Europe Haute Route Ski Tour, 7 Days, Ski The Alps

From: £1,885

 

 

The famous Swiss Haute Route Ski Tour passes through some of the most spectacular scenery in the Western Alps, finishing with a long descent beneath the North Face of the Matterhorn. The Alps Skiing just doesn’t get more scenic than this.

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All about the Europe Haute Route Ski Tour, 7 Days, Ski The Alps.

Europe Haute Route Ski Tour

The famous Swiss Europe Haute Route Ski Tour Route passes through some of the most spectacular scenery in the Western Alps, finishing with a long descent beneath the North Face of the Matterhorn. Skiing just doesn’t get more scenic than this.

We stay each night in Swiss high-mountain huts that are fully catered, leaving us to travel with very light packs so we can relish in the ascents and descents along the route.

In addition there is the possibility of climbing three fine skiable mountains en route, the Rosablanche (3,336m/10,945ft), the Pigne d’Arolla (3,796m/12,454ft) and the Tête de Valpelline (3,802m/12,474ft).

You will need to be a confident off-piste skier for this Haute Route Ski Tour, as well as having a good background level of fitness. Though the days will be relatively short (up to six hours long) you will cover high altitude ground and will need a good level of aerobic fitness. Throughout the week, you will climb and ski under the supervision of our exceptional mountain guides. The huts are typical high-altitude huts, rustic but warm and with good wholesome Swiss food to finish each day.

The European Alps are full of climbing and skiing history. They are the birthplace of mountaineering and their rich heritage adds to the superb facilities (catered huts and lift systems) which provide catering for mountaineers and ski tourers not seen elsewhere.

For those who have not yet ventured far from the ski resort, this is a fantastic way to gain experience as you travel with the supervision of our exceptional mountain guides, allowing you to learn with confidence while taking in the grandeur of your surroundings.

Itinerary Overview

Day 0 – Sat
Arrive and meet in Verbier/Le Châble

Day 1 – Sun
Meet in Verbier, off-piste/ski tour revision. Mont Fort Hut (ski lifts)

Day 2 – Mon
Traverse (and climb) Rosablanche. Prafleuri Hut

Day 3 – Tue
Traverse (Pas de Chat) Lac des Dix. Dix Hut

Day 4 – Wed
Traverse Pigne d’Arolla. Vignettes Hut

Day 5 – Thu
Traverse 3 Cols to Zermatt. Zermatt Hotel (ski lift to Zermatt if dry or late season)

Day 6 – Fri
Depart or options of continuing on to Saas-Fee or spending another day skiing out of Zermatt.

Day 7 – Sat
Depart for home.

The number of guides is determined by the size of the group, the ratio of guides to climbers is 1:4 or 1:6 depending on the skill level of the group. You will find our Mountain and Ski Guides strong and companionable with the capacity and willingness to see you enjoy your journey through the Alps on skis.

Level of Experience Required

To ski tour in the European Alps, you need to be physically fit, have a strong mental stamina and be capable of strenuous exercise for several days. Most days will start well before dawn, but there is usually some scope for some later starts and relaxed evenings enjoying the classic European culture.

Even skiing and climbing at the moderate altitudes in Europe has a definite physical effect on people. Most climbers and skiers notice a lower performance rate than normal. Summit days and touring days are the most physically demanding of the days and can entail 1,000m/3,300ft ascent at altitude. These rewarding and photogenic days typically take around six hours.

The Haute Route ski tour is suitable for people wanting to learn and practice general ski mountaineering skills while touring over classic and challenging passes. Though not essential, some climbing experience is desirable and prior use of ice axe and crampons advantageous.

Equipment

Haute Route skiers will be sent a list detailing all necessary individual clothing and equipment to be provided.

Variations

We have several variations (below) or you can arrange for a Private Departure from mid-March to end of April.

Verbier to Saas-Fee
Duration: 8 days (6 days skiing, 2 travel days)
Dates: Mid-March to end of April

Chamonix to Verbier
Duration: 5 days (3 days skiing, 2 travel days)
Dates: Mid-March to end of April

Chamonix to Zermatt
Duration: 9 days (7 days skiing, 2 travel days)
Dates: Mid-March to end of April

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • Meals (except dinners whilst in Verbier and Zermatt)
  • Lodging for 6 nights
  • Lifts
  • Hut fees
  • Guiding
  1. Day 1 Saturday

    The team meets at 8:30pm in Verbier. Your guide will go over the activities for the week, answer last minute questions and arrange last minute hiring of equipment.

  2. Day 2 Sunday (alternative meeting/briefing point)

    The team meets at 8:30am in Verbier.  This day is used for revising off-piste and ski touring techniques. We will have a chance to make last minute changes to equipment as well as enjoying the excellent off-piste runs for which Verbier is famous. We will end the day in the Mont Fort Hut, to give us an early start the next day.

  3. Day 3 Monday

    We make an early start from the hut (2,457m/8,061ft), and climb gently, crossing the Col de la Chaux (2,940m/8159ft) and then the lovely Col de Momin (3,004m/9,856ft) which suddenly lets us out onto a glacial plateau below the Rosablanche (3,336m/10,945ft). In good weather we will have a chance to climb this excellent mountain before descending to the Prafleuri Hut (2,624m/8,609ft)…excellent skiing.

  4. Day 4 Tuesday

    From the hut we climb 150m/492ft up to the Col des Roux, before traversing the 5km/3 mile long western shore of the frozen Lac des Dix until we can pick our way through the Pas de Chat and climb 600m/1,968ft gently up to the Dix Hut (2,928m/9,606ft) where the food is always delicious.

  5. Day 5 Wednesday

    Another big day today, we climb the Cheilon Glacier, the Serpentine and then the Pigne d’Arolla (3,796m/12,454ft). The subsequent ski down to the Vignettes Hut (3,160m/10,367ft) can be, and often is, filled with champagne powder. This is a spectacular day with outstanding views, and the following day is even better!

  6. Day 6 Thursday

    Making an Alpine start again, we slide down to the Col de Chermontane (3,053m/10,016ft), then cross in (hopefully) quick succession, the Col de l’Evêque (3,392m/11,129ft), Col du Mont Brule (3,213m/10,541ft), and Col de Valpelline (3,568m/11,706ft). Each of which has a fine ski descent after the climb. Now we have the option to climb the Tête de Valpelline (3,802m/12,474ft), adding an extra hour to our day, before skiing under the spectacular North Face of the Matterhorn, and then on down to Zermatt (1,614m/5,295ft), hotel, showers and a well-deserved beer or two or a refreshing cup of tea! This is the most special and scenic ski touring day of the trip, providing unsurpassed views.

  7. Day 7 Friday

    Depart or add one more day and finish in Saas-Fee…

    Additional day: After an early breakfast we take the Gornergart railway and cable car to the Stockhorn (3,405m/11,171ft), which allows us to ski down to 3,100m/10,171ft on the Findel Glacier before climbing gently up to the steep Adlerpass (3,789m/12,431ft) which is sandwiched between the 4,000m/13,123ft summits of the Rimpfischhorn and the Strahlhorn. This pass is the gateway to Saas-Fee. On this day we will have skied under three 4,000m/13,123ft peaks. The tour will end with yet another day in paradise.

    Alternatively, it is also possible to finish the day in Zermatt with some of the best lift-based off-piste skiing in the Alps, you can descend into Cervinia, ski the top-notch Schwarztor Glacier,  or climb and ski down the Breithorn  (4,164m/13,661ft), which is easily accessible from the Kliene Matterhorn lift.

Activity Level: Challenging

 

Your Health

Our registration form requests that you advise us of any medical problems you may have and if you are on any medication. Any information you supply will be treated as confidential.

Level of Experience Required

You will need to be a confident off-piste skier for this tour, as well as having a good background level of fitness. Though the days will be relatively short (up to six hours long) you will cover high altitude ground and will need a good level of aerobic fitness.

Most days will start well before dawn, but there is usually some scope for some later starts and relaxed evenings enjoying the classic European culture.

Even skiing and climbing at the moderate altitudes in Europe has a definite physical effect on people. Most skiers notice a lower performance rate than normal. Summit days and touring days are the most physically demanding of the days and can entail 1000m/3,300ft ascent at altitude. These rewarding and photogenic days typically take around six hours.

The Haute Route ski tour is suitable for people wanting to learn and practice general ski-mountaineering skills while touring over classic and challenging passes. Though not essential, some climbing experience is desirable and prior use of ice axe and crampons advantageous.

Preparing for Your Trip

To make the most of your skiing experience we encourage you to work on your fitness and skiing/snowboarding prior to the trip. Your guide places special focus on fitness levels and will regulate the pace accordingly.

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