Ski Tour  Haute Route Chamonix - Zermatt
Grand combin version

The Haute Route Ski Tour or more commonly known as Chamonix - Zermatt is by far the most popular and prized ski destination in the Alps. Each year many skiers set out to attempt to complete this coveted traverse, yet not all will succeed in reaching the final destination of Zermatt. Whilst there are many ways to get from point A to point B, I have tried to eliminate as many variables as possible by putting together two different tours to help you successfully reach your goal.
The first is the ultra classic Verbier version which the vast majority  of skiers undertake and although it is certainly more popular. However it does provide several occasions to seek alternate routes and bonus summits along the way. Additionally I have "spruced" it up even further.
The second option is via the Grand Combin - Plateau du Couloir - which sees fewer skiers and is certainly harder and longer. It's a purist route and should only be considered by those with some solid ski mountaineering background.
 

Other variations are also possible

Most Popular Haute Route via Verbier - the most common way to "do" this uber classic ski tour

The True Classic Haute Route via the Grand Combin - for the purists looking for the authentic route

Heli Haute Route - the most amazing way to rally Chamonix - Zermatt  

 

Week highlights include:

  • the most exceptional way I could think of to travel from Chamonix to Zermatt by way of skis
  • this version of the haute route is undoubtably the odyssey of them all
  • the exhilarating crossing of the grand plateau below the Grand Combin
Included

Cost Includes:

  • Guide fees
  • accommodation and half board based on dbl occupancy or in huts
  • assistance for travel logistics and planning


Cost Exclusions:

  • lift fees 
  • lunches, snacks or drinks
  • personal equipment
  • travel to or from the course departure point
  • rescue insurance
Program

Ski Tour Haute Route Grand Combin Details


This Haute Route itinerary is beyond a doubt the most adventurous undertaking I could come up with. The tour will literally take your through the heart of the Alps - French, Italian and Swiss.
It is by far the hardest tour I offer and requires excellent fitness and of course a very healthy dose of ski mountaineering experience to undertake it. The tour is limited to a maximum of 4 participants. The journey will last 8 days in total and cover some wild terrain en route to Zermatt. Use of lifts is limited and this mega haute route tour will not only be physically demanding on the ascents but also require a high ski level on the technical descents as well. On a large portion of this tour we will be pretty isolated and therefore away from the crowds. If you have already done the haute route or you are looking for that next ski mountaineering challenge - look no further it is right here.

Day 0 Evening meet and greet at your hotel to discuss the week, check equipment and enjoy a welcome aperitif.
Evening at your hotel in Chamonix.

Day 1 Chamonix - Rifugio Bonatti
Following our breakfast at the hotel, we are off for the infamous Aiguille du Midi cable car that sets off from the centre of Chamonix. Once we reach the summit of the Midi lift, the real journey starts here. We head out into the center of the Vallee Blanche and then start the first of what will be many uphills of the week towards the col de Rochefort 3389m and the Aiguilles Marbrees. From here we have a steep, long downhill run (one of my all time favourites) to reach the small remote village of Planpincieux. After a short break to re-fuel we head up to the Rifugio Bonatti 2026m for the night. The incredible vistas of the southern side of Mont Blanc range from the Noire de Peuterey to Mont Blanc to the Grandes Jorasses are spectacular here. 
Evening at the Rifugio Bonatti. Uphill effort > +550m

Day 2 Rifugio Bonatti - St Leonard
Following an early breakfast, we start the day with a long ascent to reach the Col Malatra 2928m. Here during a short break we will take in the views before setting off to ski down the challenging Comba des Merdeux all the way into St Leonard 1519m where we will spend our evening.
Evening at our hotel in St Leonard. Uphill effort > +920m

Day 3 St Leonard - Hospices du Grand St Bernard
Following a typical Italian breakfast complete with many cappuccinos, we head back up the road to grab our final lift of the trip to the summit of Mt Borsalet 2480m. From here we make a long gradual traversing ascent to finally reach the Fentre de Ferret 2695m and our high point of the day the Pointe de Drone at 2950m. Lucky for us it's all downhill to our day's final destination - the Monastery dates back to 1049.... and the monks and St Bernard dogs are still in action to this day.
Evening at the Hospices du Grand St Bernard. Uphill effort > +910m

Day 4 Hospices du Grand St Bernard - Cabane de Valsorey
Todays gets started with a long gradual descent for once and we should try and make the most of it. We have a series of short ups and mostly downs to reach the Chalet d'Amont 2197m, a small; group of summer sheperds huts. From here it's all uphill to reach the impressive location of the Cabane de Valsorey 3030m but you will be rewarded with great drinks, views and atmosphere. 
Evening at the Cabane de Valsorey. Uphill effort > +800m

Day 5 - Cabane de Valsorey - Cabane de Chanrion
Without being the longest or hardest day of the tour this will most likely be the key technical day of the trip. Things get started with the steep ascent to reach the Plateau du Couloir 3658m directly below the Combin de Valsorey which happens on foot using crampons. This ascent is tricky and requires optimal snow conditions. Once here the stunning view of the south face of the Combin de Valsorey is quite impressive as is the amazing descent that lies ahead. We start with a short traverse and another very short pass the Col du Sonadon 3504m before letting the skis loose on the remaining 1200+m descent of the glacier du Mont Durand down to the Lac de Chanrion and a final uphill effort to reach the Cabane de Chanrion 2462m.
Evening at the Cabane de Chanrion. Uphill effort > + 930m

Day 6 Cabane de Chanrion - Cabane des Vignettes
Things just wouldn't be right without having a special high point on the haute route and today will be that special day. We get an early start by way of the glacier du Brenay all the way to the summit of the Pigne d'Arolla 3772m. A well deserved lunch stop is had before the remaining scrumptious descent to reach the Cabane des Vignettes 3160m.
Evening at the Cabane des Vignettes. Uphill effort > +1300m

Day 7 Cabane des Vignettes - Bertol Hut
Today may very well turn out to be the most stunning leg of the tour. Most groups choose to continue onto Zermatt from here and while this a possibility, I find it a real shame not to take advantage of the great skiing and even better views offered today. One could possibly name this day as the "tour of the Mont Collon" as we end of making an almost complete circle around this peak and the views and panoramas are nothing short of stunning. Things get started with a short descent down to the Vuibe glacier and then comes the long gradual ascent to reach the col de l' Eveque pass 3377m. After a short break admiring the majestic scenery towards Italy, we head out for a fabulous run down the endless Haut Glacier d'Arolla down to the Plans de Bertol 2664m. Here we will stop for lunch before making the final long uphill slog to reach the Cabane de Bertol 3268m which is perched high above us on a sharp ridge line. The views from here are well worth the effort as is their famous Rosti !
Evening at the Cabane de Bertol. Uphill effort > + 950m

Day 8 Bertol Hut - Zermatt
Other good reasons for passing by way of the Bertol hut (aside from their Rosti) is this final day which leads to our destination of Zermatt is now more enjoyable and offers different panoramas of some of Switzerland's most spectacular 4000m peaks. You can fully savour the final descent into Zermatt knowing it's the final day. But first we must make the long gradual climb to reach the Tete Blanche 3707m by way of the Mont Mine Glacier.. From here the views of the Dent Blanche and the Matterhorn are literally outstanding. Once again a great descent awaits us, down past the Schonbiel hutte, off beneath the imposing north face of the Matterhorn, skiing in it's shadow down to the famous resort town of Zermatt 1616m. 
The celebratory drink of choice will certainly taste incredible as we reflect on our astounding and unique haute route.
Afternoon scenic train ride back to Chamonix.

Although the Haute Route is probably the most well known ski adventure on the planet - DO NOT under estimate this trip. It is not a walk in the park or nor a good choice for your first ski tour adventure. The Haute Route will test your stamina, your abilities and get you out of your comfort zone. Please contact me if you have questions.

* Actual course details may vary due to safety reasons and the guide may modify the itinerary due to terrain, weather or other conditions

    Dates

    Length:
    8 days, 7 nights

    2018 COURSE DATES
    April 14-21

    Custom dates are also available - please contact me for more information

    Skills

    Required Level:
    Excellent base fitness
    Expert skiers - flawless standard off-piste skiing level capable of turning in any type of snow
    Previous multi-day ski tour experience a must

    Skiing/Climbing Grade:
    Skiing may include sustained 40 degree slopes. S3/4

    Technical Level:
    4 out of 5

    Fitness Level:
    5 out of 5

    Price

    2,695 € / pp with min 2 guests
    4,295 € private arrangement

    Group Size:
    Maximum group size is 4 : 1

    Local links

    Course Base:
    Chamonix, France

    Local Airport:
    Geneva Intl Airport, Switzerland - GVA

    webcam Chamonix Arrête de l'Aiguille du Midi - Vallée Blanche
    Map
     
    Equipment List

    Off-Piste Skiing Courses

    • Your ski clothing (socks, hats, extra gloves, goggles w/ extra lenses).
    • Your personal ski gear (boots, skis – tuned and waxed, poles).
    • A small day pack 20-30l for food/water and extra clothing 
    • A mountaineering style harness with opening leg loops and a locking pear shaped HMS carabiner
    • Avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe
    • Optional ABS style pack (not mandatory)
    Reserve

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