NOBO, SOBO, Which way to go ?
Like most great treks, the HexaTrek is seasonal.
While there is nothing to stop you from hiking any section at any time, hiking the whole of the HT can only be imagined in summer, to avoid the late snowfalls in the Alps and Pyrenees.
The departure date will change according to the direction of your walk.
Please note that all this information is for guidance only and will depend on the snow conditions which vary from year to year.
SOBO : Wissembourg - Hendaye
Best departure: 15 Mai - 15 June
April : Warning, mission almost impossible to cross the alps at this period, you must be equipped with specific equipment and prepared to live in the snow during the whole crossing of the alps
May : Beware of snow in the Alps, crampons may be necessary
June : The best month to start the trail
July: You will be safe for the Alps, if you plan to do the hexaTrek in 4 months or less, you may encounter autumn snow in the Pyrenees and crampons may be necessary
August: You will arrive in the Alps at the beginning of September, a wonderful post season for this traverse. Beware of new snowfalls in the Pyrenees, crampons are almost mandatory!
Starting from Wissembourg, 500km of hilly trails will give you the "trail legs" you will need to conquer the summits of the Alps that are waiting in ambush.
The pleasure of the Sobo is also to finish in Hendaye, after weeks spent in the Pyrenean escarpments, the view of the Atlantic Ocean marks a real end of the trail and a feeling of having really reached the end of something.
This sense generally allows to appreciate spring in the Alps and autumn in the Pyrenees
the Sobo forces you to go fast. If the beginning is calm, the end will be a sprint in the mountains, because the snow in the Pyrenees can start in October!
So don't hang around all the way through your thru-hike because you might find yourself facing the unthinkable: the impossibility of finishing the HexaTrek.
The average time taken by hexatrekeurs to complete the trail is 3 to 5 months
NOBO : Hendaye - Wissembourg
Recommended departure : Mid-June
May: Warning, after only a few days of hiking, you will arrive in the heart of the Pyrenees and specific equipment for the snow will certainly be necessary.
June : Mid-June is the best time of the season to start the HexaTrek in NOBO
July : You will be safe for your crossing of the Pyrenees, however crampons may be necessary for the new snow in the Alps.
August: Be careful, you will arrive in the Alps in October-November and the conditions will be very difficult, specific equipment is almost mandatory (crampons, ice axe, etc..)
If the Sobo is the instinctive, the Nobo is another alternative that we recommend more and more.
Of course, you start directly in the Pyrenees, with only a few days of walking before starting the big changes in altitude.
But the Pyrenees are a mountain range where the snow usually disappears earlier in the season than in the Alps.
With a departure in June, you will cross directly the Pyrenees in June and the Alps in September, two great periods out of school vacations to enjoy the best of both massifs without the tourists and the full refuges.
The Vosges, at the end of your crossing, will never be covered with snow to the point of blocking your way, so you can go at your own pace.
And of course the final walk to Wissembourg will not have the drama of the arrival of the Sobo's, but will be like a sweet goodbye where the autumn colors of the Vosges will roll by like the end credits of your adventure.
It is the direction that allows you to not stress to arrive quickly and enjoy the best of each massif.