The Haute Route, (or the High Route or Mountaineers’ Route) is the name given to a route (with several variations) undertaken on foot or by ski touring between Chamonix, France and Zermatt, Switzerland. We are doing (more or less) what is commonly known as the “Verbier Variation”, though we skipped Verbier. Since we had just finished the TMB in Chamonix on Sunday, we took the motorized transportation route to Fionnay on Monday and did just a short hike up to the Cabane Louvie rather than the 12 mile, 4,000 foot hike from Verbier. Slackers, I know 🙁 Okay, Mark wants the record to show we hiked up 2300 feet on the shortened version. 🙂 We enjoyed gorgeous views of the Mont Blanc range and the Val de Bagnes on our way to Fionnay, and (again) gorgeous views of the Grand Combin peak on our hike up and from the hut. It was at this hut that we first met our new friends from Alaska and Washington (3 couples), whose company we would enjoy several more times on the Haute Route. Our roommates at the hut were a Swiss German couple and a Swiss French man. All went well, except for our hut caretaker, Sarah, flaying her fingertip on the meat-slicer, but she was in good hands as there were two doctors (and a dentist) in the WA/AK group and they had quite an extensive medicine kit with them! The Mont Blanc Range 20130907-170830.jpg The Val de Bagnes 20130907-170845.jpg Valley beyond Fionnay and the Mauvoisin Dam – 3rd highest arched dam in the world (at 250m) 20130907-170925.jpg cabane Louvie 20130907-171049.jpg Dorm room in cabane Louvie 20130907-171102.jpg lac Louvie 20130907-171121.jpg Grand Combin – view from our room 20130907-171131.jpg