(Walker's Haute Route West) The Aiguille Verte and Mont Blanc above the Chamonix valley
WALKER'S HAUTE ROUTE WEST (GUIDED)   7 stages . 8 nights . Swiss Valais   Booking

Walker's Haute Route West
Self-guided trekking holiday

+ Walk half-way to Zermatt in one week
+ Rugged Alpine trekking with remote stretches
+ Expert planning to find your ideal itinerary

Latest news March 2019
Please ask us about a trip during our 2019 season. Thank you.

Trek the first half of the Walker's Haute Route, from Chamonix as far as Arolla, in a week's Alpine trekking of the highest order.

The Walker's Haute Route is a trekking route, as distinct from the Classic Haute Route which crosses the glaciers. The trek calls for no rock climbing or technical skills but is nevertheless a very tough trek even by the standard of Alpine walks. Many sections need self-reliance, strong fitness and good navigation; cols at nearly 3,000m take much climbing to reach and the terrain is often rocky and rugged. The crucial stretch is the 3 stages to Arolla, covering remote ground and staying in 2 huts.

This being a self-guided holiday, you're free to complete the walks as you choose; we book your huts and hotels and give you our detailed routecards for the walking, and then it's up to you to carry out the walks yourself.

We book your accommodation in our intriguing mix of hotels, auberges and mountain huts. The huts are high, remote, yet quite comfortable.


Map showing the route of Alpine Exploratory's Walker's Haute Route West self-guided walking holiday


Alpine Exploratory
HRWsg Walker's Haute Route West (Self-guided)
21 July to 15 September 2019
Prices in GBP
per person
Hutty Classic Comfy
Popular schedules
6 stages
(7 nights)

Singles 80
Singles 160
Singles 180
7 stages
(8 nights)

Singles 100
Singles 180
Our main HRW
Singles 200
7 stages
1 rest day
(9 nights)
Singles 120
Singles 200
Singles 230
Specialised schedules
5 stages
(6 nights)

Singles 80
Singles 130
Singles 160
Baggage transfer Please ask us

Baggage transfer

Let us move your bags between stops. Please contact us for a price.

Alternative starts and pacings

A quicker trek
If 7 stages is too long, we can make it 5 or 6 while still walking the whole route from Chamonix to Arolla. For example, our quicker clients sometimes ask to walk straight from Chamonix to Trient, or walk the Chamonix to Argentiere stage on the afternoon they arrive. Further mergings of stages are possible down the line. Please ask us to adapt things to your time.

Route variations
At some points in this Western half, our routecards describe variations to the route. These include the Bovine Alp route to Champex instead of the high and steep Fenetre d'Arpette, and the Col de Termin route instead of Col de la Chaux (also our high, rocky, main route) on the way to Cabane de Prafleuri. Choose on the day according to energy and weather.

Rest days
We recommend adding a rest day or two if you have time. Champex is a good location for such a day. Perhaps of more interest would be a day or two in Chamonix before your trek, where there is a great buzz and where local walking abounds. We can advise. Please contact us to discuss what would suit you best.

Alternative accommodation

More comfy?
As standard our itinerary is fairly comfy. A simple way in which we can add luxury is to swap some 2* hotels for our lovely 3*s. If you're not keen on dorms then we can request private rooms at the huts, but these are only sometimes possible. The two huts are fairly essential to the crossing to Arolla, so can't be avoided altogether... and they are great fun.

More basic?
We can add huts and swap hotels for auberges. At the extra auberges you can still have private rooms, but to economise further we can book plenty of dorms. We have come to know some buzzing, friendly options at all levels. Please just ask.

Key information Summer 2019

Trip name: Walker's Haute Route West
Guided or self-guided? Self-guided
Trip code: HRWsg
Route: HRT Walker's Haute Route
(See our background page on the Haute Route)
(Prefer Guided or East?)
Group size: Any, from solo trekkers to groups
Length: 7 days' trekking
Start: Chamonix in France
End: Arolla in Switzerland
Typical walk: 14km, 1,110m ascent
Highest altitude: 2,987m
Grade: Black4 (Walking grades)

Prices Summer 2019

7 stages, per person:

HRWsg Hutty
GBP 1,040 (singles 100)
Walkers Haute Route West (self-guided)

HRWsg Classic
GBP 1,100 (singles 180)
Walkers Haute Route West (self-guided)

HRWsg Comfy
GBP 1,180 (singles 200)
Walkers Haute Route West (self-guided)

Research Summer 2019

Ollie Boyd at Alpine Exploratory Keith Miller at Alpine ExploratoryAlpine Exploratory's 2019 research on the Walker's Haute Route will be led by:
Keith Miller in July
Ollie Boyd in July

Recces 2019

From above Trient, looking towards Glacier du Trient and Fenetre d'Arpette
Glacier du Trient (Photo gallery)

Alpine Exploratory's service

8 nights, staying in:
3-star hotels (2)
2-star hotels (3)
Auberges (1)
Mountain huts (2)

Accommodation and itinerary
Breakfasts and 3 evening meals
Expert and unlimited advice
Routecards HRT1-7 of the Exploratory system
Maps and local information

Season for self-guided treks
21 July to 15 September 2019
19 July to 13 September 2020 (TBC 1 Oct 2019)
Trek on your ideal dates

Starting out from Cabane du Mont Fort
Cabane du Mont Fort (Photo gallery)

The Haute Route West in the Alps

Map of the Walker's Haute Route West within the Alps

Our city information included in your info pack:
Geneva, Bern, Lucerne, Basel, Zurich

City breaks after trekking

Find out more

Holiday Notes Read our trip dossier,
    a 2-page PDF which is easy to print

Walking guides Our background page on the
    Walker's Haute Route

Contact us or use this form:

Rough month?         
Any questions about the Haute Route?

Ready to book?

Our booking form to get things started:


Alpine Exploratory
Alpine Exploratory is a system of knowledge on the best mountain trekking in our areas, giving clients superb holidays based on this exploration.
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