Ski off the two highest peaks in the Alps: Mont Blanc (4808 meters) to Chamonix (1030 meters) and Pointe Dufour of the Monte Rosa (4634 meters) to Zermatt (1600 meters). The vertical drops from the summits of Mont Blanc and Monte Rosa to the towns of Chamonix and Zermatt are enormous. We will attempt to ski from these summits in some of the most spectacular scenery the Alps have to offer.
Ski off the two highest peaks in the Alps: Mont Blanc, 4808 meters to Chamonix, 1030 meters and Pointe Dufour of the Monte Rosa, 4634 meters to Zermatt, 1600 meters. The vertical drops from the summits of Mont Blanc and Monte Rosa to the towns of Chamonix and Zermatt are enormous. We will attempt to ski from these summits in some of the most spectacular scenery the Alps have to offer.
Overall Difficulty Level: Very difficult
Skills Required: Advanced skiing ability and prior ski touring experience . Prior use of crampons recommended.
Fitness Level: Very strenuous due to climbing and ski touring at high altitude
We will meet on Sunday afternoon in Chamonix and go through a thorough gear check.
Day 1: There is not much of a warm up this week. We will start by skiing the super- classic Couloir Cosmique from the Aiguille de Midi if it is in condition. We might also ski across the Plateau du Geant and ski down to Le Pavillon in Italy via the Glacier de Toule. We will cap off the day with a run down the famous Vallee Blanche and return back to Chamonix for the night. It is important to be ready for this day.
Day 2: We will take the gondola back up to the Plan de l'Aiguille and tour up to the Refuge les Grands Mulets at 3057 meters. This day is not that strenuous.
Day 3: We will be getting up in the dark and start skinning up towards the summit of Mont Blanc via Point Bravais, Col du Dome and the Refuge-Bivouac Vallot (4362 meters). We should reach the summit of Mont Blanc (4808 meters) in about 6 hours. The descent from the summit will take us past the famous Grand Plateau and from there down the Glacier des Bossons to Chamonix or back to the Plan de l'Aiguille. The descent will certainly cover 8,000 feet of vertical, possibly more. Time to relax in Chamonix.
Day 4: After a leisurely start we will transfer to Zermatt. A well deserved rest day.
Day 5: We will summit the Breithorn (4164 meters) or the Pollux (4092 meters) before we ski the super-classic Schwarztor down to the Gornerglacier and ascend for about 2 hours to the Monte Rosa hut (2883 meters).
Day 6: Another early start will get us underway up the Monte Rosagletscher and up to the Satteltole at around 4300 meters. From here we will climb the easy but somewhat exposed summit ridge to the Dufourspitze (4634 meters). It might also be possible to skin up to the Silbersattel and climb directly to the summit from there. The descent back down to Zermatt will cover right around 10000 feet of vertical. Unforgettable.
Day 7: This day is reserved as a weather day. Having this extra day simply ups our chances of success for this ambitious week. If weather and conditions are on our side, we might just go corn skiing on the Cervina side for the day.
Of course, this itinerary is condition-dependent. Please be aware that this trip is a full-blown ski mountaineering trip in high alpine terrain. Excellent fitness, excellent skiing ability, and prior ski mountaineering experience are prerequisites.
Snow Travel Gear
It is best to fly into Geneva and take the bus. Once you leave the baggage claim area, look across the hall. The counter is located on the other side of the hall. The bus is called Chamonix Bus and leaves from just outside the baggage claim area.
It is better to wait until you get to Chamonix. That way you pay the change rate only once (as opposed to US dollars to Swiss Francs then to Euros).
This will be organized by Pro Guiding Service and is included in the trip. Please make sure to keep your extra luggage to a reasonable amount.
Yes, we speak French, German and Italian. Martin Volken grew up in the Zermatt Valley, and knows many locals in Zermatt and the surrounding area.
This is definitively a ski mountaineering trip with big physical pushes. There is a lot of everything going on during this trip: technical skinning, hard skiing, and big vertical gains. It is very important that you have your gear completely dialed for this week. We generally recommend a classic ski touring setup like a K2 Wayback 88 and a solid tech binding.
You have to be in excellent physical condition for this trip. You will do 2 days that boast over 6500 feet of vertical gain at a high altitude.
Although tipping is not a requirement, it is considered standard practice in the guiding industry and is appreciated by our guides. We generally recommend roughly 10%-15% of your course or trip cost or a flat amount that you are comfortable with.