The Haute Route: Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn

Chamonix, France to Zermatt, Switzerland… Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn!

(My apologies in advance for the formatting issues on this post – my editing capabilities are very limited with a phone – I’ll do my best and create a proper update when I return to a computer! – thanks for checking it out!)

The Haute Route is a spectacular high-level traverse in the French and Swiss Alps, below the summits of 10 out of the 12 of the highest peaks in the Alps, and crossing several high passes. The highest pass is at 2964 m (9,800 ft). The route is 180 kilometers long (about 120 miles) and gains more than 12,000 meters (40,000 ft) in elevation.

This is a world of glaciers and towering, snow-capped peaks, green alpine valleys with flower-covered meadows and picture-book villages. In this blog post, I’ll attempt to document the hike with photographs and trail descriptions.

Gear List

Big Agnes Copper Spur 2 Tent
MontBell U.L. 0˚ Sleeping Bag
Big Agnes AXL (W) Sleeping Pad
1 Liter Water Bottle
Insulated Mug
2 Liter Platypus
Hiker Hunger Trekking Poles
Toilet Paper
Rain Cover
Titanium Pot
Camp Towel – Large
Snow Peak GigaPower Stove
Titanium Spork
Swiss Francs and Euros
1.8mm Guyline – 20 meters
Sawyer Mini Water Purifier
Trailpix Tripod Plate
iPhone Tripod mount
AAA Batteries
Medical Kit
Journal / Pencil
Chamonix to Zermatt Guidebook
Battery Charger
64GB SD Card
Spare Camera Battery
USB Charger / Battery Pack
International Power Adapter
Fuji X100F Camera
Petzl Headlamp
Waterproof Matches
Toiletries: Soap, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Meds, Sunscreen
Bug Spray
Sewing Kit


Tilley Hat
Salomon X Ultra 3 Hiking Boots
Wool Beanie
Kuhl Jetstream Rain Pant
Kuhl Airspeed Shirt
Patagonia Base Layer Tights
Ex Officio Boxer Briefs
Mammut Base Layer Shirt
Merino Wool Socks (2 Pair)
Silk Sock Liners (2 Pair)
REI Down Puffy Jacket
GoLite Rain Jacket

Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 Pack

8/11 – 8/12 Geneva

The most common way to get to the trailhead is to fly into Geneva, then take a bus to Chamonix.

I flew from Phoenix to Frankfurt, and then proceeded to board a flight to Malaga… Thank goodness the ticket machine caught my mistake!

Once in Geneva, you can collect a free train pass from a kiosk in baggage, good for 80 minutes.

From there it’s just a short ride to the city center.

I found Geneva to be a lovely, romantic city! Everyone is friendly and it’s not over run by tourists. It also seemed like very family-friendly city.

I wandered around for about two days and visited many of the city highlights: United Nations and the Broken Chair, Botanical Gardens, Bain’s Des Pâquis, Place du Bourg de Four in Old Town, St. Pierre Cathedral, the Flower Clock and the iconic fountain, Jet dEau.

On the first night, I was lucky to see a massive fireworks celebration over the lake!

It’s a beautiful city and I hope to come back to visit again.

8/13 – 8/14: Chamonix

Chamonix, France is a vibrant alpine town – a Hiker’s Paradise! Surrounded by imposing mountains and loaded with shops, bars and restaurants, this is a fun place to be!

I picked up the supplies I needed that couldn’t be brought by carry on luggage: knife, corkscrew, fuel and tent stakes. I met with the high mountain office who told me conditions were good on the passes and recommended some maps. I spent two days playing here (took the cog train to the glacier and ice cave, gondola to Mont Blanc) and then picked up my food for the trek. Tomorrow it begins!

Categories: Camping, Landscapes, Travel


  1. I can’t wait to hear/see more about your adventure! Have a great time and be safe. Ronda

  2. Embarking on another extraordinary adventure.

    Phew! Day 5 looks like a doozy!

    You inspire us (and make us very envious)

    Have an awesome time Kev.

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