28 July 2003

Haute Route, Chamonix to Zermatt

An introductory level alpine mountaineering course run by Jagged Globe Mountaineering in July 2003. 

Guides: Graham McMahon and Jamie Holding (both British Mountain Guides)


Day 1 

Team assembles in Chamonix (hotel: Les Gaillands). I walked from la Flagere to Brevent for a warm-up.

La Flagere
Mont Blanc
View from Brevent Summit
View of Mont Blanc from Brevent Plan Praz
Day 2 

Lift from Le Tour and walk to Albert Premier Hut. Glacier training during the afternoon.

Departure from Les Gaillands, near Chamonix
Alongside the Glacier du Tour
View from the Albert 1er Hut
Day 3 

Ascend Le Tour Glacier to Col Blanc with short climb on to Tete Blanche 3429m above it. Roped down to cross the Trient plateau to reach the Cabane de Trient 3170m. Overnight in hut.

Alongside the Aiguille du Tour
Early start on to the Glacier du Tour
View down on to the Plateau du Trient
A descent over the bergschrund beckons!
Preparing the lower over the ice cliffs
Stumpy descending the ice cliffs 
Descent from Col Blanc
Descent to the Trient Glacier
Approaching the Cabane du Trient 3170m
At the Trient hut
Sunset on the Aiguilles Dorees
Day 4 

Descend the Glacier d’Orny to La Breya lift, then down to Champex. Lunch in Champex followed by bus transfer to Lac du Mauvoisin. Ascend to the Chanrion Hut 2462m via the Col de Tsofeiret 2630m. Overnight in hut.

Clochers du Portalet
Descending into the Combe d'Orny
Descending to the Glacier d' Orny
Glacier d' Orny
Steep ice on the Glacier d' Orny
Lac de Mauvoisin
Lac de Mauvoisin from the path to the Chanrion Hut
Glacial melt from the Glacier d' Otemma
Glacier du Mont Durand from above Chanrion Hut
At the Chanrion Hut
Day 5 

Ascend the Glacier d’Otemma to the Cabane des Vignettes 3157m. Long glacier plod with serac danger on final approach to the hut from Col de Chermotane.

Ascending the Glacier d' Otemma

Crossing crevasses on the Col des Vignettes
Pigne d' Arolla from the Vignettes hut
In the Cabane des Vignettes
The marvellously exposed situation of the Cabane des Vignettes, with the Pigne d'Arolla above right
Day 6 

Dawn start to climb Pigne d’Arolla 3772m, then descent via Glacier de Isijiore Noupe to Arolla. Overnight stay in hotel.

Pre dawn start from the Vignettes hut
Ascent of Pigne d' Arolla 

Summit of Pigne d'Arolla 3772m, Mont Blanc in far distance right

Glacier descent to Arolla
Pigne d'Arolla
Day 7 

Ascend to Cabane de Bertol 3311m. Weather deteriorating.

View to Cabane de Bertol from above Arolla
Approaching the Bertol Hut

Ascending steps up to the Bertol hut 
Cabane de Bertol

Steep ice below the Bertol
Dent Blanche from the Bertol
Supply helicopter for the Cabane de Bertol
Storm brewing on Dent Blanche
Storm clouds off the Matterhorn and Dent d' Herens
Day 8 

Wait at Bertol for storm to pass.

View back to Pigne d' Arolla and Vignettes hut from Bertol ascent 
Day 9 

Dawn start to cross the upper Mont Mine Glacier towards the Col de la Tete Blanche. Ascend Tete Blanche 3724m, then descent NE down heavily crevassed Stockji Glacier. Then traverse down rognon to Zmutt Glacier, passing the Schonbiel Hut and on to Zermatt. A long day!

Dent d' Herens
Matterhorn from Tete Blanche 3742m

Starting the descent from Tete Blanche

View to Matterhorn above Stockji Glacier
View west from summit of Tete Blanche 3742m
Zermatt Giants from Tete Blanche 3742m
North face of the Matterhorn
The long descent to Zermatt!