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Pro Guiding Service
Domestic & International Trips & Courses with Certified Mountain Guides
Trip

Summer Haute Route

Overview

The Summer Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt is arguably one of the most scenic and famous multi-day hikes in all of the Alps.

$2,400 Per Person
7 Days
Difficulty
Ratio:
2:1

Trip Information

$2,400
Price based on 3 hikers per guide. Please contact us directly for private trips. 425-888-6397 x2 | info@proguiding.com

The Summer Haute Route from Chamonix  to Zermatt is arguably one of the most scenic and famous multi-day hikes in all of the Alps. Our suggested itinerary follows the classic "Ski Haute Route" for some of the route, but stays a bit further north in non glaciated terrain for a large portion. For well over a hundred years "walkers" from all over the world have made the trek from the base of Mont Blanc to the incomparable view of the Matterhorn. This demanding, varied route wanders deep among high mountain glaciers and passes, as well as passing through traditional alpine villages and towns providing a huge variety of terrain, culture and scenery.

Duration: 7
Ratio: 2:1
Difficulty Level:
Click here to learn more about difficulty ratings.

No climbing experience required

Very good physical fitness; you should be able to hike or climb for 5 to 6 hours with a pack varying from 20 to 40 lbs. and ascend 3,000 to 4,000 feet of vertical gain per day for several consecutive days.


Private Trips Available

Pro Guiding Service proudly offers the most diverse ski touring and ski mountaineering programs of any guiding service in the Northwest.
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Itinerary

Day 1:
Argentiere – Champex: We will take a taxi up to the Col de la Forclaz and hike up to the spectacular Col des Ecandides at 2665 meters. From here we will hike down the Val d’Arpette down to the village of Champex. Hiking time about 6 hours.
Day 2:
Champex- Prafleuri: As early as possible we will transfer to Verbier, take the lift system up into the ski area and start our hike to the Cabane de Prafleuri. The trek heads into a very wild and remote section, but the views are stunning as you cross three major mountain passes (cols) today on route to the Prafleuri. First is the Col de la Chaux, then it's up to the Col du Louvie with the pretty mountain hut nestled against the lake shore below, and then the final section is up over the Col Prafleuri. The hut comes in to view far below. Hiking time about 7 to 8 hours.
Day 3:
Prafleuri - Arolla. After crossing the Col des Roux, you trek past the Dix lake to the hut of the same name at its head. Here there is the chance of your first view of the Matterhorn. From the Dix you cross the valley and take one of the passes that leads across to Arolla. We will stay the night in one of the hotels in the centre of the village. Hiking time about 7 to 8 hours.
Day 4:
Arolla – Cabane de Bertol We will leave Arolla (2000 meters) early in the morning and start the ascent to the Cabane de Bertol at 3311 meters. This day is very spectacular and covers a lot of vertical gain. The location of the Bertol hut is certainly worth the effort. Hiking time about 5 to 6 hours.
Day 5:
Cabane de Bertol – Schoenbiel hut This may very well be the most high-alpine section of the week and we will spend the entire day on glaciated terrain. From the Bertol we will hike up to the Col de la Tete Blanche (3650 meters) and then start the long descent down the Schoenbielhut (2694 meters). The looming presence of the Matterhorn West and North Face will dominate the ambience of the day. Hiking time about 7 hours.
Day 6:
Schoenbiel hut – Zermatt Good news. No more uphill travel. We will simply follow the moraine above the Schoenbielgletscher towards Stafelalp and then out to Zermatt. Hiking time about 3 to 4 hours.

Private Trips

Pro Guiding Service proudly offers the most diverse ski touring and ski mountaineering programs of any guiding service in the Northwest. Smaller, more intimate custom itineraries or instructional tours are available for any of our destinations. Tell us what you want to do, and we can create a customized plan for you.
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Pricing

$2,400
per person
Price based on 3 hikers per guide. Please contact us directly for private trips. 425-888-6397 x2 | info@proguiding.com
View Dates & Availability
What's Included In the Trip Price
  • guide fees
  • insurance
  • communication devices
  • hut fees with breakfast and dinners
  • hotel night before the trip start
  • taxi transfer
  • luggage transfer to Zermatt
What's Not Included
  • trip cancellation insurance and rescue insurance
  • transport from the airport to Chamonix and from Zermatt to the airport
  • hotel night at the end of the trip in Zermatt
  • any taxi, bus or train rides due to poor weather and or snow conditions
Payment Policy
If booking a domestic trip that is over 30 days away or an international trip that is over 60 days away, you can book your trip by paying a 20% deposit.  View Full Policy
Cancellation Policy
If you cancel for any reason 30 or more days before domestic trips or 60 or more days before international and Alaska trips, we will refund everything you have paid minus half of your deposit. No refunds will be provided if you cancel your trip for ANY REASON (this includes but is not limited to illness including CoVid-19, injury, or work-related issues) within 30 days of the start of domestic trips or 60 days of international and Alaska based trips.  View Full Policy

Equipment List

Clothing
Base Layer
  • 1 Bottom - midweight or lightweight
  • 1 or 2 Tops - midweight or lightweight
  • non cotton underwear
  • Socks - 2 pair
Mid Layer
  • Windshirt or light soft shell jacket
  • Fleece or similar warm layer
  • Synthetic climbing or hiking pants
  • Shorts
Outerwear
  • Lightweight waterproof/breathable jacket
  • Lightweight waterproof/breathable pants
  • Warm hat - should cover your ears
  • Sun hat - baseball cap or visor
  • Lightweight gloves
  • Warm gloves
  • Down or synthetic puffy-type jacket
  • Gaiters--low top or full size
Personal Gear
  • Day pack - 30-40 liter
    • Everything must fit inside except ice axe, crampons, helmet
    • If approach shoes are worn, mountaineering boots may be on outside of pack as well
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Headlamp - lightweight LED recommended w/extra batteries
  • 2 Water Bottles - liter bottles, wide mouth recommended
  • Water purification - tablets or filter
  • Bowl and Cup - bowl is optional if eating from freeze-dried meal bags
  • Spoon, Fork, or Spork
  • Small Knife
  • Sunglasses - adequate for snow travel
  • Sunscreen - SPF 25+, waterproof
  • Lip Balm - SPF 15+
  • Lighter
  • Personal toiletries - keep it simple: toothbrush, tiny toothpaste, hand sanitizer
  • Wet wipes - there is no running water in the huts
  • Small personal first aid kit - just the basics: blister care, ibuprofin, prescription meds, etc.; your guides will have a substantial group first aid kit
  • Earplugs - essential for sound sleep
Technical Gear
  • Ice Axe - lightweight, 55-70cm
  • Mountaineering Boots - crampon compatible
  • Boot Crampons - 10-12 point steel with anti-ball plates, pre-fit to boots
  • Climbing Harness - mountaineering style preferred (no padding; e.g., BD Alpine Bod)
  • Helmet - climbing helmet UIAA approved
  • Glacier Travel Kit:
    • 2 Locking Carabiners - 2 large/2 small with at least 1 large HMS style
    • 2 Non-locking Carabiners - any style, we recommend wire gates
    • 1 Single Length Dyneema/Dynex Runner/Sling (60cm/24in diameter loop)
    • 1 Double Length Dyneema/Dynex Runner/Sling (120cm/48in diameter loop)
    • 1 Cordelette - 6 mm cord, 6 meter length
    • 2 Ice screws - 13-17 cm length
Optional Items
  • Camera - we’d like some shots for the PGS website!
  • Adjustable Trekking Pole(s) - nice to have for approach/crevasse navigation
  • Camp Booties
  • Thermos - vacuum type
  • Electrolytes - tablets/powder/gel/blocks
  • Note Pad and Pencil - Rite-in-the-Rain brand waterproof notebooks work well
  • Compass - adjustable declination a must
  • Altimeter
  • Map Case - large Ziploc bag works well
  • Maps - contact guiding office for appropriate quadrangles
  • Tibloc and/or MicroTraxion devices - used for crevasse rescue
  • Liner socks - if blister-prone
  • Warm Socks - to sleep in
  • Approach shoes--lightweight running shoes work well
  • Foot Powder
  • Neck gaiter - for protecting your face from sun, wind, cold
Equipment Sales & Rental

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FAQs

What is the easiest way to get to Chamonix?

The best way to get to Chamonix is via bus from the Geneva Airport. There are several private companies that provide transportation from the Geneva airport to Chamonix. These buses or minivans leave from right outside the baggage claim area.

When do we meet?

Your guide will come and meet you at your hotel in the late afternoon of Sunday before the trip start. We will conduct a quick equipment check and get you fully briefed for the next day.

Should I exchange dollars into Euros in Geneva?

It is better to wait until you get to Chamonix. That way you pay the exchange rate only once (as opposed to from dollars to Swiss Francs then to Euros). So wait until you are in France to change Dollars into Euros, but we recommend changing dollars into Swiss Francs in Geneva, as the majority of the trip actually takes place in Switzerland. In fact all the huts we are staying in are Swiss huts. If you do not want to change too much money into Swiss Francs right away, you can also get more money in Verbier on the second day of the trip.

How much "pocket money" to I need?

It is extremely important that you stay properly hydrated and fluids are not cheap in high alpine huts. Count on spending about sfr. 15 to 20 per day on tea, water, beer and wine for sure. Of course there are other things that will tempt you such as chocolate, cakes, sandwiches, and the undeniable Rosti. All things added up, sfr. 200 for the week should probably do it.

Do I have to carry lunch for the entire week?

You have options. You can carry all your lunch food (as it is not included in the trip cost), but hardly anyone does it. Most people buy some bread, cheese, dried meat, sausage, chocolate, trail mix etc. in Chamonix that will last for a couple of days. Then they repeat this in Verbier and end up supplementing it with some items they buy at the huts later in the week. You can also have the hut keeper prepare a lunch packet. They are good, but pretty pricey at about $12 per lunch.

How do we get our extra luggage to Zermatt?

This transfer will be organized by Pro Guiding Service and is included in the trip. Please make sure that your extra luggage consists of one manageable piece.

Do you speak the local language?

Yes, we speak French, German and Italian. Speaking the right language or even better the right dialect does not only simplify logistics, but it opens a lot of doors to extra favors.

How is drinking water handled?

For the most part, you have to buy water in the huts and it is not cheap (about sfr10 for a big bottle). In the morning they will fill up your water bottle with tea or water. There will be water along the way, but you might have to purify it. There are some pretty cool products ranging from tablets to filters (which you are responsible for bringing if you choose that route). You will pass through a few towns and water is very cheap there in grocery stores. Estimate that you will need about 2 liters per day on the trail.

Should we bring energy bars, shot blocks, etc?

A lot of people do, but you can also buy a lot of those things in Chamonix.

What is the temperature range during the course of the week?

This is hard to say, but it could range between 80 F and freezing depending on conditions, time of day and elevation of the trip. You are moving between 5000 and 11,000 feet, so it is safe to say that there might be quite a range. If you pack according the packing list, you should be fine.

What is the projected pack weight we will be carrying?

About 20 to 25 pounds max.

Can I do the Summer Haute Route in a sturdy trail running shoe?

We strongly advise against this, since our Summer Haute Route still travels over several glaciers along the way. Some of these glaciers are crevassed and located at over 10000 feet of elevation. The chance that you will be wearing crampons at times are very good, so a sturdy hiking boot or light mountaineering boot is recommended.

Do I have to make train reservations for the train ride back to the airport at the end of the trip?

There is no need for that. You will be able to buy a ticket at the counter in Zermatt and just walk onto the train. The travel time from Zermatt to Geneva is about 3.5 hours.
If you intend to do further travel in Switzerland , you might consider purchasing the Halfprice Pass from the Swiss Railway System. Check it out at: http://www.sbb.ch/en/travelcards-and-tickets/railpasses/half-fare-travelcard.html

Should I tip my guide?

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.

Why Book With Us? 

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Every tour has a carefully thought-out guide-to-customer ratio. You always get a safe, high-quality trip or learning environment with us.
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You will travel and learn from experts. We've pioneered several alpine climbing routes, ski descents, and traverses and we've written books on skills and routes in the industry. 
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