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“Classic” Haute Route ski touring week via Valsorey

The Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt is probably the Mecca of ski touring. Join David, an IFMGA certified mountain guide, in this itinerary through Valsorey. Experience amazing descents in glaciated terrain and relax in cozy mountain huts!

Mountain RangeAlps
Duration7 days
Offer periodApr, May
Skill LevelIntermediate
Fitness LevelFit
Type of tripGroup

Description

I invite you to join me in one of the most classical ski tours ever: the famous Haute Route from Chamonix, in Francem to Zermatt, in Switzerland, via Valsorey.

It will be an unforgettable week that involves ascents and descents along amazing sceneries and skiing in high glaciated terrain. We will spend the nights in cozy mountain huts, sharing experiences and dinners with other adventurers. By the way, it is a perfect introduction to ski touring traverse in the Alps, although you need to have experience.

Compared to the “regular” route via Verbier, this trip is slightly more technical, as it involves more mountaineering and greater exposure. We will travel by Valsorey and the “Plateau du Couloir” on the southern side of the Grand Combin.

Weather conditions can vary wildly from -15°C to +10°C in the same day. The same for visibility: we could get zero visibility when snowing heavily, or clear view some days. So make sure you take clothes for all variations.

Prior experience with me, as it helps you anticipate the difficulty and style of our program, is an asset. To meet me and get to know the terrain before your trip starts, I strongly advise you to come with me on an awesome day tour of the mythical “Vallée Blanche”.

So, if you are willing to attempt this mythical tour, do not hesitate to contact me!

Or, if you would like to consider other options in this area, please check my 7-day “regular” Haute Route ski tour via Verbier.

Accommodation

Hotels, huts.

More info

Pre-Trip Meeting: meet me for a pre-trip briefing, equipment check and dinner. We will spend the night in a hotel in the Chamonix Valley. Not included in price: -Personal ski touring clothing & ski equipment including skis, skins, poles, ski crampons, ski tour boots. -technical equipment including boot crampons, avalanche transceivers, shovels and probes (rentals available). -Transportation and lodging costs prior to the meeting. -2-3 hotel nights; Chamonix/Argentiere pre-trip (72 chf/night), Arolla Hotel (70-100 chf ), mid-trip & Zermatt (65-90 E/night) at end of trip, including breakfast. -Dinner in Chamonix/Argentiere, Arolla and Zermatt pre/post trip. -Lunch, alcohol & snacks in the valley/at huts. Please ensure you have cash in currency to cover these expenses: many huts may not accept credit. -Guest Grand Montet Lift fee in Argentiere, L’aiguille du Midi lift for Valley Blanche day trip option, Col des Gentians lift. -The Furi lift to Zermatt if snow cover prevents from skiing down. -Luggage transfer from Chamonix Valley to Zermatt on day 1, $90 Cdn / 60E per bag. -Trip cancellation, adventure travel & rescue insurance, medical insurance. -Any additional lifts, train & taxi costs related to a plan change-. -Gratuities for guide or assistant.

Meeting point

Chamonix Valley, the day before the trip.

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Photos


Itinerary

Day 1: Grand Montet - Argentiere Hut

We will take the 1st cable car to the Grand Montet (3300m), descend to the Argentiere Glacier (about 2700m) and ascend the glacier to the Argentiere hut (2770m). A ski ascent of the Glacier des Amethystes to Col du Tour Noire (3535m) from the hut is possible. Avalanche beacon and general mountaineering skills will be covered during our first day.
D+170m
D-650m
Distance: 4km. Duration: 2.5hs

Day 2: Col Du Chardonnet - Refuge du Trient

Climb up to the Col Du Chardonnet (3323m), ski down to Switzerland. Climb back up to the Fenetre de Saleina (3267m). Ski down the upper Trient glacier to the Refuge du Trient (3240m).
D+1000m
D-550m.=1,800’ descent, Distance: 10 km. Duration: 6 hrs.

Day 3: Fenetre des Chamois - Val d’Arpette - Bourg St. Pierre

Descent on the steep lower Trient Glacier to the Fenetre des Chamois (2985m), through and down the other side steeply to Val d’Arpette and eventually the little village of Champex (1470m).
D-1570m.
Distance: 9 km. Duration: 3 hrs.
Taxi Ride from Champex to Bourg St. Pierre (30 min) and lodging in town with an opportunity to buy lunch, food, etc. for the next few days.

Day 4: Valsorey ascension

After an early start, we will ascend through the lovely Valsorey to the Valsorey Hut (3037m).
D+1400m
Distance: 8 km. Duration: 7 hrs.

Day 5: Plateau du Couloir - Durrand Glacier - Lac de Mauvoisin - Refuge Chanrion

A steep climb to the Plateau du Couloir (3664m) leads to a magnificent descent on the Durrand Glacier towards the Lac de Mauvoisin and back up to the Refuge Chanrion (2460m).
D+940m
D-1510m
Distance: 12 km. Duration: 7 hrs.
Note: This is one of the crux days on the classic haute route which requires both good snow stability and stable weather. Itinerary may be re-routed through Verbier if these conditions are not optimal.

Day 6: Glacier Brenay - Pigne d’Arolla

A ski ascent of the Glacier Brenay to the summit of the stunning Pigne d’Arolla (3800m) offering great views of the entire traverse. Descent to the Cabane Vignette (3185m). D+1330m
D-640m
Distance: 10 km. Duration: 7 hrs.

Day 7: 3 Col Traverse

The famous 3 Col Traverse is probably the best day of the whole trip! Via Col de l’Eveque (3392m), Col de Mont Brulee (3213m) and Col de Valpelline (3568m) and a long, glaciated descent underneath the impressive North Face of the Matterhorn all the way into Zermatt. There we will spend our last night in a hotel.
D+1120m
D-2670m
Distance: 25 km. Duration: 8 hrs.


About the guide

guide profile img

I am an IFMGA and ACMG-certified mountain guide based in Nelson, British Columbia. I'm the lead guide at Summit Mountain Guides, a guiding agency I co-founded back in 2007 and which offers year-round guiding services and courses in Canada and Europe.

The mountains of western Canada have been my playground since 1992. I'll be happy to take you mountaineering, backcountry skiing, rock climbing, hiking or ice climbing in this area I know so well. From day trips to multi-day adventures, I can guarantee an unforgettable and safe experience.

The SMG team of guides will help you with your trip's logistics, safety and contingency plans so that you get the most out of your backcountry experience and can just focus on having an amazing time on the mountain!


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Prices per person

Group of 1

CAD 2645 each

Group of 2

CAD 2645 each

Group of 3

CAD 2645 each

Group of 4

CAD 2645 each

Group of 5

CAD 2645 each

Group of 6

CAD 2645 each

Group of 7

CAD 2645 each

Group of 8

CAD 2645 each

Want a different number of travellers?

Price includes

• Guiding fee

• Transport during the trip

• Mountain guide's expenses (lifts, meals, accommodation, etc)

• Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Price details

• The price does not include the guide´s expenses (accommodation, meals, lift tickets, etc). Price based on a group of 5 people.


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