Chamonix – Zermatt Haute Route

I guess I should start with a warning, the plan below might have errors and does not replace good route finding skills. Use at your own risk.

At the beginning of this century I built a Haute Route Ski Tour plan that was passed around a lot amongst American Mountain Guides. Recently a guide asked me about it and that sparked me to modernize the “plan” using the new tools available.  I wanted it to be editable for those with the knowledge to do that, simple for those who aren’t as knowledgeable and as accurate as I could possibly make it.

My first problem was that Swiss maps are problematic to use in digital form so I had to figure out a way to get good maps into Caltopo.  That took awhile but I figured out a soulution albeit  a bit inelegant.  Once I had Swiss maps overlaid on Caltopo I created .KMZ files to overlay them on Google Earth.  That allowed me with the help of the “Historical Imagery” under “View” to see ski tracks on much of the route.  Using those tracks and my recollection of the route from having done it a number of times I drew in the route.  I then imported the route with variations into Caltopo and made three Geopdf’s.  By using only three that allows people to use the free version of Avenza PDF Maps for the entire trip and have the maps GPS enabled on your phone.

The three sections break out like this (click the link to open the GEOpdf)

So the pdf’s above can go into your phone into the Avenza app and you’ll have the maps GPS enabled on your phone with a blue dot where you are.

If you are more savvy and want to manipulate the data or download the tracks into a GPS device, below are the .GPX files
(Some browsers add a .xml extension, delete the .xml leaving only the .gpx extension before saving)

For those that need KML files of the routes (these go into Google Earth) here they are:

Next is the KMZ files that once downloaded when you click on them they will overlay the Swiss maps onto Google Earth.

Once you get the maps into Google Earth you can adjust the opacity like this:

Finally if you want to overlay the Swiss maps onto Caltopo here is the Caltopo GeoJSON file. Once you import this file into Caltopo you’ll have the geospatial images in Caltopo.  You should be in the vicinity of the Haute Route and using the TF Outdoors as the base map so you can easily locate the Geospatial Images.  The GeoJSON file below imports all the Geospatial images for the three sections of the Haute Route.

  • Haute Route GeoJSON
    (Some browsers add a .txt extension, delete the .txt leaving only the .json extension before saving)

This is the most modern, editable and simple system I could build.  If you are new to these tools these files will be a good way to learn how to manipulate and build your own digital plans. I did this on a rest day while it was raining in March.  Remember while you play with this data your not wasting time your doing your due diligence and planning for the Haute Route!