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#37070 - 15/01/05 08:55 PM Walking in the Alps
Taylor from Seattle Offline
Member

Registered: 19/11/04
Posts: 52
We're looking at walking in the Alps and having our luggage transfered for us. Would like to find something similar to the C2C but outside of the UK. Does anyone have any experience with walking in Switzerland or elsewhere in the Alps? I know Sherpa has information on their tours but we want to do a self-guided 2-3 week walk.

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#37071 - 16/01/05 12:59 PM Re: Walking in the Alps
sherpa Offline
Member

Registered: 20/11/04
Posts: 24
Loc: Heston
Sherpa do do self guided walks with baggage moving and accomm (i.e as opposed to escorted groups on fixed dates)in the Alps. On the Alpine pass route, in the Bernese Oberland and around Mont Blanc etc etc. But there is nothing like the Sherpa van service available.

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#37072 - 16/01/05 10:48 PM Re: Walking in the Alps
tonyk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 16/02/04
Posts: 1033
Loc: UK
The Alpine Pass Route is a fine walk and one I would have no trouble in recommending.

I did this walk in 1984 and its a real classic.From what I can remember it runs for about 200 plus miles and takes in sixteen passes.The ascent is close to 60,000ft.

I did the walk in the last two weeks of September and started with fine weather.On the third day I faced blizzards and heavy snowfall which made the going hard.But despite the adverse weather it a great walk and one I hope to do again someday.

Despite people calling this a Swiss Pennine Way it is nothing of the sort.The climbs go on for miles and the walker also faces the hazard of electrical storms which can be quite frightening if you are caught out at altitude.Snow on the passes is also another hazard.But if you go prepared and use commonsense the hazards can be reduced to an acceptable risk.

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#37073 - 17/01/05 12:28 PM Re: Walking in the Alps
June Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/04/99
Posts: 186
Loc: Birmingham, West Midlands
We did the Tour of Mont Blanc with Sherpa last year, and enjoyed it. There are only certain dates available, because accommodation and luggage moving is done for a group. You don't have to walk or book as a group, though - just do your own thing from place to place each day, rather like the CtoC. I'd recommend it.

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#37074 - 17/01/05 03:52 PM Re: Walking in the Alps
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
Most trails in Switzerland are documented and clearly sign posted, and along these routes you find written way-points, as well as coloured stripes on trees or rocks showing you the next degree of difficulty or hazard. Very little map reading capability is required, but I recommend that you carry a local guidebook, a GPS, and a cell phone. (If you fall or injure yourself, you can call for help and even helicopter evacuation). Walks in the Canton Vaud and Canton Valais I find to be the prettiest and easiest during the period between May to mid August. This is the area within striking distance of Lac Leman (Geneva, Lausanne, Montreux, Martigny, and Sion), taking in the Jura Hills (up to 1470mts) and the Pre Alps (up to 2400mts). Base height of Lac Leman on the Plateau (Lake Geneva) is 380 mts. Trekking farther a-field in the high Alps (Zermatt, Interlaken, Monte Rosa areas) can give you majestic views and take you from a base altitude of approx 1800mts up to 4200 mts. Mont Blanc is in France and clouds permitting, can be seen from most areas. Before attempting high altitude walks it is strongly recommended that you take local advice (and maybe a guide), as people are killed every year in the mountains owing to rock falls, sudden weather changes and just foolhardiness in obvious dangerous areas. If you live at sea level and are coming directly to an altitude above 3000mts you may find that you suffer from shortness of breath and giddiness. I would therefore recommend that you spend some days acclimatising your bodies walking in the high Pre Alps region (around 2000mts). For walks that you will love with spectacular views, good food, wine and accommodation, I suggest that you use the Montreux area as a base and buy a local walking guide once you are here. Most starting points are within easy reach of Montreux and can be accessed by bus, train, boat, funicular, or cable car. You can either stay in small mountain inns (auberge), or carry a tent and camp in their back gardens. Base language in this area is French. However, German, Italian, and English are taught in all schools, and owing to the cosmopolitan nature of the region and the high tourist saturation all year, people even understand the American and Australian dialects. (Ha Ha)

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#37075 - 17/01/05 05:02 PM Re: Walking in the Alps
Taylor from Seattle Offline
Member

Registered: 19/11/04
Posts: 52
Thanks for all your comments. We are considering the Mont Blanc route (14 days). I don't want to carry more than a day pack so luggage transfer is a must. We're also interested in the Haute Route, but it seems to be a shorter walk and I'm not sure if we can extend it and still use Sherpa?

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#37076 - 19/01/05 05:18 PM Re: Walking in the Alps
Taylor from Seattle Offline
Member

Registered: 19/11/04
Posts: 52
TonyK - Did you do the Alpine Pass on your own or use a guide service. Sherpa does a self-guided inn to inn. It sounds a bit challenging and I really don't want to run into a blizzard situation. I've had enough of that on Mt. Rainier. We would probably do it in early September though so may not encounter those conditions. I have been in that area before and it's absolutely beautiful.

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#37077 - 19/01/05 10:22 PM Re: Walking in the Alps
tonyk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 16/02/04
Posts: 1033
Loc: UK
Taylor,I did the walk on my own and camped out most nights in the mountains.I think I left it a little late by going in the back end of September.Early September should be okay.

One other thing I would suggest is mountain rescue insurance.In Switzerland mountain rescue is chargeable and if a chopper is used its not going to be cheap.The cost is reasonable and it does give peace of mind.

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