Summer Haute Route

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.

August 21, 2017 - August 26, 2017

Difficulty rating and Skill requirements

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 2 to 3 consecutive days.

  • Category: Alpine
  • Type: Guided
  • Ratio: 3:1,6:2
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.  
Suggested 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.

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Pro Ski and Mountain Service is our retail specialty store. It has been located in North Bend, WA since 1999.

The past trips and courses have had a large influence on what we sell. Many of our Pro Guiding customers come on trips and courses with gear they purchased from our store. Not only do we want our clients to have the right gear for the job; we also receive direct feedback from them while they are using it in the field. Trust us - if the gear does not work - we won't sell it.

•            BASE  LAYER
o            1 Bottom - midweight or lightweight
o            Non-Cotton Underwear
o            1 or 2 Tops - midweight or lightweight
o            Sock Liners - 2 or 3 pair
o            Socks - 2 pair
•            MID LAYER
o            Windshirt, Soft Shell, Fleece Jacket - only one of these is necessary
o            Soft shell type pants
o            Shorts
•            OUTERWEAR
o            Lightweight Waterproof/Breathable Jacket
o            Lightweight Waterproof/Breathable Pants - may be omitted w/ soft shell type pants
o            Warm Hat - should cover ears
o            Sun Hat - baseball type or visor
o            Lightweight Gloves - wind block or fleece/wool type
o            Warm Gloves
o            Gaiters - low top 
•            INSULATION
o            Lightweight down or synthetic jacket
o            Day Pack - 35 Liter (2200 cu in.) minimum
o            light weight Mountaineering Boots  or sturdy hiking boot- leather or synthetic, crampon compatible for universal crampon fit system
o            Headlamp – lightweight LED recommended w/ extra batteries
o            Water Bottles - 1 or 2 liters, wide mouth
o            Small Knife
o            Sun Glasses
o            Sunscreen - SPF 25+, waterproof
o            Lip Balm - SPF 15+
o            Personal Toiletries - toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.
              waterless hand cleaner (wet wipes) - there is no running water in the huts
o            Small Personal 1st Aid Kit - blister repair, aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.
o            Sleeping bag liner – they can also be purchased in the huts
o            Ear Plugs - essential for sound sleep
o            Ice Axe - 55-70 cm length, aluminum
o            Crampons ALUMINIUM is ok, 12 point, pre-fit to boots
o            Anti-ball plates - for crampons
o            Climbing Harness - mountaineering style (e.g. B.D. Alpine Bod)
o            Locking Biners (1) - (1) large  and (1) regular locker
o            Non-locking Biners (2) - any style, we prefer wire gate type
o            Sewn Slings (2) - 1 single length (60 cm), 1 double length (120 cm)
OPTIONAL ITEMS *We highly recommend these items, but do not require them to participate.
o            Camera - we’d like some shots for the PGS website!
o            Adjustable Trekking Pole(s) 
o            Thermos - vacuum type
o            Warm Socks - to sleep in
o            Foot Powder
o            Cash - to purchase water and food in the huts
GROUP GEAR PROVIDED BY PGS *Please contact the guiding office if you prefer to bring your own gear in place of any of our group gear.
o            Ropes
o            Technical Group Gear (crevasse rescue kit), VHF radio
o            Group 1st Aid Kit