Kasper, an IFMGA certified guide, takes you on the famous Haute Route ski touring traverse from Chamonix, in France, to Zermatt, in Switzerland, travelling for 7 days through some of the best high alpine scenery in the Alps.
Jan, Feb, Mar
The Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt hardly needs an introduction. It is perhaps the most famous and classic ski traverse in the world and a pilgrimage for many ski touring enthusiasts. I invite you to join me on this unique 7-day ski journey through some of the best high alpine scenery in the Alps, among impressive mountains and huge glaciers.
Starting in the charming village of Chamonix in France, after 7 days of epic descents and wonderful glacier crossing, we will finish our tour in Zermatt, Switzerland, at the foot of the famous Matterhorn.
The highest point on the tour is the summit of the Pigne d’Arolla (3790 m.), from where we will enjoy a spectacular view and a wonderful descent. Along the way, we will be staying in comfortable mountain huts. You can check the detailed day-by-day itinerary below.
We’ll be skinning and skiing several hours every day – typically the days are between 6 and 9 hours in length and 700 – 1100 vertical meters of uphill. Therefore, you need to be fit and it’s recommended that you train regularly in order to be in shape for this trip, or improve your fitness level if that’s needed. Being fit will increase your safety as well as your enjoyment on the trip.
Regarding the skiing level required for this trip, you should have tried ski touring previously but you don’t need to be an expert ski touring alpinist or even very experienced. As long as you have some knowledge of the basics such as kickturns and know how to use skitouring bindings, you’ll be fine. As for downhill ski skills, you need to be able to ski down pistes of any level while staying in control. You should also have some experience on skiing off-piste.
We may -and probably will- encounter many different kinds of snow on the Haute Route, good snow as well as bad. If you’ve never tried ski touring before, I suggest you to join an introductory trip, such as the one offered in Vallée de la Clarée/Nevache or Chamonix. If you are in doubt about your level, you are welcome to contact me and ask.
If you want to join me on this amazing ski traverse, send me a request! Book your trip and we will start planning this great adventure together. You could also check my Bernese Oberland 6-day ski touring trip.
Those who aren’t already in Chamonix arrive today. We’ll meet in the evening and check the equipment and talk about the upcoming week.
First day of the trip. The goal is to prepare ourselves for tomorrow, which is a fairly long day. We have two options: either we do a day trip somewhere in the massif and spend another night in Chamonix or we ride the lift to Grands Montets and ski to the Argentiere hut. We’ll do some training and practice on the way. The first option has the advantage of allowing us to try our equipment out and make any necessary adjustments in Chamonix that night. The other option has the advantage of enabling us to make an early start the next morning, in order to make the most of the cold conditions and avoid possibly dangerous sun-affected snow.
The goal today is to reach the Trient hut in Switzerland. Depending on which option we chose yesterday, we will either make an early start from the hut or catch an early lift to Grands Montets. From there we’ll make our way towards either the Col du Passon or Col du Chardonnet. No matter what, we’ll start our day in the beautiful and impressive setting of the Argentiere glacier bassin with its famous chain of high and steep north faces. We’ll cross several glaciers today, do a lot of skinning as well as a slightly steeper climb, done on foot. If we choose the Col du Chardonnet, we’ll also need to do a long lower on the rope. In the afternoon, we’ll arrive at the comfortable Trient hut, where we spend the night.
The day starts with some downhill skiing on the Trient glacier, followed by a short but steep climb up to the Col des Ecandies. We might need to rope up and use crampons for the climb. Col des Ecandies gives access to the Arpette valley and a long ski descent down to Champex. From here we’ll use road transportation and then ride some lifts to leave the valley again. From here, we’ll quickly be leaving the ski resort behind and venture back out in the high mountains. We cross two passes as well as passing closely by of the mountain Rosablanche. If we arrive early and feel energetic, we might ascend this peak. We finish the day by skiing down to the Prafleuri hut.
We climb on skins to the Col des Roux and then do a looong traverse above a big frozen lake – Lac des Dix. At the end of the lake, we put skins back on the skis and climb, steeply at first and then gently, towards the Dix hut. The Dix hut is situated below the magnificent north face of Mont Blanc de Cheilon – a very pointy and triangular mountain when seen from this angle.
From the Dix hut we wind our way up the glacier de Tsena Refien towards the Serpentine. We will negotiate a steep section, for which we may have to use crampons instead of skis. More skinning will bring us to the Pigne d’Arolla, the highest point on the tour (3790 m.). If we are lucky with the weather, we’ll be rewarded with incredible views from the summit – and a long descent at a nice incline. In case of bad weather, this summit can be bypassed by going through the Pas de Chevres and descending towards Arolla before skinning back up Glacier de Piece. Both routes end up at the Vignettes hut, where we’ll spend the night.
We ski towards the Col de Chamotane, before climbing on skins to the Col d’Eveque where we briefly pass the border to Italy. Descending from here, we quickly find ourselves back in Switzerland. With a bit of luck, we’ll have nice snow for this long descent of almost 900 meters to the Plans de Bertol. Here we’ll put the skins back on the skis and make our way to the Bertol hut for our last night on the Haute Route. The Bertol is spectacularly positioned on a big rock above the glacier and it is necessary to climb some quite long ladders to reach it.
Today we will reach Zermatt via a long ski descent. But first we have the last little bit of uphill to do. We skin towards the Tête Blanche, passing just below the summit. If we feel like it, we can go to the summit of this peak before starting the descent to Zermatt. The route down winds its way between crevasses, seracs and finally beneath the famous north face of Matterhorn – the mountain which is the pride of Zermatt and after which the Toblerone chocolate has been modelled. After passing the Matterhorn, we’ll join the pistes of Zermatt, which we follow down to the village. We travel back to Chamonix, where we can congratulate ourselves on having completed the most iconic ski traverse in the world. It’s time to celebrate!
The price includes: 7 days of skitouring, guiding and instruction, all necessary group safety equipment such as ropes, carabiners, icescrews, emergency shelter, accomodation for 7 nights with half-board meals (mountain huts while we are on the Haute Route and Gîte (hostel) style inn in Chamonix) lifttickets, taxitransfer from Champex to Verbier, taxi or train transfer from Zermatt to Chamonix, accomodation and lifts for the guide. ///The price does not include: insurance, snacks/lunch, any consumption in the huts apart from breakfast and dinner, food and beverages while in Chamonix, personal equipment such as skis, boots, avalanche transceiver, shovel, probe etc. Some of this equipment can be rented from us.
I was born in 1979, grew up in Albertslund, just outside Copenhagen. I started climbing when I was 14 years old and I was immediately gripped by it. In 2000 I became a Rock Climbing Instructor (AK) and shortly after, in 2001, I moved to Canada to go to school - I took a degree in "Adventure Tourism". The real reason I traveled to Canada was the mountains and nature. The years I lived in Canada I used to develop my skills as a climber and alpinist. I also began training to become an international mountain guide. Since I have returned to Europe, where I have spent time climbing, skiing and being on tour. I have also completed my degree and I'm now internationally recognized as mountain guide and a professional working in the various mountain activities. During my years in the mountains, my passion for climbing and skiing have become stronger and stronger. As a guide and instructor, I hope to get the chance to share my passion and experience with you!
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Francesc Planas Morell
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Really knowledgeable chap and really nice. Just a pity the top lift wasn’t open!
Group of 1
|EUR 1731 Each|
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- Guiding fee
- Accommodation included
- Lifts tickets
- Transport during the trip
The price does not include the guide´s expenses (accommodation, meals, lift tickets, etc).
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