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~ Saturday 20th September 2008

Back from 7 days on the Chamonix-Zermatt Haute Route - a bit of an adventure with very mixed weather and very few people in the mountains.

Day 1 up to the Albert Premier hut was wet at first, but ended in a beautiful inversion. There were only 8 people in the hut!

Day 2 was wild, with heavy snow and poor visibility. We made it across to the Orny hut with some careful navigation. and saw no-one, not even a track.

Navigating the Trient plateau in fresh snow

                             

Day 3 we used http://www.taxi-des-combins.ch/ from Champex to Mauvoisin - a brilliant service, thanks Jean-Yves! The weather cleared as we walked to Chanrion, but it could easily have been summer in Scotland. There were just the 5 of us in the hut...

Day 4 started cold and windy with more snow, but soon cleared to give fantastic views. The "3 cols" to the Dix hut is an amazing route, more so for being deserted. Pam declared this her best day ever in the mountains!

Crossing the Giétro glacier under La Ruinette

                     

Day 5 was a semi-rest, walking to Arolla and the excellent Hotel du Glacier. http://www.hotelduglacier.ch/

Day 6 uphill all day to the Bertol hut, where we were the only guests...

Day 7 up the Tete Blanche - stunning views and a great finale to the week, we were (again) the only people on the mountain, with not a track to be seen. The fresh snow was calf deep, and with no track and increasing cloud we decided to return to Arolla instead of descending the Stockji glacier.

On the Tete Blanche, a great end to the week

                            

So, a week spent on possibly the most famous long distance walk in the Alps where on 3 days we saw...no-one. In 3 huts we were the only visitors! The Alps in July and August can be over-crowded, but now in mid September they are empty...