With Lockdown restricting activities more and more (I'm only really allowed out for exercise and shopping for essentials, and given the serious risks re transmission of virus I'm not inclined to stray far from home), I'm revisiting some trips from the early 2000's that just have jotted diary entries and downloaded photos.
I'm starting with the Walker's Haute Route between Chamonix and Zermatt, which on this occasion (I wonder whether my previous visits will ever be recorded here!?) was with a few friends whose point of connection is the Johannesburg Hiking Club, with whom I'm connected through Jacqui, a University contemporary and former flatmate.
I'm reporting verbatim, so feel free to skip the tedious bits...
Monday 4 July - Travel to
Hasty web updating before Mike calls at 9:30 to take me to
Efficient trip above the clouds.
Distant mountains shrouded in cloud, with large snowfields high on the slopes. As we had passed through Martigny, happy memories of the Tour of Mont Blanc flooded back. It's a shame Sue can't join me on this trip due to having to go to work!
Thick rain in
A five minute turn around saw me jogging back to the station
to rendezvous with Dave Lonsdale (text messages had been flying around) and
head to the north a little way to the apartment occupied by Dave, Sue, Dave,
Betty, Rod (Dave's brother) and Doreen (Dave's mum, 83). From here we adjourned
to the nearby Holiday Hotel for a good meal before I returned for an early
night by 11:30 pm, 10:30
Tuesday 5 July - Around
An easy day before our backpack was in order, so the six of us (me, David, Sue, Dave, Betty and Gaynor) rendezvoused at
However, the waterproofs came off immediately and shorts and
t-shirt were soon in order, though the breeze was cool at times. We disobeyed
Kev and headed up (my error) rather than down, but the path was signposted to
the Stellisee and it ran at a comfortable gradient close to the cable car above
Eventually Stellisee was reached (above) - a nice spot with lots of sprats (tadpoles, I think), a few minutes walk from the Fluhalp Hut (2607 m) (above, in the distance) where it was draughty outside so we had hot chocolates, etc indoors. On leaving, we noticed many people lunching on the cool but sunny terrace.
We headed down and on, scenically, to another small lake -
Gruensee, with superb views towards the now virtually clear
The path eventually crossed the cog railway and brought us into
I wandered around Zermatt before rejoining the others at the