/ Suggested stages for a Cham-Zermatt Haute Route

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Cathy - on 09 May 2014
I'm vaguely planning on doing this with a friend next winter. What do people think are the most interesting stages / variations, and what are the best tips to avoid the guided parties crush?
In reply to Cathy:

Go Grand Lui rather than to Trient hut to Champex, as that breaks it up with an artificial bus move. You must go Valsorey rather than Verbier variation, the Plateau do Couloir traverse day is amazing. Don't go via Bertol hut, the Vignette to Zermatt day is by far the best.

Here's an article about how to do it unguided

http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=176

Cathy - on 10 May 2014
In reply to nickinscottishmountains:

Thanks, those are exactly the type of tips I was hoping for. And you are the second person to recommend the Grand Lui variation.
Edradour - on 10 May 2014
In reply to Cathy:

I did it unguided in 2011. Second Nick's suggestion to go to Valsorey, much more interesting and also more 'mountaineeringy'.

We couldn't get into the Vignettes hut so we stayed at the bivvy hut a bit further on. The name escapes me but it's over the Col l'Eveque from vignettes. Made a pretty long day from Chanrion mind.

We went via Champex. If I do it again I think I'll use the Grand Lui variation.

Feel free to PM me for more info if you want.
Simon4 - on 10 May 2014
In reply to Cathy:

The best tip I have heard of to avoid the guided crush is not to start at a weekend, but midweek, so you are out of synch with the other parties.
jon on 10 May 2014
In reply to Cathy:

Simon's nailed it right there. The name of the bivouac that someone was searching for is the Bouquetins. Expect it to be packed. There's also a bivouac above the true L bank of the Otemma glacier called the Singla which is likely to be less crowded or empty.

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