The Haute Route - Part 2 (Arolla to Zermatt)
This second set of photos from our Haute Route hike contains the last 4 days of hiking from Arolla
to Zermatt. The views became increasingly dramatic, but the weather turned on us a bit tapering some of
the views. As with the first 5 days, the hike continued up and over ridges, traipsing from one
valley to the next. One night was spent in a wonderful cabane perched high above a glacier, other nights
in small agrarian towns before completing in Zermatt - a mecca for hikers and skiers alike!
Compared to the small towns we were used to staying in, Zermatt seemed like Manhattan! At least
half of the people walking around had hiking packs (and ice axes)...many others had ski equipment to get
in some summer skiing up on the glacier above. It was a great place to end the hike!
In all, we hiked about 90 miles, over 11 passes, 30,923 feet up and 26,629 feet down, climbing grades up to 43% in spots,
and typically hiked from 8 until 5 every day, all to reach Zermatt...and we'd do it all again!
See Part 1 of the Haute Route Photos Looking up the valley towards Arolla from La Sage at the start of Day 6 The small village of Le Tsate along the trail A small mountain tarn Looking up to Col du Tsate (9407 ft) The pass is the dip on the righthand side Climbing to Col du Tsate Looking back from Col du Tsate at the trail (and Lisa) Looking from the pass back towards La Sage and Arolla Pas de Chevres (the ladders) is back behind the distant peaks in this photo Our first view of Glacier de Moiry as we descend from Col du Tsate Parking du Glacier - the parking lot for the trail up to the glacier 1500 feet down below in the valley The amazing blue color of Lac de Moiry This lake is filled with pure glacier meltwater and white silt creating an unreal blue color Lisa points to our destination for the day: Cabane de Moiry (9266 ft) The cabane is perched on a rock outcrop next to the glacier A cairn with a toupee? Looking across a meltwater catch pond below Glacier de Moiry The ponds were created to help settle the silt out of the meltwater before the water reaches Lac de Moiry down below. Many of these streams are nearly white with silt. Brian with cows blocking the trail ahead Hiking up the lateral moraine towards Cabane de Moiry (visible in upper left, 1000 feet above us) Looking down at Glacier de Moiry Note on the right side of the image are 5 tiny specs - these are 5 people climbing up the glacier...gives you a little perspective on the sheer size of this thing! Cabane de Moiry Looking out at across Glacier de Moiry Some relative scale for how massive this glacier really is Even standing there looking at this, it was very easy to lose any sense of scale The new expansion of Cabane de Moiry The dining room is visible along the bottom - bedrooms are the small windows on top The old portion of Cabane de Moiry Our 4 bed room for the night The dining room of the Cabane The cabane sleeps 100...only 26 people when we were there Looking at the back of Cabane de Moiry The entire building was copper clad, making it even more striking in its rocky environment Cairns Cabane De Moiry - old and new The larger dorm rooms were still in the old portion of the cabane, but dining and small bedrooms were in the new extension that opened this year Brian...ready for bed Lisa, ready for bed The Cabane on the rainy morning of our departure Lisa and Brian Looking down towards Lac de Moiry More moraine walking Cairns Looking back for one more view of the glacier before the clouds move in One of hundreds of snails we saw on the trail The trail as it contours along the ridge Clouds starting to move in ...and visibility diminishing quite a bit A rare clear view of Lac de Moiry below us The dam of Lac de Moiry Beads of condensation in Brian's hair Reaching the top of Col de Sorebois (9299 ft) Brian and Lisa on Col de Sorebois - not much a view in front of us (or behind us) A chairlift swallowed in the fog We hiked through a large ski area above Zinal Sheep grazing in the mist Fog climbing up off a nearby cliff Brian in the fog Cows in the Mist Clouds break up a little to grant us this view across the valley Finally a view of Zinal, still about 1000 feet below us Zinal - a small ski town Zinal was one of the larger towns we stayed in A strange bridge/ledge contraption Arriving in Zinal Lisa takes a spin on the two story high slide in town Many of these buildings carried dates from the 1800's Clouds trying to break free in Zinal Relaxing in our hotel room Brian is ready to hit the trail now that he's procured a baguette Hiking up and out of Zinal Hiking through a tunnel on the edge of town This tunnel was part of the town"s avalanche defense system to funnel avalanches into sort of a catch basin below Lisa hiking up the trail - yesterday's pass (Col de Sorebois) in the distance Looking back to the south up Val de Zinal Looking across the valley to the previous day's hiking down from Col de Sorebois The path along the east side of the valley wall Val de Zinal The town of Zinal, 2000 feet below (and 3.5 miles away) Looking up towards our pass for the day, La Forcletta (9427 ft) Lisa hiking up the trail - Sorebois in the distance across the valley View from La Forcletta down into the Blüomatttälli valley Rugged peaks on the southern end of the valley below the Weisshorn Looking back towards La Forcletta (the dip on the left) The lower tongues of the Brunegggletscher and Turtmanngletscher As may be obvious, the Bluomatttalli valley is the first German-speaking valley the hike enters The small town of Grüben 2000 feet below Old cottages along the path to Grüben Lisa, hiking through early fall color Fall seems to be hitting this valley A tipi...in Switzerland... because that makes sense... Hotel Schwarzhorn in Grüben Looking southward up the Blüomatttälli valley from our room Grüben in the morning Looking downvalley and across the Rhone Looking back across the Blüomatttälli valley to yesterday's pass in the distance Lisa makes a new friend The route up to today's pass, Augustbordpass (9490 ft) Yesterday's route down from La Forcletta Augustbordpass The summit of our last pass of the trip Looking down the far (east) side of Augustbordpass The clouds obscured much of the view... Brian Lisa, the summit of the pass behind her Looking back on Augustbordpass and the trail down The trail as it contours around towards Troära One of the most spectacular views on the trail: Dom (14,908 ft) A panoramic view up and down the Mattertal valley The Mattertal valley, looking southwards towards Zermatt Brian and Lisa in front of Dom The Mattertal valley Jungu, 1500 feet below, which itself is perched 2500 feet above St. Niklaus below The valley floor was almost 4500 feet below us at this point The small town of Jungu - the end of our hike From here, we took a tiny cable car 3000 feet down to St. Niklaus, followed by a train up the valley to Zermatt Jungu Arriving in Zermatt and concluding our hike Hiked 90 miles, 11 passes, 30923 feet up and 26629 feet down; we finally made it to Zermatt! Dining at Whymperstube This was one of our favorite restaurants from 5 years ago... The Matterhorn - just like at Disneyland This was the view from our hotel room...not bad, eh? Klein Matterhorn 5 years ago, this is where we went to get a view of the valley The Matterhorn from Sunnegga Paradise above Zermatt The Matterhorn Lisa takes a second to relax...