The Walker’s Haute Route is one of Europe’s finest multi-day walks. It is also one of the most challenging and toughest walks, which makes it vital to put in the time and effort to prepare well for it. However, you might not be sure about what preparation is needed.
This post has everything you need to know about preparing for the Walker’s Haute Route. It will explore what you must do to be able to conquer this trail that many people find daunting. It has all you need to do to ensure that you get the desired results from your efforts.
Here’s what you should know:
What Is The Walker’s Haute Route?
It will be vital to start by understanding what the Walker’s Haute Route is. Well, the Walker’s Haute Route is a multi-walk that snakes through the French and Swiss Alps. It starts in Chamonix, France, and you can walk it and experience it all the way to Zermatt, Switzerland.
There is so much to note about how you can walk this route. One is that you need to do the most mountain ascents early in the morning. This means you’ll have covered enough ground by the time the sun is higher in the sky. You can then do most of the climbing in the shade.
However, knowing this might not make the walk easier for you. The preparation you put into it will determine the result you get in the end. You need to invest enough time and effort in your fitness. You will need to ensure that you can endure the ups and downs of the stretch.
You might also need to think about your safety when walking the Walker’s Haute Route. The good news is that this trek is very safe, in guided treks everything taking care of the entire walk. This means you can trek this trail without having to worry about any threats.
With that said already, we need to get into what’s more to note about trekking the Walker’s Haute Route. We need to see what happens on a typical day along this route. We also need to look at how hard preparing for this route can be and how fit you must be to walk it.
A Normal Day Along the Haute Route
So, what does a typical day on the Walker’s Haute Route look like? On average, there are about 16 kilometers to be walked daily along the Walker’s Haute Route. The total ascent for the entire stretch is about 1,140 meters (3,740 feet), which we all agree isn’t easy.
It takes about 6 to 7 hours to walk the Walker’s Haute Route. That’s why you need to plan well for the walk by packing all the essentials and being physically fit. You should get enough sleep the night before; wake up at 6 a.m., eat breakfast by 6:30 a.m., and begin walking at 7 a.m.
As we mentioned before, you will have at least 6 hours of hiking, so you should be done by around 1 or 2 pm. Once you’re done, you can have a rest, take lunch, take a shower, and relax for the rest of the day. In the evening, you have dinner, play games, and socialize at the hotel.
The weather should determine what you do at what time of the day. Starting early in the morning gives you time to walk before the sun becomes hot. Also, finishing early helps ensure you are off the trails by the time the storms begin, usually around 2 or 3 p.m.
Also, it will be vital to monitor the weather before starting to walk this trail. The rains can begin earlier sometimes, which makes some of the trails dangerous. It is advisable to reschedule the walk if the weather doesn’t look favorable on the day of the walk.
How Difficult Is the Walker’s Haute Route?
You also need to look at how hard it can be to walk the Haute Route. Well, we already said that hiking this trail isn’t a simple task. The fact that there’s a lot of climbing is what makes it one of the toughest trails. Besides, you won’t be completely done after day one of the hike.
You might also have to wake up early enough to do it again. However, this time there might not be much elevation to worry about. But that’s not to say that the long distances and knee-crushing descents won’t tire you. In short, you also need to be ready enough for the return.
The good thing about this trail is that altitude might not be a major factor to worry about. There are trails with higher altitudes, like the Everest trek. The 3,000 meters (10,000 feet) of the Walker’s Haute Route might be friendlier, especially if you are not new to walking.
How Fit Does One Need to Be?
You might be wondering just how fit you have to be before walking this trail. You need to take time to prepare well before thinking about starting this journey. It is worth noting that you will need to prepare for both journeys. This means being fit for both the to and fro journeys.
Poor preparation might make walking the trail daunting. This is especially true at the tail end, when the sun will be hotter. You might also have to struggle with soreness in your legs on your return journey. In short, a high level of fitness will be vital when walking this route.
Also, the preparation goes beyond physical fitness. It is critical to be in a good mental state when setting out on such a journey. The ups and downs of it might be intimidating. Thus, you should ensure that you and your team are mentally ready for what lies ahead.
People who’ve gone on this walk said that they struggled a bit with it even after preparing well. This, however, doesn’t mean that you cannot do it, especially after getting the right insights. Spending time in training environments similar to this trail may help you prepare.
How to Get Physically Ready for the Walker’s Haute Route?
It will help to look deeper into the physical preparation you need to make. This section will explore everything you need to know about the physical readiness you need to start hiking the Walker’s Haute Route. Read to the end to know what you must do to be ready for it.
So, what can you do to ensure you don’t have a bad time while walking this stretch?
- Hit the trails: You need to start by trying out trails that provide similar challenges, like the Walker’s Haute Route. That will make it easy to avoid risks like altitude sickness.
- Hit the gym: You also need to have cardiovascular training at the gym. This should also include some strength training that will help ensure you get the desired results.
- Train with gear: There are items that you’ll need to carry with you while hiking this trail. You will need boots and clothing. Ensure you wear them while practicing for this experience.
- Nourish yourself: It is vital to ensure that you take the right meals when getting ready for the Walker’s Haute Route. It will be vital to take minerals and vitamins when preparing.
- Take a break: After months of physical preparation, you need to take time to rest. This is especially true as the Haute Route walk approaches.
- Talk to your doctor: It will be important to also talk to your doctor before starting to walk this trail. They will provide you with the best fitness advice to ensure the desired results.
Pro Tips For Preparing For The Walker’s Haute Route
There are some extra tips that will be helpful when getting ready for this sport. Besides training, packing, and many other basics, here are some guidelines to help you plan well:
- Book your hotel or other form of accommodation in advance.
- Choose the best time to go for a walk.
- Plan your packing list and start packing for the walk.
- Invest in travel insurance.
- Research the documentation you need.
- Ensure that you have received all of the necessary vaccinations.
Those are some of the best tips you need to ensure that you get the desired results. It can be tricky to get the desired results if you don’t get all this right. You can implement the pro tips we have discussed in this article to ensure you get everything sorted out.
Preparing to walk the Walker’s Haute Route can entail a lot. You need to be sure that you are physically and mentally free to face the hardships that might be along the route. If you are new to it, then you need months of preparation to ensure you get it right on D-day.
This article has explored everything you needed to know about walking this route. You can now get to the level of fitness that you need to ensure that you get the desired results. It will be easier to get past the physical challenges that you might encounter along this route.