Classic Skiers Haute Route
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.
SET WINTER 2017 DATES:
18/MAR/2017 – Confirmed
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
- Guides expenses
- Guiding fees
- All accommodation
- Mountain huts at full-board (with packed lunch and boiled water)
What's not included
- Transport to/from Chamonix
- Equipment rental
- Travel insurance
- Uplifts according to itinerary
- Snacks when in the mountains
- Taxis (Champex to Verbier + Zermatt back to 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!
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.
Warm up skiing, avalanche transceiver training and kit checks followed by descent to the Argentiere glacier and short skin to the Argentiere refuge (45mins).
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).
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).
We travel over the col des Roux and then traverse and climb to the Dix hut (5-6hours total).
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.
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.
Good fitness will make it more fun and you’ll get more out of your week! Although we will tailor the course to your ability, we definitely recommend getting as fit as possible before you start. The process of training for your goal will help you focus on your goal – and having a goal will help you focus on your training. Ski 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. Probably the best training is going for a long hill walk or cycle as this simulates the real thing as closely as possible and prepares the mind (exercising for long periods in poor weather requires mental strength!).
However not everyone has the opportunity to do this and so alternatives such as jogging, cycling and gym workouts are just as good. The focus should be on training Cardiovascular Endurance for long days in the mountains. For cardio cycling, running and rowing machines are much better than weight training, which you should try and exercise for up to a couple of
hours at a time, 4 times a week. Also yoga, swimming and Pilates help with core stability and balance, with squats and cycling a good way to strengthen your legs. 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. Try and choose an activity that you enjoy and keep a note of what you do and your times – this really helps with keeping the motivation up and preparing for the ski tour. If you are not used to training then your local gym will be able to advise you on a plan and schedule to help you achieve your goals. Remember training does not work overnight and the fittest athletes train as part of their lifestyles and have been doing it for years. Consider training for a good couple of months before coming out to the Alps.
If necessary it is possible to rent most hardware items in Chamonix including a full ski touring set up.
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. Rucksack – 40-50l. with ski straps
7. Avalanche Kit. Transceiver, probe, shovel, harness with 1 screw gate karabiner(can be rented in Chamonix)
8. Sun Protection. Sunglasses, goggles, sunhat, sunscreen, lip salve/block
9. Clothing. 3 sets socks and light coloured thermal tops
10. Clothing cont. Lightweight Gore-Tex top/bottoms, warm hat, thick gloves, thin gloves
11. Insulating layers.
12. Personal first aid – blister kit, ibuprofen.
13. Cash for additional hot drinks / snacks on the mountain
14. Water bottle (minimum 1l)
Remember: Kit should be lightweight but functional – you have to carry it. You can rent most of the above from our partners in Chamonix – Concept Pro Shop Chamonix.
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.
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
It is best to book flights and airport transfers well in advance of your departure.
Easyjet have many cheap flights to Geneva from all over the UK. Swiss Air have cheap and convenient flights from London to Geneva.
Booking a place on a minibus airport transfer service is by far the best way to get from Geneva airport to Chamonix (it takes about an hour or so, is cost effective and is a door to door service). We can book your airport transfers at a competitive rate – just email us with your flight details…
There are several cash points in Chamonix and Maestro/visa/mastercard are all readily accepted.
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.