Always wanted to hike the famous Walker’s Haute Route, but too intimidated? Saw that it’s been touted one of the ‘Most Beautiful Hikes in Europe’ but don’t know where or how to start?

If like me you grew up in a tropical country without much Alpine experience, I understand your pain. Tried and tested, this is a detailed beginner’s guide consolidating 8 things you NEED TO KNOW before hiking the Walker’s Haute Route. Best part? Only for a week. The full trek is known to be one of the world’s most challenging, so this is my guide on taking it down a notch for just HALF!

*All views are my own based on experience. I wish, but I was not sponsored in any way*

The Walker’s Haute Route: for the adventure-hungry

In August 2022, I completed the 1st half of the Walker’s Haute Route. The classic Walker’s Haute Route is one of the world’s most stunning yet difficult summer thru-hikes, spanning from Chamonix, France through the French and Swiss Alps, to Zermatt, Switzerland – for almost 200km, through 11 mountain passes with the highest pass at 2,964m. It is the lesser known, but equally gorgeous younger sibling to the famous Tour du Mont Blanc. Think less crowds while hiking the scenic Alps in the height of summer! Hikers typically take 12-15 days to complete the entire thru-hike. It took me 6 days to hike half of it until Arolla, then ending in Sion, Switzerland.

(FYI, “Haute Route” is a general description of the point-to-point route, used not just by hikers but also by biking and skiing enthusiasts, while “Walker’s Haute Route” specifically refers to the hiking route. I had difficulty finding information relating to the hiking version of the Haute Route for this reason…) 

The full trek warrants at least 2 weeks to be set aside, advanced hiking experience, tip-top physical health and lots of money (if you’re staying in mountain huts). It’s sheer intensity and duration can drive those keen on embarking on this route to enjoy the Alps by foot away very easily. Personally, I decided on only doing the 1st half due to time constraints and being realistic with my own physical limits (I mean, I could still go on after Day 6 but I don’t think I would have enjoyed the trip as much!)

Thus, this is a detailed guide as an intermediate hiker, tailored to like-level hikers searching up expeditions with extraordinary views and a good challenge for up to a week. Hence, the extent of this guide only goes as far as La Sage, Switzerland of the Walker’s Haute Route. I will be sharing the map below. To be exact, we ended in Sion, Switzerland. The full hiking route continues from La Sage towards Grimentz and ends in Zermatt.

As a gauge, I’ve completed multi-day hikes in the Canadian Rockies, Yosemite and Taman Negara, as well as single day hikes like Trolltunga in Norway (27km), Adam’s Peak in Sri Lanka (8.9km), among others since 2014. It was 5 of us in a self-guided group: 1 complete “beginner” (he had never leisure hiked in his life, but was an army regular), 2 beginner-intermediates, and 2 of us more experienced intermediates; ages between 27-31 as of writing. We were a bunch generally in good physical health leading active lifestyles prior to the hike. 

While there’s lots of general information floating online, it wasn’t the easiest finding updated, first-hand advice and pictures to anticipate the Walker’s Haute Route. Below is a detailed list of learnings I’d like to share, and my photo gallery can be found here!

  1. Start planning early: route, bookings, budgeting, training

Best period: July to September

The best time to go hiking on the Walker’s Haute Route is in summer between July to September. The trek traverses through summits of some of the highest peaks in the Alps, as well as mountain passes, where temperatures and conditions could change very quickly and drastically. It is not advisable to take on the Walker’s Haute Route in colder months. Even in summer, there could be occasional rain and afternoon storms, with snow having occurred, though briefly, at higher altitudes. My trip was from 12 – 21 August 2022 inclusive of time allowances as well as travelling in and out of the hiking area.

Transport to-and-fro the route: Milan, Italy

The most affordable city to fly into if you’re starting this thru-hike from Chamonix in France is Milan, Italy. You can then get onto a 3h55m FLiX bus for ~€15-30 (depending on how early in advance you book) from Milan into Chamonix town, which is the most value-for-money way. Note that the FLiX bus station (FLiXBUS – Autostazione Lampugnano) is about an hour away from Milano Malpensa airport.

The nearest city to the route is actually Geneva, Switzerland, but it’s very expensive (3x the price for me) to fly in and out of. If you’re pressed for time, this could be option. Choose what works for you.

Do search up if there would be any large-scale events for the dates that you would be in Milan or Chamonix. We had almost missed our early morning FLiX bus as Milan’s public transport had completely delayed operating times due to a festival, and we ended up having to take a taxi and beg our FLiX bus driver to let us onboard because it was leaving right when we arrived! Be mindful also that Chamonix is a large and busy luxury tourist town that many visitors flock to especially in summer months – our 3h55m bus ride took 7h to get us into Chamonix due to the traffic congestion on the way in. 

We left the Haute Route from Sion in Switzerland and took Trenitalia back into Milan. 

Navigating through the 1st half of Walker’s Haute Route

Rough guide from Google Maps illustrating the 1st half of the Walker’s Haute Route taken // A week on Walker’s Haute Route: 8 things to know before hiking

This is a rough guide on the route we took for a week’s worth of Walker’s Haute Route goodness. (Kudos to my dear friends, Kenneth, for planning and navigating us, and Jerome for figuring out how to get us out of La Sage back to Milan!)

The dotted lines denote parts where we took public transport, while solid lines were actual hiking. You can view the rough route on Google maps here: For the exact navigation, I recommend mapping your start and end points (where you would stay for the night at) per leg everyday, on the navigation app Komoot. Check the route beforehand, though it’s almost foolproof in bringing you through mountain passes and spectacular views. You can download offline access and it has turn-to-turn voice guidance even when you do not have phone signal. Definitely my favourite hiking app and has saved me from getting lost tons of times! You may need to pay a small fee for Komoot, so some alternatives are Gaia GPS and Alltrails. 

Apart from Verbier, all markers indicate where we spent the night. I couldn’t seem to mark Cabane de Prafleuri on the map – its closer to Lac des Dix than where Col Prafleuri was.

On one of the nights we stayed in Cabane des Dix, a mountain hut perched on a hill near Galcier de Cheilon // A week on Walker’s Haute Route: 8 things to know before hiking

Accommodations: Gîtes and Mountain Huts + prepare some CHF cash

In terms of accommodations while hiking the Walker’s Haute Route, you can either stay in Gîte hostels and Mountain Huts (aka Alpine Huts or Mountain Refuges) or camp out on your own. In France you are not allowed to wild camp, though in Switzerland it is generally permitted in mountains above the treeline, with certain restrictions to note. We did not want to carry heavy camping gear on this hike, and chose to stay in Gîte hostels and Mountain Huts for the convenience and full alpine trekking experience. 

Gîte hostels and Mountain Huts are known to only operate from June till September. Some were noticeably more crowded than others, which is why it is extremely important to secure a place in advance! A lot were also not on common booking sites, so you have to manually write an email stating the number of people and dates you will be there for. Your booking will not be confirmed until they respond. Many of these hostels and huts converse in French, so if you speak French its your time to shine!

Gîte hostels can cost <CHF30/night for just the bed, with options to top-up for dinner and breakfast. They are usually found at lower altitudes, in towns. At higher altitudes, Mountain Huts can typically take care of your dinner (starter, main, dessert), bed and breakfast (a simple selection) for CHF70-100 all-in, depending on location and dates. You may choose to go no-frills and just pay for the bed if you carried your own food on this hike, and it could cut costs. However that would equate to a much heavier pack and honestly it’s almost impossible to get supplies outside of base towns or villages. Generally these Mountain Huts get pricier the higher up you go in altitude. I recall the mountain hut warden at Cabane des Dix (the highest cabin at 2,928m above sea level in the 1st half of the route) explaining that they needed a helicopter to bring in groceries and supplies frequently! Where other options were available, we went for the more affordable ones to save money.

For an additional fee (CHF8-20), Mountain Huts can also provide a packed lunch sandwich the next day – sometimes with the option to include an apple/a chocolate bar/an egg – that you could take along your next hike. 

The Mountain Huts at relatively lower altitudes have hot showers available, while the ones higher up charge you for use or do not have any showers at all. So be prepared not to shower on some days. 

Most of them accept card payments though it would be wise to prepare some CHF cash (1/3 the total cost of accommodations) in case their card payments do not work.

I had a wonderful time at all the Gîte hostels and Mountain Huts that I stayed at, with tasty dinners as a flexitarian, clean and comfortable sleeping arrangements, and filling breakfasts. Generally the higher up in altitude you go, the more hyggelig the experience too. 

List of Gîte hostels and Mountain Huts I stayed at:

No.AccomodationApprox. Amount PaidShowers?Comments
1Gîte le Chamoniard Volant Hostel for the night in ChamonixEUR26 bed + EUR10 breakfastYDinner in Chamonix town
2The Auberge du Mont Blanc for the night in TrientCHF40 + CHF38 dinner, breakfast, lunch comboYCrowded, but lively, as its a common intersection between TMB and Haute Route. Clean showers and beds. Food was alright
3Pension en Plein Air for the night in Champex-LacCHF50 bed + breakfastYWe missed the dinner and ordered pizza. Did not buy the lunch for the next day
4Cabane Mont Fort for the night in Mont FortCHF84.50 dinner, bed, breakfast + CHF8 lunch sandwichPay-per-use CHF2/min. Didn’t showerThe best mountain hut of the trip – warm and friendly mountain hut wardens, organized and clean, comfortable beds, tasty food, amazing sunset view!
5Cabane de Prafleuri for the night in PrafleuriCHF86 dinner, bed, breakfast +CHF9.5 lunch No showersCrowded. Good dinner but my lunch sandwich was mouldy…
6Cabane des Dix CAS for the night in Val des DixCHF90 bed + CHF8 lunchNo showersNext best of the lot! Delicious dinner that started with shots and could have more servings as it wasn’t crowded. Friendly and helpful mountain hut wardens.
7Restaurant Gîte L’Ecureuil for the night in La Sage after ending the hike in ArollaCHF84.50 dinner, bed, breakfastYClean showers and had a good restaurant downstairs. Bed was alright

Physical preparation: Good cardiovascular health

Ensure that you have a moderate level of fitness leading up to this trek. While I didn’t particularly train for this, I generally lead an active lifestyle and have good cardiovascular health. I bike to-and-fro work, weight train 2-3 times a week, and played beach volleyball/basketball/padel tennis frequently during Denmark’s long summer days.

  1. Pack warm and waterproof clothing: layers, gloves, neck warmers, beanie

Even though the Walker’s Haute Route is designated as a summer hiking trek, temperatures can change drastically very quickly. It was cold at the summit of Fenêtre d’Arpette (2,665m), and mostly from Mont Fort (2,457m) onwards to des Dix. I get cold relatively easily, and had my fleece and/or ultra light down throughout these segments. Otherwise I made sure they were easily accessible from my backpack’s side or top pockets.

List of clothing I packed:

  1. Base: sweat-wicking active wear (I did not bring any thermal base layers on this trip)
  2. Fleece: Uniqlo Fleece Zipped Jacket 
  3. Down Puffy Jacket: Uniqlo Ultra Light Down Parka
  4. Waterproof upper layer: I would strongly suggest a waterproof hiking shell! At that point I only had a city raincoat. I got by but would not do so again as city raincoats could easily be damaged when adventuring. Nonetheless, do not take waterproofing your upper body for granted. It’s key to avoiding hypothermia and actually still enjoying your hike while it pours. The last thing you want is to be miserable for hours!
  5. Leggings: I wore Alphalete’s Amplify Leggings for its comfort and sweat wicking abilities. A piece I already had from weight training
  6. Hiking pants: I had Haglöfs Mid Standard Pant Women on as a 2nd bottom layer when it got cold. It’s a technical, sturdy pair that I bought as an investment to last me years. Pretty comfortable, roomy pockets and even flattering (for hiking pants), and I really like it! However it is NOT waterproof.
  7. Waterproof bottom layer: It would be good to bring a waterproof bottom layer. Personally my city raincoat was long enough though it reduced my mobility (once again I would not recommend bringing it out on hiking trips)
  8. Gloves: Use when your hands are freezing while holding your hiking poles. Also use when you need to grip onto metal hiking chain support. It was very helpful having gloves at Pas de Chèvres when we had to climb the excruciatingly cold metal vertical ladder under strong, howling winds. I climbed it with ease because I had a strong and secure grip
  9. Neck warmer: To shield up to your nose in strong, cold winds
  10. Visor/Cap/Hat: To protect your face when it gets sunny
  11. Beanie: To warm your head when its cold
  12. Underwear: As well as sports bras for the ladies!
  13. Lots of socks: If you have merino wool socks, bring them along as they don’t stink as easily so you wouldn’t need to bring as many pairs. I used normal cotton socks, but at some point I will invest in some too 🙂 
  14. Comfy night wear: Just 1 set which I wore every night
In Uniqlo’s Ultra Light Down Parka paired with Haglöfs’ Mid Standard Pant Women // A week on Walker’s Haute Route: 8 things to know before hiking

Good quality hiking clothing that can last for years are very expensive! I like that Uniqlo offers value-for-money options for entry-level beginners who are just getting into hiking. They are not the most durable though: my Uniqlo Ultra Light Down Parka tore slightly while I was getting through some boulders and it could not stop leaking feathers after. I had to buy an iron-on patch at Verbier to close the tap. Naturally, I’d look to upgrade to more durable outdoor clothing at a later stage. Good waterproof hiking shells are pricey and I’m still saving up to buy one that I really like one day 😀

Being based in Scandinavia, I HAD to put their outdoor brands to the test. Swedish brand Haglöfs really delivered with a robust pair of all-weather hiking pants. They’ve earned themselves a new fan! 

  1. Ensure you have the right gear: proper waterproof hiking shoes, hydration system, hiking poles, rainproof cover, and more

(In order of necessity)

I wore Lowa’s Renegade Mid GTX Women’s Hiking Boots – loved that it was waterproof and sturdy. // A week on Walker’s Haute Route: 8 things to know before hiking

Waterproof Hiking Boots

I cannot stress the importance of proper hiking shoes enough! There are boulder and talus fields that you have to climb through and having a pair of shoes with good grip can make or break the hike (and you). Not to forget about some ankle-deep water bodies, marsh, and streams that you cannot avoid – I watched my friends struggle over unavoidable pools of water. Remember that “Good shoes take you good places” said Min Seo Hyun, from the hit 2000s K-drama Boys Over Flowers!

Unfortunately, my ultra comfortable Timberland Women’s Chocorua Trail Mid Gore-Tex Hiking boots broke on the 2nd hike while ascending Fenêtre d’Arpette. It has served me a good 6 years of outdoor adventures rain or shine. I had to use my sports shoes and it was agonizing to say the least. The Adidas Pure Boost can barely handle anything more than flat ground. It brought countless falls and rolled ankles on scree while descending 🙁 I legitimately thought I was going to die on that hike and told my friend to go ahead without me to Champex-Lac. IT WAS NOT FUN. AT ALL. 

As a replacement, I bought Lowa Renegade Mid GTX Women’s Hiking Boots, since Timberlands are limited in variety in Verbier. I like hiking shoes that have high ankle support as they greatly reduce the chances of getting sprained ankles and experiencing foot fatigue during long hiking treks. Waterproof is a must! These boots could be comfier though.

Hydration system

Setting up a functional and effective hydration system was absolutely life-changing, and now very necessary for me every hiking trip! This deserves a space of its own. See the next point for more.

Hiking poles

Hiking poles are important as they cushion the impact on your knees by helping to transfer weight to your arms. The correct way to use hiking poles is to lean forward onto them and utilise your arm strength as you hike. You should feel less of a load on your legs. If you’re still feeling everything on your legs and ‘carrying’ your hiking poles as you go along, you’re not maximizing their potential! 

Hiking poles are also a big boon when you’re climbing up steep, large steps, or going through a boulder field where you are unsure if a platform is sturdy. Use hiking poles to check the stability of an area before getting onto it. Having a pair, rather than just 1, greatly eases the pressure on your knees during descents, and helps you go down a lot faster.

Last but most importantly, don’t make the same rookie mistake I did – hiking poles cannot be carried-on, only checked-in on flights! If you cannot bring hiking poles you can always rent them, much better for the environment. Buy only if you have to.

A brightly-coloured backpack rain cover allows you to be easily spotted when you get separated from your group // A week on Walker’s Haute Route: 8 things to know before hiking

Backpack Rain Cover

Not much needs to be said – protecting your belongings from the elements is important. Most overnight backpacks come with raincovers but you can also buy them from outdoor backpack brands such as Deuter and Osprey separately. There are different sizes available depending on your backpack’s capacity. 

Make sure its easily accessible so you can whip it out during sudden downpours. For brightly coloured raincovers they also serve as good identifiers in case of any emergencies.


Daylight is generally longer during summer than in any other season so this is optional, but I always bring it along with every hiking trip. I have it around my neck once it hits dusk. Furthermore, if you have to get out of your accommodation (e.g. tent) in the middle of the night to pee, this makes all the difference compared to holding onto your phone for it’s torchlight.

I bought mine from Decathlon, and its pretty sturdy. Great for use as a hanging light lamp inside tents as well. 

Fleece sleeping liner

This was a tip given to me by my swiss-german ex-colleague: to bring along a sleeping liner for use in Mountain Huts. I used the Sea to Summit Reactor Fleece Liner, which I felt kept my comfy clothes clean and ensured I was warm enough without adding much weight to my pack. In summer, you can use the sleeping bag liner on its own when camping, and in colder months its additional warmth should be a necessary part of your sleep system.

  1. Hydration system: get a water bladder and water filter bottle
Get! A! Water! Bladder! You can thank me later. // A week on Walker’s Haute Route: 8 things to know before hiking

Setting up this hydration system was absolutely life-changing. It completely elevated my hiking experience on the Walker’s Haute Route. Also my most value-for-money investment! My most-loved hydration system has 2 parts: the water bladder and a water filtering bottle. It is an easy and lightweight setup I highly recommend to beginner hikers and campers. 

  1. Water Bladder: It was my first time using a water bladder/reservoir. I got a 1L from Decathlon for €12 in Chamonix, though ideally I’d want the 2L one. Still, it’s a solid product: extremely convenient, effective bite valve, easy to fill and close, leak-proof. For it’s price I couldn’t ask for more. I’m never going back to putting my pack down or taking my bottle out whenever I’m thirsty while hiking now! 
  1. Water filtering bottle: As a Singaporean, we’ve been spoiled with easily accessible clean water everywhere we go in Singapore. For the longest time I was searching for a good water filter bottle, knowing full well in trying situations that at bare minimum you require drinking water to survive. I picked Katadyn BeFree Water Filtration System 1L because it is ultralight, filters water quickly, and is collapsible when you dont need it. 

This was a COMPLETE LIFESAVER for my group when we were up high in the mountains starting from Mont Fort and the Mountain Huts had NO POTABLE WATER. The filter removes bacteria, cysts and sediments with its pore size of 0.1 micron (0.0001mm), and I didn’t need to fear a bad tummy ache mid-hike. There are other water filtering products such as water filtering pills, but I’ve heard they leave a weird taste and take up to 2 hours to be effective. Sometimes you can’t wait that long. I also know there are other heavy duty water filter brands like the iconic Grayl’s GeoPress Purifier. Although it can filter water from anywhere on earth no matter how dirty, it is much heavier and more expensive. The Katadyn may not be able to filter to the same extent (no muddy or brackish water), but it suffices for my needs (to remove protozoa and bacteria that can make you sick). For now at least.

My water filtering Katadyn BeFree Water Filtration System 1L complements the water bladder PERFECTLY! Every morning before setting off, I would grab non-potable water from the Mountain Hut’s tap and fill up the Katadyn. Then I’ll press its filtered water into the group’s water bladders. I’ve also used the Katadyn multiple times with water coming from a moving stream with no issues. 

THIS HYDRATION SYSTEM HAS BEEN A COMPLETE GAME-CHANGER, AND I CANNOT STOP RAVING ABOUT THIS COMBINATION TO ALL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY! Wish I had discovered this earlier! I will never bring a heavy Nalgene bottle onto my hiking or camping trips ever again. (I love my unfailing 5-year old Nalgene but every gram matters!)

  1. Pack light but don’t forget supplements

Some other gear I had on the trek: 

Medical kit

MANDATORY! Never ever forget this. There are first aid kits that you can buy in outdoor shops, but I made my own by simply filling up needed medication in a ziploc bag. In the ziploc I always have: fever pills, allergy pills, charcoal, and gastric pills. In a separate bag I have aloe vera gel (natural antiseptic) in a contact lens container, plasters/bandage, as well as muscle relief ointment/cream.

Bring your own medication especially if you have medical conditions or are prone to allergies (e.g. EpiPen). It’s also good to ensure at least 1 person in the group is First Aid certified, in case of emergencies. Before I left Singapore I got First Aid (CPR + AED) certified.


I used Vaseline Healing Jelly to protect chapped lips. 

Powerbank & adaptor for camera and navigation

To keep your electronics powered up for navigation and pictures. My personal favourite naigation app to use while hiking the Walker’s Haute Route is Komoot for its intuitive UX/UI. Sometimes I use Gaia GPS. Alltrails is great for route inspiration and to check against reviews. At some point, I’ll look to get a Garmin for its GPS and maps.


We bought electrolytes to pop into our water bladders every morning before we began. I could really feel more energized with them! Packing sweets, as well as energy and chocolate bars are great too. 


You can bring lightweight slippers (for those freezing glacial dips!) but do note you have to wear crocs provided by the Mountain Hut indoors. This was something I noticed across Mountain Huts, so that hikers would not bring dirt from their hiking shoes in.

  1. Prepare to snap lots of photos

The Walker’s Haute Route traverses through flowery meadows, towering snow-capped mountains, picturesque valleys, lush greenery and extreme otherworldly environments. No one day was the same on this hiking trek. Awed by the majesty of nature, I love immortalising it in any way I can. Meanwhile it was sorely depressing hearing the Mountain Hut warden at Cabane des Dix explain that we could not cross the glacier according to plan, because it has been melting too much since last summer, and was far too dangerous. Our world is breaking down a lot faster than we think, and that is why I do what I do with Cheravels.

I used the Canon EOS 700D, with a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 wide angle lens. I packed an extra battery which certainly came in handy. Generally Canon DSLRs are very hardy, yet produce some of the highest quality and most beautifully coloured images in the market. I’ve had my trusty Canon for almost a decade now (yes, about time I should be upgrading!)

Couldn’t be more relieved reaching the Fenêtre d’Arpette mountain pass // A week on Walker’s Haute Route: 8 things to know before hiking

I made the grave mistake of bringing along a cheap heavy-weighted tripod. It was a harrowing experience having it. It added 3kg to my pack, and had caused a lot of pain especially on the most strenuous hike of the trek – passing through Fenêtre d’Arpette. It was not worth it. If you’re out on your own and really have to bring it, choose an ultralight and compact one! Sadly I have no recommendations for this but feel free to send any suggestions over 🙂 

  1. Always follow the markers, and don’t give up!
White-red-white striped markers should be visible on your hiking route // A week on Walker’s Haute Route: 8 things to know before hiking

Somehow goes without saying, but there would always be the daredevils who like to go off-trail for the most instagrammable photos or videos. There are clear white-and-red striped markers along the trail, even through boulder fields, that you should follow. Take a wrong route when climbing through and it could end up perilous. I’ve had near death experiences as a result of naivety while backpacking when I was younger, and am over those days!

Visibility can be extremely poor under bad weather. On our last hike towards Arolla from des Dix, the weather could no longer hold up, and it was an entire day of rain of >10mm. I recall we could not see anything more than 2m away from us, and it was quite daunting having to continue hiking without a far view of what’s ahead. We relied a lot on our navigating apps.

Once again, the 2nd hike through Fenêtre d’Arpette was the most strenuous for me. Almost-vertical climbing up to and down from the summit for hours felt like DEATH, because of the steep ascent and descent of 1,370m and 1,190m respectively. My body was completely battered from my period, heavy tripod mistake, and broken hiking shoes. It was pushed beyond limits and I wanted to give up. But thank God for friends who helped carry my tripod (I initially refused as I felt I had to take responsibility for it), and supported me in the descent when I kept falling on my butt from the lack of grip on my sports shoes. The good thing about “worst experiences” is that everything becomes easier from there!

  1. You have the option of public transport at some points

Don’t forget that you can opt for public transport to conserve energy between stages, whenever possible. This is not available between every point, but enough for when you need it. You can easily check this on Google maps. If you’re already hiking the demanding Walker’s Haute Route clocking in 15-25km a day, YOU ARE NOT LAZY FOR CHOOSING TO TAKE PUBLIC TRANSPORT. THERE IS NO SHAME IN RESTING! 

For one, this gives you an opportunity to soak in the views through other ways such as by train, bus or gondola, and two, there is a chinese saying that goes “休息是为了走更长远的路” – meaning that “rest is (needed) to walk a longer road ahead”. This is a mantra I hold close to my heart. There is truly a lot of mental involved when you hike!

We opted for public transport at the following points (refer to the dotted lines in the same map below): 

  1. Chamonix town to Argentière: To give ourselves a headstart and since we were still within the town. We took a public bus that runs within the town to the last stop, dropping off at Argentière, our chosen starting point for the route. The classic route starts from within Chamonix town.
  2. Champex-Lac town to Mont Fort: After the most challenging hike Fenêtre d’Arpette, we took a bus from Champex-Lac town to Orsières, a train from Orsières to Sembrancher, then changed to another train from Sembrancher to Le Châble. We then got onto the Gondola at Le Châble to Verbier and another Gondola from Verbier to Les Ruinettes. It was an easy and scenic hike from Les Ruinettes to Cabane de Mont Fort, after all that we had been through the day before, and could not be more relieved.
  3. Arolla to La Sage: We stopped hiking when we arrived in Arolla town. We waited for the public bus which took us down to La Sage, where we were sleeping for the night before heading to Sion 
  4. La Sage to Sion: Public buses available. To return to Milan.
Dotted lines were when we did not hike, but opted for other forms of transport // A week onWalker’s Haute Route: 8 things to know before hiking

Planning is crucial, but give room to spontaneously enjoy the adventure even if things don’t go according to plan 🙂

Start planning early, equip with the right clothes and gear, hydrate well, pack light, make memories, stay on trail, and give yourself rest when you need it. Do what you can to prepare, but even if things don’t go according to plan (which always happens), embrace it!

After a long day’s hike, it’s easy to get into laze mode and forget to stretch. Have stretching parties with your friends, or by yourself. Stretch, stretch, stretch. Remember to stretch everyday!

As a parting word I want to emphasize that you MUST KNOW your emergency contact numbers. In France, Switzerland, and most of Europe, it is 112. If for any reason you are stuck in the Alps, saving your life is paramount. Call the emergency hotline and they will assist even if it means helicoptering you out. Money can be earned back, but your life can’t.

Remember, safety first! Happy adventuring <3

View the full Walker’s Haute Route gallery here!