Trip Details and Small Print - Haute Route Ski Traverse
Can I do it?
Strenuous backcountry ski tour in
alpine, mostly glaciated terrain on alpine touring (randonnée)
or sturdy telemark equipment.
You must be able to ski safely and controlled at all times while
wearing a mid-weight backpack
(7-10 kg /15 lb-22 lb).
Depending on the conditions, we might have to rope on while
skiing both up and downhill. You need to be in very good physical
and mental condition, ready to be on your feet for about
8 - 10 hrs including, steep, continuous uphill climbs of up
to 1200 meters (4100 ft) on some of the days. Being on your
feet every day for 7 days requires a good deal of stamina! If
in doubt wether you have the required skills and fitness level,
feel free give us a call to discuss your options!
do not recommend this trip for backcountry ski touring beginners!
Optional Ascent of Mont Blanc (two additional days):
The Mont Blanc ascent is technically more difficult than the
Haute Route, implies more objective dangers and requires a client
to guide ratio of two to one. Please inquire for a quote.
Either Geneva International (closest Airport) for airport shuttle
transport or at our Hotel in Argentiere, located at the beginning
of the traverse (about 15 min. upvalley from Chamonix, hotel
night included in our trip package)
Season, Climate, Weather, Temperature:
Beginning of March
- Mid May, with April being the most popular time. Avoid the long easter weekend
as well as starting the trip on a weekend to skip the crowds.
Late winter season
makes for more settled weather, more settled snowpack and better coverage on the
glaciers (less crevasse issues!).
Temperatures can vary hugely: If wintery
weather patterns prevail, you can expect temps between -5 C and -22 C. In spring
the temperature spread increases from -10 C overnight to +15 C, especially on
sunny days and when descending to the valleys.
Included in the Total Price:
Guiding by an internationally (UIAGM/IFMGA) certified, multilingual,
mountain guide or guide aspirant under supervision, all guide
expenses. All lodging: Double room in 2 and 3 star hotels in
Argentiere, Champex and Zermatt with breakfast; dormitories
in huts of the French or Swiss Alpine Club with half-board dinners
and breakfast, transfer from Champex to either Verbier or Bourg
St. Pierre by taxi or bus, Grand Montets gondola in Argentiere.
Use of technical equipment: Harnesses, crampons, rope, carabiners,
avalanche transceivers, shovels and probes.
Trip Services Available:
Airport shuttles Geneva to our
Hotel in the Chamonix Valley: from Euro 40/ person
Luggage Transport from our Hotel in the Chamonix Valley
to Zermatt: Euro 60 / bag
Lodging in Zermatt: Double room B&B, clean two star
standard: From Euro 50 / pers.
Lodging Chamonix Valley: Double room B&B: From Euro
50 / person
Air fares, rental of ski touring equipment (we can provide you
with a discounted rate with our partner shop in the Chyamonix
Valley), lunch (Sandwiches, snacks can be purchased in the huts
or in the valley), drinks (beer is about CHF 7/ can, wine starts
at CHF 30 / bottle), dinner while lodging in Zermatt and Argnetiere
(2 nights), gondola cost for the Verbier resort (CHF 60) or
for the Furi Gondola in Zermatt (CHF 15), should the snow coverage
not be sufficient to ski all the way into Zeramtt, single room
supplement for all lodging in the valleys, any additional transport
or lodging cost due to unforeseen itinerary changes.
What if the Weather is
Bad or Avalanche Hazard is High?
Nobody can guarantee excellent weather
and low avalanche hazard throughout the Haute Route traverse!
Generally, we manage to move on to our next hut destination
even in relatively bad weather, if our clients are up for it.
Avalanche hazard can be a larger problem (and it often goes
hand in hand with bad weather) and may cause delays or itinerary
changes. Should itinerary / schedule changes be necessary, (1)
we sometimes rearrange hut reservations and make up for a lost
day or (2) we may have to skip a day or two by using public
transport and pick up again at trailheads in either Verbier,
Bourg St. Pierre, Evolene or Arolla, depending on the itinerary
chosen. To give an estimate, about 80% of our Haute Route trips
run in accordance with the schedule and in about 20% itinerary
changes are necessary, more often due to lack of fitness and
pepration on our client's side than weather and avalanche hazrd