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Chamonix – Zermatt Haute Route

Duration

7 Days

Season

From April to first May

Altitude: from 1200m to 3798m |  State - Country: Haute Savoie - Valais - Chamonix - Zermatt - France - Switzerland |  Mountains: Mont Blanc and Matterhorn |  Top Altitude: Pigne d'Arolla 3798m

Our aim is for you to complete the famous Haute Route ski tour connecting Chamonix and Zermatt. This is high mountain ski touring par excellence – with fantastic scenery, technical climbs and long descents all combined into one of the finest mountain journeys anywhere in the world.

Skiing the Haute Route is a popular classic involving lots of big glacial scenery, and an amazing journey between two famous mountain centres in the Alps – Chamonix & Zermatt. Like most high altitude ski tours, reasonable weather conditions are required on critical sections of the route in order to complete the tour.

Our 7 day itinerary has a contingency day built in, so your chances of reaching Zermatt are greatly increased.

DURATION

Seven days in the mountain

DATES 2020 - 2021

Fitness level required

GROUPS

4 peoples.

COST

€ 1670 per person.

$USD 1,949 per person
£ 1,518 per person

INCLUDE

  Services of an Mountain Guide

  All transfers as shown in the program

  The cablecars tickets as shown in the program, including cablecars tickets of the Mountain Guide

  Half board in the huts, including the halfs boards of the Mountain Guide

  2 night B/B in Hotel, including the B/B of the Mountain Guide

NOT INCLUDE

  Accomodation

  Lunch in the mountain

  Mountaineering – Off Piste/Ski Mountaineering Insurance IMPORTANT: Please read this section.

  Transfer from/to airport,

  Airfare

  Anything not specified

NB Trip is confirmed from 3 peoples.

Day 0 - Sat
Arrival

Travel to Chamonix, to arrive in time for the Evening Briefing.

Your guide will run through safety routines and kit checks, as well as hand out rental equipment for the week, before we go on to a detailed discussion of everyones ambitions for the week, together with the current weather and mountain conditions and how these affect our planning. We’ll also have maps and guidebooks to show you, so if you’ve any further questions or last minute requests, then this is the ideal time to bring them up before we head on to dinner.

Day 1 - Sun

8.00am – 4.00pm: From Chamonix to Refuge d'Argentière 2771m

After organising equipment we have a safety session on avalanche procedure and the use of transceivers. Transfer from Courmayeur to Argentiere and we take the Grands Montets lift system to the summit of Bochard. From here in ski mountaineering we continue to the Col de la Rachasse. A descent on a glacier will allow us to reach the Argentière Glacier 2600m. From this altitude a short ski ascent with skins on the glacier takes us to the Argentiere hut at 2771m.
Overnight and Half board in the hut
This day you’ll need a packed lunch, as we’ll be out in the backcountry all day.
450m ascent - 400m descent ~2.30-3.30hrs.

Day 2 - Mon

6.00am – 4.00pm: From Refuge Argentière to Le Chable (Switzerland).

An early start and short ski down the Argentiere glacier see us climbing to the first major col on the haute route, the Col du Chardonnet (3323m, 4hrs from the hut). Having stayed in the hut means that we climb this steep col in the cool of the morning, well before the Grand Montets lift system is open. The col has steep slopes on the far side and the 120m descent into Switzerland is made with the help of ropes to secure the party. From the glacier we make a traverse to the Fenetre de Saleina (3261m, 2hrs). This is usually climbed on foot for the last 100m. We now have a fantastic ski, firstly traversing across the scenic Trient Plateau and then down the Val d’Arpette, one of the finest descents of the trip, taking us down 1700m to the beautiful mountain resort of Champex. Transfer from Champex to le Chable. A well-earned, comfortable hotel night is taken at Le Chable.
Overnight B/B in Hotel
This day you’ll need a packed lunch, as we’ll be out in the backcountry all day.
923m ascent - 1750m descent ~7.00-8.00hrs.

Day 3 - Tue

8.00am – 4.00pm: From le Chable to Cabane de Prafleuri 2624m.

We take the Verbier lift system to Mont Fort where a short ski gives access to the climb to the Col de la Chaux (2940m, 2hrs). (We avoid the Cabane Mont Fort as it can be very busy, being next to the piste, and it is slightly out of our way.) From the col we traverse to the Col de Momin and then ascend the Rosablanche (3336m). This is an excellent ski touring peak having fantastic views of the Mont Blanc massif and a superb north-facing glacier descent to the Prafleuri hut (2624m). We overnight at this newly-built hut, which is very comfortable and has showers.
Overnight and Half board in the hut
This day you’ll need a packed lunch, as we’ll be out in the backcountry all day.
650m ascent - 750m descent ~5-6hrs.

Day 4 - Wed

6.00am – 4.00pm: From Cabane de Prafleuri to Cabane des Dix.

An early start takes us over the Col des Roux (2804m, 1 hr) to a short descent followed by a big traverse around the side of the Lac des Dix. From here we have a 3 hour climb under the impressive north face of Mont Blanc de Cheilon (3870m) to the Dix hut at 2928m, where we spend the night. This is the largest hut on this Haute Route but it is very well run by the guardian and comfortable.
Overnight and Half board in the hut
This day you’ll need a packed lunch, as we’ll be out in the backcountry all day.
720m ascent - 420m descent ~5-6hrs.

Day 5 - Thu

6.00am – 4.00pm: From Cabane des Dix to Cabane des Vignettes via the top of the Haute Route: Pigne d'Arolla summit 3798m

Today we make a ski traverse of the Pigne d’Arolla (3798m, 4 to 5hrs), the highest point of the Haute Route with magnificent views of the Matterhorn, Dent Blanche and Mont Blanc. This is a steady climb from the Dix hut and gives a great descent to the Cabane des Vignettes (3160m, 600m descent). This hut is perched on top of a cliff in a magnificent position over looking the Val d’Arolla and Otemma glacier.
Overnight and Half board in the hut
This day you’ll need a packed lunch, as we’ll be out in the backcountry all day.
870m ascent - 600m descent ~5-6hrs.

Day 6 - Fri

5.30am – 4.00pm: From Cabane des Vignettes to Zermatt

The last day is a brilliant climax to the week, traversing three big cols (Col de L’Eveque 3392m, Col de Mont Brule 3210m, and Col de Valpelline 3568m; c.1100m of ascent). From the Col de Valpelline we have the most celebrated descent of the Haute Route, following the magnificent Stockjigletscher under the north face of the Matterhorn to reach Zermatt (1800m of descent). Care needs to be taken on this descent as the Stockjigletscher is renowned for it large crevasses. Return from Zermatt to Chamonix by minibus.
This day you’ll need a packed lunch, as we’ll be out in the backcountry all day.
750m ascent - 2400m descent ~8-9hrs.

Day 7 - Sat

9.00am – 4.00pm: Spare Day – to allow for weather delays.

We’ve been guiding the Haute Route for many years now and are well aware that having an extra day in the itinerary greatly increases your chances of completing the route. It makes the trip a little more expensive, but you get 7 days skiing and it’s definitely worth it if you are serious about reaching Zermatt. If we reach Zermatt on Friday, then Saturday will be a spare day to ski off piste/tour either in Chamonix Ski Resorts.
During the day we’ll pause for the odd coffee break and at lunchtime.

End of Program

Day 8 - Sun

Return home.

After a night of well-deserved rest, departure from Courmayeur for your destination.