Haute Route ski tour: Chamonix to Zermatt via Bourg St Pierre

The Haute Route via the village of Bourg St Pierre is designed for experienced skiers and strong mountainers with solid knowledge of using crampons and skiing in steep slope with big daily gain of elevation.

Price: starting from 1420€

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This beautiful alpine itinerary will lead you at the bottom of the south face of Grand Combin, one of the major 4000 Swiss peaks and is definitely more alpine and technical than the classic one.

If you have already undertake severals ski tours in the Alps, this itinerary of Chamonix Zermatt is your next challenge.

It is also less crowded than the classic one via Verbier ski resort.

Your high mountain guide:

  • UIAGM-qualified
  • English and French speaking

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

Mont Blanc range

Day 2: Albert 1er to Champex village

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 will spend the night.

Hours: 5 to 6
Altitude range: +1041m/ -1100m


Ski down the Pigne d'Arolla

Day 3: Champex - Bourg St Pierre - Valsorey hut

Transfer by taxi to the entry of the Valsorey valley, just above the village of Bourg St Pierre. We follow the river on the left side until the bottom of the steep slope which is leading to Valsorey Hut.

There is still 500 m to climb but the scenery is just amazing with the Mont Velan and the Grand Combin on each side. Night at Valsory hut 3033 m.

Hours: 5 to 6
Altitude range: +1300m

Mont Blanc range on the sun rise

Day 4: Valsorey hut to Chanrion Hut

The most beautiful and the most alpine stage of this ski tour. We set off at 5am to cross the fairly steep section that brings us to the "plateau du couloir," then to the Sonadon col (3520m).

We start skining up for 300 m then the slope demand that we carry our skis and use crampons and a rope.

From the col, we set foot on the Mont Durand glacier that we descend to arrive at the Chanrion hut.

Hours: 5 to 6
Altitude range: +730m

Ascend of Plateau du Couloir above Valsorey hut

Day 5: Chanrion Hut to Vignettes Hut

We climb the Brenay glacier to the Brenay col (3639m) and absorb the magnificent view across the Alps from this sublime glacial plateau.

From there, we easily reach the summit of the Pigne d'Arolla (3790m). The panorama extends from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn, linking together a succession of glorious peaks.

A superb descent between seracs awaits us down to the Vignettes hut.

In case of bad weather or poor conditions on the Brenay glacier, we can go along the Otemma glacier which is much easier.

Hours: 5 to 6
Altitude range: +1330m and -602m


Ski the Stockji glacier

Day 6: Vignettes Hut to Zermatt

The last day of this magnificient tour. We start the day by going to the col de l'Evêque 3392 m, and ski down the otherside on the upper Arolla glacier.

We climb to col du Mont Brulé 3214 m and ski down the other side on the Tsa de Tsan glacier that we follow up to the col de Valpelline 3551 m.

If we have enought energy we can climb the "Tête de Valpelline" 3798 m or head down on the glacier de Stockji toward Zermatt. Here we are dwarfed by the pyramid of the Matterhorn, one of the Alpes' most famous - and infamous - peaks.

Long way down to Zermatt on the Zmutt glacier dominated by the huge pyramid of the Matterhorn. Return by taxi to Chamonix

Hours: 6 to 7
Altitude range: +1200m and -2000m

Haute Route Chamonix to Zermatt Technical Information

Technical level required for the Houte Route Ski Tour

Snow slopes of up to 45 degrees in varying snow conditions (deep powder, wind crusted, hard packed, etc).

You need to have previous strong ski touring and alpine climbing 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. You must have a previous experience with using crampons in slopes steep as 45°.

Fitness level required for the Haute Route Ski Tour

Daily altitude ranges from 800 to 1400 m with up to 7/8 hours walking maximum. You should practise an endurance sport regularly.

We climb about 350 m 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.

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.

Haute Route Chamonix to Zermatt in 6 Days Pricing and Availability

Course Date Price (per person) Status Book
08 April 20191420€Available - 7 places
15 April 20191420€Available - 7 places
22 April 20191420€Available - 7 places

Cost per person: €1420

The cost is based on a group of 4 to 6 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 3* hotel in Chamonix the night before
• 5 nights in mountain refuges with dinner and breakfast
• Lunch on day 1
• 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 Chamonix
• Transport from Zermatt back to Chamonix at the end (taxi is approx 50€ per person, depending the number of people and taking into account the guide)
• Lunches days 2-6 (count approx 20-25€ per day)
• Additional snacks and drinks in the refuges
• 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)