Mar 12, 2016 - 8:13 AM
Welcome djohns8, thanks for joining us!
Unfortunately I haven't done either of these routes,so it's a bit hard to compare. The Haute Route is a quite challenging Alpine trail; if you managed to complete it succesfully, you should be fine with the Via Alpina too. But of course, this strongly depends on your experience and fitness, and (weather) circumstances during your tour shouldn't be underestimated. Always take caution of general hiking rules and precautionary measures.
Having said that, the Via Alpina is listed as a trail of medium difficulty, but with some exposed and difficult sections, the highest legs at about 2200 m. Length and difficulty differ per section. I'd advise to carefully study the very comprehensive information at www.wanderlandschweiz. ch/en. It lists descriptions of each leg, overnight options, height profiles, etcetera.
You'll be passing some of Switzerland's prettiest regions during this tour, wit lots of options for side trips. For example, you could start or end with exploring the Montreux area/Lake Geneva. Also, consider side trips from e.g. Kandersteg and Lauterbrunnen/Grindelw ald. And you may like a day tour to the Lake Lucerne region from Engelberg or the Altdorf area.