Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Friday, 5 August 2011

The Haute Route

A view towards the Mer de Glace from near la Flegere

I’m off on my travels again.  This time without Sue – she’d love to come but unfortunately her neck problem prevents her from doing so.

She’s a keener climber than me, so would be less out of her comfort zone than me on this trip.  ‘La Haute Route’, or ‘High Level Route’ was conceived in the 19th century by some of the pioneers of mountaineering.  It traces a line from Chamonix to Zermatt, across the Pennine Alps, by linking a number of glacier passes, with the opportunity to visit a few summits on the way.

Early in the 20th century the concept was hijacked as a springtime skiing expedition, and in that form its popularity has grown over the years.

There’s also an easy low level walking route that has become established as one of the classic Alpine ‘hut to hut’ treks.  I’ve done that a couple of times, but have always hankered after following a higher line.

So, courtesy of a Jagged Globe alpine course, I’m getting my wish, albeit not quite in a purist manner (we get a taxi from Champex to the Mauvoisin dam).

The itinerary sounds fairly energetic and sociable, so I won’t want to spend all my free time squinting over my ‘phone, but I’ll try to provide a flavour of the trip as it progresses.

I’m just off to catch the 18.25 to Geneva, so I should reach Chamonix later tonight.  Tomorrow, weather permitting (it’s bad over there at present) I may go up to la Flegere for views across to Mont Blanc and (pictured above) the Mer de Glace, where the following day (subject to an atrocious weather forecast that may result in significant adjustments to the planned trip) we’ll be honing our ice axe, crampon and glacier travel skills before embarking on the high level trek.

Can’t say I’m looking forward to the ‘Alpine starts’!

Bye for now.

3 comments:

Alan Sloman said...

Ooh - Exciting stuff. I am looking forward to hearing all about this one, old fella...

Trevor said...

Enjoy your trip...it sounds great. I can't wait to here about it on your return.

-Trevor

peewiglet said...

Fantastic stuff, Martin. I'm very envious! I hope you'll have a fantastic time :) Will be reading avidly and eagerly anticipating the little bits I've done.

Commiserations to poor Sue, who must be very fed up to miss it.