Haute Route 2015

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Haute Route 2015

Postby Ellen » Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:00 am

Howdy All :)

In case you've been missing my posts :lol: I've been trekking in Europe for the last three weeks. I'll post a trip report with pictures soon.

Miles of smiles,
Ellen
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Re: Haute Route 2015

Postby zippetydude » Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:03 am

Welcome back! I was starting to wonder...looking forward to the pics!

z
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Re: Haute Route 2015

Postby Hikin_Jim » Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:13 pm

Hot route? I just figured you were hiking Skyline in the summer... ;)

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Re: Haute Route 2015

Postby cynthia23 » Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:00 pm

Ellen! You're back! All the way to Europe? Sounds like you went on a very extended beer run. :wink:
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Re: Haute Route 2015

Postby arocknoid » Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:20 pm

Welcome back, Ellen.

You've been missed, but 'twas good to hear from un petit oiseau of your travels, and thus imagine your delightful lightfoot peregrinations.

After you have a while to recoup, we'll settle in for tales of wondermousness.

kind regards,
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Re: Haute Route 2015

Postby Ellen » Mon Jul 27, 2015 4:35 pm

We flew into Geneva and took the Alpy Bus to Les Houches on July 1.

On July 2, we took the Aguille de Midi tram in Chamonix, France up to 13 K to enjoy the views of Mont Blanc, Chamonix and surrounding peaks:

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Looking at Mont Blanc

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Looking at Chamonix Valley

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See those ants? They're actually climbers heading up to the tram to ride down.

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Cruising around Chamonix

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Chamonix train station

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View out our window in Les Houches

July 3

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Took a cog train up to the Mer de Glace glacier

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Hiked down a trail and then walked down stairs to the Grotto de Glace

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Then we hiked from the Mer de Glace train station to the Midi (lower stop of the Aguille de Midi tram). This provided breath taking views of the Chamonix-Mont Blanc area but it was very hot. I started experiencing symptoms of heat illness -- muscle cramps and dizziness.

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July 4

Put my American flag bandana on my pack as we officially started the Haute Route. Our trek took us through Le Tour, France up to the Col de Balme, down to Trient and up to the Col de Forlcaz where we spent the night

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July 5

On day 2, we hiked from the Col de la Forlcaz over the Fenetre de"Arpette

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My fellow team members waiting for the Lantern Rouge (me). The Lantern Rouge is the slowest rider in the Tour de France.

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We passed the Trient glacier on the way up to the Fenetre. I started experiencing symptoms of heat illness again. Finally reached the Fenetre, dehydrated and out of water.

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Captain Heather psychologically short-roped down from the Fenetre to our evening abode. It didn't help that the descent involved traveling over moraine.

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July 6

On day 3, we walked into Champex, took the bus to Le Chable and the tram up to Verbier before hiking to the Cabane de Mont Fort. It was still quite warm and my gut was not cooperating due to heat illness. Fortunately, for the next four days and evenings, we'd be trekking and staying at higher elevations.

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July 7

One day four, we hiked from the Cabane de Mont over the Col de Termin to the Cabane de Louvie. We were unable to hike this section last year due to weather. As we traversed around and up to the Col de Termin, we were treated to breath-taking views of the Grand Combin massif. The Val des Bagnes was about 1500 meters below us.

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Exquisite -- I must return

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First glimpse of the Lac de Louvie.

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Surreal view of the Grand Combin massif.

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Descending to the Lac de Louvie and Cabane de Louvie

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Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore.

July 8

On day 5, we hiked from the Cabane de Louvie over the Col de Louive and the Col de Praflueri to the Cabane de Praflueri.

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Looking back at the Lac de Louvie as we climb to the Col de Louive.

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Captain Heather waiting for the Lantern Rouge to reach the Col de Louvie

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From the Col de Louvie, we dropped into the Grand Desert. As Kev Reynolds notes: "...on the eastern side of the Col de Louvie, you are faced with a bewildering landscape of dying glaciers, chaotic moraines, and a seemingly barren wilderness...The mountains are dying, falling apart, and to wander through their scenes of destruction is a sobering experience." We missed this section last year due to weather -- it brought to mind the Desolation wilderness in the Sierras.

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Climbing out of the Grand Desert to the Col de Praflueri.

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Dropping down from the Col de Praflueri to the Cabane de Praflueri, we came upon a herd of ibex. Sadly, iPhone couldn't do them justice, so I'm posting Heather's photos

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The Cabane de Praflueri. Sadly, this Cabane is surrounded by mining detritus.

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July 9

On day 6, we hiked over the Col de Roux, dropped to the Lac de Dix, traversed next to the Lac, then climbed up to the Cabane de Dix.

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As is my custom, I made friends with cows along the way.

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The force of the water pounding into the Lac de Dix was amazing and created the rainbow

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Climbing up to the Cabane de Dix. Brief view of the Matterhorn.

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I took a free shower in fairly cold water and enjoyed a Chimay beer.

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Later that afternoon, we learned that 72 kids were hiking up from Arolla and spending the night with us in the Cabane. Yikes! Time for another Chimay.

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The five of us were on the top bunk of the bunk beds, crammed in like sardines. As we waited for sleep to come, we heard scurrying sounds in the hall. a fellow trekker remarked dryly, "Hamster habitat." I was hoping I wouldn't have to get up at night to use the loo. This would have involved trying not to fall off the bunk bed and/or step on those sleeping below us. The next morning, we joked about the workout we had to go through to get to the bathroom at night.

July 10

On day 7, we climbed over the Pass de Chevre and then descended to Arolla.

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View of the Mont Blanc de Cheilon from the front of the Cabane de Dix

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The left shoulder of the Mont Blanc de Cheilon

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Crossing the Cheilon glacier

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Nature's art -- ice covering a shallow stream

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Captain Heather

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Captain Heather climbing up to the Pass de Chevre

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Descending to Arolla

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Our lodging in wonderful Arolla.

July 11

On day 8, we took the bus from Arolla to La Sage. We stopped in the charming town of Hauderes before transferring to the bus to La Sage. Climbed from La Sage over the Col de Tsate, descended to the Glacier de Moiry, then climbed to the Cabane de Moiry

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La Sage

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Climbing out of La Sage

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Holy Cow!

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There is no such thing as a bad view in the Alps

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Climbing to the Col de Tsate. Saw wild cotton growing by the trail.

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Looking down from the Col de Tsate

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Descending from the Col de Taste to the Glacier de Moiry

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Climbing up to the Cabane de Moiry

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View of the Glacier de Moiry from the Cabane de Moiry

July 12

On day 9, we descended to the Lac de Moiry and traversed above the Lac de Moiry. I saw wild edelweiss for the first time. After the traverse, we climbed over the Col de Sorebois, descended to the tram, and took the tram down ]to Zinal.

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We took a rest/fuel break surrounded by cattle before climbing up to the Col de Sorebois. One individual looked threatening (not shown), so we gave him a wide berth.

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I was approached by two blonde cuties

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After scratching their foreheads, continued the climb up to the Col de Sorebois.

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We started descending to the tram that would take us to Zinal.

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A cold beverage before getting on the tram.

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Our rustic and comfortable lodging in Zinal.

Remember the aggressive bovine? A group of Britons (military communication operators) that we'd met at the Cabane de Moiry were attacked by two groups of cattle. One group came on them from above and the others ran uphill towards them. The Britons split up and ran in separate directions. Yikes :shock: Fortunately, the Running of the Bulls is not a typical section of the Haute Route.

July 13

On day 10, we hiked from Zinal over the Forcletta and descended to Gruben.

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Heading down to Gruben from the Forcletta

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July 14

On day 11, we hiked from Gruben over the Augsbordpass, descended to Jungen, then took the tram down to St. Niklaus.

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Climbing out of Gruben.

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View from Augsbordpass.

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Looking back from whence we came.

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Descending from Augsbordpass

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We traversed along the slope for quite a while.

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And then came the magical moment when we rounded the bend and came upon the Twara viewpoint. We were treated to the magnificent view of the Matteral valley, surrounded by exquisite peaks and glaciers.

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The Reid glacier

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Continuing our descent

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The lovely hamlet of Jungen

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We had a celebratory beverage before taking the tram down to St. Niklaus.

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St. Niklaus -- the end of our trek. The next day (July 15), we took a taxi into Zermatt. To be continued...

Miles of smiles,
Ellen
Last edited by Ellen on Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:28 pm, edited 15 times in total.
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Re: Haute Route 2015

Postby cynthia23 » Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:03 pm

Oh my gosh! Ellen, I am so envious right now I could spit! And yet I am also in awe! While simultaneously having flashbacks from The Sound of Music and Heidi! What pictures! That looks like one heck of a trek! Thank you for posting these lovely and refreshing shots. It's wonderful to see and wonderful to know about your adventures. Congratulations!
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Re: Haute Route 2015

Postby arocknoid » Tue Jul 28, 2015 7:10 am

Tres magnifique! Brimming with vivid images which carry us along on your joyful journey.

Once again, you've been able to "...break your fast on honeydew, and drink the milk of Paradise."

ineluctable juxtaposition:

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and the evocative ice tubes:

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" A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight 'twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!"


Thanks for posting so many fabulous photos (so many that my steampunk laptop froze!) which cascade connections intertwined with our heritage.

Your "ants on the snowy trail" pic has one looking for Ronald Colman, just around the corner in Tahquitz Canyon:

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ttfn,
warm regards,
arocknoid
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Re: Haute Route 2015

Postby Ellen » Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:30 pm

Howdy All :)

I completed the full trip report (with pictures). This probably took longer than any TR I've written :lol:

Enjoy!

Miles of smiles,
Ellen
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Re: Haute Route 2015

Postby Sally » Sat Aug 01, 2015 2:10 pm

Bravo! Well done TR! It was fun to take a trip down memory lane from last year as well as seeing what we missed.
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