If you look at a map of the region, it looks unclear how you would possibly get from Chamonix to Zermatt easily. The Walker’s Haute Route works its way through a complex mass of mountains passable only via high mountain cols and connecting valleys. Traditionally, the trek starts in the Chamonix Valley and moves south eastwards via Argentiere and then over the French-Swiss border to Trient, and follows the same route as the Tour du Mont Blanc as far as Champex-Lac.
Here, the route splits and the Haute Route heads away from the Mont Blanc massif towards Chable and once up and above Verbier, the route stays high for two days passing numerous cols before descending to Arolla. From thereon, the route moves from valley to col to valley on a daily basis, passing through the Valasian villages of Les Hauderes, Zinal and Gruben before finally arriving in the Matterhorn Valley.
There are a number of variants passing over different cols on some days, including the adaptation of the Europaweg (a high level route into Zermatt) rather than staying in the valley bottom. The Walker’s Haute Route is often undertaken in reverse and can seem very different when done in the opposite direction.