For any avid winter adventurer, the Haute Route is likely at the top of their bucket list. Along with the traditional route, which takes 6 to 7 days and passes over thee Col du Chardonnet, Grand Combin, Glacier du Mont Burand en route to the Matterhorn, before descending into Zermatt.
Other variations of the route exist as well. The Verbier variation is the most frequently done one and involves the most skiing – and the least mountaineering – It diverges from the classic route at Grand Combin. Instead of climbing, the route descends toward Rosablanche and passes over Pigne d’Arolla en route to Zermatt.
The Grande Lui and Reverse Haute Route are to w other variations. The Grande Lui is the longest and toughest of the three variations from Chamonix. Meanwhile, the reverse Haute Route follows a slightly different path, starting from Zermatt and passing through the Aosta Valley before reaching Chamonix.
During the winter, average daily temperatures on the Haute Route hover around -5 ºC, but may feel colder due to wind chill. Winter is also the driest time of year, but the mountains still receive plenty of snowfall, with an average of 80 to 93 millimeters of precipitation falling each month.
Most trips on the Haute Route begin in Chamonix. The best way to get here is to fly into Geneva International Airport (GVA) and make the one hour drive in a rental car or the two hour bus ride to Chamonix.
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