H/Route Highlights Itinerary

Haute Route Highlights

Welcome to the Itinerary and trip notes for Big Smile Adventures 8-day Highlights Haute Route.

This is a land only trip and you must make your own way to Chamonix for the first night and your way from Zermatt on the final departure day back to the airport you are flying out of. There are a couple of nights where you will have to carry extra clothing and a sleeping bag liner for a few nights, these are the nights we stay in the mountain huts, which are the first three nights after leaving Chamonix. After this we can have a baggage transfer every night all the way to Zermatt.

Pack lunches are not supplied on this trek as it gives you more flexibility to choose what you would like to have and carry. Breakfast and dinner is included on every day except the meet and greet evening in Chamonix where you have to supply your own dinner and the Departure day from Zermatt where only breakfast is supplied.

Apart from the first night in Chamonix where you will need Euro`s, the rest of the trek you will need Swiss Francs for the entirety of the trek.

This trip is based on dormitory style accommodation in the refuges and twin room sharing in the hotels.

This trip is run on a minimum of 4 people and the maximum of 6.

This is to insure the safety of the group especially on the days of crossing the high cols.


Day 1 – 15/08/17 – Meet, greet and overnight in Chamonix. (Twin room)

Dinner is not supplied on this night. Remember you need to buy a packed lunch for the next day.

You will meet your guide for the trek at 5pm on this evening to talk about your trek and to look at your equipment for the trip. You over night in Chamonix tonight. and dinner is not supplied on this night. Remember you need to buy a packed lunch for the next day.


Day 2 – 16/08/17 – Chamonix to Cabane du Col de Mille (Dormitory)

Breakfast and Dinner supplied. You can buy a pack lunch from the Refuge for the next day.

Leave Chamonix and we take a private transfer to Bourg St Pierre where we ascend to the Col de Mille.

Starting at Bourg St Pierre, we make a gradual ascent through wild flower meadows to the alpage of La Coeur at 2,233m. We pass over a col and traverse the mountainside following a balcony trail offering superb views the length of the valley overlooking Orsières. We then reach the newly built Cabane du Col de Mille at 2472m where we spend the first night.

Distance Approx 11km Time approx 4.30 hrs Ascent: +1220m and Descent -375m

Day 3 – 17/08/17 – Cabane du Col de Mille to Cabane de Louvie (Dormitory)

Breakfast and Dinner supplied. You can buy a pack lunch from the Refuge for the next day.

In the morning we leave the Cabane du Col de Mille and head down to the lovely Swiss village of Fionnay . We then have an amazing steep climb up through the meadows to the Cabane de Louvie, and you get to spend another great night in a mountain refuge beside a beautiful lake. The Cabane de Louvie is an experience to be savored as it feels like a really remote location.

 Distance Approx 20 km Ascent +722m. Descent -981m.  Time 6-7 hrs.

Day 4 – 18/08/17 – Cabane de Louvie to the Cabane de Prafleuri (Dormitory)

Breakfast and Dinner supplied. You can buy a pack lunch from the Refuge for the next day.

This is one of the most spectacular days of the trek, traversing two high cols, with dramatic views throughout. At the start, the path follows the lakeside. We then hike up on steep trails to then traverse on a high path that cuts beneath the towering cliffs. Shattered rocks and a dramatic path leads us up to the Col de Louvie at 2921 mts where we then drop down to the Grand desert. Skirting the edge of this glacier we traverse the moraine fields and head up to the last col of our day the Col de Prafleuri at 2987 mrs before dropping down to out hut for the night the Cababne de Prafleuri at 2624 mts.

Distance approx 18 km. Ascent + 820 mtrs. Descent – 550 mtrs. Time 7-9 hrs.

Day 5 – 19/08/17 – Prafleuri to Arolla/La Sage (Twin room)

After an early breakfast we cross the Col de Roux to reach the Lac de Dix. Wandering along the lake for a few kilometers we then start climbing up towards the Col de Riedmatten and  the Pas du Chevre a ladder system that brings us to the same place as the col, if the weather is good we can take the ladders. Dropping down towards Arolla we gain fantastic views of Mont Blanc de Cheilon and the Glacier de Cheilon.

Distance  approx 14 km Ascent: +735mtrs Descent- 1360mtrs. Time 6-7 hrs.

Private Transfer to La Sage from Arolla

Day 6 – 20/08/17 – La Sage to Zinal (Twin room)

Breakfast and Dinner supplied. You can buy Supplies from the shops in Zinal for the next day.

We climb up to our first col of the day, the Col de Torrent that sits at 2912m and we then make our descent to the blue green waters of the Moiry Dam. A final climb up to the Col de Sorebois that gives spectacular views to mountains such as the Dent Blanche. From here we descend  to our accommodation in the beautiful old town of Zinal.

Distance Approx 22 km Ascent: +1800 mtrs. Descent: –1820mtrs. Time 9 hrs.

Day 7 – 21/08/17 – Zinal to Gruben (Twin room)

Breakfast and Dinner supplied. You can buy a pack lunch from the Hotel for the next day.

Only one Col to cross today, and we begin with a pleasant ascent through the larch woods. This trail is very pleasant as it meanders up and down traversing the mountainside, until we reach the junction for the two Cols, the Col de la Forcletta that sits at 2874m, and the Meidpass which lies further along the route, and sits at 2790m. Depending on weather, and conditions your guide will decide which route offers the best experience for the group. Distance approx 17km Distance Ascent: +1315 mtrs. Descent: –1165 mtrs.

Day 8 – 22/08/17 – Gruben to Zermatt (Twin Room)

Breakfast and Dinner supplied.

A superb trek today, as we start out through open woodland, then high pastures and rocky upland wilderness. The trek soon opens up to some of the most spectacular views in the Swiss Alps. Our final pass is the Augstbordpass at 2894m, beyond which we descend steeply to the pretty hamlet of Jungu and on again into the Mattertal and the town of St. Niklaus. Here we take the train/taxi to what has to be one of the most famous mountain towns in the world – Zermatt!

Distance approx 13km Ascent: +1070mtrs. Descent: +1765 mtrs.

Day 9 – 23/08/17 – Departure day.

Breakfast only included on this day.

The trip ends at 10 am on this day and we wish you the easiest and nicest journey back home after a great Haute route trek with Big Smile Adventures.


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