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Haute Route - Closure of Chanrion Hut

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 Martin Hore 22 Jan 2020

I'm hoping to tackle the second part of the Chamonix-Zermatt Haute Route / High Level Route (the glacier walking version) next July with friends (no guides). We plan to start at Mauvoisin and go via the Dix, Vignettes, Bertol and Schoenbiel Huts.

I think the best start would be to ascend from Mauvoisin to the Chanrion Hut and then tackle the "4 saddles" (sometimes called "3 cols") route from there to the Dix hut the next day. Unfortunately the Chanrion Hut is closed this summer for renovation. 

I wonder if anyone on here has done this route in one day from Mauvoisin to Dix. Was it a long day (it would be our first day)? Did you stay in Mauvoisin? How did you get to the start of the walking?

Many thanks in advance for any advice.

A further question. We would quite like to extend the walk from the Schonbiel Hut by crossing the Col Durand to the Mountet Hut and from there to Zinal. Does anyone have knowledge of this crossing in recent years? I understand it might be problematic.

I should say that we are competent to tackle PD terrain in reasonable conditions. I actually did some of this route with a university group in 1971 (which gives you an idea of one of our possible limitations!)

Many thanks

Martin

 jon 22 Jan 2020
In reply to Martin Hore:

I've not walked to the Dix from Mauvoisin, just Mauvoisin > Chanrion. Do you mean Col de Lire Rose > col du Mont Rouge > col de Cheillon? Just before you get to the descent to the bridge crossing the outfall river of the Brenay(?) glacier, I think at the col de Tsofeiret, from memory there's a path striking off left - maybe even signposted to Lire Rose(?) There may of course be a (considerable) short cut from the dam to the Giétro glacier and thence the col de Cheillon, but this is pure speculation. To start the walk, cross the dam and follow the jeep track through tunnels on the true R bank. After a couple of zigzags this turns into a footpath. 

 Martin Hore 22 Jan 2020
In reply to jon:

Many thanks Jon

Yes, that's the route we intend. Not the classic Haute Route which I think goes up the Otemma glacier (the way I went in '71). As I understand it, the 4 saddles (Tsofeiret, Lire Rose, M. Rouge and Cheilon) is a recommended variation. 

I think to do the walk from Mauvoisin to the Dix on one day we would need to start early - perhaps tricky from accommodation in the valley, so I'm hoping someone who has done it will see my post. Yes, my (old) map shows a possible route direct to the Gietro Glacier from the dam, but no path so it might be straightforward or impossible.

Thanks again, and hope your back problems are OK.

Martin

 jon 22 Jan 2020
In reply to Martin Hore:

You'd be adding maybe 2h30 to the Chanrion > Dix time... quite a tough first day! You could get an early start from the Hotel Mauvoisin or of course by bivvying next to your car in the car park under the dam...

Back problems are manageable with regular top ups of cortisone!

 Airtime! 04 Feb 2020
In reply to Martin Hore:

The trip over to the Mountet hut is well worth it in my opinion with a great Guardienne (Perrine) and one of the best views in the Alps. The glacier has got some sections that are fairly crevassed but with reasonable cover you shouldn't have a problem. You'll want good visibility this day though as the route meanders a bit. Have fun. James. 

 SteveD 05 Feb 2020
In reply to Martin Hore:

Here are the swiss online maps free to use and up to date

https://map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=swisstopo&lang=en&bgLayer=ch.swisstopo.pixelkarte-farbe&zoom=5&E=2593285.00&N=1094405.00

I led a Haute Route tour last year didn't go via the Dix so can't comment on that variation.

Good Luck


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