Spectacular and unusual views of peaks and glaciers on ancient trading routes.
This peerless scenery competes with challenging hiking and the fascination of visiting both French and German speaking villages.
Pennine Alps offers a sensational opportunity for hikers to explore a spectacular alpine world.
As trails climb to high passes, follow ancient trading routes, and traverse along ancient bisses.
Highest mountains in western Europe, the Pennine Alps, offer a sensational opportunity for hikers to explore a spectacular alpine world. From Chamonix, beneath the Mont Blanc range, with its granite spires and glaciated peaks, a network of trails connects you to Champex. Our shorter hike is part of the Hiker’s Haute Route, first walked in 1903 and dubbed the High Level Route, the way from Chamonix to Zermatt crosses two distinct cultural regions and passes under such glaciated giants as Mont Blanc, the Grand Combin, the Obergabelhorn, Weisshorn, Dent Blanche, Zinalrothorn and the Matterhorn. This peerless scenery competes with challenging hiking and the fascination of visiting both French and German speaking villages.
Ryder-Walker offers a taste of the Hiker’s Haute Route in this 5-day Mini Trek, from Chamonix to Champex. Along the way, we use comfortable accommodations, primarily three and four-star inns and hotels, as our bases, with the exception of two nights in simple hostelries. Hiking days are challenging, but the scenery is breathtaking, and at the end of the day a comfortable bed, hot shower, a good meal, a glass of local wine or beer, and the company of other hikers awaits.
The towns along the way range from the bustling alpine center of Chamonix, with its fabulous views of the Mer de Glace and the Aiguille du Midi; to sleepy Champex, a Swiss lakeside resort with a quiet atmosphere and lovely location.
Despite the fame of both Chamonix and the quaintness of Champex, the trails between are moderately untraveled, and for stretches you won’t have to share the trails or the views with many other parties. The route lies along quiet, mountain trails with some rough and remote sections. Spectacular and unusual views of peaks and glaciers await. As trails climb to high passes, follow ancient trading routes, and traverse along ancient bisses (irrigation canals) under the shade of Arolla pines and larches. Most days are long and strenuous with hiking on steep mountain footpaths suitable for experienced hikers.
Throughout the trek you experience a range of accommodations, beginning in a four-star hotel and ending in a three-star inn with private baths or showers. Some of the hotels are filled with antiques and ambiance, while, in the smaller villages, you experience simpler inns of a bygone era. Dinner is usually a four course meal, and breakfast is a simple buffet taken at your leisure. Typically, lunch is a picnic enjoyed at a high pass or in a pasture with spectacular views. Other days, you have access to a mountain restaurant or hut for lunch. Your hiking descriptions inform you about each day’s route, including details about lunch, what to put in your pack, and what to expect on each day’s hike, including any options to shorten the outing.
Choose from our standard itinerary or customize the trek by adding or subtracting days. We are happy to offer harder or gentler hikes where possible.
Independently transfer to Chamonix.
Enjoy a gentle introductory hike with spectacular views over the Mont Blanc range. Your hike along the Grand Balcon Sud offers some of the best photo opportunities of Mont Blanc, the Mer de Glace, and the Aiguilles, or rock needles, of the Chamonix Valley.
Hike from Argentière to the village of Trient over the Col de Balme, with spectacular views of the Aiguilles of Chamonix, its glaciers, and Mont Blanc.
Enjoy awesome views of the Rhone Valley as you find your way through high alpine meadows. Descend through a gorgeous side valley to the lovely little resort village of Champex and your Swiss chalet.