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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 07:28 AM Thread Starter
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Default Haute Route?

Anyone on here done the walker's haute route? I'm thinking about it and have questions about details and logistics.

Anyone have an alternative multi-day mountain hike in Europe they'd like to suggest?

Thanks!
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 10:41 PM
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Tour De Blanc, The Camino or for something a little more rugged The G20. Scotland has a few good ones.

Every journey begins with one small step.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Tour De Blanc, The Camino or for something a little more rugged The G20. Scotland has a few good ones.
Thanks @sidetrip! Do you think Tour De Blanc is a better choice than the haute route? Have you done it - I'm trying to figure out scheduling, booking accommodations etc etc and would love some advice.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 08:52 PM
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No but thinking about it possibly next summer. Was researching and found a very informative youtube video you might find interesting. Only two weeks ago so everything is current.

Every journey begins with one small step.

Last edited by sidetrip; 09-17-2019 at 08:59 PM. Reason: because
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 05:24 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Good luck with the researching! What made you choose TMB - I'm thinking something in the Alps or Dolomites but am having a hard time choosing...

That video has good info but raises more questions. (Mostly - how is he carrying a tent with such a small pack?!)
My main question is how to get detailed info about the refugios and other places to stay - where they are, what sort of accommodations they have, prices, and how (and when) to book them. This is pretty crucial for planning out the days and having places to stay.

Ideally I'm trying to find that info for a few different trails so I can decide which one is best/easiest for us.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by dpdp View Post
Thanks, Good luck with the researching! What made you choose TMB - I'm thinking something in the Alps or Dolomites but am having a hard time choosing...

That video has good info but raises more questions. (Mostly - how is he carrying a tent with such a small pack?!)
My main question is how to get detailed info about the refugios and other places to stay - where they are, what sort of accommodations they have, prices, and how (and when) to book them. This is pretty crucial for planning out the days and having places to stay.

Ideally I'm trying to find that info for a few different trails so I can decide which one is best/easiest for us.

Haven't really decided yet either, Just researching all the possibilities out there so far such as those listed plus a few more that involve more technical routes such as the winter Haute Route.


Think he shows his belongings in the video and these one man ultra light tents can pack pretty small nowadays and weigh zilch.


As to the other questions you have I also have but researching all the answers is part of the fun.

Every journey begins with one small step.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 04:21 AM
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Haute Route is not as busy from what I hear but who knows or if you compare it with the TMB region maybe everything else is not busy.


I once started the TMB but bailed out soon – too many gondolas, too many people, too much walking on a broad trail in the valley (I would look for alternatives from the main trail, guess I wasn’t informed that much, there should be blogs) – you can see this kind of “trail” in the video and I’m wondering how he managed not to have other people in the picture. Very developed indeed, it just didn’t make sense to me to hike up a mountain with gondolas everywhere and meeting the day hikers on top, followed by a descent back to pavement. Since then I avoid the Chamonix area, Chamonix is a horrible place I would say, crowds of tourists and all for the tourists.


Oh, just wondering, did you do the Danube trip?

Last edited by Kokanee75; 09-22-2019 at 12:10 AM.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 09-22-2019, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
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As to the other questions you have I also have but researching all the answers is part of the fun.
Definitely! If you find any good resources feel free to post them here in a reply.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 09-22-2019, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kokanee75 View Post
Haute Route is not as busy from what I hear but who knows
That is good to hear.

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I’m wondering how he managed not to have other people in the picture.
I was thinking the same thing, I guess he's choosing angles, editing to make it look like he's more alone than he really is.

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Since then I avoid the Chamonix area, Chamonix is a horrible place I would say, crowds of tourists and all for the tourists.
Thanks for the advice. It seems like other parts of the alps aren't as bad, and shoulder seasons might be okay too. Do you have any suggestions?

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Oh, just wondering, did you do the Danube trip?
My bro was going to kayak it and I was looking into joining for a week. He ended up taking some sea kayaking and white-water courses and kayaking and hiking in Cape Breton instead. He's talking about doing Vancouver-Juneau next summer so maybe I'll skip the alps and join him for a bit if I can get the time off work and figure out logistics.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Kokanee75 View Post
Haute Route is not as busy from what I hear but who knows or if you compare it with the TMB region maybe everything else is not busy.


I once started the TMB but bailed out soon – too many gondolas, too many people, too much walking on a broad trail in the valley (I would look for alternatives from the main trail, guess I wasn’t informed that much, there should be blogs) – you can see this kind of “trail” in the video and I’m wondering how he managed not to have other people in the picture. Very developed indeed, it just didn’t make sense to me to hike up a mountain with gondolas everywhere and meeting the day hikers on top, followed by a descent back to pavement. Since then I avoid the Chamonix area, Chamonix is a horrible place I would say, crowds of tourists and all for the tourists.


Oh, just wondering, did you do the Danube trip?
Chamonix is amazing, beautiful town, incredible mountains and glaciers at your finger tips. But I agree TMB is not a great hike, it's a hike for people who don't hike imo.. lot of double track, lot of going into towns.. you could do the highlights of the whole thing in 3 days, but frankly the highlights of the TMB pale in comparison to other hikes you could be spending your time on in the area.

Go back to Chamonix and hike from Montenvers to Refuge Charpoua and on to Refuge du Couvercle along les balcons mer de glace. Spend the night, next day head down to Refuge Leschaux at the foot of les grandes jorasses, then walk back on the glacier and up to refuge du requin overlooking the seracs du geant. spend the night or head back to montenvers. in this two day hike you will have incredible views every step of the way, non stop. to this day my favourite overnight hike.

another day hike up along le glacier d'argentiere to le refuge d'argentiere. incredible views of l'aiguille verte. nice lunch and head back to town. the hut will likely be closed but there's a nice balcony with great views where you can picnic.

Another day go to the courmayeur side and hike up petit mont blanc, bring an ice axe and crampons for the final 350m snow slope. incredible views of mont blanc, there's a little bivy hut up there that sleeps 8.

or hike up to refuge de saleinaz, spend a night at the hut and from the hut you can scramble up grande pointe des planeureuses, a t4.

that's a solid week of hiking right there, no gondolas, no crowds. go the first week of september and the town will be much much quieter than during august, especially end of august when there's the ultra mont blanc race.

i also don't recommend the haute route, you spend a lot of time connecting dots with very little scenery. and again the highlights can be seen in one or two days, but the highlights are not that great compared to what else you could be hiking, sometimes just one valley over. like hiking to cabane des grands montets is a better than any day you will have on the entire haute route.

but overall, you don't go to the alps for wilderness, especially not canadian rockies style wildnerness. you go to alps for incredibly accessible 3000-4000m peaks, alpine huts at every corner, in unimaginable locations, hikes where you're not slogging through the woods for 3 hours just to get to the alpine, because of the lifts the hikes start and finish in the alpine.. town scattered across mountain sides as far as the eye can see, cappuccino's and cheese plates at 3500m, etc.

some other beautiful hikes that involve gondola's, aletsch glacier hike from eggishorn to bettmerhorn and then hike along the incredible glacier until the turn off for the lake. yeah there will be other people on the trail much like you'd find in lake louise, but it's also one of the most beautiful glaciers on earth.

outside interlaken, hike the hardergrat.. a 25km ridge with many sections knife edge, from brienzer rothorn to harder kulm.

hike to megisalp in alpenzell via bogartenlucke ridge and don't miss the views from the hundstein. spend the night at megisalp and spend the next day hiking out via saxer lücke

take the lift to gornergrat in zermatt, incredible view, then hike down any number of trails back to town from there, or head down on the glacier and have lunch at the monte rosa hutte. zermatt is a pedestrian only town

it's touristy and busy but you can't go to switzerland and not visit the lauterbrunnen valley, hike from murren to rockstockhutte and explore one of the ridges up there, then make your way back down to gimmelwald or stechelberg and take the bus back to lauterbrunnen, but take the train to kleine sheidegg in the later afternoon and hike up lauberhorn at the end of the day before taking the train back to lauterbrunen.

take the lift up to diavolezza outside of st. moritz, beautiful glacier views from munt pers, piz trovat, then hike down the glacier back to the road. there's a trail up piz trovat or you can take the via ferrata route.

and speaking of via ferrata.. the dolomites, now that's a whole other world of fun. get a harness and via ferrata lanyard and you've got endless via ferrata to explore. my personal favourite, traverse the brenta bochette's in 3 days. the dolomites are special, there's nothing like it anywhere else on earth, a via ferrata playground.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 03:25 PM
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That is good to hear.


I was thinking the same thing, I guess he's choosing angles, editing to make it look like he's more alone than he really is.


Thanks for the advice. It seems like other parts of the alps aren't as bad, and shoulder seasons might be okay too. Do you have any suggestions?


My bro was going to kayak it and I was looking into joining for a week. He ended up taking some sea kayaking and white-water courses and kayaking and hiking in Cape Breton instead. He's talking about doing Vancouver-Juneau next summer so maybe I'll skip the alps and join him for a bit if I can get the time off work and figure out logistics.
see my reply to Kokanee75
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 08:17 PM
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Kev Reynolds's book, Chamonix to Zermatt: The Classic Walker's Haute Route, is a frequently used guide.
I've seen numerous trip reports, blogs, photo diaries, and the like on the long-distance routes in CH. Will keep a casual eye out for fresh ones to link here.

I went decades ago to the Bernese Oberland (Eiger Muench und Jungfrau), did not make res in advance, was occasionally alone in the mist, with sound of cowbells on each side telling me where the edge of the road or trail was. I believe that era has passed. Hiked from Montreux on Lac Leman (Lake Geneva) to Zurich (train the last bit). Every small town has a visitors center with overnight lodging referrals. Concur on Lauterbrunnen.

Switzerland is amazing. It has established public use routes that go through private land. And the mountainscape is big. You can see geological actions - folding and such - spread out over miles. Its bigness was difficult to compass visually.

Norway is the new Switzerland, the new destination for hikers who don't want to be steamrollered by other ppl. Lofoten Islands and such.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 08:52 PM
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Some older TRs:

From 2007: required crampons, roping up, a guide (in an earlier thread the trip reporter described working out in a climbing gym and doing winter climbing to get used to things):
https://www.vftt.org/forums/showthre...ht=haute+route

Thread from 2015 on TdMB versus Haute Route:
https://www.vftt.org/forums/showthre...ht=haute+route

These are from Views from the Top, a New England-centric hiking site: vftt.org. I typed in "haute route" and got several TRs, none recent.

"RollingRock" has a very nice photo + narrative about Haute Route, but his links are broken.

Macs Adventure is a site for supported hiking. The trip itineraries are detailed enough that one could replicate them for oneself.
Possibly something here of interest?
https://www.macsadventure.com/us/

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Actually, I'll amend everything in this post and the previous one by suggesting Googling. Using search term "haute route blog," I found numerous pages, including some "ten best" lists, which presumably would suggest other multiday backpacks.
Good luck!

Last edited by ColdBrook; 01-14-2020 at 07:43 AM. Reason: Better solution!
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by ColdBrook View Post
Kev Reynolds's book, Chamonix to Zermatt: The Classic Walker's Haute Route, is a frequently used guide.
I've seen numerous trip reports, blogs, photo diaries, and the like on the long-distance routes in CH. Will keep a casual eye out for fresh ones to link here.

I went decades ago to the Bernese Oberland (Eiger Muench und Jungfrau), did not make res in advance, was occasionally alone in the mist, with sound of cowbells on each side telling me where the edge of the road or trail was. I believe that era has passed. Hiked from Montreux on Lac Leman (Lake Geneva) to Zurich (train the last bit). Every small town has a visitors center with overnight lodging referrals. Concur on Lauterbrunnen.

Switzerland is amazing. It has established public use routes that go through private land. And the mountainscape is big. You can see geological actions - folding and such - spread out over miles. Its bigness was difficult to compass visually.

Norway is the new Switzerland, the new destination for hikers who don't want to be steamrollered by other ppl. Lofoten Islands and such.
things have definitely changed from decades ago, everywhere on earth.. there is 10x more tourism than there was 30 years ago.. probably even more than that. i mean think about lake louise and moraine lake areas 30 years ago vs today. but go to switzerland in early september and hike monday to friday and you will not have crowds, if it's a gloomy rainy/foggy day you will absolutely be alone with the cowbells. and that's on a popular trail, there are endless trails.. just like in banff and yoho you can have a 1,000 people on the plain of six glaciers trail and 2 people on the bow hut trail, it's the same in switzerland. i've had countless spectacular hikes in switzerland where i came across no hikers the entire day. if you don't want to see other people avoid july/august, avoid weekends.. same as at home.

lofoten is beautiful but it's not a secret anymore, like iceland before it, it is booming with tourism.. and the faroes are next. problem with this part of th world is weather, you'll get one nice day for every 4 days of fog and rain. instagram is fueling the rapid spike in hiking popularity.. hiking used to be something "boring" people or older people did, now it's become "cool" for young people to do, take yoga poses on mountain tops at sunset, and collect likes on social media, etc..
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