Advanced Level | Private Guiding
✦ Start in Verbier
✦ Glaciers, High Passes, Summits
✦ 3 mountain huts + 1 hotel nights
✦ Interesting and Varied Itinerary
✦ A Must-Do Ski Tour
On this route, we propose a 5-day program starting in Verbier and finishing in Zermatt. It is a truly unique route where great skiing on long and interesting descents matches the endless high-altitude scenery.
This route avoids the two first days of the longer Chamonix – Zermatt variant of the route, but splits the last day up in two, by going through the Bertol hut. This ensures a slightly easier option and avoids having to do a very long last day, through some steep and difficult passages.
We believe this variant is great, as we get a great ski day down from the Pigne d’Arolla to the town of Arolla, where we can get a welcome shower and a good night’s sleep. You can also argue that we simply have a better chance of reaching Zermatt as the last day isn’t as hard as if going from the Vignettes hut.
|N. of Participants||Price per Participant||Total Group Price|
Please get in touch for a quote.
Planning & logistics
We make arrangements so the trip runs smoothly (hire guides, book huts, take bookings, etc.).
If you need help finding accommodation, airport transfers, or other questions leading up to the course, we will help you.
5 days with UIAGM/IFMGA guides
The guides working with us hold the highest recognized mountaineering certificate. They are equally a friendly and nice group of guides used to handling groups and climbs in the Alps.
Group equipment (ropes & safety gear)
The guides provide the “group security gear.” You only need to make sure you have your equipment ready. Check the gear section.
Avalanche safety equipment
If you haven’t got your personal avalanche transceiver/shovel/probe, you will be able to borrow it from us.
If you wish to bring an avalanche bag (ABS or other), ensure the extra weight isn’t a problem!
4 nights of accommodation
3 nights in mountain refuges in bunk-style rooms + 1 night in a hotel in Arolla on a half-board pension
Taxi from Zermatt – Verbier
Any cost not mentioned in the “Included” section. The most important ones are:
Transport to Verbier
Read more under practical info.
Accommodation not included
Any accommodation not included in the course you need to book yourself. We can help you organize this at an added charge.
Read more under practical info.
You will have expenses for lift tickets in order of 50 CFF with the suggested program.
Personal ski gear
Check the gear section.
Lunches & drinks
Most huts take credit cards, but having some cash (Swiss Francs) for smaller amounts is best.
You should make sure you are adequately insured. Check our page on insurance.
Other possible costs
If, for some reason, we need to alter the program and extra costs will be introduced, the guide will let the group know.
We suggest starting on a Monday, but we could also agree to depart on a Sunday or a Tuesday.
Note: The program is given as a suggested itinerary. The guide in charge will modify the itinerary if needed to ensure the most successful and safe passage for the team. We aim to follow the program as long as it is possible. All huts will be booked well in advance.
Day 0 – Sunday. Meeting in Chamonix. This day can be booked as an additional training day*.
A group meeting will be organized in the afternoon on the day before our departure, where the guide in charge will pass on the latest information about the trip and conditions on the route. This is a chance to get acquainted with the guide and the rest of the team and get answers to last-minute questions.
We suggest those who need to make gear rentals or purchases, etc., arrive early to get it sorted.
The following morning, we will not have much time to sort out equipment, as we will drive towards Verbier before the shops open.
* Book an extra day with the guide before the group program to ensure all the gear is right for the trip and receive additional training.
** This can be arranged if the private group wants to have this meeting in Verbier. This would involve an extra guide day expense + the guide’s lodging in Verbier the evening before the HR departure. This would be an excellent way to do a small ski touring/off-piste day and ensure everyone had all the equipment sorted. Please ask for a quote for this possibility.
Day 1 – Monday. Verbier – Cabane du Prafleuri
We meet in Le Chable just below the Verbier ski resort. Here, we can stock up on snacks & nuts in a local supermarket. There is also a Bank and a cash machine available.
We take the uphill lifts through the Verbier ski system to reach the Col des Gentianes. From here, our touring starts. We cross the Col de la Chaux (2939m) and Col de Momin (3000m) and will finally climb the summit of the Rosablanche (3335m), which offers a short but exciting climb with great views towards the following days of our route.
We ski down the Glacier de Prafleuri to our destination for the night. The Prafleuri hut 2662m.
6-7h – ▼1400m ski down, ▲ 560m tour up
Day 2 – Tuesday. Prafleuri hut – Dix hut
From the Prafleuri hut, we reach the Dix hut after a long and, at times, technical traverse above the Dix lake. The hard work getting to the Dix hut is rewarded with one of the best terraces in the Alps, where a dish of local Rösti and a beer is in order. We often do an additional tour for the strongest team members up behind the hut to pass some time and do some turns.
5-6h – 800▲
We can make a small additional ski tour from the Dix hut if group members are interested. This is a great addition to the day when the snow conditions are good.
Day 3 – Wednesday. Dix hut – Arolla
We have a great day ahead of us. A ski tour to the top of our highest point on the Haute Route – the Pigne d’Arolla 3781m. It’s a very enjoyable day with stunning scenery and great touring. Early in the morning, we ski from the DIx hut down onto the Glacier de Cheilon, where we start our tour up the steepening Tsena Réfien glacier. We do numerous kick-turns up the glacier until we reach the start of the Serpentine section. This is often hard and icy; we often climb up and over the steep slope with crampons on and skis on our backpacks. From the top of the Serpentine, we cross over the plateau and reach the summit on a steady, gradual rise. The view from the top is amazing. We feel closer to the Matterhorn and the other mighty summits of the Swiss Valais Alps. Far in the distance, we can distinguish the Mont Blanc massif where we started. We often have good snow skiing down from the vast open slopes of the Pigne, avoiding any zone with crevasses. We pass through the Col des Vignettes and ski onto the Glacier de Pièce. Sometimes, we stop in the Vignettes hut for a nice rösti before we ski down to Arolla 1968m. We often have great snow on this long ski descent. We spent the night in a hotel—time for a shower.
5-6h – ▲ 940m ▼ 1800m
Day 4 – Thursday. Arolla – Bertol hut
We will once again head up into the higher mountains. We have a long ski tour to the Bertol hut 3311m ahead of us. While it is a long way and a hard climb, the night in a hotel, the good food, and the refreshing showers have made us restitute well and ready us for the last two days of touring and skiing. We follow the valley out of Arolla towards the imposing north face of the Mont Collon 3563m. We divert up and onto the Plan Bertol, where we can spot the hut high up on the steep ridge line. The climb steepens, and we end up doing many kick-turns before we reach the base of the Bertol hut.
There is no other hut like the Bertol hut, which originally was just a small wooden hut, only accessible for the good alpinist. Today, long ladders give us access to the hut. The hut is smaller than the other huts we have visited so far and has amazing views towards the Dent Blanche 4357m and Pigne d’Arolla 3781m, the top we skid from yesterday.
4-5h – ▲ 1345m ▼ 0m
Day 4 – Friday. Bertol hut – Zermatt
The final and “King” stage of the Haute Route. Amazing scenery and stunning views are on the program. Climbing down the ladders of the Bertol hut with the surrounding mountains slowly appearing in the morning light is a very exciting start to the day. We have about 3h of touring up the Glacier du Mont Miné before we reach the summit of Tête Blanche 3771m. The views to the Matterhorn 4478m and the Dent d’Hérens 4173m are stunning. We also have a good view of the start of the route down the Stockji glacier. It is a very impressive scenery. We start the route down by navigating through some huge crevasses. We need good weather and visibility to pass this section of the glacier. After a long slide out of the lower part of the Zmutt glacier, we join the Zermatt ski area. Alongside normal skiers dressed in the latest fashion ski wear, we cruise into the mountain town of Zermatt.
We have a taxi waiting for us to bring us back to Verbier.
5-6h – ▲ 510m ▼ 2100m
The Verbier – Zermatt Haute Route variant is a long ski tour with 5 days of consecutive touring. We will often meet all kinds of weather and will ski a lot of different snow conditions.
It is important to carefully select the clothing and technical gear you are bringing to ensure you are not carrying too much or have equipment that isn’t up for the task.
Everyone should understand that a gear failure can greatly impact everyone’s trip, as we, in the worst case, will have to exit the route to get equipment fixed or replaced…
Regarding clothing, the layering principle works best, as we can adjust our temperature by adding or taking off layers as the weather changes.
It’s important to have relatively light clothes, but it’s just as important that the garments are of high quality, durable, and weather resistant.
You can rent good ski touring equipment in Chamonix or Verbier, but book in advance. We can book this equipment for you if you are starting in Chamonix.
The best will always be to have your kit, which you have put together to your preference. You should have done several ski tours on your equipment before going onto the Haute Route.
Feel free to contact us for advice.
Shell Pants – various options (see general Ski touring gear page)
Extra warm layer
Ski touring boots*
* can be rented in Chamonix. If you join the group in Verbier, please make sure to have prepared all your equipment in advance.
1 x T-shirt (easily drying version)
1 extra underwear
1 x extra socks
Sleeping bag liner
Money/Passport/Social Security/Insurance card
Tour Grade: S3 & T3/C
Please read through the requirements for participating in this tour and follow the link to the “grading page.”
You are a good off-piste skier with lots of experience and can manage skiing with a backpack in good control.
If the terrain is steep, you can make controlled short turns up to 40 degrees or at least side-slip very controlled down.
Some of the terrain we will be skiing demands precision and control.
We expect you to have skied with your equipment and that you are familiar with how the skis work.
You should know how to use your avalanche beacon and have had basic information about skiing in avalanche terrain.
You most likely have your ski touring equipment. You have emphasized its lightweight (tech/pin binding setup) for use on longer day tours and hut-to-hut trips.
You are used to handling skins, ski crampons, ice axes, and crampons. You can do kick-turns on slopes of 30-35 degrees.
You are okay with climbing steeper terrain with your skis on the back-pack using crampons and an ice-axe for progression.
It is a demanding itinerary with long days of ski touring. Every day is another adventure. You can expect 6-8 hours daily with 600-1400m height meters of altitude gain. We also do a lot of good skiing 🙂
Make sure to train regularly before you arrive for the Haute Route. This is a hard ski touring route with 5 consecutive days of ski touring.
We suggest you try and do at least a weekend or a full week of touring in the early winter before heading off on the Haute Route. This will be great practice and allow you to adjust and try out your equipment.
Course Specific Information
Transport to Verbier
Is it possible to meet in Chamonix. We will, on the first day, drive together towards Verbier.
Getting to Chamonix or the course venue
For most of our clients, the easiest way to get to Chamonix or the Alps, in general, is by plane. The nearest airport is Geneva.
Read more about getting to Chamonix here – Click here.
Not everyone wants the same accommodation type, so we rarely include Valley accommodation. Check our suggested hotels, B&B, and campsites on this page – Click here.
If you want us to include hotel nights in the price, please let us know what standard you are looking for.
You must take out search & rescue, repatriation, and cancellation insurance. Read more about insurance here – Click here.
We believe our finest task is to give every client a unique mountain experience without taking unnecessary risks. The experience of the mountain guide, access to the most recent weather forecasts, and information sharing between guides are some of the important elements for making good and sound judgment calls. Suppose conditions or other situations render an attempt at a peak dangerous, avalanche conditions of a ski tour no longer possible, etc.. In that case, the guide will do his/her best to devise a good alternate plan. This might be a 100% change of the program. Emphasis is put on staying safe and having a great time!
In some of our courses, we stay in mountain huts. On hut-to-hut trips, they are part of the itinerary; at other times, we use them as the starting point for a climb or ski tour.
The mountain huts offer basic accommodation in bunk-style rooms. Blankets and duvets are in the huts, so you don’t need to bring a sleeping bag. It is obligatory to bring a sleeping bag liner.
We are served a simple breakfast and a 3-course dinner (soup, main meal, dessert).
We will let the guardian of the hut know if you are on a special diet (vegetarians, allergies, etc.). Vegans will need to bring supplementary food.
There are hut slippers available for use inside the hut.
It’s helpful to bring cash for personal expenses (water, soft drinks, beer, lunches, etc.)
There is mostly no tap water in the huts, and you must buy bottled water.
You will be able to charge your phone.
Some mountain huts have showers. You must mostly pay for this; only a few huts can provide towels.
Make a booking
Please read through all the course information. Please make sure that you have the required level to join the course.
Contact us if you have any questions.
Read more about the booking process here – Click here.
We will need all to join a course to complete our “Participation Form.”