Haute Route - ski touring
Day 1 Meet at the group's hotel in the Chamonix Valley
We will meet at the group's hotel in the Chamonix Valley, discuss about our amazing week coming up ahead and get to know each other. This is your first opportunity to try out some of the best alpine specialties such as raclette, fondue or tartiflette (let’s hope you like cheese!), accompanied by some famous Savoie wine. (Dinner at your own charge)
Day 2 Chamonix-Argentière refuge
We meet with our guide early in the morning in Chamonix. He will quickly brief us on the ski touring itinerary and check our technical equipment (rental is possible). We will drive to the village of Argentiere (15 minutes) to then take a cable car to the top of the Grands Montets (3233m). Once up there we’ll breath in the fresh air and, without further ado, descend with our skis on the Argentiere glacier. Small final climb and mountain exercises using avalanche transceivers (don’t worry, it’s not rocket science) before getting to our refuge for the night.
Ascent : 250m / Descent : 850m / Max Alt : 3233m / Accommodation : evening meal and night in the Argentière refuge / Physical activity time: 4 to 5 hours
Day 3 Argentière refuge - Champex
After a good night sleep and a large breakfast, we’re ready to start our day! Regarding weather conditions, we will go up to the Chardonnet pass (3323m) or to the Passion pass. This step is magnificent, occurring in a very "high mountain" environment with blank canvas surrounding us and the only sound of our skis on the glistening fresh snow. It will get us to the Fenêtre de Saleina (3267m). To cross the Ecandies pass, we remove our skis and climb a short but stiff corridor of snow. Then, through the valley of Arpette, long and beautiful hilly descent to the small Swiss village of Champex, heaps of fun!
Ascent : 1150m / Descent : 2235m / Max Alt : 3323m / Accommodation : evening meal and night in a lodge in Champex / Physical activity time: 9 to10 hours
Day 4 Champex - Prafleuri refuge
Our morning starts gently with a bus transfer from Champex to Châble (25 minutes), to take a cable car to the Gentianes pass. We discover the Chaux pass (2940m), the Momin pass (3003m) and may get the opportunity to ascend the Rosablanche (3336m) if you want to. We call it a day once we reach the Prafleuri refuge (2624m).
Ascent : 990m / Descent : 1150m / Max Alt : 3336m / Accommodation : evening meal and night in the Prafleuri refuge / Physical activity time: 7 hours
Day 5 Prafleuri refuge - Les Dix refuge
The early bird gets the worm. We cross the Roux pass and the Barma pass (2458m) above the lake « des dix ». We’ll make a stop to inhale this breathtaking view! Once we get back on tracks, head up to the Dix refuge (2928m) through Le Pas du Chat. The Dix refuge was built right under the impressive North face of Cheillon Mont Blanc (3870m). It’s the perfect spot to spend a relaxed evening.
Ascent : 850m / Descent - : 500m / Max Alt : 2928m / Accommodation : night in the « Les Dix » refuge / Physical activity time: 6 hours
Day 6 Les Dix refuge - Pigne d'Arolla - Vignettes refuge
We start off today on a lovely path on a very icy ground, especially when crossing La Serpentine. We then ascend the magical Pigne d'Arolla (3790m): slow and steady wins the race. This moment is very special, make sure to enjoy every second of it!
We then finish our amazing day on a beautiful descent to Les Vignettes hut (3157m), lovely stone house perched on a rock and facing a splendid mountain panorama.
Ascent : 1030m / Descent : 750m / Max Alt : 3790m / Accommodation : evening meal and night in the Les Vignettes refuge / Physical activity time: 6 hours
Day 7 Vignettes refuge -Zermatt
Today is the last day of our trip... Time flies when you're having fun!
We start this step by crossing the Evêque pass (3392m), the Mont Brûlé pass (3213m) and the Valpelline pass (3568m). If weather allows it, we will ascend Tête Blanche (3724m) and admire the jaw-dropping view of Matterhorn. It’s not something you see every day!
We will then ski back down to Zermatt, have a cup of hot chocolate, and say goodbye to each other. A transfer to Chamonix is possible (optional).
Ascent : 1290m / Descent: 2270m / Max Alt : 3724m / Physical activity time: 7 hours
Day 8 Departure day
Departure day after a chilled morning and a good breakfast at your accommodation.
Dates & prices
Departures for English-speaking groups:
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Departures for French-speaking groups:
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Trip code: SRCZ
- The technical organization of the stay
- Mountaineering with high-mountain guides
- Collective equipment provided (ropes, ice anchors)
- Half-board accommodation in refuges
- Lunch picnics
- Safety equipment : avalanche transceivers (battery not provided, 4 LR03 AAA batteries needed), shovel, probe
- Individual ski material : shoes, skis, skins and knifes, sticks
- Transfers to meeting and separation points (return to Chamonix by bus to pay in Swiss franc, around 450 Swiss francs to divide between the number of passengers)
- Snacks: dried fruits, cereal bars, chocolate bars, etc ...
- All the drinks and personal expenses in refuges
- Insurance and assistance
- Application fees (18€ per person)
- Technical individual equipment : crampons, harness, ice axe
- Anything that is not mentioned in the "price includes"
Terms and conditions
- More than 30 days before departure, you will be charged for the amount of 50€
- From 30 to 21 days before departure, you will be charged for the amount of the deposit (30% of the trip’s price)
- From 20 to 14 days before departure, you will be charged for 50% of the trip’s price
- From 13 to 7 days before departure, you will be charged for 75% of the trip’s price
- Less than 7 days before departure, you will be charged for the whole trip’s price
- Airline fixed costs : plane tickets are bought in advance to avoid too high airline prices, however they are non refundable in case of cancellation or plane changes. In that case, the charges above apply to the price of your trip without the plane ticket’s price
- Ground fixed costs : you will be charged for the fees that were paid early
- Insurance fees : Insurance fees will not be refunded if you subscribed to a multi-risk or cancellation insurance. The specific conditions will be written on your subscription confirmation
Changes to travel contract
- Lunch : home made picnics
- Diners in refuges
- Bring some snacks that you like for quick bites during the day (cereal bars, chocolate, dried fruits...)
- Personal drinks are not included in the trip’s price : water, tea, coffee, beer, coke...
- Water is not free in the refuges, and it is quite expensive (around 5 to 8 euros for one bottle) so think about bringing water-purification tablets (Micropur-type) in case you don’t want to buy water there. Warning! Water is frozen sometimes during winter so you may have no choice but to buy some bottles.
Budget & exchange
- Collective material (ropes) if needed
- Slippers and blankets in refuges : bring your own sleeping bag
- One pair of light touring-skis equipped with breaks or safety straps
- One pair of ski-touring shoes with VIBRAM-type sole
- 1 pair of sticky sealskins suitable for skis
- Sticks with fender washers
- Safety equipment : avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe
- Crampons with « anti-bot » system
- Ice axe
- Life blanket
- Harness and swivel snap hook
- Clasp knife
- Thermos or bottle
- Headlamp with battery replacement
- Windproof bonnet
- Hat or cap
- Sunscreen (high protection index), face + lips
- Glacier sunglasses (category 4 index) + ski goggles
- A balaclava can be useful in case of wind or great cold
- 2 technic breathable underclothing with long sleeves (Carline type, no cotton, it is drying too slowly)
- 1 breathable technic undershirt
- 1 thick polar coat
- 1 windproof and waterproof coat (Goretex type)
- 1 pair of windproof mittens (polar or wool)
- 1 pair of windproof gloves (polar or wool)
- 1 pair of under gloves
- 1 pair of technic tights (Carline type)
- 1 pair of comfortable mountain pants
- 1 pair of windproof and waterproof pants (Goretex type)
- 2 pair of socks (one thick, one thin)
- Toilet paper (preferably biodegradable)
- Biafine (sunburn cream)
- One sleeping bag
- One toilet bag with one quick-drying towel
- 1 plastic bag (100L) + one upper bag to protect your belongings and backpack from rain
- 1 waterproof sleeve to put your ID, phone, money, insurance/ assistance contract with all your emergency numbers
- Some warm-hands and feet
- You will be carrying your one-day belongings and equipment in a 40L bag (equipped with ski racks, ice axe,…)
- Your personal belongings will stay in the lodge in another bag (travel bag)
- Personal medicine
- Anti-pain medications (paracetamol)
- Elastic adhesive tapes
- Local disinfectant
- Anti-diarrheal pills
- Light tranquilizers and sleeping pills
- Up to 90 days visit in Switzerland : citizens from most countries do not need a visa to visit Switzerland.
- Over 90 days visit in Switzerland : non-EU or non-EFTA citizens must have a visa to visit Switzerland over 90 days.
Health information & recommendations
- Most of our accommodations are run by locals, thus ensuring that the largest part of the revenue generated through your trip will stay within the region.
- France is known for its exquisite cuisine. The art of cooking and the joy of eating are part of everyday life. Each region has its particular foods and flavors which we would like you to explore and appreciate.
- Water is a precious and rare good. Our team and those travelling with us are thus advised to use it with consideration and avoid excessive water use where possible.
- Please try to recycle your waste whenever possible, even though recycling may not be a well-known concept in all areas.
- Be cautious and respectful when hiking. Make sure to wear suitable footwear and avoid picking flowers, moving stones or lighting fires.