First completed in 1903 by the elder guides of La Compagnie des Guides, this route connects two historical alpine capitals.
The notoriety of this route, taking part on glaciers for the most part, is based on the exceptional beauty of the landscapes.
Starting in Chamonix, at the foot of Mont Blanc and the great North faces of the Argentiere cirque, your skis will lead you across the Wallis region of Switzerland, finishing with a unique ski descent just below the Matterhorn.
A dream for all touring skiers, this tour is a serious adventure, requiring a good experience of multi-day ski touring trips, and good off-piste skiing skills.
Day 1: We ride the tram to the top of Les Grands Montets (3 300 m), and start with a beautiful descent on the Rognon glacier towards Argentiere glacier.
Some time is dedicated to safety techniques (avalanche prevention and search, skiing on glaciers, emergency equipment).Then we skin up to Argentiere hut (2 771 m) which offers an impressing panorama over the North faces of theArgentiere cirque.
Elevation gain: 170 m ± 560 ft / Vertical loss: 700 m ± 2 310 ft
Day 2: After a short run, we skin up to the Passon mountain pass (3 028 m), and may use our crampons to get climb up the upper section. We ski under the Chardonnet North face, across the Tour glacier. After just a few switch backs, we reach Col Supérieur du Tour (3 289 m). Welcome to Switzerland ! A long descent across the Trient glacier, followed by a short climb to Ecandies mountain pass (2 796 m), rewards us with a magnificent run into Val d'Arpette, and the village of Champex (1 480 m).
Elevation gain : 550 m ± 1 805 ft / Vertical loss :1 800 m ± 5 905 ft
The Passon Pass
Day 3: We get to Le Chable by bus, and soon arrive in the Swiss Wallis region, and the ski resort of Verbier .We ride the “Jumbo” tram (2 894 m) and soon put our skis on to climb La Chaux mountain pass (2 940 m). A second ascent takes us to Momin pass (3 003 m). We ski under the Rosablanche (3 336 m), which we can easily ski up and back down the same way. We ski to the nice Prafleuri hut (2 662 m), where we can enjoy a warm shower, dinner and a recovering sleep.
Elevation gain : 700 m ± 2 310 ft / Vertical loss : 900 m ± 2 970 m
La Chaux Pass
Day 4: A short ascent to the Roux pass (2 804 m) offers a magnificent view over the Dix valley. From that point, we can see the long diagonal descent towards the lake, and the climb up to “Pas du Chat” (2 385 m), heading towards the Dix hut (2 928 m) located at the foot of Mont Blanc de Cheillon (3 869 m).Overnight stay at the Dix hut.
Elevation gain : 850 m ± 2 800 ft / Vertical loss : 400m ± 1 320 ft
Cabane des Dix Hut
Day 5: The ascent of the Pigne d’Arolla (3 796 m) follows the glacier of Tsena Refien with the famous section of the Serpentine (conditions may require the use of crampons).One of the most beautiful viewpoints will amaze us at the top of the Pigne. It is an ocean of high summits and glaciers as far as the eye can see, the Alps at an arm’s reach.
Our gorgeous day ends in a beautiful run to the Vignettes hut (3 160 m).
Elevation gain: 850 m ± 2 800 ft / Vertical loss: 640 m ± 2 110 ft
The Pigne d'Arolla
Day 6: We skin up to the Evêque pass (3 392 m). Then, we enjoy the long run down the upper Arolla glacier. One last climb to get to Bertol hut (3 311 m) through Plan de Bertol.
This hut, built on a rocky headland, is characterized by its hexagonal shape and by a series of ladders to get to it.
Elevation gain: 980 m ± 3 230 ft / Vertical loss: 1 050 m ± 3 460 ft
Day 7: In front of the Dent Blanche, we climb the Tête Blanche belvedere (3 710 m), the view over the Matterhorn is imposing. Monte Rosa, the Mischabel range and the Zinal imperial 4 000 meter peaks stand high in the distance.Today’s ski down is an exceptional run, surrounded by tormented and hanging glaciers. Show time! We ski right under the legendary North face of the Matterhorn. We meet the groomed runs at the Stafel ski area, and hope snow cover will allow us to ski down all the way to Zermatt (1 660 m).
Vertical gain: 400 m ± 1 320 ft / Vertical loss: 2 100 m ± 6 930 ft
Skiing ability: See the document “skiing technique and physical condition form”
Preparing for the trip: One week before trip departure, the head-guide will contact by to answer your questions, and provide complementary information (i.e. touring gear, clothing, specific equipment etc.)
Guiding policy:The group is composed of 4 to 6 skiers maximum per guide.
The Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix's guiding policy is one of the strictest in the mountain guiding business.
Accommodation: In catered mountain huts (nights in dormitories), or comfortable mountain inns. Showers are available on the second and the third day.
Equipment: See the document " Equipment ski tour".
Documentation:ID or valid passport.
Having a repatriation insurance is mandatory.
Cancellation insurance is highly recommended.
We provide optional insurance contracts for repatriation and trip cancellation (see booking form).
Dates 2017: Departure on Saturday (return on Friday):March 11, 18, 25 and April 1st, 8, 15, 22.
Meeting: 9 a.m. at the Compagnie des Guides in Chamonix.
(Participants may leave personal belongings in our office until group returns).
The tour ends in Zermatt (around 2 p.m.).
Shuttle back to Chamonix can be arranged if requested.
Winter 2017 tour price: 1 495€ per person (4 skiers minimum).
Included in the package:
- Mountain guiding service,
- Half-board in mountain huts (dinner, breakfast and night),
- Take out lunches and daily snacks,
- Lift access and shuttles during the tour,
- Avalanche transceiver (DVA), shovel, probe and harness rental.
- Personal drinks,
- Personal technical equipment, personal expenses (bring some extra cash: euros and swiss francs)
- Shuttle back to Chamonix (90€/person)