Chamonix to Zermatt Haute Route

~ Monday 25th April 2016

Chamonix to Zermatt Haute Route is probably the best known ski tour in the Alps...or the world! It's can be busy and is (consequently) often under-estimated, but in reality completing the whole route needs good conditions, good fitness and 5 days of reasonable weather. Reaching Zermatt can be very challenging!

We had a frustrating start last week as lots of fresh snow and wind meant it seemed best to skip the first stage - disappointing, but probably the right call as we then met several teams who'd tried and failed to get over the Col du Passon in deep snow and poor visibility.

Happily we got a last minute booking at a surprisingly quiet Montfort hut, and then perfect weather returned on Tuesday for some great skiing on the Rosablanche. Phew.

Day 3 gave us great views of the Patrouille des Glaciers race, heading the opposite direction to us as we climbed to the Dix hut.

Perfect weather again for the climb to the Pigne d'Arolla. The highest point on the route, the Pigne is a long, crevassed ascent with some steep skinning (and exposure!) on the Mur de la Serpentine.

Friday is the longest day of the route - a great finale - but sadly the good weather didn't last. With clouds and snow at Vignettes we opted for a safe descent to Arolla. Next time...

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