The world’s most classic ski-tour

Europe Haute Route Ski Tour

Venture far from the ski resort slopes on the world's most classic ski tour, the Swiss Haute Route. Travel from hut to hut across the high European Alps taking in some of the area’s most spectacular scenery.

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.

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Difficulty Level Medium ?
Fitness Level Low ?
Duration 3 to 7 days
Elevation 3,790M / 12,434FT
Large view

Discover the heart of the European Alps - Paolo Pieroni

Large view

Crossing the glacier below Aiguille de la Tour - Russell Braddock

Large view

Stay in classic alpine accomodation such as Mont Fort Hut

Large view

Experience the backcountry far from skifield crowds - Paolo Pieroni

Large view

Available on demand or join a scheduled departure - Paolo Pieroni

From March to April
Departs from Chamonix, France or Verbier, Switzerland (Scheduled Departures also available, please see below for details)
RATIOS 3 DAYS 5 DAYS 6 DAYS 7 DAYS
Chamonix to Verbier (1:1) €2,680 EUR NA NA NA
Chamonix to Verbier (1:4) €1,250 EUR NA NA NA
Verbier to Zermatt 'The Highlight Tour' (1:1) NA €5,250 EUR NA NA
Verbier to Zermatt 'The Highlight Tour' (1:4) NA €2,150 EUR NA NA
Verbier to Saas-Fee (1:1) NA NA €6,100 EUR NA
Verbier to Saas-Fee (1:4) NA NA €2,500 EUR NA
Chamonix to Zermatt (1:1) NA NA NA €6,320 EUR
Chamonix to Zermatt (1:4) NA NA NA €2,700 EUR
  • Overview

    • World’s most classic ski-tour
    • Travel from hut to hut in the high Alps
    • The Swiss Haute 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 rarely gets more scenic than this.


    The Haute Route (High Route) is a world class ski-tour through the heart of the Western Alps that begins in Verbier taking us over five days to finish in Zermatt. The journey connects long alpine ski runs over glaciated terrain with descents from high peaks and cols.

    Generally, the distances are not too great, about six hours hut to hut each day. 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).

    This ski-touring trip is suitable for the confident off-piste skier with a reasonable level of fitness.

  • Scheduled Departures

    In addition to our private tours, you may also wish to join us from Verbier to Zermatt ('The Highlight Tour') on one of our Scheduled Departures:

    Duration: 5 days skiing, 2 travel days

    Price: €2150 per person on a 1:4 guided ratio

    Dates:
    Trip 1: Mar 17 - 23, 2019
    Trip 2: Apr 7 - 13, 2019
    Trip 3: Apr 21 - 27, 2019

    Please contact us for further details and our team will be happy to assist.

  • Why AC?

    Adventure Consultants is renowned for the quality of its service and strategy applied to expedition and ascent climbing. Our reputation is attributed to meticulous planning and experienced logistics coordination. We have a philosophy of investing in every expedition to offer our skiers the best possible chance of success.

    We employ strong and specialised IFMGA Ski Guides, who are some of the most pre-eminent in the industry.

    Many of our expedition members and climbers come to us because they have seen us in action on a previous trip and decide to opt for our level of service and proven experience. Others return because they know we do our very best to make expeditions and guided ski tours safe and successful.

  • Payment Conditions

    Inclusions

    The price of your trip includes the following:

    • Ski tour guide
    • Lift passes as per the scheduled itinerary
    • Hut or hotel accommodation as per the scheduled itinerary
    • Local ground transport as per the scheduled itinerary


    Exclusions

    The price of your trip does not include:

    • Any costs that are additional to the programme that come about due to changes to the programme caused by weather or organisational changes (any changes will generally be due to factors outside our control such as weather, lift failure, etc. and actioned only after you have been consulted by your guide)
    • Personal ski/mountaineering clothing and equipment as per lists supplied
    • Evening meals during hotel nights in town
    • Lunches
    • Extra additional meals or snacks/drinks purchased from huts/hotels
    • Insurance
    • Transport to and from trip departure location (although we can arrange it for you)
    • Gratuity

    Account Information

    Following is the EURO bank information for Adventure Consultants Ltd., 20 Brownston Street, Wanaka, New Zealand, Ph +64 3 443 8711. All deposits and final payments for European trips should be sent by telegraphic transfer to this account unless advised otherwise.

    Bank Name and Address:
    Bank of New Zealand - Offshore Branch
    1 Willis Street, Wellington, New Zealand

    Swift Address: BKNZNZ22
    Beneficiary’s Account Number: 1000-594771-0002
    Beneficiary’s Account Name: Adventure Consultants Limited
    Beneficiary’s Address: 20 Brownston Street, Wanaka, New Zealand
    Account Type: Euro Dollars

    Please request that all charges are for the remitter’s account.

    Please contact us if you have any problems sending money to this account.

    We can accept your deposit and balance payment by credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Amex) plus a 3% transaction fee.

    Deposit

    In order to confirm a guide and your trip, we require a completed Booking Form and a non-refundable deposit of EUR500.

    Balance Payment

    The balance of payment is due 60 days prior to the start date.

    Cancellation & Refund Policy

    Once you have paid your deposit your trip is confirmed, subject to payment of the balance of fees owing 60 days prior to your trip commencement date. You may then cancel your participation on the following basis:

    • Cancellations outside of 60 days will result in the loss of the trip deposit.
    • Inside 60 days of the departure date we reserve the right to retain 50% of the full fee.
    • Inside 30 days of the departure date we reserve the right to retain 75% of the full fee.
    • Inside 15 days of the departure date forfeits 100% of the full fee.


    We recommend you take out trip cancellation insurance via your travel agent.

  • Trip Notes

    Haute RouteThe Trip Notes provide detailed information and background for the Adventure Consultants Haute Route Ski Tour.

    You can view the trip notes online by clicking the image or download a pdf by clicking the following link:

    Europe Haute Route Ski Tour Trip Notes

    Team Membership

    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.

    Our Guides

    You will find the Adventure Consultants Mountain & Ski Guides companionable and strong guides with considerable power and willingness to see you enjoy your journey through the Alps on skis.

    Adventure Consultants is renowned for the quality of its service and strategy applied to their trips. Our reputation is attributed to meticulous planning and experienced logistics coordination. We have a philosophy of investing in every expedition and trip to offer our ski tourers the best possible experience.

    We employ strong and specialised leaders/mountain guides, who are some of the most pre-eminent in the industry. We pride ourselves on operating with small teams with the best back-up and support available.

    Many of our climbers, ski tourers and trekkers come to us because they have seen us in action on a previous trip and decide to opt for our level of service and proven experience. Others return because they know we do our very best to make our expeditions and trips safe, enjoyable and successful.

    Head Office Support Team

    Running successful journeys and expeditions is more about experience, knowledge and strategic management than any other factors. As an organisation, we place a substantial amount of time and resources into ensuring our trips are well planned and supported. You can be assured that the AC staff will provide you with friendly advice and knowledgeable support throughout the planning stages of your trip and we will be there to provide backup while the trip is running.

    Amelia Crofut-BrittinghamAmelia Crofut-Brittingham, Client Liaison

    Amelia has been with Adventure Consultants since October 2017 in the role of Client Liaison for European and Himalayan Operations. Having spent many years working in the ski industry, Amelia brings a wealth of experience to her role.

    AC Team 2016 Landscape

    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.

    Difficulty Rating

    Each of our trips is individually rated according to its physical and technical difficulty, displayed in the icons towards the top of each trip page. You can click on the accompanying question mark for additional descriptions and the full run-down of our grading system is available on our Difficulty Ratings page.

    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. See our Fitness Training Programs for information on how we can help you prepare for your trip.

    History

    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.

    Food & Accommodation

    The huts are typical high altitude huts, rustic but warm and with good wholesome Swiss food to finish each day.

    Clothing & Equipment

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

  • Itinerary

    Verbier to Zermatt or Saas-Fee

    Day  
    0 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.
    1 The team meets at 8:30am in Verbier (alternative meeting/briefing point). 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 (2,457m/8,061ft), to give us an early start the next day.
    2 We make an early start from the hut and climb gently, crossing the Col de la Chaux (2,940m/8,159ft) 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 mountain before descending to the Prafleuri Hut (2,624m/8,609ft)… excellent skiing.
    3 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. We 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.
    4 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!
    5 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 these 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.
    6 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.

    There are a number of outstanding Haute Route variations. Some are more logical than others but we prefer the above because you keep to skis and snow for the entire tour. Other variants have a road transport section and the Zermatt to Saas-Fee stage can be used as a spare day in case of bad weather.

    Chamonix to Zermatt or Saas-Fee

    Day  
    0 Arrive Chamonix, hotel night.
    1 Meet after breakfast in Chamonix, check gear and organize last-minute hiring of gear. Off-piste skiing and practice climbing with skins. Return to hotel.
    2 Early morning start, take first lift to Grands Montets (3,200m/10,499ft) and enjoy a delightful 600m/1,969ft ski down to the Argentière Glacier. There we stick the skins to our skis for the first big climb of the tour 700m/2,297ft of gentle zigzagging up to the Col du Chardonnet (3,323m/10,902ft) followed by an exciting rappel descent to the Saleina Glacier. A short ski traverse leads to the next col and an easy climb (skins again) to the Fenêtre de Saleina (3,261m/10,699ft) and the Trient Glacier, from where a gentle ski brings us to the remote Trient Hut (3,170m/10,400ft). The skins go back on again for the 100m/328ft climb up to the hut.
    3 From the Trient Hut we ski down the right bank of the Trient Glacier to 2,750m/9,022ft. We climb 50m/164ft steeply up to the Col des Ecandies (2,796m/9,173ft). In good conditions there is a superb 1,000m/3,281ft powder descent into the Arpette Valley to join the piste and the picturesque little town of Champex (1,500m/4,921ft). We then take road transport to Verbier, join the Verbier lift system and ski over to the Mont Fort Hut (2,457m/8,061ft). Alternatively, we stay at a hotel if finishing in Verbier. Here we join our Swiss Haute Route itinerary.
    4 Depart or continue on to Zermatt. If continuing on you will ski to the Prafleuri Hut (2,624m/8,609ft).
    5 From the hut, we ascend 150m/492ft up to the Col des Roux before traversing the 5km/3 mile long western shore of the frozen Lac des Dix. We pick our way through the Pas de Chat and climb 600m/1,968ft gently up to the Dix Hut (2,928m/9,606ft).
    6 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.
    7 Followiung another alpine start, 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 these 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! 
    8 Departure
  • Add Ons

    Chamonix is located in the heart of the Alps and is central to some of the best ski touring that Europe has to offer. There is a huge variety of properties on offer in Chamonix and after many years of operating in the Alps we have uncovered some of the area's finest. At Adventure Consultants we spend a considerable amount of time reviewing accommodation providers to remain aligned with our high standards.

    Contact us if you would like to upgrade your hotel before or after your European Alps trip, as there are several superb properties in the area. We profile our favourite selection below:

    HOTEL MONT BLANC

    Why we recommend this property

    Originally built in 1849, this fine establishment is located in the heart of Chamonix. Surrounded by private gardens, the hotel was recently renovated to be reminiscent of an elegant 19th-century palace. Each room offers a stunning panorama of the surrounding mountains and has been interior-designed by renowned French designer Sybille de Margerie, inspired by nature and the environment. The 14-metre outdoor heated swimming pool can be used year round and offers spectacular views of nearby Mont Blanc. The hotel's in-house restaurant, 'La Mafatan', produces cuisine that will take you on a culinary journey.

    Hotel Mont Blanc Room 600x400Hotel Mont Blanc Exterior Winter 600 x 400Hotel Mont Blanc Library 600x400 1Hotel Mont Blanc Exterior Summer 600x400

    HOTEL LE MORGANE

    Why we recommend this property

    This luxury boutique hotel is located right in the centre of Chamonix and offers guests top-quality service. Chef Daniele Raimondi produces some of Chamonix's finest cuisine at 'Le Bistrot' restaurant. Le Morgane offers a variety of rooms from singles to deluxe and suites, each featuring balconies with views of Mont Blanc or Le Brévent. Hotel facilities include a small lounge, library, relaxation pool and spa, a ski storage room and free WiFi. Rental of bicycles and electric bikes, as well as a valet car service is available.

    Le Morgane Terrace resized 600x400Le Morgane Junior Suite resized 600x400Le Morgane Exterior night resized 600x400Le Morgane Pool and Spa Resized 600x400

    euro ice jon bracey 2Looking to make the most of the winter break in the Alps? Have a go at ice climbing on our Cogne Ice Climbing Weekend, or push it out to a full week of adrenaline and exploration on our Chamonix-Cogne Ice Climbing Week, taking in some of Europe's best and most classic ice climbing routes. Suitable for both beginner's and more experienced climbers, contact us to learn more.

    Your family or friends may wish to join you on your holiday but may not like the idea of ski touring or climbing a mountain. Let us know if this is the situation and we will be able to put together an itinerary that keeps them busy while you are up high. There are so many wonderful things to do, so contact us and we will help to organise the perfect programme.

  • Travel & Rescue Insurance

    Adventure Consultants recommends the following travel insurance and rescue insurance options, although this is only just a start! Once you book on a trip with AC, your Client Liaison will help you by sending through advice on your options;

    • Travel insurance
    • Trip interruption
    • Trip cancellation
    • Medical Evacuation and Rescue Insurance

    RIPCORD RESCUE TRAVEL INSURANCE

    Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance Logo webRipCord is the leading medical evacuation program offering elite evacuation and rescue services. With their new partnership with TravelEx, they can also now provide the benefits of a traditional travel insurance product with their just released, RipCord Rescue Travel Insurance™. This is specifically designed for the adventure enthusiast with unique trip cancellation/interruption, medical expense, sporting equipment and other coverage benefits to protect your financial investment.

    RipCord is powered by Redpoint Resolutions, an elite team of special operations veterans, Stanford Medicine affiliate physicians, paramedics, nurses, former intelligence officers and other medical/security experts comprising the most experienced team in the industry. They will rescue you from the field wherever your emergency occurs and evacuate you to your home country hospital of choice.

    RipCord rescues you from the field if you have an emergent medical condition that will result in significant permanent injury and/or death, but does not require hospitalisation.

    RipCord are proud to partner with Adventure Consultants to provide RipCord’s industry leading rescue, evacuation and travel insurance coverage to its clients.

    Adventure Consultants can also assist with purchasing polar cover for Antarctic expeditions and if interested in this, please contact RipCord directly for a specialised quote.

    GLOBAL RESCUE MEMBERSHIP SERVICES

    Global Rescue SnipAdventure Consultants also recommends the rescue evacuation and security membership/services provided by Global Rescue, which provides transport from the point of illness/injury back to your home countries hospital of your choice. TotalCare provides real-time access to medical information and coming soon, this includes urgent card and speciality consultations from some of the world’s health physicians at the Elite Medical Group and John Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore.

    Recently Global Rescue has released a new travel insurance product, the Signature Travel Insurance option. This has no height limitation and gives comprehensive cover for trip cancellation/interruption, medical and dental expenses, delays, lost luggage as well as optional add-ons to ‘cancel or interrupt for any reason. This is currently only available to US Residents.

    Click here to find out more about this insurance cover which covers climbing and is thus suitable for many of our expeditions.

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suze euro skiing

Our guide was excellent – really experienced, professional at all times and someone we could put our trust in to make good decisions. To top it off, our guide was also good company and fun! I would definitely recommend AC again – professional, experienced and great trips.
Europe Haute Route Ski Tour, 2017

Helen Dransfield
Australia
Dorothea Padrutt

I had more trepidations and concerns than expectations. But the trip exceeded all of my hopes and dreams and not just because of the amazing weather…
Three Day Backcountry Ski Touring, 2017

Dorothea Padrutt
New Zealand