In 1990 I spent a week in Arolla, in the Valais, and while planning that trip I bought the first edition of Kev Reynolds' excellent book, The Valais, a Walking Guide, now in its fourth edition. At the end of the section on multi-day tours there is a brief (two page) sketch of a possible Walker's Haute Route. At the time I was certainly completely incapable of something so ambitious, but it is always possible to dream!

In 1994 I started hiking more seriously, first in the Boston area, then in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. By 2002 I was in good enough shape to go west for two trips: Mount Elbert, Colorado (14,440 feet, 4,401 meters) and Mount Whitney, California (14,505 feet, 4,421 meters), the highest peak in the USA outside Alaska.

In 2005 I finally decided that it was time to return to Switzerland, and planned a vacation in the Valais during which I would scout out sections of the Hikers Haute Route. I enjoyed the sections that I did very much, and started planning a return trip (which took place in July/August 2007), doing a lot of reading (books, maps, web sites). The results of my trip and the post-trip reading are presented in three sections: