Haute Route ski tour: Chamonix to Zermatt

The winter Haute Route (or "high route") from Chamonix to Zermatt, is one of the most well know ski touring traverses in the world, after Doctor Payot and his friends first skied the route in January 1924.

There are now multiple variations of this route, but Chamonix Mont Blanc Guides offers you the classic 7 day route, starting above Chamonix in Argentiere, through some of the Alps' most spectacular scenery, arriving in Zermatt at the foot of the famous Matterhorn.

 

Haute Route Day by Day Itinerary

Subject to change depending on weather / mountain conditions and participants' fitness.

Evening before, meet your guide at your hotel in Chamonix centre (3* Hotel Pointe Isabelle) for a briefing and gear check. Your guide will bring you your gear you have requested from us, or accompany you if you need to purchase or rent any additional gear.

Your night in the hotel, with breakfast, is included.

 

Day 1: Grands Montets to Albert 1er hut

From the top station of les Grands Montets cable car we descend from the Rognons glacier on to the Argentière glacier.

We head to the col du Passon through easy south and sunny slopes, a beautiful climb facing the impressive north face of the Argentière basin.

Once at the bottom of the small couloir, we put ski on back pack, crampons on and we ascend the 80m of couloir, to stand on the flat col du Passon 3030m.

Here we can admire the Tour Glacier and the north face of the Chardonnet mountain which is really impressive.

We ski down to Albert 1er hut by crossing the glacier plateau.

This first day is not that long and will be a good occasion to practice our ski touring skills and avalanche safety.

Hours: 4 to 5

Altitude range: -900m / +540m


View from the top of Grands Montets

 

Day 2: Albert 1er to Relais d'Arpette

We climb the Col supérieur du Tour pass (3388m) then ski down and traverse the Trient glacier to reach the col des Ecandies 2796m.

On these short steep sections we will most likely use ropes and crampons. 
A superb run down the Val d'Arpette before the Relais d'Arpette for a great dinner, shower, and comfortable night.

Hours: 5 to 6

Altitude range: +1041m/ -1100m


Towards col du Chardonnet

 

Day 3: Relais d'Arpette to Prafleuri hut

An early-morning descent to Ecandy pass (2796m), then to the village of Champex (1480m) by the Val d’Arpette. This small, pristine valley is one of the most beautiful descents on the route.

Then by bus or taxi to Chable around 8am where we take a lift to the Gentianes pass (2903m). We ascend the Rosablanche (3336m) and admire the crown of peaks encircling us before skiing down to the Prafleuri hut (2624m).

Hours: 3 to 5

Altitude range: +400m/ -2372m


On the way to Pra Fleury hut

 

Day 4: Prafleuri hut to Dix hut

A 6 am departure to cross the short col des Roux followed by a long traverse above Dix Lake which we follow to the Pas du Chat.

We climb up to the Dix hut (2928m) opposite the imposing north face of the Mont Blanc de Cheilon.

Hours: 5 to 7

Altitude range: +730m/ -430m

 

Day 5: Dix hut to Vignettes hut

A climb to Serpentine pass (3423m) - most likely using crampons - leads to the Brenay pass (3639m) and finishes with the spectacular Pigne d'Arolla (3796m).

We soak up the view from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn before skiing between seracs down to Vignettes.

Hours: 6 to 7

Altitude range: +868 m/ -602m


The "Vignettes hut"

 

Day 6 : Vignettes hut to Bertol hut

We descend to the Mont Collon glacier then climb to the Evêque pass (3392m) dominated by the tips of the Evêque and the Cardinal.


Traverse of the col Collon and a superb descent on the Arolla glacier to Plan de Bertol (2615m). An 800 m climb brings us to the Bertol hut (3311m) perched on a rocky spur facing the Dent Blanche and the Matterhorn.

Hours: 6 to 7

Altitude range: + 1100m / - 852m


Bertol hut

 

Day 7: Bertol hut to Zermatt

We cross the Mont Miné glacier to ski up to the Tête Blanche (3724m) to take in the awe of the Matterhorn pyramid. Then we have the final descent to Zermatt on the famous Stockji and Zmutt glaciers.

You can then choose to stay and rest in Zermatt, or join the other group members who plan to head back to Chamonix.

Due to variations in clients arrangements from Zermatt, the cost of transport from Zermatt or additional accommodation will be at the charge of each individual.

We will of course reserve a hotel or taxi for you if you let us or your guide know.

Hours: 5 to 6

Altitude range: +400m / -2000m


The Dent d'Herens from Stockji glacier


At the bottom of Matterhorn

 

Haute Route Chamonix to Zermatt in 7 Days Pricing

Cost per person: €1550

The cost is based on a group of 4 to 7 people. If you are a private group, please contact us to discuss dates and prices.

The price includes

  • Organisation of the trip
  • High mountain guide (UIAGM qualified)
  • 1 night B&B in hotel in Chamonix (usually the Pointe Isabelle) the night before
  • 6 nights in mountain refuges with dinner and breakfast
  • Lunches day 1 to day 7
  • All transport during the ski tour including cable cars and taxi on day 3
  • Safety Equipment provided by guide (ropes, shovel, probe)

The price does not include

  • Transport to and from Chamonix
  • Transport from Zermatt - Chamonix at the end (taxi is approx 50€ per person, depending the number of people)
  • Personal expenses (additional snacks and drinks in the huts for you and the guide)
  • Personal ski and safety equipment (touring skis, boots, harness, transceiver)
  • Any unplanned additional expenses due to weather forecast, snow conditions, lack of fitness, etc
  • Alpine insurance

Book now Ski Tour Chamonix to Zermatt, the Haute Route

 

Haute Route Chamonix to Zermatt Technical Information

Technical level

Snow slopes of up to 40 degrees in varying snow conditions (deep powder, wind crusted, hard packed, etc).

You need to have previous ski touring experience, master downhill and uphill kick turns, and be able to ski in all snow conditions (style is lees important!).

Ropes and crampons will sometimes be necessary, and you may have to carry your skis on your back to traverse certain sections.

Physical ability

Daily altitude ranges from 800 to 1200m with up to 8 hours walking. You must practise an endurance sport regularly.

We climb about 350m per hour, which is relatively gentle.

Changes to the program

The high mountain guide reserves the right to modify or interrupt the program at any time for safety reasons, technical or physical problems with one or several participants or due to bad weather and snow conditions.

Your guide

High mountain guide, UIAGM-qualified, English-speaking

Meeting point

Meet your guide the evening before in your hotel, the Pointe Isabelle in central Chamonix. Precise time to be confirmed based on participants' arrival time.

Access

By train (SNCF): Chamonix train station via Saint Gervais Le Fayet.

By plane: Geneva airport by coach or shuttle.

There are regular airport shuttles between Geneva Airport and Chamonix (e.g. Alpybus, Easybus, Mountaindropoffs, Chamexpress)

Accommodation

3* hotel the night before, thereafter in catered alpine huts. Pillows and blankets are provided, but please bring a sleeping bag liner.

Meals

Half board in the huts (dinner and breakfast).
 Lunch packs are also provided for the first 3 days, which you will carry yourself.
 We will buy packed lunches from the huts for the following 4 days.

The lunches will be simple but hearty, e.g. bread, ham, cheese, cake, chocolate. Vegetarian options can be provided, please let us know in advance.

You should also bring your own additional snacks, e.g. energy bars, dried fruit and nuts (nothing heavy or squashable).

Gear

The gear list will be provided when you book, or you can call to ask us.

Book now Ski Tour Chamonix to Zermatt, the Haute Route