Classic Skiers Haute Route

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Introduction

The Skiers Haute Route has deservedly earned it’s reputation for being one of the worlds greatest ski tours. Embark on an epic 6 day journey crossing spectacular terrain from Chamonix to Zermatt – this trip is a must for every skier.

Setting off from the Mont Blanc valley, you will cover vast backcountry terrain until you reach the slopes below the Matterhorn in Switzerland 6 days later. Crossing through 2 countries and over many cols, this is a tough but rewarding experience you will not forget in a hurry. Epic downs and scenic ups, this ski tour has it all.

If the dates don’t suit your group we are happy to make a bespoke trip for you.

Clicking on the ‘Book Now’ button opposite, will open a new tab/window in your browser and direct you to our online tour booking system. Here you can check the course dates and availability

Course Details

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Location

We meet in the alpine capital of Chamonix before heading out through the mountains to Zermatt, home of the Matterhorn.
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Further Information.

What's included
  • IFMGA Guide and expenses
  • Guiding fees
  • Bed and breakfast Chamonix accommodation on first and last night of the trip
  • Mountain huts at full-board
  • Taxis during trip (Champex to Verbier and Zermatt to Chamonix)
What's not included
  • Transport to/from Chamonix
  • Equipment rental
  • Travel insurance
  • Uplifts according to itinerary
  • Evening meals in Chamonix
Who is this for?

You should be fit enough for 6 hut to hut days of hard work (5-8h/day) and capable of skiing in different types of snow. To ascent some summits it is important you have basic mountaineering experience because we’ll have some crampon work with a couple of easy rock moves. Previous ski touring mileage is essential. It’s very important your ski touring equipment is in perfect shape.

Accommodation and huts

You will be based in our central Chalet Pele for your first night. The chalet has a fun atmosphere, there are often other like minded people staying in the chalets who are on various other courses. Chamonix town is a short 2 minutes walk away with plenty of restaurants, bars and cafes.

The huts on the Haute Route are basic but comfortable. They can cater for vegetarians. Food is usually on a set menu basis (3 course in the evening, hot drink and bread/jam/cereal for breakfast). Often there is no running water and so you have to buy water to drink and wash with (no showers). You can usually buy tea, coffee, wine, beer, soft drinks, chocolate bars and snacks. Sleeping arrangements are normally dormitory style bunkbeds (eg 6 people on the bottom, 6 on the top) with blankets or duvets, so you don’t need a sleeping bag. Huts provide slippers to be worn inside.

You can expect a good atmosphere and a stunning view!

Typical Itinerary

Arrive in Chamonix and settle in to the chalet. We meet in the evening to discuss the plan for the week and carry out a kit-check.

Day 1:
Warm up skiing, avalanche transceiver training and kit checks followed by descent to the Argentiere glacier and short skin to the Argentiere refuge (45mins).

Day 2:
An early start and ascent to the col du Chardonnet or col du Passon, followed by skiing to the Trient hut (4.5 hours uphill).

Day 3:
After a fantastic ski down the north facing vallee d’Arpette, we take a taxi from Champex to Verbier. We then use the lift systems to access another great descent from Mont Fort. Another skin up the Rosablanche leads to a ski to the Prafleuri hut (3-4 hours uphill).

Day 4:
We travel over the col des Roux and then traverse and climb to the Dix hut (5-6hours total).

Day 5:
Climb up the Pigne d’Arolla and ski down to the superbly positioned Vignettes hut. A long skin up (5 hours) followed by stunning views and a great ski descent.

Day 6:
An early start. We cross 3 cols before skiing down the stunning slopes of the Stockli glacier leading under the Matterhorn to Zermatt. One of the best days skiing in the Alps. (10-12 hours total). We return to Chamonix and stay in our chalet this evening.

Day 7:
Departure.

Training

To maximise your chance of success and enjoyment during this trip it is important to get as fit as you possibly can. So we have partnered with Uphill Athlete, specialists in strength and conditioning for peak mountain performance.

Read an Introduction to Uphill Athlete by Steve House, accomplished climber and IFMGA guide here

Mountaineering is all about being able to exercise at a moderate intensity for many hours (typically 5 to 12 hours) and your training should reflect this. Balance is important too as you will spend many hours walking in crampons. For this a good chore strength is important.

Remember to build up your workouts over time. If you are not used to exercising much, your muscles and joints need time to build up to avoid injury.

We highly recommend this 8 Week Ski Touring Training Plan to get you in shape for the trip.

Kit List

Pre-Book with Adventure Base:
Black Diamond Saber-tooth crampon rental 6 days €45.00
Black Diamond Raven Ice Axe rental 6 days €35.00
Black Diamond climbing harness rental 6 days €30.00
Black Diamond Half Dome helmet rental 6 days €25.00

Select which extras you would like to pre-book at check-out. Please note we have limited stock so pre-booking is advised.

1. Skis with ski touring bindings. Your skis should be a minimum of 90mm underfoot and should be off-piste specific.
2. Ski poles
3. Skins and ski crampons
4. Ski boots and boot crampons – these must fit and be comfortable as we will spend time ascending throughout the week.
5. Ski Helmet
6. Harness and Ice Axe. Lightweight.
7. Rucksack – 35-50l. with ski straps
8. Avalanche Kit. Transceiver, probe, shovel, harness with 1 screw gate karabiner(can be rented in Chamonix)
9. Sun Protection. Sunglasses, goggles, sunhat, sunscreen, lip salve/block
10. Clothing. 3 sets socks and light coloured thermal tops
11. Clothing cont. Lightweight Gore-Tex top/bottoms, warm hat, thick gloves, thin gloves
12. Insulating layers.
13. Personal first aid – blister kit, ibuprofen.
14. Cash for additional hot drinks / snacks on the mountain
15. Water bottle (minimum 1l)

Download our Clothing & Hardware kit recommendations here

Remember: Kit should be lightweight but functional – you have to carry it. You can rent skis from our partners in Chamonix – Concept Pro Shop Chamonix.

Booking info

To find out more about our course, availability, or to ask any questions, please get in touch through the website or by phone on +33 (0)845 527 58 12.

We take a 20% deposit to secure your place on one of our courses, and we ask for the balance to be paid 6 weeks before the course start date.

Insurance

We strongly recommend getting specialist travel insurance that covers cancellation, medical and mountain rescue.

Make sure that it covers glaciated mountaineering and climbing/ skiing. We recommend the Dogtag (www.dogtag.co.uk) – they have comprehensive policies and a good reputation.

Getting to Chamonix

British Airways, Swiss Air and Easyjet offer many flights to Geneva International from all over the UK and the rest of Europe.

Booking a place on a minibus airport transfer service is by far the best way to get from Geneva airport to Chamonix (1hour). We recommend CVT Transfers and you can book directly by clicking here: http://adventurebase.cvt.ski

FAQ's

How big will the group be?
Our ski courses will be no more than 6 people per guide. If the group is larger than 6, there will be a second guide and we will have the ability to split the group if necessary.

Is it possible to book individually rather than a group?
Yes. We run our courses with a minimum of 4 people. You can either book individually into a group or you can book as a group and fill the spaces yourself.

What equipment will I need?
Please read the kit list above.

When is the best time?
Good backcountry conditions are generally from January until early April in the Alps. In January and February we tend to have more frequent snow falls and March and April provide excellent spring skiing conditions.

Do I need insurance?
Yes. You will need to take out a comprehensive backcountry skiing package to cover yourself for your trip.

What’s the weather like?
The weather in the Alps is always changeable, but generally we are confident to say that January and February will be snow-filled and cold with temperatures hitting -15 on occasion. Fast forward to March and April and the weather is generally sunnier and we experience warmer temperatures around the 0 mark.

How do you match up people on the course?
It is very important for you to let us know your previous experience and ski ability level before booking with us. Then we are able to match you up to suitable groups with similar abilities to make sure you get the most out of your trip.

What will we do if the weather is bad?
If we experience bad weather on the ski tour, we will be able to escape into one of the many valleys and be collected by car if necessary. We will then look at our best options there and then based on the weather forecast and snow conditions. Our aim is always to provide you with the best ski experience and we will drive to other areas in the Alps if necessary to find better weather and make the most of your trip with us.

Why choose Adventure Base?

3 reasons to choose Adventure Base for all your mountain adventures.

1. Safety means success – We have been guiding clients in the backcountry for over 8 years with a very high safety rate. To date we have had no major incidents or injuries. This is due to us taking great care in assessing the current snow conditions, and educating our clients on mountain safety.

2. Fun times – We believe in fun times. Ski touring in the backcountry can be a serious challenge. But who says it can’t be fun too? Our guides are full of energy, knowledge, fun facts and big smiles. They help create lasting memories.

3. Word of Mouth – Over 70% of new clients have been recommended to us by a friend or colleague. We don’t spend big on marketing campaigns, we stay true to our product, we pay attention to every detail and then let you do the talking.

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