Chamonix to Zermatt Haute Route • April 10 - 17, 2015

The Simpson and Crane families came all the way from Australia to join us for our second Haute Route this year.

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From left to right, Tom, Jim ("brought to you by the color red") and James Simpson, followed by Olivia, Charlie, and Glenn Crane, then family friend Nigel Stewart, Mark, and another friend, Sam, who joined us for the Vallée Blanche day.


Tunnel madness at the Aiguille du Midi!


Working our way down the north face to the skis-on point.


And we're off in a cloud of... dust!?


The Géant Icefall in all its glory.


The following morning, the weather was not quite as propitious as we headed toward the Argentière hut.


A bit clammy and squally, but still beautiful.


A game of "Chamonix Valley Special Edition" Monopoly to pass the long afternoon at the hut.


Jim learns some mountaineering moves on the steep moraine as we head up toward the Col du Chardonnet on day 2.


Firm snow conditions allowed us to stay on foot up to the edge of the glacier.


Breaking out at last into more comfortable skinning terrrain, the Col is in sight.


Ducking out of line to avoid the crowds in the Col de Chardonnet, we take the road less travelled.


Waiting to lower into the "Col 2.0"


Everyone is down in one piece, now it's on to the Trient hut.


After a good night's sleep, a cold, clear dawn awaits.

Next up: the Col des Ecandies. Steep, frozen mud but the crampons work great.


Back into the sunshine.


Very firm conditions in the upper Val d'Arpette.


A pause for coffee in Champex.


The afternoon is getting long, and hot, as we approach the Rosablanche.


And at last glide in to the Prafleuri hut! Nigel is quite ready for it!


On day 4, heading toward the Dix hut, with Mont Blanc de Cheilon and the Serpentine in the background.


It pays to be organized in a busy hut!


The morning of day 5, the light is soft but the snow frozen hard as we head out!


Working our way up the Refien glacier, with La Luette in the background.


The troops approaching the Pigne d'Arolla.


We made it to the top! With a bit of energy to spare, it would seem.


Oooooh, some Spring snow at last!


On the sunny deck of the Vignettes hut, surveying the following day's route (so why are these people smiling?).


Oh what a beautiful morning for our last day in to Zermatt!


It's pinking up as the long trek begins.


On top of the Col du Mont Brulé.


The incoming bad weather caught us as we approached the Col de Valpelline.


But left us just enough visibility to see the Matterhorn before it became engulfed in stormclouds.


Ending our trek much as it began, we glide down through flat light, but fun snow.


And the reward of a terrific dinner to celebrate. Nigel demonstrating his fire-breathing skills! Thank you all, Stewart/Simpson/Cranes! It's been a great trip in fine company!

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