The most technically and physically demanding variation of the Haute Route. It is also the most scenic and least crowded variation. Amazing views and great skiing will reward you efforts.

ALL INCLUSIVE PACKAGE
There are no hidden costs. All transport, lift passes and accommodation are included. You will need only pocket money for drinks, snacks and packed lunches.
FLEXIBILITY
We will adjust the itinerary in case of bad weather.
Purist Haute Route
Technically and physically demanding itinerary, very scenic with good ski descents. The least busy variation of the Chamonix - Zermatt Haute Route.

GRANDE LUI HAUTE ROUTE SKI TOUR

Ski the integral Chamonix - Zermatt Haute Route in 7 days

From 1,990.00€

Price per person for a group of 4 skiers. 

View Dates
   

Expert tech level

 

Available March - April

 

Fitness level 5/5

 

Maximum 4 skiers per guide

 

7 days of skiing

 

6 nights on huts

This Haute Route variation is also known as ‘the purist Haute Route’. 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 guides speak English. 
  • We are locally run and fully French registered business based in Chamonix. 

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

Dates

Grande Lui Haute Route Ski Tour dates - 2019

Start date Spaces
Price from
 
April 14, 2019
1,990.00€
L
   Limited Availability
F
Fully Booked
G
Guaranteed
2
Two More to Guarantee

Itinerary

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

Level Requirements

Experience and fitness

You need to have the following experience and level to join us on these trips:

  • Expert off piste ski level, you have to be comfortable, quick and 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.

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 springtime, you have plenty of time to ski and ski tour prior the trip.

Equipment

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

3 x Screwgate carabiner

3 x 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

Included or not

Included

Guide Fees

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

Mountain huts

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.

Personal 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 personalised 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.

Practical Information

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.

If you have any food allergies or dietary requirements especially if you are a Coeliac (Gluten free) or have a dairy allergy we strongly recommend you bring some food to supplement your hut dinners. The huts are fairly good at providing for vegetarians but less so for other dietary needs. The huts can provide a small basic packed lunch of bread, salami, cheese and chocolate that you can buy each day but it’s important that you don’t rely on this option only. You do need to carry some snack food for each day.

Course dates

Do not hesitate to contact us if our existing course dates are not convenient for you. We will be happy to customise a set of dates according to your holiday plans. However, please note that the Haute Route is a very busy tour and huts get booked out fast. It maybe difficlut to customise your dates for last minute bookings. 

Getting to Chamonix

Chamonix is one of the easiest alpine resorts to get to, being just over an hour's drive from Geneva international airport. Lyon, Turin and Milan airports are also all within a few hours drive. The best way to get from Geneva airport to Chamonix is by transfer bus, either shared with other passengers or private. You will be met in the arrivals lounge by your driver and dropped at your accommodation in Chamonix; there is no extra charge for your luggage or equipment. We work only with the most reliable transfer companies in the valley and are happy to organise your journey for you, please contact us for prices and booking.

Staying in Mountain Huts

The high alpine huts are one of the big attractions to mountaineering or trekking in the Alps. They allow us the time to enjoy the mountains with only light packs and without having to worry about meals or finding somewhere to sleep! Most huts have only very basic facilities. Sleeping arrangements are in mixed sex dormitory-style rooms with bunks; there can be up to 20 people in one room.

Washing facilities are limited and generally there is no running water in any of the huts although this may vary in some huts. There are basins in which you can use bottled water to wash and clean your teeth, but they are NOT generally in private cubicles and are mixed sex. Toilets are generally septic-tank type (so non-flushing) and again mixed sex. You need to be prepared for simple living in the huts and appreciate they are located at high altitude and in inhospitable terrain.

The guardian and his/her team serve a 3-course evening meal and breakfast - food is usually nourishing and filling. Beer, wine, soft drinks and snacks are also available. All food and drink in the huts is delivered by helicopter and consequently prices will be high e.g. between 5 -10€ or 10CHF for a 1.5litre bottle of still water.

There are a few basic hut ‘rules’ that you need to follow so that you (and your fellow climbers) have a pleasant stay:

1) On arriving at the hut you must take off your boots and leave these together with your ice axe, crampons in the foyer. Be sure to store these carefully as the hut is likely to get very busy and you’ll need to find all your kit in the morning rush!

2) House slippers are provided and must be worn in the hut

3) Your guide will register you with the guardian and will assign you your bunk

4) Follow the instructions of your guide and keep requests to the guardian and his team to a minimum – they are usually very busy sorting out groups, cooking meals, keeping the hut clean

5) In the morning your guide will often want to leave early – be sure to have all your kit ready to go the night before. Be organized and everything will be much easier!

6) It is recommended to bring earplugs for the nights – but make sure that you wake up on time!

Our Guides

All Chamex mountain guides are fully qualified, highly experienced and passionate about what they do. Everyone who works as part of the Chamex team has been thoroughly vetting and is trusted by us to give our clients the best experience possible - you are in safe hands! If you would like to know more then you can meet the Chamex team here.

Additional Services

Equipment hire

Please see the list of recommended equipment on the other tab. Most technical equipment can be rented here in Chamonix, please contact us if you would like prices and advice on whatever you need. Chamonix has dozens of outdoor shops selling everything from basic head torches to expedition standard sleeping bags, so whatever you don't already have you can find it here.

Insurance

Search and rescue is not included in the trip package but is obligatory. We can organise the insurance at a cost of 8€ per day for EU citizens and 12€ per day for non-EU citizens. This will cover you for search and rescue services, evacuation by helicopter and emergency medical treatment. You should also make sure that you have adequate travel insurance that covers you for the usual things such as cancelled flights, lost luggage, hospital treatment, etc. Please contact us to organise mountain rescue insurance for your trip.

Accommodation in Chamonix

If you wish to book accommodation in Chamonix we would be happy to recommend some local hotels, gites, self-catered apartments, or chalets and advise on the best locations. Please contact us if you would like help finding accommodation in Chamonix.

Airport transfers

We can help you to organise your transport to/from Chamonix. We work with well-established airport transfer companies which use new and comfortable vehicles and which have the capacity and know-how to handle everything from delayed and cancelled flights, to unexpected traffic jams with professionalism and efficiency.

To book your transfer, we will need the following: 

  • Your full name 
  • Mobile phone number 
  • Email address 
  • Your destination address 
  • Your flight details (date, time and flight number)

SHARED TRANSFERS: 


This is the most economic and ecologically friendly way of travel. The driver will meet and greet you at the airport, gather you and the rest of the passenger group together and then head off to your chosen destination. The door-to-door service means that you will be dropped off and picked up right at your hotel /chalet / apartment. From 40€ per person for one-way and 80€ per person for a return trip.

PRIVATE TRANSFERS: 


Private Transfers are the quickest way to get to and from the airport. Your driver will meet and greet you at the airport and guide you to your vehicle. There is no waiting for other passengers. Private transfers are available for one to eight person bookings and travelling together and you are guaranteed sole occupancy of the vehicle for your transfer. And, of course, it's a door-to-door service, so you won't be lugging any bags very far. 250€ per car for one-way and 500€ per car for a return trip.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 personal linen, it is for hygienic purposes. 

Q4 How fit do I have to be?

You will be skiing and hiking in high 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 Wi-Fi and mobile reception on the huts?

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

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