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.
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 now descend the upper Arolla glacier to the Plan de Bertol (2550m), where we begin our climb up to the Bertol hut (3311m). Perched on a rocky promontory, the hut is reached by climbing a series of metal ladders.
Vertical ascent: 950m / Vertical descent: 1050m
Day 7: Our day opens by climbing down the ladders we scaled the day before. We traverse the broad plateau of the Mont Miné glacier to reach the Tête Blanche (3710m). This provides superb panoramic views over the Dent Blanche (4357m) as well as several other Valais 4000-ers. 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 arrive in Zermatt at around midday.
Vertical ascent: 450m / Vertical descent: 2100m
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.
Skiing ability: See the document “skiing technique and physical condition form”
Ability level: For people who regularly exercise/take part in sports and are experienced ski tourers.
Accommodation: Half-board in huts. Showers available on day 1 and 2. No drinking water.
Preparing for the trip: Our “Ski touring adviser” is available if you have any question.
Group: 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.
Equipment: File can be downloaded.
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.
Dates for 2018: From Saturday to Friday.
March: 17th to 23rd – 24th to 30th – 31st to April 6th
April 07th to 13th – 14 to 20th – 21st to 27th
Meeting and transport: Meet at 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).
Prices 2018: 1495€ 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).
- 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.
Do you already have a group? We can offer this tour on a bespoke basis depending on hut bookings.
Number of people
Price per person
2 625,00 €
2 010,00 €
1 750,00 €
1 550,00 €
1 250,00 €