Mont Blanc and Monte Rosa Ski Descent 2019

Ski off the two highest peaks in the Alps. Mont Blanc, 4808 meters to Chamonix, 1030 meters; Pointe Dufour of the Monte Rosa, 4634 meters to Zermatt, 1600 meters. The vertical drop from the summit of Mont Blanc and Monte Rosa to the towns of Chamonix and Zermatt are enormous. We will attempt to ski from these summits in some of the most spectacular scenery the Alps have to offer.

April 22, 2019 - April 28, 2019

Difficulty rating and Skill requirements

Difficulty Rating System Explained

Overall Difficulty Level: Very difficult

Skills Required:  Advanced skiing ability and prior ski touring experience . Prior use of crampons recommended

Fitness Level: Very strenuous due to climbing and ski touring at high altitude

  • Category: Ski
  • Type: Guided
  • Ratio: 2:1,4:2
Suggested itinerary:
We will meet on Sunday afternoon in Chamonix and go through a thorough gear check.
Day 1:  There is not much of a warm up this week. We will start by skiing the super- classic Couloir Cosmique from the Aiguille de Midi if it is in condition. We might also ski across the Plateau du Geant and ski down to Le Pavillon in Italy via the Glacier de Toule. We will cap off the day with a run down the famous Vallee Blanche and return back to Chamonix for the night. It is important to be ready for this day. 
Day 2: We will take the gondola back up to the Plan de l'Aiguille and tour up to the Refuge les Grands Mulets at 3057 meters. This day is not that strenuous. 
Day 3:  We will be getting up in the dark and start skinning up towards the summit of Mont Blanc via Point Bravais, Col du Dome and the Refuge-Bivouac Vallot (4362 meters).  We should reach the summit of Mont Blanc (4808 meters) in about 6 hours. The descent from the summit will take us past the famous Grand Plateau and from there down the Glacier des Bossons to Chamonix or back to the Plan de l'Aiguille. The descent will certainly cover 8,000 feet of vertical, possibly more. Time to relax in Chamonix.
Day 4: After a leisurly start we will transfer to Zermatt. A well deserved rest day. 
Day 5:   We will summit the Breithorn (4164 meters) or the Pollux (4092 meters) before we ski the super-classic Schwarztor down to the Gornerglacier and ascend for about 2 hours to the Monte Rosa hut (2883 meters).  
Day 6:   Another early start will get us underway up the Monte Rosagletscher and up to the Satteltole at around 4300 meters. From here we will climb the easy but somewhat exposed summit ridge to the Dufourspitze (4634 meters). It might also be possible to skin up to the Silbersattel and climb directly to the summit from there. The descent back down to Zermatt will cover right around 10000 feet of vertical. Unforgettable. 
Day 7:   This day is reserved as a weather day. Having this extra day simply ups our chances of success for this ambitious week. If weather and conditions are on our side, we might just go corn skiing on the Cervina side for the day. 

Please be aware that this trip is a full-blown ski mountaineering trip in high alpine terrain. Excellent fitness, skiing ability and prior ski mountaineering experience are a prerequisite.

Sign up for a course or a trip and receive a 10% discount on purchases and a 20% discount on gear rental. 
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.
If you are in need of any of these items, please visit our online retail shop, Pro Ski and Mountain Service
BASE LAYER: Men's, Women's
• 1 Bottom - Midweight or Lightweight
• Non-Cotton Underwear
• 1-2 Tops - Midweight or Lightweight
• 2-3 Pair Sock Liners
• 2 Pair Ski Socks
• Soft Shell, Windshirt, Fleece - only one of these is necessary
• Soft Shell  Pants
OUTERWEAR: Men'sWomen's
• Lightweight, Waterproof/Breathable Jacket
• Waterproof/Breathable Ski Pants
• Warm Hat
• Sun Hat (baseball or visor)
• Ski Gloves
• Lightweight Gloves
• Down or Synthetic Jacket
• Day Pack (25-40L)
• Headlamp (Lightweight LED recommended)
• Water Bottles (1-2 L, wide mouth)
• Sunglasses (adequate for snow travel)
• Goggles
• Sunscreen (SPF>25, Waterproof)
• Lip Balm (SPF 15+)
• Personal Toiletries
• Small Personal 1st Aid Kit: Blister Repair (Compeed™), Aspirin, Ibuprofen, etc.)
• Waterless hand cleaner- there is no running water in the huts
• Earplugs - essential for sleeping
• Skis with touring binding: Alpine Touring or Telemark 
• Ski Boots (Alpine Touring or Telemark - No Downhill Boots)
• Ski Poles (recommend telescopic poles, but not required)
• Climbing Skins
• Ski Crampons - REQUIRED
• Ski Brakes
• Transceiver (single frequency,  457 kHz only, new batteries at start of trip)
• Shovel (compact, lightweight, metal blade preferred) 
 Probe (dedivated probe only, ski poles do not suffice)
 Ice Axe - 55-70 cm length, lightweight
• Boot Crampons - STEEL ONLY; NO ALUMINUM!, check fit prior to departure
• Anti-Balling Plates - fit to crampons
• Climbing Harness - lightweight, BD Alpine Bod style.
•  2 Locking Carabiners- (1) large HMS style and (1) regular locker
•  2 Non-locking Carabiners - any style, we recommend wire gates
•  1 Single Length Runner
•  1 Double Length Runner
•  1 Cordelette - 6 mm diameter, 6 meter length
 OPTIONAL ITEMS *We highly recommend these items, but do not require them*
• Camera
• Skin Wax
• Note Pad and Pencil - Rite-in-the-Rain brand waterproof notebook works
• Altimeter - Suunto watch works well
• Sleep Sack - lightweight silk or cotton
• Warm Socks - to sleep in
• Thermos - vacuum type
• Compass
• Altimeter (Suunto watch works well)
• Foot Powder
• Cash - see note below
• Groups 1st Aid Kit
• Ropes
• Technical Group Gear and VHF radio

  ➢We recommend bringing cash for use in the huts to purchase snacks, lunches, and drinks.  Water must be purchased and costs approximately $7 per liter.   Most Pro Guiding Service customers have found bringing $200 to $250 in the local currency allows for a good hot meal in the afternoon and plenty of drinks (including beer) for a six-day hut trip. 


Also read this:
or this original trip report of our Marinelli descent with more pictures: 

HOW DO I GET TO CHAMONIX? Best is to fly into Geneva and take the bus which leaves right from the baggage claim area.  Once you leave the baggage claim area, look across the hall.  The counter is located on the other side of the hall.  The bus is called Chamonix Bus and leaves from just outside the baggage claim area.

SHOULD I CHANGE DOLLARS INTO EUROS IN GENEVA? It is better to wait until you get to Chamonix.  That way you pay the change rate only once (as opposed to from Dollars to Swiss Francs then to Euros). 

HOW DO WE GET TO ZERMATT? This will be organzied by Pro Guiding Service and is included in the trip.  Please make sure to keep your extra luggage to a reasonable amount.

DO YOU SPEAK THE LOCAL LANGUAGE? Yes, we speak French, German and Italian.  Martin actually grew up in the Zermatt Valley, and knows many locals in Zermatt and the surrounding area. 

THIS TRIP FEATURES SOME SERIOUS SKIING. SHOULD I BRING MY HEAVY STUFF? This is definitively a ski mountaineering trip with big physical pushes. There is a lot of everything going on during this trip: Technical skinning, hard skiing, and big vertical gains. It is very important that you have your gear completely dialed for this week. We generally recommend a classic ski touring setup like a K2 Wayback 88 and a solid tech binding. 

WHAT ABOUT THE FITNESS? You have to be in excellent physical condition for this trip. You will do 2 days that boast over 6500 feet of vertical gain at a high altitude. 

SHOULD I TIP MY GUIDE? AND HOW MUCH SHOULD I TIP THEM? 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 flat price tip that you are comfortable with.

FEEL FREE TO CONTACT US IN THE OFFICE WITH SPECIFIC QUESTIONS at or call us direct at 001 425 888 6397.