bleau.  A Local beauty spot and very popular with folk at weekends. We missed peak hour as we descended to Les Hauderes on An easy,  quiet path. After lunch we have just a 40 minutes easy up hill to La Sage where we stay for the night and amazing views.

Saturday, 19 August 2017


the Col Reidmatten 

Mont Blanc de Chiellon 

Fabulous cloud & sun 

Overnight thunderstorm and quite windy as the window rattled at the Prafleuri Refuge. The weather forecast was 'changable' with much cooler temperatures has the winds veared to the NW. We woke to cloud and poor visibility.  Two cols today.  The first, the Col de Choux,  is just 20 minutes from the hut to the top. We arrived to a wonderful panorama of cloud swirling,  a broken spectre and ibex roaming about above the Col. Stunning visability when the sun broke through in the crisp air. By the time we had descended to Lac Dix the cloud had all burned off and the marmotts had woken up. After the stroll beside the lake it's up hill again and onto the moraine below the impressive Mont Blanc de Chiellon. The second col today is the steepest, narliast of the Tour, the Col de Reidmatten.  It's short but higher than the adjescent Col de Chevres which most people go up. If you go via this col you aren't doing the Haute Route proper! A descent down to Arolla is easy and we enjoyed plenty of marmotts and Eidelweiss before reaching civilization again. A brilliant 3 days of the Tour.

Lac Dix & cloud

Friday, 18 August 2017


Grand Combin from Col Termin

Lac Louvie & Grand Combin
Col Termin 

Col Prafleuri 

Descending Col Prafleuri 

The Grand Desert 
For me the finest days of the Haute Route are from Cabane Mont Fort to Arolla.  This section is high, wild, remote,  fabulous mountain scenery and wonderful wildlife. Another cracking day in store for the day between Mont Fort and Cabane Prafleuri. 3 cols to cross. The day started with a beautiful sunrise on the Mont Blanc Range. The trail from the Cabane to the Col Termin is known has the Sentier de Chamois. It runs across the hillside in a massive traverse high above the Val Bagnes with constant views of the Grand Combin. Our team of 3 just loved every minute. At the Col the trail runs towards the next Col, Col Le Louvie.  You need to keep looking back as you walk along here for the stunning view of Lac Louvie with the Grand Combin in the background.  The descent from this col goes into the lunch landscape of the Grand Desert,  at the edge of the retreating Glacier running from the Rosa Blanche. The final pull up to the Col Prafleuri gives another view of high glaciated mountains,  moraine and meadows.  Brilliant day. We got into the hut well before the lightening storms and rain. Top day. 

Thursday, 17 August 2017


Fab views of Grand Combin
Cabane du Mont Fort 
Sunset from the Cabane 
Tomorrows route
 A quiete refuge 
Second Adder this trip
Meadows enroute to the Val de Bagnes
Another glorious day on the Haute Route.  Hot sun and blue skies all day. Day 3 ID an easier section of the trek. A long descent into the Val de Bagnes.  After lunch it's a cablecar ride up to Les Ruinettes, above Verbier, at over 2190m. Great views of the Grand Combin from here which we get even better views the following day. A lovely easy walk to the Cabane du Montfort. A great spot with stunning views and stunning sunset tonight. Another Adder spotted today, two in as many days. Lots of wonderful raspberries and myrtles out in the meadows this time of year. My favourite day of the entire trek begins tomorrow.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017


Descending the Fenetre Arppette 
The Fenetre Arppette 
Fenetre Arppette 
Trient Glacier 
Trient Valley 

Day 2 of the Walkers Haute Route.  A big day over the Fenetre Arppette.  I love this day. Big views, steep ground. My big team of 3 folk sailed over. A couple of Ibex on the rocks near the Col.  Last night of 'luxury' before we head off onto the finest stages of the Toeur, the 'wilderness'.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017


Aiguillete de Posettes 

The team on the summit 
Fine views
Mont Blanc 
Cows at Tseppes
Back in the Alps again and the start of another Walkers Haute Route.  With just a small group of 3 this trip. Another lovely sunny skies day. We headed for the summit of the Croix de Feur as Chloe, Meridyth and Matt had made easy work of the Aiguillete de Possettes and Col de Balme. The top gives splendid views of the Trient Glacier. Grand first day, more to come! This second Haute Route this season, guiding for Mont Blanc Treks.