/ Arolla to Zermatt haute route - how long?

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hhhugues - on 19 Jul 2017
Hi there,

Hoping I'm posting on the correct forum - I'm knew here. We are planning to do the Arolla to Zermatt section of the Chamonix to Zermatt haute route in a couple weeks with my girlfriend. We both have some experience hiking but haven't done anything substantial in a couple years at least.

How long should I expect it to take? I have seen it announced between 4 and 7 days, but I'm aware 4 days would be with guides and sleeping in refuges, whereas we are planning to take a tent.

Any info or advice would be welcome!

deugar - on 22 Jul 2017
In reply to hhhugues:

Assuming you're doing the walkers' version rather than going over the glaciers, I would say 4 days. An old map gives the following timings, but there are obviously constraints such as valley bases with campsites so you may have an easy day at first do camp sites at Les Hauderes or Evolene before the longer day over to Grimentz, then day 3 to Gruben=Meiden (not sure about a camp site there - may be just dorms); and day 4 over to St Niklaus. May be a case of catching the train there because the much-vaunted Europaweg has a bridge down due to persistent rock falls. Camping at Zermatt isn't the most salubrious so you might want to consider getting off at Randa.... Lots of options though so do check things out / listen to others... Enjoy - hoping to be out that way soon myself.

from Arolla to les hauderes 1:45
then to la sage 1:00
... villa 0:20
col du torrent 3:30
grimentz 3:00
st Luc 2:25
Meidenpass 3:30
gruben 1:45
augsbordpass 3:00
to st niklaus 3:30

testagrigia - on 27 Jul 2017
In reply to hhhugues:

About camping, here's a leaflet in English by the Swiss Alpine Club that explains the rules:

streapadair - on 29 Jul 2017
In reply to hhhugues:

Good news for Europaweg aspirants -
deugar - on 06 Aug 2017
In reply to streapadair:

Many thanks for this link
veteye on 06 Aug 2017
In reply to deugar:

I have been invited by an old friend to join him and his other friends to do this route,but in reverse(Zermatt-Arolla). I don't know them, which means I don't know how experienced they are, and I was concerned about glacier travel, and their knowledge of crevasse rescue, yet it seems that you are implying that glaciers can be avoided. So please tell me about this. I had intended doing the Haute route about 20-25 years ago, but never did. So my guide book is that old. Are there new ones?
mysterion on 06 Aug 2017
In reply to veteye:

You need to clarify if it is a walking haute route or a skiing haute route done as a walk. The latter *will* be across glaciers, they are unavoidable
veteye on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to mysterion:
Having been to Arolla and around that area I was a little surprised that there may be a way to get to Zermatt without touching the glaciers.(In fact we did our crevasse rescue practice in that area about twenty years ago.)
My book(The Haute Route by Peter Cliff 1993) certainly in the walking section mentions moving on glaciers and avoiding the worst of the crevasses.
I will obviously speak to my friend offering the trip about his plans, but catching him at the moment is difficult.
Doug on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to veteye:

The walkers route is a completely different route from the 'classic' route over the glaciers which is now mostly skied. The walkers route is quite a way to the north
deugar - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to veteye:

The walking route avoiding glaciers is as detailed in my message above, taking several days via La Sage, Zinal, Gruben and St Niklaus. The direct route over the tops is on glaciers from the Bertol to the Schonbiel so is for roped parties or ski tourers. Lots of info online about the walking route eg Viewranger tracks, or see Kev Reynolds Cicerone guidebook. Enjoy.

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