Haute Route - Ski touring tailor made

Chamonix-Zermatt is considered as one of the most beautiful ski touring itineraries of the Alps mountains, connecting two capitals of modern alpinism: Chamonix and Zermatt.

This 6-day journey across the splendid sceneries of the high mountains will forever change you. From Mont Blanc to Matterhorn, we will feel the special atmosphere of the most beautiful "4000m" and see their amazing sceneries. You will stay in carefully chosen authentic and comfortable Swiss huts (Prafleuri, Les Dix, Les Vignettes), the best way to discover mountain life!
We will ascend passes higher than 3000m, and each of them reveals a new striking and impressive panorama on mountains. On the first night, the incredible North part of the Argentiere basin will haunt your dreams... The day after, we will reach our first big glaciers, far away from ski slopes. The peak of the trip will be the Pigne d'Arolla (3796m). We will then reach Zermatt after one last incredible ski descent.

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Chamonix-Argentière refuge

    Chamonix-Argentière refuge We meet with our guide early in the morning in Chamonix for a welcome meeting, briefing and equipment check (rental is possible). We start the tour with a short transfer to the village of Argentiere, and then take a cable car to the top of the Grands Montets (3233 m). We make our way down to the Argentiere glacier on our first ski descent. After a small final climb, we will practice on avalanche search and rescue using transceivers, skinning technique and use of crampons and ice axe. We get to our refuge by skiing and skinning to have some rest and get our ski legs ready for the upcoming challenge.

    Ascent : 250m / Descent : 850m / Max Alt : 3233m / Accommodation : evening meal and night in the Argentière refuge / Physical activity time: 4 to 5 hours

  • Day 2 Argentière refuge-Champex

    Argentière refuge-Champex Regarding weather conditions, we start touring up to the Col du Chardonnet (3323 m) or to the Col du Passon (3028 m). This step is magnificent, occurring in a very "high mountain" environment. It will get us to Fenêtre de Saleina (3267 m). To cross the Ecandies pass, we remove our skis and climb a short but stiff corridor of snow. Then we’ll ski down towards the small Swiss village of Champex through a long and beautiful hilly descent of the Arpette valley.

    Ascent : 1150m / Descent : 2235m / Max Alt : 3323m / Accommodation : evening meal and night in a lodge in Champex / Physical activity time: 9 to10 hours

  • Day 3 Champex - Prafleuri refuge

    Champex - Prafleuri refuge We start our day with a quick transfer by bus from Champex to Le Châble. We then take a cable car to the Gentianes pass, where we discover an incredible panorama on the Chaux pass (2940m) and the Momin pass (3003m). You will have the opportunity to ascend the summit of Rosablanche (3336m) if you want to. From there, we have a beautiful ski descent before reaching the Prafleuri refuge (2624m) to spend the night.

    Ascent : 990m / Descent : 1150m / Max Alt : 3336m / Accommodation : evening meal and night in the Prafleuri refuge / Physical activity time: 7 hours

  • Day 4 Prafleuri refuge - Les Dix refuge

    Prafleuri refuge - Les Dix refuge Today we ski tour up to the Col des Roux and the Col de Barma (2458m) above the Lac des dix. We then head up to the Dix refuge (2928m) through Le Pas du Chat. The Dix refuge was built right under the impressive North face of Cheilon Mont Blanc (3870m).

    Ascent : 850m / Descent - : 500m / Max Alt : 2928m / Accommodation : night in the « Les Dix » refuge / Physical activity time: 6 hours

  • Day 5 Les Dix refuge - Pigne d'Arolla - Vignettes refuge

    Les Dix refuge - Pigne d'Arolla - Vignettes refuge Today starts on a lovely path with a very icy ground, especially when crossing La Serpentine. Ascent of the classical Pigne d'Arolla (3790m), and beautiful descent to the Les Vignettes refuge (3158m), where we spend the night.

    Ascent : 1030m / Descent : 750m / Max Alt : 3790m / Accommodation : evening meal and night in the Les Vignettes refuge / Physical activity time: 6 hours

  • Day 6 Vignettes refuge -Zermatt

    Vignettes refuge -Zermatt The last step of our trip is a great ski touring day: we cross the Evêque pass (3392m), the Mont Brûlé pass (3213m) and the Valpelline pass (3568m). If weather conditions allow it, we will ascend Tête Blanche (3724m) and admire the incredible view of Matterhorn. It’s a very special place, you will never forget this amazing panorama on the mountains surrounding us. Let's cross fingers for good weather! Then, we will ski down to Zermatt. Transfer to Chamonix (optional).

    Ascent : 1290m / Descent: 2270m / Max Alt : 3724m / Physical activity time: 7 hours

ITINERARY CHANGE

The program can be modified by your guide due to weather conditions or participants physical conditions. For safety reasons and to ensure a uniform level corresponding to the one announced, the supervision and organisation boards have the right to interrupt your participation if your technical or physical level are lower than the one required. The interruption will not give you any right of refund or payment of compensation.

Period & budget

When to travel?

The best period for travelling is during the following months:

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Price

1095 euros

The budget is an indication of the price per person, subject to availability. Your local agent will send you a customized quote with the exact price. The price can vary according to availability, level of services, period of travel, number of participants, booking time frame and other items.

Included

A deposit of 30% of the trip’s price will be needed during the booking, the whole price must be paid at least 30 days before departure.

  • 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

Not included

  • 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

Subscription


Subscribe to one of our activities or travels means accepting general sales conditions. Each client must fill a subscription form, which will be accepted only after the payment of a deposit accounting for 30% of the travel’s price and according to the availability. If you subscribe less than 30 days before the trip, you must pay the whole price during the subscription. You can pay by bank transfer (SWIFT/IBAN) or with your credit card directly through our website (available soon). A booking confirmation will be sent to you be e-mail very soon.

Invoice procedure


Once your booking is registered, we will send you an email containing the invoice. Full payment is required at least 30 days before your arrival. If the customer does not settle the payment of the travel price within the period agreed upon, Altaï Alpes has the right to cancel the booking free of charge. 

Cancellation policy


If for any reason, you decide to withdraw from a journey, the amount already paid will be refunded subject to the following exceptions:
  • 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 

Particular case :

Whatever the date of the cancellation or contract change, the following fees will be added to the charges above :
  • 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

If you have no choice but to cancel your trip before departure, you must inform Altaï Alpes and your insurance provider with a written statement as soon as possible, you will get a receipt.

The receipt date will be taken as the cancellation date to charge cancellation fees.  

If Altaï Alpes has no choice but to cancel a group travel due to an insufficient number of participants, the decision will be taken and the clients informed at least 31 days before departure. Altaï Alpes can also cancel a departure due to exceptional events threatening participants safety (social events, strikes, weather conditions). In that case, the trip’s price will be fully refunded but the participants will not get any compensation.

Changes to travel contract


If any change in travel contract is made at the customer’s request, any fee that might arise from this change shall be paid by the customer. In any case, every request for changes shall be notified in writing. In case of external events that could not be foreseen, Altaï Alpes might change some aspects of the travel contract. We will endeavour to advise you of any changes as quickly as possible.

Pricing


All group travel prices on our website have been calculated for the indicated number of participants for each trip. The price list is confirmed after the booking. If the number of participants is lower than expected, an additional payment charge might be applied. For each travel and program, we mention the price per person – valid for the minimum number of participants – and we provide you with detailed explanations about the services included or not. Any change in the exchange rates or in the price of travel services in particular regarding the cost of the fuel, might entail price revision.

Contract transfer


In case of transfer of the contract by the customer to an assignee, modification and cancellation conditions apply.

Insurance

We recommend you to get your personal insurance before your departure to cover the activities undertaken by Altaï Alpes. If you have not purchased any of our insurances, we ask you to email us your insurance contract information (company, contract name, contract number, phone number) and bring those information with you on your trip. 

Practical info

Staff

Your trip will be supervised by a high-mountain guide who will teach you the technical elements needed for the good progress of your stay. He may need to modify the program in order to ensure safety regarding weather conditions and participants physical conditions.

Food

Meals

  • Lunch picnics and diners in refuges.
  • Bring some snacks according to your own tastes.

Drinks

  • Personal drinks are not included in the trip’s price : water, tea, coffee, beer, coke,..
  • Water is not for free in the refuges (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.

Accommodation

In refuges, you will sleep in 8 to 10 persons dormitories and you will be given some slippers and blankets (don't forget to bring your own sleeping sheet). Bring some earplugs for a good night of sleep.
Most refuges aren't equipped with water, except in the Champex valley for the classic Chamonix-Zermatt. There is no tap water in the refuges, only water leaking from the glaciers. Some electrical plugs are available in the refuges, but plan to bring replacement batteries for cameras and turn your phone off during the day.

Transportation

During the day, you will be carrying all your belongings : please do your best not to carry too much weight (in a 50L bag). Your guide will check your belongings before departure. Keep some space for water and picnic.

Budget & exchange

France is in the Eurozone. Therefore, the unit of the currency is the Euro.
Switzerland uses the Swiss Franc (CHF). It is better to change money before departure, however euros are widely accepted in Switzerland. 

Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances (but don’t forget to bring your PIN number!).
ATMs are available in most of the towns you will cross during your stay, but there are no guarantees that your credit card will actually work in France or Switzerland. Also, refuges often don’t have EPT (Electronic Payment Terminal): it is best to bring cash.
Be aware of the fees usually applied when purchasing products or services on a credit card. 

Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spend your trip constantly feeling short on funds. 

As currency exchange rates can often fluctuate, we recommend to check the following website for daily exchange rates: https://www.xe.com/

Tips

Clients usually pay for the guides’ drinks : you might find it practical to make a group kitty at the beginning of your stay (no obligation). 

Supplied equipment

  • Collective material (ropes) if needed.
  • Sleepers and blankets in refuges : bring your own sleeping bag.

Material

Technical material


Skis

  • One pair of light touring-ski equipped with breaks or safety straps
  • One pair of ski-touring shoes with VIBRAM-type sole
  • 1 pair of sticky sealskins suitable for skis
  • Knife
  • Sticks with fender washers 

Other

  • Safety equipment : avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe
  • Crampons with « anti bott » system
  • Ice axe
  • Life blanket
  • Harness and swivel snap hook
  • Clasp knife
  • Thermos or bottle
  • Headlamp with replacement battery
Everything must be in good condition before departure. 


Personal equipment


Head

  • Windproof bonnet
  • Hat or cap
  • Scarf
  • 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

Upper body

  • 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 

Lower body

  • 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) 

Other

  • Toilet paper (biodegradable if possible)
  • 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 the rain
  • 1 waterproof sleeve to put your ID, phone, money, insurance/ assistance contract with all your emergency numbers
  • Some hands and feet heaters

Luggage

  • You will be carrying your one-day belongings and equipment in a 50L- bag (equipped with ski racks, ice axe,…)
  • Your personal belongings will stay in the lodge in another bag (travel bag)

Medicine

Your guide will be carrying a first-aid kit. However, plan to bring your own medicines:

  • Personal medicine
  • Anti-pain medications (paracetamol)
  • Double-skin
  • Elastic adhesive tapes
  • Bandages
  • Local  disinfectant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antispasmodic
  • Anti-diarrheal pills
  • Eyewash
  • Light tranquilizers and sleeping pills
  • Earplugs 
Non-exhaustive list.

Passport

Please make sure your passport and travel documents are valid.

Visa

  • 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.

For further information, please check the following website : https://www.swiss-visa.ch/

Identity card

For EU and EFTA citizens, you can use your identity card to travel to Switzerland. 

Mandatory vaccines

No required vaccination. 

Health information & recommendations

It is important to consult your doctor for medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements.
Please keep in mind that we are often in remote areas, away from medical facilities. Please carefully read the brochure and itinerary when selecting your trip, to make sure our style of travel suits you. 

Please note you will travel to high altitude. Most people can travel to 2 500m with minimal effects. However, everyone reacts differently to altitude and altitude sickness can occur.
For details on how to best prepare your trip please consult your physician.

Weather

The Swiss climate is moderately continental in the plateau, Alpine in the mountains, and more temperate in the Canton of Ticino. In the mountains, the climate varies with altitude and slope exposure, but in winter, they are located above the blanket of fog and low clouds that often covers the plateau, so they are also sunnier in this season. The cold wind, which in Switzerland and in central France is called Bise, blows from the north-east and is more frequent in winter and spring.

Late winter and early spring (February-March) are recommended for a ski holiday, since the days are longer than in December and January. 

For further information on the wether during your trip, please check the following website : https://www.meteoswiss.admin.ch/

Electricity

The electrical current in Switzerland is 230V, 50Hz. Swiss sockets are recessed, three-holed, hexagonally shaped and incompatible with many plugs from abroad. They usually, however, take the standard European two-pronged plug.

Most refuges have electric plugs, but some haven't. If you scared of running low on battery, bring an external battery with you. 

Local time

France and Switzerland are in the Central European Time Zone. Central European Standard Time (CET) is 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+1).

Like most states in Europe, Summer Time (Daylight-Saving) is observed in France and Switzerland, where the time is shifted forward by 1 hour; 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+2).
After the summer months, the time in these countries is shifted back by 1 hour to Central European Time (CET or GMT+1).

Sustainable tourism

We do our best to offer trips subscribed to the principles of responsible and sustainable tourism. Our aim is to allow visitors to discover the many facets of Switzerland by taking you off the beaten path and getting you in touch with its nature and residents, while ensuring that your visits do not have a negative effect on its natural environment and people.

  • 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.  
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Sandra

My local agent
Sandra

  • Technical advisor
  • Mountain and ski touring lover. She will advise you on Mont Blanc tours, trekking, hiking and multi-activities.
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Region
Switzerland
Activity
Ski Winter
Duration
6 days
Code
SRCZ-LIB
Price
From €1,095
Level
4/5
Comfort
3/5

Strengths

  • The most famous ski touring itinerary of the Alpes mountain
  • Close to the most beautiful peaks : Dent Blanche, Cervin
  • Comfortable and warm refuges

Guide's advice

This is the dream of every ski tourer. But to enjoy it properly, you need a good training and experience in mountain skiing. Nothing extreme though, we are here to live a great moment of happiness in high-altitude mountain.

Required level

Technical difficulties 


Trek with high difficulty, accessible for experimented ski tourers having a good level of off-pist ski. They must handle all kind of snow. A good experience in ski touring is compulsory, with an expertise in basic technics, especially upstream and downstream conversion. You must also know how to use safety material : avalnche transceiver, shovel and probe. 

Physical difficulties 


You must be in a very good shape to endure 6 days of trekking. You will be carrying all your belongings everyday, so Chamonix-Zermatt cannot be your first  raid.  

Commitment 


We will leave for 6 days in high mountain so we will be very isolated. However, refuges are very comfortable and your guide will  adapt your program according to weather conditions.  
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