Gear review Haute Route

I’ve been postponing and postponing and postponing this gear review. First because I just didn’t have time to write. Second because o well I’m not the one to write those superlong detailed gear descriptions and reviews. So as always: Don’t expext too much details and technical information, I rather just give my opinion and thoughts. Maybe it’s useful to some, maybe it’s not :cP Anyway I still learned some things while hiking in the high Alps that I wanna share.
I pretty much took the same stuff I took on the JMT in 2013 and on my hike across Tenerife last spring.

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The Walker’s Haute Route: Chamonix – Zermatt… or… How things never go as planned!

Day 1: Monday 30th June 2014: Freiburg – Cabane Albert I, 2745m/9005ft

The alarm rings at 7am. I am awake already, the rain falls down heavily on the roof of Angelika’s sheperd hut. „I should have brought my rainpants,“ I think. Fuck! I can’t believe I’m having vacation. It doesn’t feel like it. It’s raining. It should be warm and sunny. I take the umbrella, step outside in my undies, my trailrunners and my puffy and I pee under the umbrella (never done that before haha :cP) Big Badger is going back and forth whether he should take grandma’s woolen socks or not. I say: „Hell no, you got 3 pair of socks already!“ So he leaves them there and we head over to Angelika to have breakfast. While I have breakfast and chat with Angelika, Big Badger arranges our membership with the „Bergrettung“. At least when I fall down a crevace, then they’ll come and save me and I don’t have to pay tons of money for an unwanted helicopter ride. At 8.15am Angelika brings us to the railway station. Ow fuuuck her car doesn’t start. Praise the fucking lord my car is there, so I give her the keys and off we go. It’s a bumpy ride with Angelika driving my car for the first time haha. In 4 hours the train takes us to Martigny, where we buy tickets for the Mont Blanc Express. I’m not used of speaking French anymore and I have a hard time finding my words.
First days of travel kinda always suck. I feel stressed and hungry. I know it will be better as soon as I start hiking. So I tell myself it’s ok to feel like this.

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Getting ready for the Haute Route / High Route Chamonix – Zermatt

When we were kids our parents took us hiking in the Alps. We loved Switzerland and when we left the flat and tiny country Belgium is and drove to those majestic mountains, each year again our mouths would fall open, we’d rubb our eyes like as if we couldn’t believe something like that really existed.

Now when I write hiking, I mean “real hiking”. Na a not to the nearest swimming pool, but rather we’d hike high up to snowy passes, across glaciers, … We’d get up at 5 in the morning and start hiking at first daylight to make sure we’d be able to cross the glaciers before the midday sun would make the ice all mushy and soft. We weren’t fast but hell we always did it and we were proud as can be when we reached the pass, the hut or the summit. One time we climbed towards Cabane de Bertol and met a belgian climbers team hiking the Haute Route. My brother (who was 9 or 10 back then) joined them towards the hut and reached the hut first. Man he rocked it!!! Anyway that was the first time I heard about the Haute Route. At the age of 11 I actually never thought I’d ever hike the Haute Route myself (even though my dream back then was climbing Mount Everest haha).
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