Haute Route
August 2006

These pictures are from a six day trip on Switzerland’s Haute Route trail. This run was done August 6-11 2006. Four of us, Bill Sundermeier, Jim Rudig, Jeff Maurer and Scott Diamond ran trail and we had the wonderful assistance of Cathy and Will Maurer.

We decided not to stay in huts but to instead run from village to village. We wanted to keep the days to under 10 hours on the trail so we took a few shortcuts. We ended running about 3/4th of the Haute Route. Bill planned this trip his HauteRouteOverview.doc proivdes details on towns and places to stay and HauteRouteMileage.xls Excel spread sheet provides daily mileages and elevations.

Note: Click on any images for full resolution display.

Day Zero

We traveled from Portland to Washington’s Dulles airport to Paris to Zurich and then drove to Chamonix. That is a lot of traveling and we were pretty beat when we got to Chamonix but fortunately we had a day to acclimate to the altitude before heading out on the trail for the first day. And heck, Chamonix is not a bad place to hang out for the day.

Day 1 Chamonix to Champex

Runnable became one of the jokes of this trip. It all started with Bill saying the first 7 miles from Chamonix to Le Tour was runnable. It wasn’t steep uphill and rocky trails. There were many trails were we jokingly said, "well at least it’s runnable". Very ocasionally was it actually true.

Day 1 Statistics as captured from Jeff watch/mileage monitor
(Jeff Maurer Image)

Day 2 - Champex to Verbier

Day 2 Statistics
(Jeff Maurer Image)

Day 3 - Verbier to Arolla

This was supposed to be our toughest day. Over 20 miles, over 2500 meters of elevation gain with much of the run at 3000 meters elevation. That was the plan but not how it worked out.

Given how far we had to go, we decided not to have a 15 hour day and instead take the car up. This should have cut 2 hours off the run.

Movie of Cows and Cabin Panorama.


Movie of Walking on trail.

Movie of Trail Panorama.

Day 3 Statistics
(Jeff Maurer Image)

Day 4 - Arolla to Gervais

Movie of Goats. (Jim Ruddig movie)

Unfortunately Jeff almost caused an international incident at lunch. He ordered a cheese sandwich w/o cheese. The waitress took the order but looked at him like he was an idiot. This was then followed by a visit by the restaurant manager who explained it was ’impossible’. We were afraid we’d be exported..

Day 4 Statistics
(Jeff Maurer Image)

Day 5 - Gervais to Grachen

We were very excited to see the Edelweiss and this lead to the singing of Sound of Music Songs. Even though most of the play takes place in Austria, Sound of Music songs were a theme for much of the trip.

Bill’s Cow Movie and Scott’s movie of Cow Bells. And, if that wasn't enough, we all liked the sound of the cow bells so much that Jeff made CowBells1.mp3 and CowBells2.mp3 audio file. We want to use these sounds on our phone.

Movie of Wind at Pass.

Day 5 Statistics
(Jeff Maurer Image)

Day 6 - Grachen to Zermatt

Movie of Church Bells as we walk out of town.

Movie of Jim crossing the bridge.
(Jim Ruddig movie)

Movie of rocky trail section.
(Jim Ruddig movie)

Day 6 Statistics
(Jeff Maurer Image)