Day 1: We will meet at 1pm at our hotel (included in price) in the town of Argentiere (10 min from Chamonix). This will allow us to check in, check equipment and prepare for the start of the trip.
Day 2: We will board the Grand Montets gondola and ski the glaciers descending the Aiguille Verte to the Argentiere Glacier. A short but stunning climb to the Refuge d’Argentiere will allow us to acclimatize and also touch up on companion rescue.
Day 3: With an early start we will either climb to the Col du Chardonnet or to the Col du Passon. This is the first technical section of the trip which usually involves either being lowered or rappelling (Col du Chardonnet) or steep snow climbing (Col du passon) with skis on your back. We will traverse the high glaciers of the Trient plateau to reach the Cabane du Trient. This is a beautiful and challenging day on the glaciers above the Chamonix Valley.
Day 4: Breaking off from the traditional Haute Route itinerary, we will cross the Swiss 3 Cols route. This allows us to enjoy one of the longest descents of the trip and will bring us to the beautiful ski village of La Fouly. There will be time to purchase additional lunch supplies and explore the quaint village where we will be spending the night.
Day 5: With an early start we will climb towards the col du Pointe de Drone. This off the beaten path portion of the route will climb steep slopes past 2 alpine lakes before descending to the Historic St Bernard Monastery. The Monastery which was established in 1049 sits at the highest point between Martigny in the Canton of Valais in Switzerland and Aosta in Italy. The pass has been a trade route since well before the Monastery was constructed and yes, this is the area that made the St Bernard rescue dogs famous!
Day 6: After departing the St Bernard Monastery, we will descend to a taxi pick up and shuttle to Verbier. This will be another opportunity to resupply food. After this short break we will ride the lift and traverse to the Cabane Mont Fort. It is possible to upgrade your lift tick to explore the world famous Verbier ski resort if interested.
Day 7: Returning to the traditional Haute Route, our objective for the day will be to reach the Cabane de Prafleuri. The route leaves the ski area and crosses 3 alpine passes before descending the glacier below Mt Rosablanche. It is possible to ascend Mt Rosablanche on route which adds an excellent ski descent.
Day 8: We will require an early start to traverse above the Dix reservoir and climb to the Cabane des Dix. There are possibilities for additional touring above the Cabane des Dix.
Day 9: This is a spectacular day in the mountains. We will climb from the Cabane des Dix up a twisting glacier to the summit of Pigne d’Arolla which provides excellent views towards the Matterhorn and back to Mont Blanc. After we have reached the summit we will enjoy a scenic descent to the exposed Refuge Vignette.
Day 10: With an early start we will descend from the Vignette hut and climb to the Col de l'Eveque. Our descent will once again take us off the beaten path as we descend into Italy. We will ski past the Refugio Nacamuli and continue down valley through European Larch forests to the Refugio. This comfortable hut has showers and an excellent cultural feel.
Day 11: This is a rarely visited area. There are a variety of options depending on conditions but our objective will be to crest the ridge separating the Bionaz Valley and the Valley d’Aosta where we will enjoy a long descent. We will take a short taxi or bus ride into the ski village of Cervinia where we will spend the night.
Day 12: Using a gondola we will gain the high plateau straddling Cervinia and Zermatt. We hope to reach our high point above 4000m by climbing the Breithorn (4164m) or Mt Pollux (4092m) before making a long glacial descent into Zermatt. Over a final diner with the group we will wrap up an excellent trip. (hotel accommodation included)