Haute Route Ski: Frequently Asked Questions - Adventure Base
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Haute Route Ski: Frequently Asked Questions

31-01-23

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We’ve compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions about this trip.

Hopefully you find some of these useful but if you have a specific question that isn’t covered in the FAQ’s, then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

For more information please head over to our Haute Route Ski Tour trip page here.

What’s the food like?

Don’t worry, you’ll stay well fed and watered on this trip.  You will be ski touring for 3-5 hours a day so you’ll work up quite an appetite. The trip is based in both France and Switzerland so you will get to experience the best of both local cuisines. Think croissants, cheese and wine with some good strong coffee. Breakfasts and dinners at the refuges are included in your package but you’ll need to order your own lunches when you get to each hut. It’s well worth stocking up on snacks for the trip before you arrive (you can also stock up in the huts but for a higher price) as you’ll need them to keep your energy levels up each day while ski touring. All the huts accept credit cards but it’s worth carrying some cash as card machines can fail from time to time.

What’s the weather like?

The ski touring season for this trip runs from mid March to the end of April. This is the best window for favourable conditions,  ski-lift access and guarded refuges. Be prepared for a real mix of weather and temperatures, from freezing cold early mornings to warm sunny afternoons. There really is no knowing what to expect for a trip like this.

What are the snow conditions like?

As you’re probably aware, snow conditions are forever changing and therefore it’s very difficult to predict. As a general rule of thumb, March will be cooler with a greater potential for powder snow but shorter days. Towards the end of April you’ll get more spring snow and warmer weather but there is a chance you’ll have to walk some of the lower sections of the route. The unknown is all part of the adventure though, right? Whenever you ski in the mountains there will always be a risk of avalanches. The risk changes on a daily basis due to multiple factors but your guide will manage this and will ensure to select the safest and most enjoyable routes for each day your trip.

What’s the culture like there?

You will experience both the French and Swiss cultures on this trip. It’s amazing that although only separated by a short car journey the experience can be very different. Your stay in France is based out of the Chamonix valley, which is widely considered to be the home of modern alpinism. Zermatt and the Matterhorn is considered the Swiss equivalent of Chamonix and your finishing spot. That said, you’ll be in the mountains where you will experience people from different parts of the world but all with the same objective and love of the mountains.

How difficult is this trip?

We class this as a Level D difficulty. That means you’ve been on more adventures than you’ve had hot dinners and you’ve built up a crafty skill set to tackle most challenges out there. It’s go time Captain Scott!  Although we know that’s probably not quite right you can’t tackle this trip without being a competent off-piste skier and having experience of ski touring. We can help you get both but not on this trip. You will also need to come with a good base level of fitness. On some days you might be skinning for up to 5 hours so a good power to weight ratio is advised.

What insurance do I need?

Let’s face it, these types of trips don’t come risk free. We’re putting ourselves in amazing environments but also environments that carry an element of risk with them. In order to protect yourself adequately you will need a specialist travel insurance that caters for the types of activities you will be undertaking. It is a condition of our agreement that you are covered by adequate travel insurance for your arrangements.

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.

How do you match up people on the trip?

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 you experience bad weather on the ski tour, you will be able to escape into one of the many valleys and be collected by car if necessary. With the help of your guide you will then look at your best options 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.

Ski Rental

Please book your ski rentals in advance through Concept Pro as they have limited stock during the touring season.

Expectations

90% of the trip is touring 10% skiing. This is an Adventure in the mountains rather than a jolly on the slopes.

Snacks

There is the ability to restock with snacks in the huts you do not need to take 6 days worth with you in the beginning.

Spending Money

€150 per week (snacks, water, lunches) up to €300 if adding alcohol to dinners or apero’s to your day! Opportunity to get more cash/restock in Verbier.

What to expect from Huts

Very basic, no showers. They can be at full occupancy in touring season. Can be upto €9 CHF for 1L of water!

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