The Haute Route is without doubt the most famous ski tour in the Alps. Launched in 1903 by members of the Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix, it links these two historic centres of mountaineering via a series of 3000m mountain passes and a 3800m peak. The extraordinary beauty of the landscapes traversed makes it an absolute must for ski tourers. Despite its popularity, this tour is a serious undertaking requiring good levels of skiing experience and physical fitness.
This tour leads you through some of the most spectacular parts of the Alps, from the Argentière Basin to the lower slopes of the Matterhorn, and a total escape.
Info : Following the fire that hit the cable car of les Grands Montets, the itinerary will be modify; with an extra vertical ascent of 300 m. Starting from Bochard lift (2766m), we join Lognan glacier (2700m). Skin up to Les Grands Montets glacier (3050m) through the Rachasses pass. Here, we join the normal route.
Day 1 : We begin with the handsome descent of the Rognons glacier from the top of the Grands Montets cable car (3300m). Having arrived at the Argentière glacier (2550m), we put on our skins and head for the Argentière hut (2771m). Throughout the climb there are spectacular views of the neighbouring north faces. The remainder of the day is devoted to basic mountaineering (cramponing) and safety (avalanche rescue) techniques.
Vertical ascent: 225m / Vertical descent: 750m
Day 2 : We start with a short climb up to the Passon moraine (2380m). We cross the moraine on foot and may have to use crampons. The climb now continues on skis to the foot of the Col du Passon (3028m), which we reach using crampons. We now ski beneath the north face of the Chardonnet. We put our skins back on to cross the Tour glacier to reach the Col Supérieur du Tour (3289m). We are now in Switzerland. A long descent of the Trient glacier followed by a short, technical climb in crampons takes us to the Col des Ecandies (2796m). There is now a magnificent descent through the Val d’Arpette to the village of Champex (1480m) where we spend the night in a comfortable gîte.
Vertical ascent: 1100m / Vertical descent: 1850m
Day 3 : We go by minibus to the Verbier ski area. The ski lifts take us to the foot of the Col de la Chaux (2940m), which is our first climb. Next we reach the Col de Momin (3003m), which gives access to the magnificent Grand Désert glacier. We continue to the lower slopes of the Rosablanche (3336m), which we can climb as a round-trip from here, before descending to the charming Prafleuri hut (2662m).
Vertical ascent: 700m / Vertical descent: 900m
Day 4 : We start the day with a short climb to the Col des Roux (2804m) from where we can see the rest of the day’s route. A long descending traverse leads us to one end of the Dix lake. From here we climb up via the Pas du Chat (2385m) to the Dix hut (2928m), which is dominated by the Mont Blanc de Cheilon (3869m).
Vertical ascent: 850m / Vertical descent: 400m
Day 5 : Our days begins with a short descent to reach the Tsena Refien glacier, along which we make our way up to the Pigne d’Arolla (3796m). At around 3600m we might have to use crampons on the ‘passage de la Serpentine’. The summit of the Pigne d’Arolla is one of the best viewing points on the Haute Route, with panoramic views across the Alps. This stunning glacier stage concludes with the beautiful descent to the Vignettes hut (3160m).
Vertical ascent: 1000m / Vertical descent: 640m
Day 6 : We start with a short descent to the Mont Collon glacier, which we climb up to reach the Col de l’Evêque (3392m). We next descend the upper Arolla glacier to the Vierge where we put on our skins to reach the foot of the Col du Mont Brulé (3213m), which we climb using crampons. After a short descent, we go to the Col de Valpelline (3554m), which is our last climb. The time has come to commence our descent to Zermatt and probably one of the most beautiful descents in the Alps, passing beneath the Dent d’Hérens (4171m) and the Matterhorn (4478m). We reach Zermatt mid-afternoon.
Vertical ascent: 1130m / Vertical descent: 2730m
This programme is meant as a guide only. Depending on the abilities of the group and the conditions in the mountains, your mountain guide may alter the route.
Group session associates several people who don’t know each other. It allows for a planned program to benefit from an attractive price on fixed dates. This formula is ideal for people looking for the friendliness of a group.
Dates 2020 : From Sunday to Friday. From March 15th to April 19th.
Price 2020 : 1365 € per person based on minimum of 4 participants.
Included in the package :
- IFMGA English speaking mountain guiding service,
- Half-board in mountain huts (dinner, breakfast and night),
- Take out lunches and daily snacks,
- Ski lift access as per programme,
- Transfers as per programme,
- Rental of full safety kit (avalanche transceiver/DVA, shovel, probe).
Not included :
- Personal drinks in huts and other personal expenses (we recommend you bring Euros and Swiss Francs),
- Cost of getting to meeting point and cost of getting back to Chamonix.
- Personal technical equipment.
Private hiring is the historical relationship that binds a guide to his/her client. It allows you to be alone, or in a constituted group, with your guide that meets your specific needs. It is undoubtedly the ideal formula to realize your projects because it guarantees you a maximum of comfort. You are free to choose your departure date (depending on the availability of the huts) and the itinerary can be adjusted, according to your specific expectations.
Prices 2020 :
2 persons : 2265€ per person
3 persons : 1705€ per person
4 persons : 1425€ per person
5 persons : 1255€ per person
6 persons : 1145€ per person
These prices include the same conditions as mentioned above.
Meeting point : 09:30 in front of the Grands Montets (Argentière) ticket office. Contact us if you are having difficulty getting to Argentière from Chamonix. Tour finishes in Zermatt. Optional transfer back to Chamonix (90€/person).
Ability level : An appropriate choice of destination is essential for you to properly enjoy your holiday. To get the most out of your trip we recommend you take regular exercise throughout the year and, where necessary, undertake specific training a few months before you leave. Try to avoid last minute training that can lead to injury. It is important you do not overestimate your abilities and you understand that the weight of your backpack, the altitude and the snow conditions can negatively impact on your normal skiing ability.
Fitness level : For people who regularly exercise/take part in sports and are experienced ski tourers. Vertical ascent of up to 1300m per day. Seven to eight hours of exercise per day. Backpack includes mountaineering equipment (crampons and ice axe). Carrying skis. Altitudes of under 4000m.
Technical level : For intermediate ski tourers. Varied slopes, a few technical sections (slopes up to 35º). Solid technique in all snow conditions. Mastery of basic mountaineering techniques (walking with crampons and ice axe) and kick turns.
Note : this trip is not appropriate for splitboarding. Consequently, we don't accept splitboarders and advise you the trip in Argentiere area.
Guiding policy : 4 to 6 people. The Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix's guiding policy is one of the strictest in the mountain guiding business. It guarantees the most balanced groups as possible as well as high-quality personalised advice.
Accomodation : During the trip: half-board in huts. Showers available on day 1 and 2. No drinking water.
Before & after the trip: We have some hotel partners in Chamonix with special prices for our customers.
Documentation : Participants must have mountain sports insurance with repatriation cover. We strongly recommend that this also includes cancellation cover. You can take out insurance offering both of these types of cover when you sign up. Participants must also take valid ID with them.
Preparing for the trip : One week before the trip, the mountain guide will be in contact to answer any questions you may have.
We recommend you to pay particular attention to the choice of your equipment. It contributes greatly to the success of your stay. Weight is decisive: you always have to evaluate the ratio weight/comfort, to find the best compromise. In a general way, it is better to pile up several light coats rather than wear one big clothing.
- Comfortable frameless rucksack of 35l on which you could fix your skis & ice-axe,
- Ski touring skis & shoes, rentable
- Adhesive climbing skins & ski knifes adapted to your skis, rentable
- A pair of poles with large discs, rentable
- A pair of light crampons & an ice-axe, rentable
- A security pack including harness, DVA, shovel & probe - this pack will be lend by your guide.
- Waterproof and windproof, non-insulated parka with hood (Gore-tex or equivalent), rentable
- Waterproof and windproof, non-insulated pants, rentable
- Thick polar-pile fleece jacket or equivalent,
- A light down jacket,
- 1 long-sleeve shirt,
- Medium weight thermal underwear (top + bottoms, silk or polypro, double as pyjamas),
- Warm ski socks,
- Warm ski hat and light sun hat with brim,
- Warm ski gloves or mittens,
- A pair of adjusted gloves (in leather or fleece),
- Neck protection,
- Spare thermal underwear (for sleeping and change).
- High-altitude sunglasses (grade 4 is recommended),
- A goggle,
- 1.5 quart water bottle,
- An isotherm bottle,
- A mini toilet bag including: sun block for face and lips, aspirin, elastoplast, 2nd skin kit, earplug, toilet paper,
- A headlamp with spare batteries,
- A cotton or silk sleeping sheet: compulsory in every hut. - Hut provide blankets, slippers or clogs
- A plastic bag contains your ID card & Euros for extras.
A 10€ discount voucher coming from the shop Au Vieux Campeur will be given to the first 500 clients from the ‘Cie des Guides’ (voucher to be collected at our office). Closest shop ‘Au Vieux Campeur’ : Sallanches.
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