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Haute Route Hike with 11 year old - Switzerland

Haute Route Hike with 11 year old - Switzerland

Feb 3rd, 2011, 06:39 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2011
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Haute Route Hike with 11 year old - Switzerland

Anyone hike the Haute Route, with or without kids? I'm thinking it would be a very memorable trip for my 11 year old daughter. Any comments on the difficulty of the hike? I would be carrying most of her gear, so her pack weight would be pretty light.

I also want to make sure there isn't anything too weird or inappropriate for kids along the route with regards to the housing and washrooms.

Thanks
Dave
Dave__A is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2011, 09:05 AM
  #2  
 
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I don't think it's inappropriate with regards to housing and washrooms - but have you thought about possible dangers, like glaciers to cross and such? Is she experienced or is this her first time in the high mountains and on glaciers? Are you aware the weather can change within minutes?

Not a good idea IMO. Try shorter - day hikes - at such high elevations etc.
Ingo is offline  
Feb 5th, 2011, 10:32 PM
  #3  
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No, we're not prepared for glaciers. I understand that there are "lower" routes that do not involve crossing glaciers and the majority of the hiking will be in the 6-8k range. We have done many dayhikes in these elevations and I want to push her to the next level (Alps?).

Regarding the weather, certainly we will be prepared for the worst. I want to add that we will be traveling during the last half of August. If there is a better time, please let me know! I'm ok with taking a bus or something if the weather isn't ideal or if the climbs are too tough day after day. We'll have time for rest days or short days, too.

Thanks
Dave
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Feb 6th, 2011, 12:50 AM
  #4  
 
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So we're not talking about the classical (original) Haute Route here? Yes, there are "variations" that do not follow the classical route, go via the villages, where you can use cable cars or buses, don't necessarily have to sleep in mountain huts. This kind of tour would be doable with an 11 year old.

For example, I found a website which has a report on such a "variation":
http://sites.google.com/site/stephab...kershauteroute

Second half of August is a good time. Of course the weather is unpredictable but at least you won't have snow leftovers from past winter. It is peak season, though. In August is also still high probability of thunderstorms in the afternoon (high humidity, warm temps). September would be better in this regard.

The question is, are you set on this region? There are other regions in the Alps that offer hut-to-hut hiking or long-distance hikes with stays in inns in or outside villages in the valleys which don't take you at such high elevations.

Interesting questions!

Ingo
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Feb 6th, 2011, 07:57 PM
  #5  
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We are definitely planning a modified Haute Route and plan on being in villages most nights (I would like to spend a couple in the huts).

I have been in communication with Steph. Trip reports for the Walkers Haute Route are rare, and Steph has one of the best.

School here in Minnesota starts Sept. 6. While it would be nice for her to start school with her class, maybe I will push the trip into September some so we have more favorable weather.

The big question -- What other hikes would you recommend? I like the Haute Route because it is finishable (if that's a word) in a couple weeks. Additionally, the thought of hiker-friendly village and town stays is very appealing to the chief pack-carrier (me).

If you were going to take a 2 to 3 week vacation/holiday with a kid and hike somewhere, where would you go? I'm not dead-set on the Haute Route.

Thanks
Dave
Dave__A is offline  
Feb 7th, 2011, 12:33 AM
  #6  
 
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As said before, weather is not predictable - this is the problem with the multi-day hikes. You do not really expect to have nice hiking weather for 2 or 3 weeks, do you? You need to have an alternative plan.

As for other routes - you could easily start at Lake Lucerne, hike via Engelberg/Jochpass into the Bernese Oberland. Via Meiringen, Grosse and Kleine Scheidegg to Mürren, Griesalp, Kandersteg, Lenk ... ending up somewhere on Lake Geneva. That could easily be done in 2 weeks, the elevations are not *that* extreme, you would mostly stay in villages or (quite isolated) inns, a few times in mountain huts. There are several options for taking public transportation instead of hiking if the weather turns out to the bad or you or your daughter need a rest day. Only in German, but this is an excellent website for this:
http://www.wandersite.ch/Baerentrek.html

Another option is Graubünden - my favourite would be between Klosters, Upper and Lower Engadin including Poschiavo and Bregaglia valley. There are numerous paths over passes and along valleys that can easily be combined into a round trip there. You could even include Austria (Vorarlberg, Tirol) if you want. Or Italy. Again on that Swiss-German website:
http://www.wandersite.ch/QuerGraubuenden.html

Ingo
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Feb 8th, 2011, 06:46 PM
  #7  
 
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FWIW, this summer I am planning a 4-5 day trip on the Almenweg in Austria with my wife and will-be-10 year old twin boys.

The web site is here http://www.salzburger-almenweg.at/ and there is a photo trip report here http://www.studiozoic.com/adventures...nweg/index.htm.

Eric
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