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S4

Grande Lui Haute Route Ski Tour

Ski the integral Chamonix - Zermatt Haute Route in 7 days.

 

The most technically and physically demanding variation of the Haute Route. It is also the most scenic and least crowded variation. You efforts will be rewarded by amazing views and great skiing. There are no taxis or lifts involved in this itinerary, you will complete the whole trip on foot - an excellent choice of itinerary for those who wish to ski the ‘real thing’. 

This itinerary involves long ski days, on average 8 hours per day in good conditions. There are no easy stages and some of the passages are relatively steep and technical. 

We run these trips in smaller groups, maximum 4 skiers per guide. This Haute Route variation is for expert skiers with lot of ski touring experience and very good level of fitness with strength and endurance. 

 

Why book your Haute Route with Chamex guides? 

  • Our trips are all inclusive - even the transport from Zermatt is included. 
  • The only costs you have to add to your budget are packed lunches, snacks and drinks on huts. 
  • Guaranteed pre-reserved places on huts.
  • Flexibility - we will adjust the itinerary in case of bad weather. 
  • We work with fully qualified UIAGM mountain guides, local to Chamonix with years of guiding experience.
  • All our guide speak English. 
  • We are locally run and fully French registered business based in Chamonix. 

 

Description

Level Requirements

  • Expert off piste ski level, you have to be comfortable / quick / efficient skiing in all snow conditions. You have to confident skiing on steep terrain. 
  • Very good ski touring experience is also required. You need to be quick and efficient in skinning, be confident to do kick turns on varied and steep terrain. 
  • Experience in using boot crampons, ski crampons and ice axe. 
  • You should have already completed at least one hut-to-hut ski tour. 
  • High level of fitness and good endurance. 

Chamex Haute Route Packages

All our haute Route packages are all inclusive. We take care of all the logistics (transport, lift passes, booking of the huts, etc) for you to just relax and enjoy the amazing skiing. Your trip with us starts and ends in our offices in Chamonix. There are no hidden costs. The only expenses you have to calculate with are packed lunches, drinks & snacks on the huts. 

Prices

  • Group of 2 skiers : 3150€ per person
  • Group of 3 skiers : 2350€ per person
  • Group of 4 skiers : 1990€ per person

Price

1990€

Price per person for a group of 4 skiers. 

Course Dates

2018
Start Date End Date Spaces
Mar 18 Mar 24 4
Mar 26 Apr 01 4
Apr 15 Apr 21 4
Apr 22 Apr 28 4

G
  The Course is guaranteed to run


Included

Guide Fees

7 days of guiding and instruction by a UIAGM qualified mountain guide.

Accommodation (half-board)

6 nights accommodation in mountain huts with breakfast and dinner included.

Lift passes

The cost of any lift access that is required during the course for the itinerary described above. 

Transport

Any transport that is required during the course including the return trip from Zermatt to Chamonix.

Group Equipment

Ropes, safety equipment, etc will be provided when needed by your guide.

Office Support

Our team is based at the foot of the Aiguillle du Midi cable car and will be happy to help you with any questions you may have before, during or after your trip to Chamonix.

Not Included

Accommodation in Chamonix

Any accommodation additional to that provided during the course. If you wish to stay in Chamonix for a few days before or after your trip, we will be happy to help you find and book accommodation on request.

Packed Lunches, Snacks & Drinks

The course includes breakfasts and evening meals each day. You will need to provide and carry your own packed lunches, snacks, drinks and any additional food that you may wish to bring. On some days we may have the option of buying lunch at a mountain refuge or nearby restaurant.

Equipment

Please see the "Equipment" tab to find out what you will need. Anything that you do not already have can be rented here in Chamonix, if there is anything you need then please contact us and we will be happy to organise it for you.

For private customised guiding, please contact us directly to confirm your perdoanlised kit list.

Travel to Chamonix

The price does not include flights, airport transfers or any other travel to/from Chamonix. However, we can organise airport transfers for you on request, please contact us for details.

Insurance

We strongly recommend that you take our Search and Rescue mountain insurance - we can organise this for you on request.

Arrival day in Chamonix

The group will meet at our office in Chamonix Sud the evening before the first day of the trip. You will have an informal chat with your guide about the week ahead, weather, conditions, itinerary, etc. The guide will also want to check all of your equipment and make sure everything is in order.

Day 1: Argentiere to Trient hut

Early morning start to catch the first lift up to Grands Montes. Ski down to Argentiere glacier and skin up via Col du Passon (3 028m) to the Col Supérieur du Tour (3 289 m).  Then the route takes you across the magnificent Trient plateau and up to the Trient hut where you will spend the night.

Descent 1100m - Ascent 650m - Time 6 - 8 h

Day 2: Ski to La Fouly

Ski from Trient hut by the Fenetre de Saleina and Col de la Grande Lui (optional: Grande Lui summit) to La Fouly for the night. 

Descent 2 100m - Ascent 600m - Time 5 - 6 h

Day 3: Ski to the cabane Plan du Jeu

Ski from La Fouly to to the cabane Plan du Jeu for the night

Descent 880m - Ascent 1 350m - Time 6 - 8 h

Day 4: Ski to cabane de Valsorey

Ski from the cabane Plan du Jeu to to cabane de Valsorey

Descent 780m - Ascent 1 750m - Time 8 - 10 h

Day 5: Ski to cabane de Chanrion

Ski from the cabane de Valsorey to cabane de Chanrion via the Plateau du du Couloir. 

Descent 1 500m - Ascent 910m - Time 7 - 9 h

Day 6: Ski to the cabane des Vignettes

Ski from the cabane de Chanrion to the cabane des Vignettes via the Pigne d’Arolla.

Descent 630m - Ascent 1 330m - Time 7 - 9 h

Day 7: Ski to Zermatt

Ski from the cabane des Vignettes to Zermatt via Col de l'Eveque, Col du Mont Brule and Col de Valpelline. A private minibus will take you back to Chamonix. 

Time 8 - 9 h

Clothing

Warm hat

Warm hat

Thermal underwear

Thermal underwear

Fleece or woollen layers

Fleece or woollen layers

Light puffer jacket

Light puffer jacket

Windproof and waterproof jacket

Windproof and waterproof jacket

Windproof and waterproof trousers

Windproof and waterproof trousers

Warm gloves

Warm gloves

Thin gloves

Thin gloves

Sun hat

Sun hat

Technical gear

Ice Axe

Ice Axe

Harness

Harness

Telescopic poles

Telescopic poles

Ski goggles

Ski goggles

Screwgate carabiner

Screwgate carabiner

60 - 120 cm tape sling

60 - 120 cm tape sling

Climbing helmet

Climbing helmet

Ski / splitboard skins

Ski / splitboard skins

35 - 45 litres rucksack with attachment loops for skis or snowboard

35 - 45 litres rucksack with attachment loops for skis or snowboard

Crampons

Crampons

Ski touring skis

Ski touring skis

Ski touring boots

Ski touring boots

Ski / splitboard crampons

Ski / splitboard crampons

Safety Equipment

Avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe

Avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe

Extras

Sunglasses

Sunglasses

Water bottle (1 litre minimum)

Water bottle (1 litre minimum)

Sun cream high protection (for lips and face)

Sun cream high protection (for lips and face)

Headlamp with fresh batteries

Headlamp with fresh batteries

Sleeping bag liner

Sleeping bag liner

Washbag and toiletries

Washbag and toiletries

Towel

Towel

Food

This trip includes breakfast and dinner every day. You will responsible for organising your packed lunches, drinks and snacks. You will need to bring some cash to pay for these, about 20€ and 200CHF should be sufficient for the trip.

We suggest you bring plenty of snacks that you can take into the mountains with you each day; things like cereal bars, dried fruit and nuts, chocolate, sugary sweets or your favourite trail snacks are ideal. You can buy all of these things in Chamonix.

Equipment rental

We highly recommend that you bring or hire modern and light ski equipment for this trip. Skiing with a heavy backpack is very difficult and tiering. We recommend using modern touring skis ideally 85 - 95 mm under foot - using skis that are too skinny will be hard work in deep powder and skis that are too wide are not great for skinning on a hard-packed snow. Prior to the trip, make sure that your equipment is freshly serviced (waxed and sharpened edges) and in good working order. 

If you need to hire your skis or other equipment, please let us know at least 2 weeks in advance as the hire shops can have limited availability in the busy season.

You can collect your equipment the evening before the start of the course and return it in the evening at the end of your course. We work with the following Chamonix ski hire and mountain shop :

• Concept Pro Shop which is conveniently located directly next door from our office. Open 7/7 08:00-19:00

Optional equipment


  • Thermos – not essential due to weight, but it can be comforting to have a hot drink on a cold day.

  • Water Bottle – should be at least 1.5 litres and durable. 

  • Camelbak hydration systems are good as long as they are kept clean, but not recommended as the tube tends to freeze up.

  • Extra Gloves - a pair of spare gloves is essential.

  • Extra Goggles - spare goggles are highly recommended.

Training for Haute Route

Haute Route and its variations are all physically and technically very demanding. 

You have to be able to hike and ski for about 6 hours without getting too tired the next day. Remember that skiing with a rucksack is more tiring than skiing without one. We will advise you how to reduce the size & weight of your backpack to minimum but you will still have to carry all the essentials. The snow may also not be the easiest to ski if windblown or crusty - you can expect all snow conditions along the way. In short, the fitter you will be more fun you will have on this trip. Best way to prepare is to regularly exercise - running, biking and uphill hiking will keep you stamina at a good level. 

You have to have very good skinning technique and know how to efficiently use your equipment (skis, skins, boot crampons and ice axe, ski crampons). Therefore it is very important that you have good ski touring experience and done some technical tours with use of crampons and ice axe. Ideally, you have already done one hut to hut tour and know how to be energy efficient while hiking and skiing. Since Haute Route season starts closer to the spring time, you have plenty of time to ski and ski tour prior the trip.

FAQ

Q1 I am a very strong off piste skier but have no ski touring experience. Can i join you for the Haute Route trip? 

No you can not. You will need very good skinning technique to be quick and to preserve energy - this can be achieved by extensive ski touring experience. You should also have previous hut to hut ski touring experience to join this tour. if you have never ski toured before, join our Introduction to Ski Touring course. If you did few day ski tours but no hut to hut trip yet, join our Introduction to Hut to Hut trip. 

 

Q2 I am on a snowboard. Can i join this trip? 

We do accept snowboarders on our Haute Route trips. You have to have good splitboarding experience and have already recently completed a hut to hut trip. Please note that we do not mix splitboarders and skiers on our collective trips. We will be happy to organise splitboard friendly itinerary for a private group. 

 

Q3 Do i need a sleeping bag for the huts? 

No, you just need a sleeping bag liner. All huts are equipped with warm covers but they do not have fresh linen. The liner serves as a personal linen, it is for hygienic purposes. 

 

Q4 How fit do i have to be? 

You will be skiing and hiking in hight Alpine environment for about 9h per day for 7 consecutive days. You have to be fit and strong to complete the day pitches without getting too tired the next day. 

 

Q5 When is the best time to ski the HR?

The Haute Route season starts mid March and ends at the beginning of May. The huts are closed outside of this time span and the snow conditions / weather are rarely favourable for this trip. If you enquire for this trip for a private group, you can chose any dates within this time-frame as long as you place your booking with us by the end of September. Check with us for later booking, we may still be able to reserve your places in huts. If you wish to book for a group trip, please check the dates we have on our website. 

 

Q6 What skis and other equipment should i take for this trip? 

You want to have as light gear as possible. Modern ski touring skis are light and still perform well in deep and varied snow. You want to have skis maximum 95mm under the foot fitted with a low tech bindings. You certainly want to take true ski touring boots - light and comfortable. If you wish to bring a helmet, bring a light climbing helmet instead of the heavy and hot ski helmet. 

 

Q7 Do i need a special insurance for this trip? 

Yes, a search and rescue insurance is obligatory on these trips. Contact us if you need help organising this prior your arrival. 

 

Q8 Is there wifi and mobile reception on the huts? 

There is no WIFI on the huts and the mobile reception is very limited.