Letters from our Hikers


What a surprise to be upgraded to the Zermaterhoff in Zermatt!  Anyway,everything was wonderful although we were surprised by snow in Arolla.
Wengen was fantastic – so glad to have gone there and the Best Western was terrific.  I have to put in an extra plug for Mt.Collon inn however.  For a simple place, the service was warm, fast and very friendly.  And you were right, the food was great.

Many thanks again for helping me get through this trip, and I’ll be passing on kudo’s about your great trips to the major excursions folks too.

Merri – Member Appalachian Mountain Club


We’ve been back for a few weeks.  There was a lot to catch up on our lives here in California.

Switzerland was a fantastic trip of a lifetime.  14 days sped by too quickly.  Hiking every day was never an effort, but more like an extended adrenalin rush.

We crossed paths with your trip leader, Tom, at Col Forlaz.  And met your solo client Carol from El Paso at Cab Louvie.  We hiked with Carol for 4 days until Grimentz.  Then ran across her again when we got to Zerematt.  We were able to adjust our pace to our desires, and took the odd bus or Gondola to move ahead when we needed it.

I especially liked the days in the back country, hiked between Verbier and Arolla.  Cab Louvie and Cab Dix were standouts.  And after a little hesitation, everyone (all 6 plus Carol) climbed the ladders up Pas de Chevre.  We stayed at Hotel Weisshorn on 1 August, Swiss Confederation Day and were treated to fireworks down in Sierre and other lower villages, and a big fireworks display put on by the Weisshorn staff.

The changes in hotels in Chamonix and St. Niklaus, went seamlessly.  Even though we were long gone on the hike and never received your email regarding the St. Niklaus hotel change until return to the US , the hotel manager in St. Niklaus told us of the change and drove us to the other hotel, and it all occurred smoothly and without hassle.

All 6 of us were ecstatic about the hike.

Thank you Bill

Bill D.

Dear Bill –

I am the first one to return to the U.S. after our Haute Route hike (with Susan P., Tom S., Sue C. and Bill G.), and wish to say that it was a great experience for us all.  All the accommodations worked out well and the food was great everywhere.

We actually hiked quite a bit more than your original itinerary and did the Saussenere and Schwartzhorn climbs, but we all came out injury free and in better shape at the end than the beginning.

Thank you again for making all these arrangements for us;  it was truly one of the best experiences of my life.

Fred C.

Dear Mr Russell

I just returned from our Hiking trip in the Alps and I wanted to share some of our wonderful experiences. As you know we hiked from Chamonix ( France ) to Zermatt ( Switzerland ) along the Haute Route.

First of all each of the Hotels and Cabanes you chose were easy to find, clean and Friendly. When we arrived at each location the hotel owners welcomed us warmly and showed us to our room. Dinners were always fresh and included soup, salad (fresh from the garden), an entrée, and dessert!

The hiking was exceptional! I cannot say enough for the mountain views and variety of interesting terrain. We had meadows of wildflowers, passes with marmots, and glaciers up close and personal. I have been dreaming of beautiful mountain scenes for 30 years, and every valley we were in, presented a new perfect picture. For those who dream of mountains this is the perfect trip!

The final hotel in Zermatt was the icing on the cake. The 4 star Mirabeau hotel included an exceptional room (with view of the Matterhorn ) and spectacular food. We even went for a nice swim in their pool. It felt like we were being rewarded for all of our hard work.

Having traditionally been a backpacker both domestically and international, staying in hotels and traveling light (18 lbs each) was a pleasure. I want to thank you for your self guided service and advice.

Dr Fredick C.


Hello Bill,

We were part of a group that went on a self-guided hiking trip that you organized on the Haute Route in July.

We had a marvelous time and really enjoyed the trip, the trails, the accommodations, the food, everything!

We are looking to go on another trip next summer and wanted to see if you ever organize trips for the Tour of Monte Rosa or have any thoughts on it.

Thanks and we look forward to hearing from you!

Keith H
Assist Vice President Therapy Services

Hi Bill,

We are back in the US after a wonderful time hiking the Haute Route in the Alps.  We certainly found the Alps to be very challenging both physically and mentally.  We enjoyed the beauty of all we saw and

Barb and I want to thank you for setting things up for our journey.  The accommodations and food were excellent.  Specifically we really enjoyed our accommodations in Zermatt .  That was a first class hotel in every way.

The cabs on the trail each had their unique character.  The other hotels were well located, had nice rooms and great meals.  The only one that could be improved would be the MontCollon in Arolla which had outstanding meals, but was a bit more run down than the other hotels we stayed in.  Every hotel had knowledge of Bill Russell (in a positive sense) and most of the time for meals we were identified as simply Bill.  We hiked in sun, rain, and a fairly strong snow storm when we went from Dix to Arolla.  Snow in August was a new experience for all of us.

Thanks again for arranging a great vacation for us.



Hiking the Bernese Oberland region was spectacular, and all went very well we thought.

Meeting Olivier was indeed a plus! I recommend continuing to use his service, he was excellent, and as were all hotels, you arranged for us.

You have an amazing knack of describing the hiking trails, and the Swiss are incredible at identifying the trails.

I can’t think of anything to change, other than verifying the spelling of each village and hotel as slight variations in spelling could result in mis-guided directions.

Thank you so much for an amazing summer vacation!


Hi Bill:

What a wonderful time we had in Switzerland .  The country is beautiful and the hiking spectacular!  The Inns you booked for us were all wonderful and the meals excellent.  Many times during our hikes and stays we would say “Bill did good by us!!”

The only suggestion I have is to give your customers the heads up when a hike from one Inn to another is one in which you need to  take chair lifts  and gondola’s to shorten them.  One hiking booklet had a two day hike in one. 29 miles.  We realized in time to shorten it with cable cars, though.  I think it was the hike from Wengen to Kandersteg.

Thank you again, Bill, I want to go back!


Dear Bill:

I think we’ve discussed my trip fully but to put it in writing, it was wonderful!  All of the hotels were prepared for us, the food was excellent and the hiking recommendations/maps you sent were very helpful.


Hi Bill,

What we liked most:

1) The hike from Mt Fort to the Louvie Caban was spectacular.  I know most folks go directly from Mt Fort to Prafleuri, but I’m glad we stayed at Louvie.

2) When we stayed at Dix there was a big crowd and we had a great time visiting with folks from all over the world.  It also is a really beautiful spot.

2) From Dix we crossed the small glacier to go to Arolla.  I know you recommended against this, but it was very well traveled and marked. Everyone I talked to at Dix said it was safe, and the alternative was to re-trace our steps all the way back to the lake.  So we went ahead and crossed it and really enjoyed the experience.

3) The food at the Mont Collon and Alpina was terrific.


Jim (Boy Scout Group)

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