Haute Route - Ski touring tailor made
Day 1 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
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
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
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
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
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
Period & budget
When to travel?
The best period for travelling is during the following months:
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.
- 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 picnics and diners in refuges.
- Bring some snacks according to your own tastes.
- 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.
Budget & exchange
- Collective material (ropes) if needed.
- Sleepers and blankets in refuges : bring your own sleeping bag.
- 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
- Sticks with fender washers
- 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
- 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 (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
- 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)
- 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.