Join us this Spring to take in the fantastic skiing, unrivaled European culture, and breathtaking mountain scenery, in a hut-to-hut ski trip across the ‘Roof of The Alps’, along the famous Chamonix to Zermatt Haute Route !!

This sought after European backcountry ski trip, traverses across the French and Swiss Alps for 8-days, skiing amidst the glaciers and high mountains of the European Alps, while staying in the comfort and convenience of high mountain guardianed huts along the way.

Spend your days ski touring through some of The Alps most scenic glaciated mountainous terrain! As we move from cozy mountain refuge to cozy mountain refuge, we will travel through across glaciers, amidst towering peaks, and enjoy ski descents through sweeping alpine vistas and steep mountain valleys, on one of the world’s most famous ski experiences….’The Chamonix to Zermatt Haute Route’. Experience a change in culture and scenery as we work away from the bustling alpine village streets and cafes of Chamonix France, to the large scale resort of Verbier, Switzerland, and finally down into the carless streets and small countryside homes below the mighty Matterhorn of Zermatt, Switzerland.

Overview:

Join us this Spring to take in the fantastic skiing, unrivaled European culture, and breathtaking mountain scenery, in a hut-to-hut ski trip across the ‘Roof of The Alps’, along the famous Chamonix to Zermatt Haute Route !!

This sought after European backcountry ski trip, traverses across the French and Swiss Alps for 8-days, skiing amidst the glaciers and high mountains of the European Alps, while staying in the comfort and convenience of high mountain guardianed huts along the way.

Spend your days ski touring through some of The Alps most scenic glaciated mountainous terrain! As we move from cozy mountain refuge to cozy mountain refuge, we will travel through across glaciers, amidst towering peaks, and enjoy ski descents through sweeping alpine vistas and steep mountain valleys, on one of the world’s most famous ski experiences….’The Chamonix to Zermatt Haute Route’. Experience a change in culture and scenery as we work away from the bustling alpine village streets and cafes of Chamonix France, to the large scale resort of Verbier, Switzerland, and finally down into the carless streets and small countryside homes below the mighty Matterhorn of Zermatt, Switzerland.

Prerequisites:

Participants on the Haute Route Ski Tour should be advanced intermediate or stronger skiers, have a high level of cardio vascular fitness, and have experience skiing in the backcountry. The days are not super long, typically 6-9 hours, but the high mountain environment can be taxing and the weather can be challenging, making for potentially more difficult and longer days then planned.

An Introduction to Ski-Mountaineering (or Introduction to Mountaineering) with CMS (or other climbing school) will ease the learning curve of ski-mountaineering. Completing an AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course is also strongly encouraged.

*** Due to the traversing nature of many of the days on this tour splitboards are highly discouraged.***

Preparation:

Trip Participants should have a solid background of being an advanced blue or above resort skier, with at least a minimum of 10-days of backcountry ski touring experience. The Haute Route has some days that are more committing then others, and the unforgiving high mountain glaciated terrain, does not make retreat or ‘bail out options’ easy on all the days, so therefore participants need to come properly prepared in regards to physical fitness, mental stamina, and technical skiing and touring ability.

*** For those that are interested and enthusiastic, and or are wondering if they meet the requirements to join, CMS can offer guided backcountry ski days here in Colorado (or elsewhere) to help assess current skill levels and to also help people develop the skills they need to enjoy a successful experience on this tour. ***  

Time:

8 Days

Maximum Ratio:

4:1 max / 8 people total

Minimum Age:

18

Meeting location:

Chamonix, France late afternoon of April 7th for a Welcome Meeting, Equipment Check, and Group Dinner.

 

Details:

Begin in the alpine village of Chamonix, France, at the base of Europe’s highest peak Mont Blanc, and ski tour along this ‘high-mountain route’, eventually finishing by skiing down the slopes of Zermatt resort, below the mighty walls of the famous Matterhorn.

Along the way, enjoy true European mountain hospitality by staying in guardianed huts and mountain refuges, enjoying large home cooked meals, sipping cold beers or glasses of wine on the stone terraces, and socializing with other excited, enthusiastic, and enjoyable ski tourers from all over the globe!

Notes:

Payment Schedule:
· 50% deposit due with an accepted application
· Balance due 90 days before Day 1 of trip

Expedition Cancellation Policy:
· A non-refundable $100 application fee will not be refunded from your initial deposit.
· 100% (minus application fee) will be refunded 120 days prior to trip start.
· 50% (minus application fee) will be refunded 91 to 119 days before trip start.
· 25% (minus application fee) will be refunded 46 to 90 days before trip start.
· 0% will be refunded 0 to 45 days before trip start.

Day 1: Ski the Vallee Blanche in Chamonix (stay in a hotel in Chamonix)

Day 2: Begin the Haute Route ski tour in Argentierre by skiing off the Grand Montet cablecar down to the Argentierre Glacier and to the Argentierre Hut for the evening.

Day 3: Ski over the border into Switzerland via either the Col du Chardonnet or Col du Passon and on across the Trient Plateau into the Trient Hut for the evening.

Day 4: Ski down the Val d’Arpette and into the small village of Champex where we will take a van transfer over the ski resort village of Verbier. In Verbier we will ski off the Mont Fort and stay at the Mont Fort Hut high on the Verbier Resort.

Day 5: Leave the ski resort boundary early in the morning for a ski descent of the Rosablanche and our first major summit of the tour, before descending to the small and intimate Prafleuri Hut for the night.

Day 6: We will traverse around the lake and ascend to the iconic Dix Hut below the impressive North face of the Mont Blanc du Chelion.

Day 7: The highest point of the Haute Route, we will summit and ski off the Pigne du Arolla, on down to the impossibly perched stone shelter of the large Vignette Hut.

Day 8: The final day, and quite possibly the biggest, as we ski traverse across 7 different glaciers as we enjoy a huge descent into the quaint village of Zermatt, while skiing directly below one of the most iconic peaks in the world, the mighty Matterhorn. We will wrap up in Zermatt with a final group celebratory dinner!

Price Includes:

  • All IFMGA/UIAGM Licensed Mountain Guides from CMS
  • Lodging in Mountain Huts for 7 nights w/ meals
  • 2 nights lodging in Chamonix at the start
  • 1 nights lodging in Zermatt at the finish
  • Luggage transfer from Chamonix to Zermatt
  • All transfers and lift tickets associated with the ski tour

Price Excludes:

  • All airfare to and from Geneva (or elsewhere)
  • Meals while in Chamonix
  • Global Rescue Insurance
  • Equipment rentals (if needed)

Item Description Quantity Example Purchase At Rent At Equipment Type
Avalanche Beacon

Modern, digital, three-antennae beacon with fresh batteries.

1

BCA Tracker 2 or 3

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Avalanche Rescue Shovel

Ski specific shovel used to dig pits and avalanche rescue. A metal blade is mandatory.

1

BCA B1 Ext

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Backpack: 20-40 liter

Packs smaller than this tend not to be able to carry the necessary amount of equipment and clothing. Large backpacking packs are acceptable, depending on the climb.

1

CAMP M3 30L

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School

Equipment
Baselayer Bottoms

Synthetic or Merino Wool; Lightweight or mid-weight are recommended.

1

Men: Rab Merino 120 Pants
Women: Rab Merino 120 Pants

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Beanie/Fleece Hat

Should cover the ears and fit under a helmet. Hats with fluff balls on top do not fit under helmets.

1

Rab Logo Beanie

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Belay/Rappel Device

Plaquette style devices with auto-block mode are ideal.

1

CAMP Piu 2

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Climbing Harness

UIAA/CE approved; With belay loop and gear loops. The waist belt should fit over multiple layers of clothing.

1

CAMP Laser CR

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School

Equipment
Compass

Used for navigation and orientation. A compass with adjustable declination is preferrable.

1

Silva Ranger CLQ

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
First Aid Kit

Your guide will have an emergency First Aid Kit. You should bring a small kit including blister prevention and care products such as a role of athletic tape and Moleskin. Your kit should also contain a few Band-aids, some Tylenol and Ibuprofen.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Food

Proper lunches that are prepared ahead of time are recommended (sandwich, burrito, leftover pizza, etc), along with an assortment of snack bars, gels, and/or trail mixes. Feeze-dried meals are acceptable on overnight trips, but not day trips.

1

Made in Nature, Thrive Tribe

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Goggles

Protect your eyes and face from wind and sun burn.

1

Julbo Atlas

Julbo

Equipment
Hardshell Pants

These should be non-insulated pants with ankle cuffs wide enough to fit over your ski/ride boots.

1

Men: Rab Latok Alpine Pants
Women: Rab Firewall Pants

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Headlamp

Load with fresh batteries. Critical for hiking before sunrise and great to have in the pack in case you are caught out after dark.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Heavyweight Waterproof Glove

This glove comes out when the winter going gets cold and wet or at higher altitudes.

1

RAB Alliance

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Hot Drinks

Coffee, tea, hot cocoa are great for warming up when it's cold outside.

1

Cusa Tea; Alpine Start Coffee

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Lightweight Baselayer Top

Synthetic or Merino Wool; Worn against the skin and is considered a "wicking" layer that facilitates the movement of moisture away from the skin and through the layers. Hooded base layers add extra versatility.

2

Men Rab Merino 120 Long Sleeve
Women Rab Merino 120 Long Sleeve

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Lightweight Gloves

Synthetic; Thin gloves used when hiking the early morning approach. Belay gloves can suffice if full-fingered.

1

RAB Power Stretch Pro

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Lip ScreenSPF 15 or higher.

Non-SPF rated lip balms can actually increase your chances of getting burned.

1

Rocky Mountain Sunscreen Lip Balm

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Midweight Baselayer Top

Synthetic or Merino Wool; Adds extra warmth and protection from the cold and wind without creating a moisture barrier as a jacket would. Having at least one base layer that is hooded adds versatility, protecting the neck and ears from cold winds.

1

Men Rab Merino 160 Hoody
Women Rab Merino 160 Long Sleeve

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Midweight Softshell Glove

This is the workhorse glove and is most often worn on warmer days when mountaineering. Softshell gloves are water-resistant and durable. They often have leather palms and fingers.

1

RAB Guide

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Mountaineering Axe

Utilized in ascending or descending snow slopes. Ideal length is variable based on terrain and height of person.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Mountaineering Crampons

Steel crampons with horizontal front points are ideal. Must be semi-rigid and compatible with your boots.

1

CAMP XLC 390

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Neck Gaiter

"Buffs" are quite versatile in their uses. They can be used as light beanies, neck warmers, and can offer face protection from the cold wind or sun.

1

BCA Neck Tube

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Pajamas

It can be nice to have something clean to change into each night for sleeping in your sleeping bag.

1 Clothing
Personal Care Items

Medications, glasses/contacts, feminine products, etc.

1 Optional
Personal Toilet Kit

At minimum, bring a small Ziploc with toilet paper. Consider bringing a travel sized package of hand-wipes. Idealy, purchase, or for free from the RMNP Backcountry office, bring a "Rest Stop." The Rest Stop, known as "Blue Bags" in the Pacific Northwest, or the "Wag Bag" in other areas, are poop-in-a-bag systems that include toilet paper and a sanitizing hand wipe.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Rock Climbing Helmet

UIAA/CE approved; Should be large enough to fit over a beanie. Plastic helmets are more durable, but heavier. Foam helmets are lighter, but more easily damaged when carried in a pack.

1

CAMP Titan

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School

Equipment
Ski Crampons

Each binding style has ski crampons that fit them specifically.

1

Dynafit Ski Crampons

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Ski Helmet

This item is recommended but not required. We will be skiing in the trees, and in snow conditions where rocks, stumps, and downded logs are present.

1

Dynafit ST

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Ski Straps

18" Rubber or velcro straps to connect skis when attaching them to a pack. Also useful for a variety of in-the-field equipment repairs.

2

BCA Ski Strap

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Ski/Snowboard Boots

Footwear should be appropriate to mode of travel i.e. ski, snowboard, or insulated winter boots for snowshoes. For snowshoers, a boot such as the Scarpa Mont Blanc is the minimum level of boot required. Ski Boots should have a walk mode.

1

Scarpa Maestrali RS

Neptune Mountaineering

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Skis/Snowboard

Skis should have touring bindings; lightweight tech bindings are ideal. Splitboards are ideal for snowboarders. Snowboarders using resort snowboards will need to have snowshoes and poles.

1

Dynafit Chugach; Radical ST 2.0
Weston Range

Neptune Mountaineering

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Smartphone

Great for taking photos and videos. Smartphone batteries tend to shut down in freezing temps - keep your phone in a warm inner layer. A tether is ideal in the mountains to protet against dropping your phone.

1 Optional
Softshell Pants

Softshell material is stretchy, wind-proof, water-resistant, and resists abrasion. Mid-weight is recommended and light-weight pants can work for warm days. Typical thin, nylon "hiking pants" are generally not tough enough.

1

Men: Rab Vapour Rise
Women: Rab Upslope

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Softshell/Fleece Jacket

Water-resistant, windproof, yet it "breaths," which means it allows moisture to move through. Hoods are ideal. There are multiple thicknesses of Softshell jackets. A lightweight or medium-weight jacket is preferred. Fleece jackets are acceptable.

1

Men: Rab Alpha Direct
Women: Rab Alpha Direct

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Sports Bra

Provides support and allows for full range of motion

1

North Face Beyond the Wall

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Sun Hat

A billed hat to keep the sun at bay during the approach and descent.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Sunglasses

"Wrap-Around" style sunglasses with 100% UV Protection.

1

Julbo Stunt

Julbo

Equipment
SunscreenSPF 30 or higher.

Travel size.

1

Rocky Mountain Sunscreen SPF 50

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Synthetic or Down Puffy Jacket

Fits over all other layers and is worn at breaks and on really cold days. Synthetic puffies are more durable, are easily laundered, and dry out quickly if wet. Down puffies are lighter weight, pack smaller, and provide exceptional warmth, but once wet, they stay wet.

1

Men: Rab Zero G
Women: Rab Electron

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Synthetic/Merino Wool Socks

Wool/Synthetic blends are great for long days on the trail. "Ski" and "Snowboard" socks are especially useful when warmth is desired.

2

Point 6 Hiking Light Crew

Point 6

Clothing
Thermos

Many ice climbers prefer to bring a thermos of hot water or soup instead of one of their water bottles.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Toiletries

Bring enough for the trip. Toothpaste & brush, floss, deoderant, lotion, eye drops, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, etc.

1 Optional
Trash Bag

Lining the inside of your pack with a heavy duty trash bag will keep the contents of your pack dry on rainy days.

1 Optional
Watch w/ Altimiter

An altimeter is very useful in gauging progression of altitude gain or loss when climbing, and especially when visibility is decreased due to weather. Many Altimeter watches have compasses and/or GPS tracking functions.

1

Suunto Vector; Suunto Core

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Water Bottles

1 liter bottles are the standard. Bladders such as Camelbacks and Platypus are acceptable for above freezing temps, but only in conjunction with another bottle. Bladders are not acceptable during sub freezing temps. Sports drinks are also acceptable.

2

Nalgene, Hydro Flask

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Waterproof Shell Jacket

Non-insulated, Gore-Tex, Dermizax, Event, or other waterproofing system is required. Mostly, this jacket sits in the bottom of your pack and comes out when the weather gets nasty with precipitation. This jacket should fit over all other layers.

1

Men: RAB Latok
Women: RAB Latok

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing