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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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