Chamonix Zermatt Haute Route
Level 4 : Guided Ski Touring
The world famous high-level route from Chamonix to Zermatt offers one of the finest ski tours in the Alps.
The Haute Route Ski Tour is THE most famous hut to hut ski tour in the world, and an amazing journey, threading its way through the most stunning mountain ranges in the Alps connecting both Chamonix in France and Zermatt in Switzerland.
The most famous and sought after ski tour in the world
Magnificent views and skiing through the finest peaks in the Alps
Fantastic off-piste skiing and hut to hut journey
Expert ski guiding and instruction from experienced ISM Guides
Is The Course For Me?
The Haute Route is a long hut to hut high mountain ski tour with over 70km of glaciers and trails threading through stunning steep mountain terrain. To enjoy the journey to its fullest and to have a margin for safety you do need to have a high level of fitness, both on skis making turns off-piste skiing, but also aerobic fitness as there is much ascent over the week.
Ski ability required: Prior ski-touring experience, effective turns off-piste in a variety of snow conditions, and a high level of fitness.
Ski Chamonix to Zermatt
Starting in Chamonix, this famous hut ot hut ski tour heads up and into the beautiful Argentiere basin and then down into Trient crossing the border into Switzerland as you cross the glaciated Trient Plateau. From the off, the views are amazing and include the high mountain summits of the Mt Blanc Massif and then, as you travel from the mountains, the peaks around the Swiss and Italain border close to the Grand St Bernard, then the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa chain as you get closer to Zermatt.
- Hut to hut ski touring in the high mountains
- Refresh your ski touring skills
- Develop general mountaineering skills on steeper terrain
- Glacial travel and crevasse rescue
- Planning each day, weather and snow conditions
- Avalanche awareness and route finding/navigation
- Develop off-piste ski technique
- Enjoy a fantastic high mountain journey
6.45pm - the course meets in the Chamonix valley, when you will meet your Guide for a course briefing followed by an evening meal.
After organising equipment we have a safety session on avalanche procedure and the use of transceivers. We take the Grands Montets lifts to the summit of the Grand Montets (3295m) and ski down to the Argentiere glacier at 2600m. A short ski ascent with skins on the glacier takes us to the Argentiere hut at 2771m. This hut has amazing views of the great North faces of Les Droites (4122m), Les Courtes (3856m) and Le Triolet.
An early start and short ski down the Argentiere glacier sees us climbing to the first major col on the haute route, the Col du Chardonnet (3323m - 4 to 6hrs from the hut). Having stayed in the hut means that we climb this steep col in the cool of the morning, well before the Grand Montets lift system is open. The col has steep slopes on the far side and the 120m descent into Switzerland is made with the help of ropes. From the glacier we traverse to the Fenetre de Saleina (3261m - 2hrs). This is usually climbed on foot for the last 100m. We now have a fantastic ski, firstly traversing across the scenic Trient Plateau and then down the Val d'Arpette, one of the finest descents of the trip, taking us down 1700m to the beautiful mountain resort of Champex. A well-earned, comfortable hotel night is taken at Le Chable.
We take the Verbier lift system to Mont Fort where a short ski gives access to the climb to the Col de la Chaux (2940m - 2hrs). We avoid the Cabane Mont Fort as it can be very busy, being next to the piste, and it is slightly out of our way. From the col we traverse to the Col de Momin and then ascend the Rosablanche (3336m). This is an excellent ski touring peak and has fantastic views of the Mont Blanc massif and a superb north-facing glacier descent to the Prafleuri hut (2624m). We overnight at this newly-built hut, which is very comfortable and has showers.
An early start takes us over the Col des Roux (2804m - 1 hr) to a short descent followed by a big traverse around the side of the Lac des Dix. From here we have a 3 hour climb under the impressive north face of Mont Blanc de Cheilon (3870m) to the Dix hut at 2928m, where we spend the night. This is the largest hut on this Haute Route and is very comfortable.
Today we make a ski traverse of the Pigne d'Arolla (3798m - 4 to 5hrs), the highest point of the Haute Route with magnificent views of the Matterhorn, Dent Blanche and Mont Blanc. This is a steady climb from the Dix hut and gives a great descent to the Cabane des Vignettes (3160m - 600m descent). This hut is perched on top of a cliff in a magnificent position over looking the Val d'Arolla and Otemma glacier.
The last day is a brilliant climax to the week, traversing three big cols - Col de L'Eveque (3392m), Col de Mont Brule (3210m), and Col de Valpelline (3568m - 1100m of ascent). From the Col de Valpelline we have the most celebrated descent of the Haute Route, following the magnificent Stockjigletscher under the north face of the Matterhorn to reach Zermatt (1800m of descent). Care needs to be taken on this descent as the Stockjigletscher is renowned for it large crevasses. After a celebratory drink, we pack up and head back to the hotel in the Chamonix valley.
Saturday - Breakfast at the hotel before departure.
Maps: Martigny 282s 1:50 000, Arolla 283s 1:50 000, Mischabel 284s 1:50 000
Course Dates & Booking
Please call +44 (0) 1539 721561 for availability
Meet the Team
IFMGA Swedish Mountain Guide
Christian likes exploring the mountains in any mountain range and particularly loves the solitude and wilderness of northern Scandinavia.Read More
IFMGA Italian Mountain Guide
Carlo Cosi was born in Padua, northern Italy, and has been a Guide since he was 23. He is a National Climbing Instructor and has a degree in Physical Education.Read More
ISM Director and IFMGA British Mountain Guide
As a Director of ISM, Adrian splits his time between guiding, the ISM office, family and climbing for himself. During his 25 year commitment to the team, Adrian has played a key role in the development of ISM.Read More
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Testimonials For ISM
Learned loads and acclimatised well during the course. Its obviously been very carefully planned. Guiding and Instruction was excellent. Anders was fantastic throughout and made the whole course really good fun. A very professional instructor with a great sense of humour. Highly recommended.
Summits & Skills 4000m (Instructional Course)
I just wanted to thank you as well as Mark, our guide for the amazing week. The course was well organized and was just perfect for a beginner to mountaineering. We couldn't have wished for a better adventure. The memories are irreplaceable.
The course content was brilliant. No knocking whatsoever. We had Jacky for the duration, and his experience shines through and his leadership. He taught me a lot of things, not just the black and white of things but actually quick methods to overcome tricky situations!
Summits & Skills 4000m (Instructional Course)