The Haute Route

This picture shows the relationship between the three major massifs linked by the Haute Route - Mt Blanc, Grand Combin and Mt Rosa.

The view is from the Mt Blanc massif (in France) looking East into Switzerland (left middle distance) and Italy (right middle distance). The Vallee Blanche, carved out by the Mer de Glace, occupies the immediate foreground (France).

The large massif on the left is that of the Grand Combin (Switzerland) with its triple 4300m+ summits. Immediately to its right is the distinct pinnacle of the Matterhorn/Cervino (4478m) (I think). The larger massif further right on the horizon is that of Mt Rosa - the second highest peak in the European Alps (15,173ft). The skyline ridge of Mt Rosa marks the boundary between Italy and Switzerland (we went up the easy Breithorn peak at the end of the Haute Route). A slight wisp of cloud or sunlit snow beneath the high summit of the Grand Combin marks the Plateau du Couloir - the crux of the Haute Route (it's no big deal except for the avalanche danger).

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Copyright (c) 1997 Jonathan Carr