Private and Group
Travel to Argentiere in the Chamonix Valley (1.30 hrs driving time, Argentiere is about 10 min up-valley from Chamonix, Airport pick-up in Geneva optional). Lodging in our Hotel in Argentiere.
Meeting with the guide(s), trip briefing, equipment check.
Gondola to the Grand Montet (3.300 m) and avalanche transceiver exercise, descent to the Argentiere Glacier (about 2.700 m) and traverse across the glacier to the Argentiere hut (2.770 m). 170m climb, 650m descent, 4 km, 2.5 hrs.
In the afternoon instruction on crampon use and kick turn refresher on the slopes around the hut.
Early morning departure. Short run down the Argentiere Glacier, then up the Col de Passon (3.028 m), toward the top crampons are often required. Short descent underneath the Aiguille du Chardonnet north face and we skin across the Tour Glacier and up to the Col Superieur du Tour (3.289 m), which marks the border to Switzerland.
A long descent across the Trient glacier, followed by a short climb to the Col des Ecandies (2.796 m) opens up a magnificent run into Val d’Arpette, and the quaint village of Champex (1.480 m).
Lodging in a nice hotel in town. Climb 1.020 m, descent: 2.345 m.
Verbier Variation: Taxi ride to Verbier (1 hr). Gondola ride and descent in the Verbier Ski resort. Climb to the Col de la Chaux (2.940 m), short descent and another climb to Col de Momin (3.003 m). Optional ski ascent of the Rosablanche (3.336 m) and beautiful ski run to the Prafleuri hut (2.662 m) – showers available. Climb: 900 m, descent: 900 m, not counting the descent in the Verbier resort.
In stable conditions a strong group could also skip the Prafleurie Hut and descend and traverse directly in a long day to the Dix Hut (see day 6).
Valsorey Variation: Taxi ride to Bourg St. Pierre (45 min) and ascent through the beautiful and quaint Valsorey to the relatively small Valsorey Hut (3.037 m), 1.400m climb, 8 km, 7 hrs. Later in spring you might have to carry your skis for the first hour or two.
Verbier Variation: Short climb to the Col du Roux, short descent and then follows a long level traverse above the Dix Lake. After about 2.5 hrs, we climb up to the Pas du Chat and on to the Dix Hut (2.990 m), probably the nicest of all huts along the Haute Route in spectacular setting. 800 m climb, 350 m descent, 9 km, 5 hrs.
In the afternoon, optional ascent of La Luette, an easy ski touring peak with good views above the hut with a light pack.
Valsorey Variation: Steep climb (usually crampons necessary while carrying the skis on your back) to the Plateau du Couloir (3.664 m) and magnificent descent on the Durrand Glacier towards the Lac de Mauvoisin and back up to the Refuge Chanrion (2.460 m). 940 m climb, 1.510 m descent, 12km, 7 hrs.
Important: This is one of the crux days on the classic itinerary in remote terrain and requires both good weather and good snowpack stability. The Chanrion hut is very remote and hard to reach from the valley – that means there is no easy way out, should the weather deteriorate and preclude the group from continuing the Haute Route.
Both Variations meet at the summit of the Pigne d’Arolla.
Verbier Variation: Spectacular climb through the rugged glacier to the Pigne D’Arolla 3800m and descent to the Vignette Hut (3.157 m), 900 m climb, 640 m decent, 7km, 6 hrs.
Valsorey Variation: Summit day! Via the Glacier Brenay to the summit of the Pigne d’Arolla (3.800 m) with great views of the entire traverse. Descent to the Vignette Hut (3.185 m). 1.330 m climb, 640 m descent, 10km, 7 hrs.
Today waits the famous Three-Col-Traverse with Matterhorn view, probably the best day of the whole trip! Via Col de l’Eveque (3.392 m), Col de Mont Brulee (3.213 m) and Col de Valpelline (3.568 m) and a long, glaciated descent underneath the impressive North Face of the Matterhorn all the way into Zermatt, where we lodge in a 2 star Hotel. 1.120 m climb, 2.670m decent, 25km, 8 hrs.
Mountain huts (not included in the price of the trip)
Born in the Austrian Alps, the connection to the mountains was there from early on. Started skiing as a 3 year old kid, bit later climbing and mountaineering stepped in my live. Skiing and climbing all over the Alps and abroad became a huge part of my life.
One of my favorite places in the Alps are the mountains around Chamonix and Zermatt. Since graduating as a fully-certified Mountain guide, I’ve been able to share my passion for skiing and climbing with my guests. When I’m not guiding I try to push my personal limits in climbing and mountaineering. Looking forward reaching summits together.
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