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Express Haute Route – Speed Ski Touring


Haute Route – France & Switzerland


Skiing – Speed Ski Touring

Route description:

The most famous ski traverse in the world, completed in a blistering three days. A very high level of fitness and experience is required. The timings are very tight, and any “faff” with kit or otherwise just wouldn't work.

Most days involve 8 – 9 hours of skiing, often starting in the dark with head torches. The time pressures come from the snow heating in the afternoon, so teams must be prompt and stick to schedule.

There are some advantages to starting early though, as we are out of sync with all the other teams on the Haute Route, and we aim to arrive in Verbier and Arolla mid afternoon, giving us plenty of time for resting, eating and snoozing!

Although the trip is scheduled to take three days, our normal bookings are five days long, which gives us a warm up/shake down day in Chamonix, plus a contingency day at the end.

  1. Argentiere (Grand Montet) to Verbier (Mont Fort refuge). 973M of ascent, 18km. Around 5hrs. Time pressure to reach Verbier before the last lift
  2. Mont Fort to Arolla. 1663M ascent, 21km. Around 8 – 9 hrs. An early start required to skin across the Lac des Dix before the snow warms up
  3. Arolla to Zermatt. 1900M of ascent, 25km. 8 – 9 hours. A big day climbing up from Arolla after an early start. Superb descent into Zermatt

Lightweight ski touring equipment is essential, as is well fitting boots. We travel light, so a stable forecast is required.

Required experience/skill level:


Length (in metres):

See route description


5 days (three days on tour)

Starting point/base:

Chamonix, France

Maximum guide ratio:


Normal season:

March - May

Links/ featured courses:


We have had good success with two previous Express Haute Routes, both with experienced teams who have previously completed some "Speed Ski Tours" with us. Please do get in touch to discuss the level of skiing and fitness required if you are interested in an attempt.

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Last lift accessed ski tour of (my) season from Contamines yesterday.

Plenty of folk out enjoying the good conditions on the classics.

A weeks holiday away from the mountains now. Rest time before the @trofeomezzalama race at the end of the month.

#verticalfrontiers #earnyourturns
#skimo #skiuphill
#scarpa_uk #arcteryx
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6 days ago

Vertical Frontiers Ltd

A big couple of days on the wild Miage glacier taking advantage of the great spring ski touring conditions.

Up Mont Tondu and then today over the Miage after a night in the Conscrits refuge. Which served a vegetarian meal to the whole hut last night, meaning it’s now my favourite refuge. 🌱

Over 3500m of ascent and some very good snow on the way down.

#verticalfrontiers #earnyourturns
#chamonix #contamines
#scarpa_uk #arcteryx @ Chamonix, France
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Off the beaten track in the Aiguille Rouge today.

#verticalfrontiers #earnyourturns
#skimo #skitouring
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Updated the Iran Ski Touring Photo Gallery today. Video on it's way.... #ski
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Well the express Haute Route didn’t exactly go to Plan. A meter of fresh snow at altitude put paid to that.

We headed south and spent a great couple of days around the Mont Thabor area. Nice hut, quiet and loads of good skiing. Despite the cloud.

#verticalfrontiers #skimo
#arcteryx #scarpa
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+33 (0) 787371926

We are open for enquires 7 days a week all year, we check and respond to emails once a day during the high season

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