Why Go?

What to Expect

The Haute Route is the quintessential alpine ski tour, crossing roughly 75 miles from the Mont Blanc Massif in Chamonix to the Matterhorn in Zermatt with +/-19,500 feet of elevation change. Most of the 6-day journey courses through the dazzling Valais Alps, known for housing the highest mountains in Switzerland, including 30 peaks over 13,000 feet. Along the way, you’ll cross glacial terrain by day and warm up in cozy mountain huts each night. But with the route being so popular, it’s important to plan your guide and/or accommodation weeks, if not months, in advance.

"The Haute Route (high road) is the quintessential ‘must do’ ski tour and appears frequently on bucket lists."

-Matt Dickinson

Since there are several variations on the Haute Route, you’ll want to do your research and pick the one best suited to you for this epic journey. The ‘Classic Route’ is generally favored by ski mountaineers, as it includes several challenging ascents, including the infamous Plateau du Couloir. The ‘Verbier Route’ tends to be preferred by those who prefer skiing to mountaineering, as it crosses more skiable terrain. It’s also easier with more reliable snow conditions than the Classic Route, so it’s better for those less experienced in backcountry travel. Lastly for the most popular variations, the ‘Grand Lui Route’ allows purists to go all the way from Chamonix to Zermatt on foot, requiring an extra couple of days. The other routes include short taxi rides and ski lifts for portions of the journey.

Related Places and Events

Italy: Dolomiti Superski

Late Nov-Early May | 90,000 ac | 47″ Snow | 455 Lifts | 9,810′ Top Elev. | 5,794′ Vert. | 0% Beg. | 13% Exp.

Switzerland: Zermatt

Year Round | 360 ac | 300″ Snow | 52 Lifts | 12,792′ Top Elev. | 7,477′ Vert. | 11% Beg. | 10% Exp.

Switzerland: Verbier

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