Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn

15 days
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£2,079
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4.7 / 5 from 27 reviews >
Challenging
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Trip code: 
TWH
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Min age:
18
Group size:
6–14

Spectacular high alpine trail from Chamonix to Zermatt

The Haute Route is one of Europe's best known long distance ski-touring routes; running roughly parallel is a spectacular summer trek from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn. Covering approximately 100km, it links the valleys of the Haute Savoie in France to the Swiss Valais. Following our guide (IML), our tour passes beneath ten of the twelve highest mountains in the Alps. Walking through a landscape scattered with glistening glacial lakes and lush, undulating valleys by day whilst sleeping in remote alpine huts and under canvas by night.

Highlights

Spectacular mountain scenery and some of the best walking in the Alps

Challenging walking amongst the highest concentration of 4000m peaks in the Alps

Exciting high alpine towns of Chamonix and Zermatt

Key information

  • 11 nights camping, mostly in good campsites with hot showers; occasional wild camps; 2 mountain huts; 1 village inn (dormitory style)
  • 10 days point-to-point walking; 3 days light backpacking
  • Vehicle support throughout
  • Altitude maximum 2965m, average 1525m

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 10 picnic lunches, 12 dinners
  • All accommodation 
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request - tent nights only)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

10

Days of Walking & Trekking
Pace:

Approximately 6-8 hours walking per day

Terrain:

Low altitude; good paths with some steep ascents

Day by day breakdown
Day 315.0km/9.0miles
Day 415.0km/9.0miles
Day 515.0km/9.0miles
Day 619.0km/12.0miles
Day 710.0km/6.0miles
Day 816.0km/10.0miles
Day 1020.0km/13.0miles
Day 1120.0km/13.0miles
Day 1214.0km/9.0miles
Day 1316.0km/10.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Fly to Geneva; transfer to Les Bossons, near Chamonix

    Start at the campsite in Les Bossons. Wonderful views from the campsite of Mont Blanc and the Bossons glacier, especially at sunset. In the afternoon there is an introductory briefing by the trek crew.

    Campsite: Camping Les Marmottes, Les Bossons

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Free day in the Chamonix Valley

    This is a limbering up day and there are several good walks nearby. Alternatively, take the cable car (optional) to the Aiguille du Midi for outstanding close-up views of Mont Blanc, the Chamonix Valley and the surrounding peaks.

     Campsite: Camping Les Marmottes, Les Bossons

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    The trail contours high in the valley before descending to Les Frasserands

    From Les Bossons (1,012m/3320ft) we have a short bus journey to Chamonix from where we take the cable car to Plan Praz (1, 999m/6560ft). The trail is on the opposite side of the valley from Mt. Blanc and affords excellent views of the whole massif lying to the south. We ascend to reach the high point of the day at Lac Blanc (2352m/7715ft). The trail descends and then contours high above the valley before descending steeply to the hamlet of Les Frasserands (1,371m - 4500ft). In the afternoon there is a very short section of ladders/steep steps with handrails to descend.

    8.5 hours walking time including breaks and lunch etc.  550m/1800ft up, 1270m/4170ft down

     Campsite: Pierre Semard, Les Frasserands

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Cross Col de Balme to Switzerland.

    We begin by climbing steeply to the Aiguillette de Posettes (2201m/7200ft), descend a little and then ascend towards the Col de Balme (2,191m/7190ft) where we walk across the border from France to Switzerland. Excellent views all morning of Aiguille d'Argentière and Aiguille du Tour and its glacier. After lunch we descend to the small hamlet of Trient (1,296m/4250ft). Good views of the Trient Glacier. 

    7.5 hours walking, 1120m/3670ft up, 710m/2330ft down

    Campsite: Camping Triet, Trient

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Over Fenetre d'Arpette to Champex

    In good weather we take the trail adjacent to the Trient Glacier to cross a high, rocky pass known as Fenetre d'Arpette (2,665m/8740ft) before descending steeply into the Arpette Valley (1,627m/5340ft) and down to our campsite in Champex (1,486m/4880ft). In poor weather we would take the lower trail, which climbs first to the Col de Forclaz (1527m/5010ft) from where we can look down into the Rhone valley. The Swiss town of Martigny is in sight far below, as we follow the 'Bovine route' to Champex-Lac.

    9 hours walking, 1360m/4460ft up, 1260m/4130ft

    Campsite: Camping Les Rocailles, Champex Lac

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    From Champex the trail leads to Verbier and on to Cabane de Louvie

    From Champex we walk down to Sembrancher (717m/2350ft) then travel by train and cable car to the ski resort of Verbier (1,490m/4880ft) and then onwards to Ruinettes. (2200m/7260ft). Our afternoon walks starts on a broad easy trail with views of the Grand Combin and of the Mont Blanc Massif in the distance. The trail than narrows and steepens and we traverse around the southern flank of the Bec des Rosses to Col Termin (2652m 8750ft) before descending to Lac du Louvie and our overnight stay at the Cabane de Louvie (2214m/7300ft)

    The path today is quite committing and if the weather is poor, or there are problems with the cables cars, or snow on the path we may need to take an alternative route from Sembrancher. We travel by train and bus up valley to Fionnay (1,495m/4880ft). From the here we ascend steeply through dramatic open hillside to reach our first mountain hut, the Cabane de Louvie (2,242m /7400ft) on the shores of the Lac de Louvie (a very scenic spot!) from where we have great views of the Grand Combin .

    Mountain huts have shared dormitory style accommodation with basic toilet and washing facilities only. The support vehicle is unable to reach this hut so we need to do some light backpacking until we re-join it in two days’ time. 

    8 hours walking, 550m/1800ft up, 1180m/3900ft down

    Mountain hut: Cabane de Louvie

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Cross the highest pass of the route, Col Prafleuri (2965m). Views of Rhone Valley, Mont Blanc, the Grand Combin and the Matterhorn

    A dramatic day with two passes to cross. We start with scenic traverse around the shores of lac de Louvie before a reasonably steep accent to our first col, Col de Louvie (2921m/9580ft) and onwards towards the Grand Désert, a rocky section of glacial moraine. If we're lucky we may spot herds of Ibex. We pass by small tarns fed by the outflows of the glacier and ascend for our second pass the Col Prafleuri (2987m – 9800ft) - the highest col on the route - with views of the Rosablanche and Mont Blanc de Cheilon. It is then only a short descent to the Cabane Prafleuri (2624m – 8600ft). Again the support vehicle will be unable to reach us so we will be doing light backpacking to this remote mountain hut.

    8 hours walking, 1000m/3300ft up, 550m/1800ft down

    Mountain hut: Cabane Prafleuri, nr Lac Dix

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Long walking day with two passes to cross; overnight at Les Hauderes.

    Our route today starts with a short climb to cross the Col de Roux (2,804m/9200ft). We descend across large boulders to Lac Dix (2,364m/7750ft) and walk around its shoreline before climbing again above the glacier Dix, through meadows, which during the summer are quite often filled with edelweiss, to make a steep ascent on loose scree to the Col du Reidmatten (2,919m/9570ft), or more likely the ladders of Pas des Chèvre (2855m/2920ft). The ladders have been recently renovated and now provide an easier route over the ridge and consist of four sturdy near vertical ladders divided by solid metal gantry’s. Technically it is not hard but it is certainly airy and not suitable for vertigo suffers. Excellent views of the Pigne d'Arolla, Mont Collon and possibly the Matterhorn in the distance. Finally, a long descent brings us to the small and charming village of Arolla (1,998m/6550ft), from where we catch a bus to Les Haudères (1,436m/4710ft). Here we are met by the support vehicle. 

    9 hours walking, 675m/2215ft up, 1330m/4360ft down

    Campsite: Camping Molignon, Les Haudres

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    Rest day

    A free day to relax. The twin villages of Les Haudères and Evolene lie in the most picturesque part of the Val de Hérens and there are many day walks in the area if you feel the need for a little more exercise!

    Campsite: Camping Molignon, Les Hauders

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Past Lac Moiry to the picture-postcard village of Grimentz

    Today we have a big climb to reach our col where we’ll be rewarded with stunning views. We climb first to Villa (1,730m/5675ft) then on to cross the Col Torrent (2,919m/9575ft) and enjoy vast mountain views; the Pigne d'Arolla, the Grand Combin, the Weisshorn, and make a long descent past Lac de Moiry (2,249m/7380ft) to the woods above the picture postcard village of Grimentz (1,572m/5150ft).

    9 hours walking, 1510m/4950ft up, 1290m/4230ft down

    Campsite: Wild Camping, Grimentz

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Longest walking day with excellent views of the Weisshorn

    A long day that starts with a gentle walk through woods to reach the valley bottom at Mottec (1,556m/5100ft). From here there is a short but steep climb to join the main trail at a higher level with fine views of the Matterhorn and Ober Gabelhorn. The climb continues to today's col, the Forcletta (2,874m/9426ft) where we enter German-speaking Switzerland. We have views back to Grand Combin and possibly Mont Blanc as well. Descend, with views of the Weisshorn to the southeast, to the Turtman Valley and Gruben (1,822m/5975ft). This is the longest walking day. As there is no campsite in the Gruben valley we stay in dormitories in a local auberge and our bags are brought up by the support vehicle.

    9 hours walking, 1345m/4420ft up, 1035m/3400ft down

    Hotel: Schwarzhorn (basic hotel), Gruben

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 12

    Join Zermatt Valley; descend to Jungu and St Niklaus, short transfer to Randa

    We climb again to cross the Augstbord pass (2,894m/9490ft) with good views of the Weisshorn and the 'Dom' and join the main Zermatt Valley high on its western side. We descend to cross the Emdbach and soon after get our first views of the Zermatt Valley plus the Weisshorn, Kleine Matterhorn and Taschorn. Descend to Jungu (1,955m/6410ft) and on to St. Niklaus (1,127m/3700ft) ) either by walking or by an optional cable car, from where we travel by train or taxi to our last camp at Randa (1,439m/4720ft).

    8 hours walking, 1070m – 3500ft up, 1790m – 5870ft down (less 830m – 2710ft descent if taking optional Jungu cable car)

    Campsite: Camping Attermenzen, Randa

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 13

    Follow a high-level balcony path that contours along the valley towards Zermatt

    For our final day of trekking we take a short taxi transfer into Zermatt from where we can enjoy our first proper look at the Matterhorn. Zermatt is at the bottom of a steep sides valley and we start the day with a steady climb through the forest towards Tufteren (2215m/7230ft). The trail eases of for a spell the views of Matterhorn are fantastic. We are above the tree line now and the path steepens again before levelling off at the scenic lac Stellisee. A good place for lunch. Onwards to Fluhalp (2618m/8600ft) before doubling back and descending back towards Zermatt. (1608m/5275ft)

    8 hours walking, 1020m/3345ft up, 1020m/3345ft down

    Campsite: Camping Attermenzen, Randa

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 14

    Optional trip to Zermatt

    From our camp near Randa it is a short train or minibus trip (optional) to Zermatt. Zermatt is an ideal place for a free day: there are lots of opportunities for short or long walks in the locality, or one can simply relax in town. There are also lots of optional excursions: for example by mountain cog railway to Gornergrat for spectacular views of the Gorner Glacier and Monte Rosa. Perhaps the most spectacular however is the cable car ascent to Kleine Matterhorn. Using this optional cable car, those who wish may ascend to the peak at 3,883 m. The all-round views here are exceptional, including close-ups of the Matterhorn and Breithorn.

    Campsite: Camping Attermenzen, Randa

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

    Transfer to Geneva; fly to London

    Following breakfast we will be transferred from Randa to Geneva Airport arriving at at approximately 11.00am. If you are not on the group flight please be aware the earliest a train could arrive at the airport is approximately 10.00am (although timings can change) and this would also mean very early start and a short taxi ride to the train station. Taxis directly to Geneva airport are very expensive. Please ensure that your return flight is late enough in the day to allow yourself time to join the group transfer (if you wish the ease of using our transfer to the airport).

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

No visa required for British passport holders.

Please note in Italy it is compulsory to carry ID with you at all times.

Vaccinations

There are no specific health risks on this trip.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 10 picnic lunches and 12 dinners are included in this trip. On eight nights we take our evening meal in camp and on four nights we take our evening meal in a nearby local restaurant or it is prepared for us by the hut or inn. The restaurant and hut/inn meals, which are prepared for us, are usually arranged as a 'menu' for the whole group and as they are based on special negotiations made by us represent better value than eating independently. On free days 9 and 14 dinner is not included and needs to be bought locally. Please note that should the times of flights change to arrive earlier, or depart later, additional meals will not be included. Please also note that no refund will be given for meals not taken or taken other than where designated.

Typical Meals

Breakfast: Will usually consist of coffee, tea, cereal, yoghurt, fresh fruit, bread, jam when in camp or in mountain huts; and coffee, tea, or hot chocolate, bread and jam when in mountain inns.

Lunch: Will normally include bread, cold meat, cheese, sometimes boiled eggs or tinned fish, fresh salad vegetables and fresh fruit.

Evening meal: Generally consists of a first course of soup or salad or other savoury dish, a main course of meat or fish with one or two vegetables or rice or pasta, a dessert course. Although tasty and nutritious the style of menu in restaurants in this part of Europe often lack in variety or quantity of accompanying fresh vegetables compared to menus we may be used to in the UK. The meals are prepared as a set menu for the whole group. Unfortunately there is limited flexibility to change the menu for individuals. 

Drinks are not included in the price of evening meals.

Vegetarians: We happily cater for vegetarians but please inform us at the time of booking.
If you have a vegan diet we recommend that you bring supplementary food and should expect that the variety of food may be limited whilst on this trip. As this kind of diet is relatively uncommon in this region it is difficult for our camping staff to get suitable produce, as well as being restricted to the number of different dietary requirements they can cater for.

 

Weather

From late June to early October fair weather is to be expected, but all mountain ranges create their own weather patterns and the Alps are no exception. It can and does rain and especially on the high passes it can be surprisingly cold at times. Expected daytime temperatures are in the range of 15 to 25ºC in the valleys (although it can sometimes reach 30ºC in July/August), 5 to 15ºC on the passes (though it will feel colder if wet and windy) and 5 to 15ºC in the valley at night; possibly a little lower early and late in the season. There is always the possibility of lying snow, especially in the early season, and snowfall even in August and September when we may find new snow on the passes. Please be aware that on late season treks (September) the days are shorter and we will need to make early starts to make the most of the available daylights hours.

Is this trip for you?

This trip is graded Activity Level 5 - Challenging and some of the days are indeed challenging with up to 1600m of ascent and on other days similar descents. On some days when we cross glacial moraine the terrain is rough and loose underfoot. There are also some steep sections with chains and ladders that are technically simple but not suitable for anyone who suffers from vertigo. The cumulated fatigue of hard trekking for two weeks should not be underestimated. As this is a group holiday you need to be confident that your fitness will allow you to enjoyably walk at a consistent and steady pace that matches the group average, therefore allowing the group to finish the day at a reasonable time. You will also enjoy the trek a great deal more if your fitness allows you to walk the route in relative ease. We will be walking on mountain paths throughout and this trip is not advised for severe vertigo sufferers.

There is one qualified International Mountain Leader (IML) that accompanies the group throughout and it is their decision if you will be able to accompany the group on any particular day. For safety reasons the group leader may also change their walking style from one where everyone walks at their own pace to one where the group walks together at the speed of the slowest, depending on the conditions, weather and visibility. This scenery on this trip is stunning and may well be the best walking you have ever done, but it is important to be prepared and have a high level of walking fitness and stamina.

Whilst camping the support leader will erect your tent but in the morning you will be expected to pack away your own tent (these are modern pop up style tents that are very easy and quick to fold away and pack) and the whole group generally helps to load the support vehicle on the days when we move camp. After breakfast and on the nights when we eat in camp you should expect to help with the washing up.

If you are unable to walk during the itinerary and want to opt out of a day, please take note that this can sometimes be a little tricky dependent on where on the route you are. To reach the next point you will need to take a public bus or train (which run at limited times) or taxi (which can be expensive when in a more remote location). Our support vehicle is not suitable for taking passengers so please be aware of this when deciding to book this trip.

All ascents, descents and walking distances listed below are approximates. We have decided the most accurate method is to map the routes carefully using google earth. That said it is impossible to obtain a completely true figure of the distances walked. Regarding GPS - due to the inherent inaccuracies of defining an exact waypoint with a GPS and the cumulative overall inaccuracy this causes, you may find that our distances and GPS distances you obtain on trek with your personal GPS/phone, may differ by quite a margin. Timings stated include lunch and photo stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group.

You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference: http://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/pdf/Exodus_WT_Fitness_Training_Guide.pdf

If you have any concerns about your suitability for this trip or questions regarding the grading, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Please note: On this trip it is essential to have helicopter evacuation cover within your travel insurance.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Camping, Mountain Huts & Village Inn

There are 11 nights camping, 2 nights in mountain huts and 1 night in dormitory style rooms in a village inn. We use roomy, easy to erect, two person tents, staying wherever possible (which is almost everywhere) at comfortable campsites with modern facilities, hot showers, electricity to recharge batteries, mobile phones etc. To make the route sensible it is necessary to camp rough on two occasions. Facilities at these rough camps are minimal with public toilets and cold running water only. There are no showers at the rough camps. We also spend 1 night in a basic auberge and 2 nights in a refuge. Single supplement available is available on request (for nights in tents only). Please note that the campsites/hotels/huts listed in the trip notes can occasionally change from those stated.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Embracing a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge, but if you’re going to keep it up there’s got to be more to it than

  • Reviewed September 2018
    Paola Cassotti

    Walking in paradise

    Two weeks walking in some of the most spectacular scenery of the Alps. Breathtaking views in the many clear days and surreal when walking in the clouds. Varied terrain to entertain all...this is a must for any mountains lover. Excellent arrangements from Exodus as always and great leader and camp manager.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    About every hour of my walking time every day. The scenery was breathtaking. Cheering UTMB trail runners in Chamonix, swimming in an Alpine lake in a clear sky day, eating lunch by a glacier, the Emerald lake, eating my favourite Swiss chocolate when reaching a col, the outstanding views of mountain peaks above a sea of clouds from Cabane Praflouri, snowball fight in the boulders, introduction to trail running to St Nicklaus, walking in the clouds on the longest suspension bridge in Europe, trek to Zermatt with clouds opening over the Matterhorn.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    John and Ags made my holiday!!! Inspirational, brave, kind, funny, passionate, knowledgeable, supportive and a good laugh. I always felt safe and in good hands, the food was absolutely delicious. They tended to all group members and really went the extra mile for me...quite literally 😊. I could have not wished for better leaders

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip requires a good level of fitness and stamina to ensure you can enjoy it with the group. Be warned that you will want to return to the Alps the moment you leave

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank to my fellow group members and to John and Ags for inspiring me...I have already booked a Mountain Skill course...I will be back for more :)
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Paola Cassotti

    Walking in Paradise

    Two weeks walking in some of the most spectacular scenery of the Alps. Breathtaking views in the many clear days and surreal when walking in the clouds. Varied terrain to entertain all...this is a must for any mountains lover. Excellent arrangements from Exodus as always and great leader and camp manageress.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    About every hour of my walking time every day. The scenery was breathtaking. Cheering UTMB trail runners in Chamonix, swimming in an Alpine lake in a clear sky day, eating lunch by a glacier, the Emerald lake, eating my favourite Swiss chocolate when reaching a col, the outstanding views of mountain peaks above a sea of clouds from Cabane Praflouri, snowball fight in the boulders, introduction to trail running to St Nicklaus, walking in the clouds on the longest suspension bridge in Europe, trek to Zermatt with clouds opening over the Matterhorn...and the Matterhorn nail polish session at camp 😊

    What did you think of your group leader?

    John and Ags made my holiday!!! Inspirational, brave, kind, funny, passionate, knowledgeable, supportive and a good laugh. I always felt safe and in good hands, the food was absolutely delicious. They tended to all group members and really went the extra mile for me...quite literally 😊. I could have not wished for better leaders. They inspired me so much I have already booked a mountain skill weekend in Snowdonia!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip requires a good level of fitness and stamina to ensure you can enjoy it with the group. Be warned that you will want to return to the Alps the moment you leave

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you to John and Ags and my fellow group members for the excellent memories
  • Reviewed August 2018
    MARK FOSTER

    Enjoyable trip high up in the Alps

    Quite strenuous trek high up in the Alps,beautiful scenery with a excellent group of people.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were a few moments that stood out.The sunset at Cabane Mont Fort,the high alpine landscapes,walking on snow in August,climbing up the ladders to one of the cols. My favourite days were days days 7 & 8 on the remote stuff.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group was led by John Briggs,he's as good as it gets! Excellent leader,some days we had to start earlier to avoid afternoon thunderstorms,he got us all out on the hill & back down safely without any drama's.Due to the nature of the terrain the group would split but he had everyone covered,we also got some winter skills walking on snow lessons from him. Our leader back at camp was Adz from Lithuania,she cooked some great meals was great company & well organised.You couldn't have asked for more from either John or Adz.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you've done the TMB trek this is definitely harder,but for me it was more rewarding due to the remoteness of the places you were walking through.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It's quite strenuous so make sure you train for it.I'm a cyclist so I was doing my regular cycling,usually 60 miles a weekend plus walking as fast as I can for 10 miles without jogging a few times a week,also I used to rock climb so that came in handy for the easy scrambling that you had to do in places. The descent's are steep in places so bring poles even if you never use them at home,your knees will thank you.
  • Reviewed July 2018
    John Halstead

    Brilliant Trip

    This was a trek that was harder than I expected for the walking, but there are no altitude issues at all. It was professionally led by John Briggs and coked for by a lovely Lithuanian lady we all called Ads. Most days we walked up to a col with fantastic views and then back down to the next camp site or other hut style accommodation. There was a fair bit of walking on snow and ice, but the presence of the snow really added to the scenery and I was not uneasy about it at any time. I lost 7lbs which was slightly disappointing (I lost 21 lb on last year's 3 week trek in Pakistan) but the food was irresistible, and wine and beer were available at modest prices.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Our first view of the Matterhorn was amazing. Utterly majestic.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very professional says it all. A good leader in control of the group at all times and offering help and advice when needed.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do some training. Not just in the gym. I visited the Brecon Beacons for four two day stints in the weeks before I went. It really paid dividends, not only being able to take the walking in my stride, but being able to enjoy the trip rather than suffering from tiredness. Be prepared for steep ascents and descents over several hours.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Always accept the guide's judgement. If he decides to turn back or take a detour because he considers a section unsafe, he is probably right. Don't question the decision.
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Frank Kennedy

    TWH: 827 Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn

    A Memorable Trek This trip had everything, meadows, mountains, snow, rock and the thrill of the great outdoors. However, the trip wasn't just about the wonderful scenery and hiking, a large part of its success was the team spirit that was fostered by our leader John Briggs and camp manager Egle.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were several highlights, however, I very much liked the steady ascent to Villa and Col Torrent. The panoramic views of the vast mountain range were wonderful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    John Briggs is an outstanding leader, multi-talented. His practical instruction on how to proceed on difficult terrain was most helpful. He was always prepared to go the extra mile to ensure each day was a success. Overall John displayed exceptional leadership skills. I have no hesitation in nominating John for the annual leader awards. John was ably assisted by Egle, together their pleasant manner added greatly to group bonding and the forming of new friendships. On returning from a trek, Egle would have tents set up and coffee and biscuits at the ready. The delicious, wholesome 3 course meals were cooked on a gas stove. in the middle of nowhere, (magic) and all done with a smile.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    On our trip in early July we encountered several snow fields. I found it useful to have a light set of walking crampons.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip is strenuous and at times challenging. There is a definite need to train and get into good physical condition. This will ensure you are not under pressure on the trek and can enjoy it to the full.
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Russell Tullo

    Excellent tour of the Alpine highlights

    A thiroughly enjoyable, challenging and stunningly beautiful trip across the French and Swiss Alps.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It’s hard to distill all the best bits of the trip into one, but the combination of stunning scenery, personal challenge and top quality leadership and support makes the trip a jewel in the Exodus crown.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    John Briggs was a top rate leader. Hugely knowledgable, impressively fit, patient and kind and an all round great guy.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip is challenging in parts but that should not deter you from experiencing some of the best views in the Alps, and spending time with a great bunch of fellow travellers. It’s hugely enjoyable and well worth it.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Dorian Moss

    Two wonderful weeks of high cols

    My second Exodus trek in the Alps, and the Haute Route deserves the challenging grade, definitely tougher than TMB. Very well organised by Exodus, excellent leader and camp manager, and a great bunch of 12 trekkers.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the summit of the third col of the day between Mont Fort and Prafleuri mountain refuges, the Col de Prafleuri (almost 3000m). This day 5 of the walk stayed over 2500m all day, we were fortunate to have a fine day for it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    John is a natural leader, highly skilled in mountain technique but also very sensitive to the different abilities and interests of group members. He quickly gauged the correct pace, and knows when to give extra support to people who need it, e.g. with tricky parts of a steep descent. He kept our spirits up on the days with poor weather, and on fine days allowed the fastest members of the group to go ahead (but then wait at junctions). He has an excellent knowledge of Alpine geography and trees, which he was ready to share. Having been led by John on TMB in 2014, I was delighted to meet him again on arrival at Geneva.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip is not for those who lack fitness and stamina. Several days wth 1000m or more ascent and descent, one after another: there is no rest day until after 6 days walking. Do this trip if ready for a challenge, otherwise consider the Tour du Mont Blanc TMB.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our camp manager Egle deserves full credit alongside John. She managed to perform wonders on a basic cooking stove, very imaginative menus, and the large portions one needs on such an energetic trek. The whole Exodus camp set up is very well thought out, including the design of tents, mess tent and all the auxiliary equipment like facilities to charge phones etc. I would suggest that the tents used are absolutely fine for one person but I would advise anyone travelling without a partner or very good friend to pay the single supplement. The two mountain refuges were an interesting experience of living close together, unavoidable to complete the route. Most of the campsites very well equipped, Exodus do not hide the fact that two others have very basic facilities.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Jo Cuttell

    Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn 505A

    A great walk with fabulous scenery. The group was very supportive and friendly and this added to the enjoyment of the holiday. The food was amazing, delicious and filling. The camp manager was brilliant - very efficient, and a great cook.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving at the col after climbing up the ladders at the Pas de Chèvre. I've never done anything like that before. Exhilarating!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader really added to my enjoyment of the holiday. He was very knowledgeable about the flora and fauna of the area and pointed out interesting plants that I would have missed otherwise. We even saw an eidelweiss on the mountainside. He also shared his interest in the geology and history of the area which I found interesting and helpful in understanding the mountains. He was a thoughtful leader and took time to help people who needed support over the more difficult terrain. His route finding was impeccable and when bad weather came in the group felt complete confidence in him to get us to the campsite.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take an inner sheet sleeping bag for the night in the huts.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It's a great holiday- get fit and do it.
  • Reviewed August 2015
    Michael Farnan

    Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn

    This was my first ever trek so I was anxious at first. I quickly settled in to the group and found the trek a great adventure and experience. The guide we had was excellent in terms of gaging the groups abilities and leading us. The support member of staff was also relaible and provided a good service. It was a hard trek at times but very rewarding. I am already looking to plan my next trip with Exodus!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The groups support for each other. I can't name one moment as there were many. Everyone had different strengths and abilities and were able to inspire each other at different times.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Very knowledgeable, supportive and friendly. He was a great leader and I had every confidence in him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    None that has'nt alresdy been provided in the trip notes.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No further information to add.
  • Reviewed July 2015
    Brian White

    Excellent, Tough Trip but Very Rewarding

    We did this trek in July and had perfect blue sky weather every day, but rain on the last day for the walk into Zermatt. The trek for us was one of the best European treks we have done and was very challenging/tough but extremely rewarding with stunning and changeable scenery every day. We really enjoyed the camping although the mountain huts and auberge were a little close for comfort but manageable once you got use to the idea of sleeping closely with other people!! This trek had it all for us. High col passes, snow walking and bum sliding, steep ascents, steep descents, rough terrain, boulder jumping, chains, forests, gushing rivers, waterfalls and lakes and absolutely stunning snow capped mountains and scenery. However, we were a little disappointed that the itinerary was not followed on the first day of walking and we missed not starting from the teleferique at Plan Praz and also the high level contour walk with ladders and chains.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving at a col each day at just under 3000 metres after a long, hard ascent and the stunning blue sky views that awaited us.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As a result of Simon's background he was a fast paced, no-nonsense leader which, on occasions, was necessary due to the challenging/tough nature of this trek. However, a slightly slower pace to meet the total group needs might have been more appropriate as those who were at the back every day struggled to keep up and we had to keep waiting for them to catch up. Conversely, you really need to be a good and very fit mountain walker to get the best out of this trek.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    On your first day off at Les Bossons, Chamonix (the warm-up day), do the ascent and descent from the campsite to the Refuge de Bellachat at altitude 2152 metres. This will give you a good feel for what the daily ascents and descents are like, whilst warming you up nicely for what is in store most days. If you make it, try the delicious omelettes at the Refuge and the views are also very stunning. For the huts and auberge take a head torch with a red light so as not to wake people up with a bright LED and also ear plugs. You only need to take a sleeping bag liner in your day pack and no flip-flops for the huts as croc shoes are provided. You will need to take a towel and soap etc as you can have a shower in the Mountain Huts at a cost of 5 Francs and they are free in the auberge. The long descents can be very arduous on your knees - definitely take and use two poles.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    As the trip notes state this is a challenging/tough trek and you need to be more than a fell walker, capable of walking at altitude. You must also be capable of walking at a moderate to fast rate each day sometimes over very uneven rocky ground, otherwise you will probably be the one at the back holding the group up every day and preventing them from achieving the daily challenges e.g. ladders and high routes thus causing the leader to 'water-down' the itinerary. This will affect the dynamics of the group and also put you under pressure and potentially prevent you from enjoying a wonderful trek.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Call us on 020 8772 3936