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 couloir, we put our skis on our back-pack, put crampons on and ascend the 80m of couloir, to arrive at the col du Passon (3030m.)

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

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 Champex

We climb the Col supérieur du Tour pass (3388m) then have an easy ski down the Trient glacier into Switzerland to reach the col des Ecandies (2796m).

Here we have some short steep sections and we will most likely use ropes and crampons.  
A superb ski descent takes us to the picturesque lakeside village of Champex, where we spend the night in a gite. 

Hours: 5 to 6

Altitude range: +1041m/ -1100m


Towards col du Chardonnet

 

Day 3: Champex to Prafleuri hut

We take a bus or taxi a short distance to Chable, part of the vast Verbier ski area.  We can ski a few runs here before taking the skilift up as far as the Gentianes pass (2903m), and ski tour up to the summit of the Rosablanche (3336m).  Here a panoramic view of peaks surrounds us, before we ski down to the Prafleuri hut (2624m).

Hours: 4 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 is 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: 6 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).

Here we can admire the view stretching from the 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 peaks 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 ski tour up 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: €1570

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 and taking into account the guide)
  • 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 (rescue, medical fees & repatriation)

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 less important!).

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

Physical ability

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

We climb about 350m per hour, which is not difficult in itself, however it can be strenuous with backpacks and changing weather and snow conditions.

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