Ski the Haute Route from Zermatt to Chamonix!
The Haute Route is the most famous ski traverse in the European Alps for good reason, passing by some of the most iconic peaks in Europe such as Mt Blanc and The Matterhorn. There are many different variations possible for this traverse, which travels through France, Switzerland and Italy. We like to start from Zermatt to avoid some of the busiest huts and crowds. Starting in Zermatt means our trip finishes with the last couple of days skiing around the Aiguille du Midi and Mt Blanc, culminating in a descent of the Vallée Blanche and french pastries in Chamonix!
Location - Europe
The European Alps are the birthplace of modern mountaineering, rich with mountain culture and huts dating back hundreds of years. While skiing along the Haute Route, we will have the chance to experience French and Swiss and Italian mountain food and culture.
Itinerary - Haute Route
Day 0: Meet at 5pm in Zermatt at our Hotel for a pre-trip meeting and dinner.
Day 1: Take the ski lift to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. From here we will ski part way down the groomers, before turning left and traversing underneath the spectacular North Face of the Matterhorn. From the valley bottom, we will climb up (450m vertical) to the Shönbiel Hut for après and our first night. [Total ascent = 450m]
Day 2: From the Shönbiel Hut, we will climb up (1100m vertical) to the Tête Blanche, then ski down the other side to the Glacier du Mont Miné. From here it is a short climb (70m vertical) up to the Bertol Hut, including an exposed climb up some ladders bolted to the rock! [Total ascent = 1170m]
Day 3: From the Bertol Hut, we will ski down to the Haute Glacier d'Arolla, before a long climb (880m vertical) up to the Col de L'Evêque. From here we will ski down to the Col de Charmotane, followed by a short climb (180m vertical) up to the Vignettes Hut (yes they also have après 😉 [Total ascent = 1060m]
Day 4: From the Vignettes Hut, we will climb (630m vertical) the Pigne d'Arolla, followed by a long ski down the Glacier du Brenay to the Chanrion Hut. [Total ascent = 630m]
Day 5: From the Chanrion Hut, a short ski down from the hut leads to a long climb to the summit of Mont Avril (1000m vertical). A beautiful ski down through the Fenêtre de Durand takes us down to the snowline and a short walk down to the road in the quaint town of Glassier. A taxi will pick us up here and drive us to our hotel in the town of Courmayeur on the Italian side of Mt Blanc. Hot showers and Italian cuisine await! [Total ascent = 1000m]
Days 6: After Espresso in Italy, we will ride the lift up to Pointe Helbronner on the border of France. This provides us access to the Glacier-du Géant and the granitic towers that Chamonix is so well known for. We will spend the day ski touring around here and the Aiguille du Midi, followed by a climb up to the Cosmique Hut (minimum 500m vertical). [Total ascent = 500m +]
Day 7: Starting from the Cosmique Hut, we will have first tracks on the Vallée Blanche before the first lift. If we haven't had enough climbing yet, we have the option for another climb to the Col du Tacul (950m vertical). From here we ski down to the Mer de Glace past the infamous Petit Dru and catch the train into Chamonix. Croissants, beer and Tartiflette await our arrival! [Total ascent = 0 to 950m]
Please note: The itinerary is subject to change based on weather and conditions. There may also be an opportunity for more climbs and descents based on group desires.
Guide - Haute Route
Alex Geary will be your guide for this trip. Since Alex's first crossing of the Haute Route in 2006, he has been back to Europe several times, both guiding and skiing with friends.
Prerequisites - Haute Route
- Can perform uphill and downhill kick-turns
- Ability to descend slopes up to 40 degree in control (doesn't have to be pretty)
- Fitness for up to 1200m of skinning per day
What to expect...
Expect up to 1200m climbing with skins on per day, which may involve the use of ski crampons depending on conditions. We may also have some short boot-packs. Like most spring ski traverses, we will experience some or all of the following conditions: Deep powder, corn snow, isothermal snow (mashed potatoes), breakable crust, supportable crust, sun, wind, blizzards and rain. If any of the above conditions become too scary for the group or the guide and we can't manage them with ropes or otherwise, we will make alternate plans to keep the risk at an acceptable level for the entire group and guide.
Getting to Zermatt
We recommend flying into Zurich or Geneva. Either option is easy to catch a train straight from the airport to Zermatt. Your choice will probably depend on your travel plans, keeping in mind that the end of our trip in Chamonix is closer to Geneva.
Haute Route Dates
By request in 2024
6 nights at 6:1 ratio
$3900 (Canadian Dollars)
Please make sure you have read through the booking conditions before making a payment. This includes completing the Registration Form.
E-Transfer to [email protected] is the preferred method of payment. Please contact us for alternate payment methods.
- 7 days of guiding at 6:1 ratio with IFMGA Mountain Guide
- Lift ride to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise to start the trip
- Half Pension (Dinner, Breakfast & accommodation) at the mountain huts (Shönbiel, Bertol, Vignettes, Chanrion, Cosmiques)
- Taxi from Glassier to Cormayeur
- Hotel in Cormayeur
- Lift ride to Pointe Helbronner
- Luggage transfer (one bag per person) from Zermatt to Chamonix
- Hotel in Zermatt
- Hotel in Chamonix
- Dinner/breakfast in Courmayeur
- Water at mountain huts
- Lift tickets in Chamonix
- Extra expenses incurred due to changes in itinerary