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.