SKI TOURING HAUTE – ROUTE OF THE ALPS
Classic Chamonix – Zermatt
The Haute Route, (or the High Route or Mountaineers’ Route) is the name given to a route (with several variations) undertaken on foot or by ski touring between Chamonix in France and Zermatt in Switzerland, enjoying the views of the classic Alps, as Mont Blanc, Matterhorn, Pigne de Arolla, Grand Combin, Dente Blance and others.
First charted as a summer mountaineering route by members of the English Alpine Club in the mid-19th century. The route takes 5 nights/ 6 days for the 180 km from the Chamonix valley, home of Mont Blanc, to Zermatt, home of the Matterhorn. Originally dubbed “The High Level Route” in English by members of the hiking club, the term was translated into French when first successfully undertaken on skis in 1911. Since then the French term has prevailed. While the term haute route has become somewhat generalized for any of the many multi-day, hut-to-hut alpine tours. (wikipedia info)
We start the trip in Chamonix, the main alpine town in the World, with the classic Valle Blanche ski descent, taking the best itinerary according to the group.
Amazing ascent of Aguille du Midi cable car, looking at the North Face of Aguille du Midi, Mont Blanc du Tacul, Grandes Jorasses. This is a 25 km descent on heavily glaciated terrain that offers several variants. It is a perfect warm up day to check gear, meet the team and find out that your gear is working and we didn’t forget anything
Night in Chamonix.
Grand Montet- Argentiere to Cabane du Trient
We will take the first lift in Grand Montet (3300mts) to get right below La Verte, descent to 2600 mts to the glacier bassin of Argentiere, and then we will have around 700/800 mts elevation gain to Col du Chardonette (3323 mts) , right in between Argentiere and Chardonnet spire. Little rappel/ descent to the glacier du Saleina.
Then we head to Fenetre du Saleina (3267mts) to access Trient Glacier and make our way to Cabane du Trient , already in Switzerland !!!
According to conditions we might take Col du Passon to avoid rappels, but we will see there according to year conditions.
This is one of the longest days so we recommend that you are acclimatized and arrive few days earlier.
Night in Cabane du Trient (3170 mts)
Cabane du Trient- Champex- Verbier- Cabane de Prafleuri
Early start, Alpine start :-), long day for the crew.
We will descent a bit of Glacier du Trient, then climb to Col de Ecandie, Ski the Valle D’arpette to Champex (1500mts), so we have a early morning skiing, a nice descent for first part of the day. Arrival to Champex and short quick ride to Verbier.
Lunch in Verbier, take the Gondola to Mont Fort.
Little skiing in the slopes, then up to the Col de la Chaux, a little traverse mostly descending, and skins on to one more climb to the Col du Momin , then we are at Grand Désert Glacier .
If the team wants we can skin and climb Roseblanche, nice summit (always summits are nice, so we better take it 🙂 or go directly to Prafleuri hut .
Lots of skiing this day!
Night in Prafleuri hut (2660 mts)
Cabane de Prafleuri to Cabane de Dix
A early morning start.
Ascent to col de Roux and descent towards SE along Lac de Dix (2300 mts aprox) , we want to traverse as much as possible to get closer gliding to the South end of the lake then skin up to the hut, another 2 hours to climb to the hut. Today we start to get into the high Swiss Alps, and Cabane de Dix offers amazing views of Mont Blanc du Cheilon.
Arrival to Cabane de Dix (2900mts). 5/6 hs aprox.
Weather permitting we add another short ski tour, so no beers until the afternoon ?.. (really, just kidding)
Night in Cabane de Dix
Cabane de Dix to Vignette Hut
Today we are in the Heart of the Swiss Alps, we need to climb the famous Serpentine de Arolla , Col de Arolla on the Tsena Refien glacier, to get right behind Pignes d’Arolla (3790 mts) (highest point of the Haute Route). Amazing summit and if conditions are good it is one of the best days.
Once in Col du Brenay, we have a spectacular descent to Vignette Hut (3160 mts). 600/ 700 mts descent. All day is a 5/6 hs day.
One of the most beautiful settings of the traverse.
Vignette hut was built on a nice promontory of rocks and is one of the nicest huts of the traverse
Night in Vignette Hut
Vignette Hut to Bertol Hut
Most of trips goes straight to Zermatt this day, I rather split it in two since is a such a beautiful area that makes sense to do it this way. So,
Today we go up Glacier du Mount Collon and then across Col de Eveque to access the Haute Glacier d’Arolla. Once there we descend towards the town of Arolla and mid way down we climb to another saddle/ col (Plans de Bertol).
A nice skin and climb on Glacier de Bertol and we arrive to one of the most beautiful settings on this traverse.
Take a rest and then start climbing the endless stairs to the hut.
Night in Cabane de Bertol (3268 mts)
Bertol Hut to Zermatt
The final day of our traverse to head to the Swiss capital of Alpinism, Zermatt.
Early morning start, descend and traverse Glacier du Mont Mine, besides Dents de Bertol towards Tete Blanche. Once we are below Tete Blanche, weather permitting we summit it, then we cross the col de Herens and we follow the obvious glaciers until we connect to the main tongue of Glacier that leads into Zermatt, connecting Stockji Glacier and lower Zmutt Glaicer.
Views of the Matterhorn and slowly we arrive to Zermatt.
Good Swiss meal.
Drive back to Chamonix after lunch. Party, Party in Chamonix!!
Professional Mountain Guide certified UIAGM-IFMGA
Private transportation during the whole trip Chamonix- Zermatt
All nights in the huts with half board
Meals while in town
Lift tickets on the go
Any extra cost in case of bad weather extra expenses (tickets/ hotels)
Extra nights in hotels in case weather is not helpful
All gear mentioned in the gear list (sleeping bag and pad, clothing, etc)
Itinerary can be modified in case of bad weather, difficult conditions or fitness of participants.
April 6-12 / 2018
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