In 2007, as in 2005, I went to Switzerland for a hiking vacation, which was to include hiking sections of the Haute Route. There was, however, a big difference; in 2005 the Haute Route stages had been a minor component of the trip; in 2007 they were planned to be a much bigger part of it.
As discussed in the page on choosing a route I decided not to take Kev Reynold's route, which goes down to Sembrancher and Le Châble. Instead I followed a more southerly route, closer to the high peaks, in the spirit of the various Swiss guides to the Chamonix to Zermatt traverse.
The original plan was to spend the first week "on the road", hiking from Champex to the Cabane de Prafleuri. This was to be followed by a week in a rented apartment in Evolène. For the third week I had planned on doing most, if not all, of the Haute Route between Zinal and Zermatt. The final week was to be spent in a second rented apartment in St. Luc. As usual my plans were overambitious, and the trip was scaled down a bit.
For each hike I include an embedded Google Map which starts up in the terrain view. You can manipulate it as you would in Google Maps; zooming in or out or dragging the map.
I also give a link to a Google Earth (.kmz) file that you may download if you have Google Earth installed on your computer. Try using the "Play Tour" button that is at the bottom of the "Places" panel; some of the tours are clearly better presented than others.
The program behaves in an intuitive way, but unless you are already familiar with it I suggest that you look at their User Guide.
I ended up doing the following stages during the first week:
- Champex to La Fouly on the 15th of July
- La Fouly to La Tsissette, a delightful cabane, on the 16th
- La Tsissette to the Cabane du Col de Mille on the 17th
- Cabane du Col de Mille to Cabane Brunet, with a climb (almost) to the summit of Mont Rogneux on the 18th. By then I was very tired, and so next day just walked down to the valley.
- Cabane Brunet to Fionnay, where I spent two days before going to Evolène for the second week of the trip, on the 19th
After a week hiking (and resting) in Evolène I resumed doing Haute Route stages as follows:
- Fionnay to Cabane de Louvie above the delightful Lac de Louvie on the 28th of July
- Cabane de Louvie to the Cabane de Prafleuri on the 29th
- Cabane de Prafleuri to Le Chargeur, at the base of the dam, on the 30th. Since I had done the stages from Le Chargeur to Zinal in 2005 I traveled to Zinal, from where I continued my trek.
- Zinal to Gruben (Hotel Schwarzhorn) on the 31st.
- Gruben to Jungen, followed by descent to St. Niklaus by the cable car, on the 1st of August, where I ended the Haute Route trek for this year. Next day I took a train and bus combination to Zinal for a couple of days, then took the bus down the valley to St. Luc for the final week.