West Oberland Haute Route

This superb ski journey runs from Diablerets near Leysin to Kandersteg in the heart of the Bernese Oberland. Virtually unknown to British skiers, it has long been regarded by the Swiss as a classic tour and most people compare it favourably to the Chamonix-Zermatt Haute Route.

Level 3 Guiding & Coaching

6 days, 7 nights

Prerequisites: Ski Touring Skills (Instructional Course) Or equivalent

Price: £1445*

* Fully inclusive price

 Course Dates

Course Highlights

  • Probably the best off-piste skiing to be found on any Haute Route
  • North-facing descents of 1000m each day to comfortable huts, giving well balanced ski touring days
  • Magnificent views in a remote and very quiet area of Switzerland
  • The 'must do' Swiss tour and local to Leysin

Among the highlights of the tour are superb north-facing (powder) slopes giving about 1000m of descent each day, and beautiful backdrops of huge limestone cliffs and the peaks of the Swiss Valais.

The tour has a truly remote, ‘high mountain’ feel, keeping to the spine of the range for most of the way so that the views are magnificent and mostly full panoramas. Small, friendly and comfortable huts add to the experience and more summits are ascended than on the standard Haute Route.

Is This Course For Me?

Ski ability required: Prior ski-touring experience, effective turns off-piste in a variety of snow conditions, and a high level of fitness (able to comfortably sustain an ascent rate of 250-300m per hour). A typical day will involve up to 6 hours of uphill skiing (up to 1300m of ascent).

Sample Programme

Saturday - 6.45pm - Briefing meeting with your Guide, followed by dinner.

Sunday - The week begins, with a day ski touring around the peaks above Leysin. It's a chance for us to check everyones equipment, for you to practice your off-piste ski technique and to refresh your ski touring skills, whilst making a ski ascent of one of the local peaks such as Pic Chaussy, La Para or Walighurli (each of which gives an excellent view of our route through the Western Oberland).

Monday - We take the Glacier 3000 lift system to the Diablerets Glacier and descend to the col de Sanetsch then ascend the fine crest of the Arete de L’Arpille (800m) to gain the summit of the Arpelistock (3035m). The descent (1000m) down to the Geltenhutte (fresh coffee and showers available) is a breathtaking run.

Tuesday - A big day over the major ski-touring summit of the Wildhorn (3247m, 1400m ascent, 5 to 6hrs) and down to the Wildhorn hut. The route spirals around the peak, taking us through the impressive cliffs that defend its summit. Another fantastic glacier descent (1000m) takes us to the Wildhorn hut.

Wednesday - We climb the Schnidehorn (2937m, 3hrs) which is a great little summit and gives us access to a superb narrow valley which takes us to the flat expanse of the snow plateau of the Alpage du Rawil (2300m, 650m descent). The Rohrbachstien (2950m) can be climbed as we climb to the newly renovated Wildstrubel hut (2800m). The Wildstrubel hut has an excellent reputation for its food (the apple tart and fresh coffee are particularly recommended!).

Thursday - After a short ascent to the Weishorn (2950m, 40 mins) we have a great ski down to the glacier de Plaine Morte .Touring across the massive expanse of this glacial plateau evokes a powerful feeling of wilderness. We then ascend the south rib of the Wildstrubel (3243m, 600m ascent). With its ten summits over 3000m it is a fantastic viewpoint for the great Oberland peaks. We traverse most of these summits before descending yet another classic run (800m) to the Lammerenhutte.

Friday - From the Lammerenhutte we climb to the domed summit of the Roter Tot (2850m, 2hrs) then an intricate north-facing descent takes us down 1600m into Kandersteg, skiing beneath impressive rock architecture of towering limestone cliffs. Train or taxi back to Leysin for dinner.

Saturday - Depart after breakfast at the hotel.

Course Dates

Week Start Finish Price  
13 21 Mar 2020 28 Mar 2020 £1445 Full