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Chamonix Zermatt via Bourg St Pierre

Pioneered in 1924 by Dr Payot, this traverse between the Mt Blanc range and the Valais Alps remains a touchstone among famous alpine routes. The line from Chamonix to Zermatt via Bourg Saint Pierre takes up the original ski itinerary and gives this ski tour its own link with history. More physically and technically demanding than the most popular route via Verbier, the traverse on the south side of the Grand Combin gives this itinerary a wild alpine character. On every one of the seven days, landscapes of extraordinary beauty unfold. They are crowned by the arrival at Zermatt at the foot of the north face of the Matterhorn

High mountain guide, UIAGM qualified, english speaking

1,195.00 €

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1,195.00 €

Duration : 6 days

Size of group : 4 to 6 ppl

Season : Spring

Country : France


Fitness level

Skiing level

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Trip details


Winter - Ski touring - France
Chamonix Zermatt via Bourg Saint Pierre

Référence : SRFRA028


Subject to change depending on conditions and participants' fitness


Day 0 : Meeting with the guide at 6 pm in Mercure Hotel, for gear check and briefing of the week.


Day 1 : Col du Chardonnet - Relais du Val d’Arpette

We take the Grands Montets cable car and descend via the Rognons glacier to the Argentière glacier to climb up to the Chardonnet col (3323m) by the glacier of the same name. We descend on the Saleina glacier by a chute that demands use of a handrail and crampons. Then we ascend to the fenêtre de Saleina and cross to the Trient hut (3170m). Desent to the Ecandy col (2796 m), then to the village of Champex (1480m) by the Arpette valley, a superb wild basin that gives us one of the most picturesque runs of the trip.

Hours: 5 to 7

Altitude covered: +1041m and -1672m


Day 2 : Valsorey hut

A taxi is waiting to take us to Bourg St Pierre. We click into our skis to climb the small valley of Valsorey, bringing us to the hut of the same name (3030m). It's a long climb in a gorgeous setting.

Hours : 5 to 6

Alitude covered: -1672m and + 1340m


Day 3: Chanrion hut

The most beautiful and the most alpine stage of the trek. We leave at 5am to cross the fairly steep section that brings us to a plateau, then to the Sonadon col (3520m). These two sections demand that we carry our skis and use crampons and a rope. From the col, we set foot on the Mont Durand glacier that we descend to arrive at the Chanrion hut.

Hours: 4 to 5

Altitude covered: +1000m and -1000m


Day 4: Vignettes hut

We climb the Brenay glacier to the Brenay col (3639m) and absorb the magnificent view across the Alps from this sublime glacial plateau. From there, we easily reach the summit of the Pigne d'Arolla (3790m). The panorama extends from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn, linking together a succession of glorious peaks. A superb descent between seracs awaits us down to the Vignettes hut. In case of bad weather or poor conditions on the Brenay glacier, we can go along the Otemma glacier which is much easier.

Hours: 5 to 6

Altitude covered: +1330m and -602m


Day 5: Bertol hut

We descend from the refuge on the Mont Collon glacier, then climb to the Evêque col (3392m) dominated by the Evêque peak and the Cardinal. The power of the glaciers is impressive, with the Otemma glacier stretching south. We cross the Collon col and enjoy a heavenly descent from the Arolla glacier to the Bertol flat (2615m). We climb 800m to the Bertol hut (3311m), perched on an overhanging rock. The view is unique in the Alpes: we are face-to-face with the Dent Blanche and the Matterhorn.

Hours: 6 to 7

Altitude covered: +1100m and -852m.


Day 6: Zermatt

We cross the Mont Miné glacier to climb the Tête Blanche (3724m). Here we are dwarfed by the pyramid of the Matterhorn, one of the Alpes' most famous - and infamous - peaks. We cross the Hérens cols (3462m) and descend to Zermatt on the Stockji and Zmutt glaciers. This is a magnificent high mountain section which crosses the foot of the Matterhorn's north face. Return by taxi or minibus to Chamonix.

Hours: 5 to 6

Altitude covered: +500m and -2000m


Additional information

Technical level

Snow slopes of up to 40 deg. You must have mastered downhill kick-turns and be capable of doing them uphill. You must be capable in all snow types even if your style is not perfect. Ropes and crampons are required in passages, as is carrying your skis on your back. This tour should not be your first experience of ski mountaineering. We kindly request you to send us a list of your previous ski tour and summer alpine climb.

Physical level

Daily altitude ranges from 800 to 1300m with up to 8 hours walking. You must practise an endurance sport regularly. We climb about 350m per hour, which is relatively gentle.

Changes to the program

The high mountain guide reserves the right to modify or interrupt the program at any time for safety reasons, technical or physical problems with one or several participants or due to bad weather and snow conditions.

Your guide

High mountain guide, UIAGM-qualified, english-speaking

Meeting point

Meet your guide on day 0 at 6 pm in Mercure hôtel next to the rail way station.


By train (SNCF) : Chamonix train station via Saint Gervais Le Fayet. If you come by train, buy a flexible and refundable ticket.

By plane: Geneva airport by coach or shuttle.


In staffed huts. If you want accommodation for the night before or after your tour, let us know when you sign up.


Half board in the huts.
 3 lunch packs are provided, which you carry, than you'll buy it in the huttes.
 (Eg: ham, bread, cheese, cake, chocolate). 
Bring your own energy bars and nuts. Vegetarian menu available on request. 
Don't carry heavy snacks: avoid oranges, creamed rice. Eggs and bananas crush; salami is inedible after day three.


To reduce pack weight, the lunches for the 3 final days will be provided by the huts.




The extra gear list will be provided when you book.

Gear list

See Alpine Ski Touring list, plus: a sleeping bag liner is mandatory in Switzerland.




Additional information on the price

Price is based on a group of 4 to 6 people, booking independantly.

on a basis : 1 € = 0,99 CHF

The price includes

- Organisation

- High mountain guide (UIAGM qualified)

- Full board in huts

- Lunch day 2, D3, D4

- Grands Montets lifts

- Taxi Champex - Le Chable

- Cable car Le Chable - le Col des Gentianes

- Safety Equipment provided by guide (ropes, shovel, probe, etc)

The price does not include

- Transport to Chamonix meeting place

_ Grands Montets cable car

- Booking fees (17 €/person)

- 3 lunchs day 1, D5, D6

- Extra charges arising from program changes (hotels, food, transport ...)

- Taxi Zermatt – Chamonix (about 50 €/person)

- Personal expenses (energy bars, drinks incl. water in huts yours and guide's one)

- Personal equipment hire

- Insurance  (Europeans only) :


     Prices TTC by person


(cancellation + repatriation)

up to 350€ 62 € 20 €
from 351 € to 700€ 75 € 29 €
from 701€ to 1200€ 94 € 41 €
from 1201€ to 2000€ 115 € 58 €
from 2001€ to 4000€ 133 € 69 €
from 4001€ to 16000€ 5,5% + 31€ 4,4%
discount family/friends 20% from the 4th to the 9th person




Non-binding document


Odyssée Montagne - Les Barbolets - 74310 Servoz - France
Tél: +33 (0)4 50 91 20 83

SARL au capital de 7623 € - RCS Gap 393 593 397 00010 - Licence d'état: 074980006.
Garantie par l'APS, 6 rue Villaret de Joyeuse, 75017 Paris
RCP : Hiscox. 12 quai des Queyries. 33100 Bordeaux

Mer de nuage sur le massif du Mont blanc au dépoart des Grands Montets pour Chamonix-Zermatt
Mer de nuage sur le massif du Mont blanc au dépoart des Grands Montets pour Chamonix-ZermattDent Blanche depuis le sommet de Tête Blanche le dernier jour de la traversée de Chamonix-ZermattCoucher de soleil depuis le refuge de Trient sur la haute route Chamonix zermattTraversée du glacier d'Argentière sur la haute route Chamonix zermatt
Arrivée au col du Chardonnet sur la haute route Chamonix zermattMontée au col du Chardonnet sur la haute route Chamonix zermattMontée à la Serpentine depuis la cabane des Dix, sur la haute route Chamonix zermattPassage du plateau du couloir sur la haute route Chamonix zermatt par bourg saint Pierre
Descente du glacier Durand sur la haute route Chamonix zermatt par bourg saint PierrePose sur le glacier de Stockji face au versant Tiefmatten du MatterhornAu col de l Eveque avant la descente du glacier superieur d Arolla sur la haute route Chamonix Zermatt à skiLa Dent Blanche depuis le sommet de Tete Blanche sur La Dent Blanche depuis le sommet de Tete Blanche sur la haute route Chamonix zermatt par bourg saint Pierre
Sur le glacier supérieur d'Arolla sur la haute route Chamonix zermatt par bourg saint PierreMontée a la cabane de Valsorey sur la haute route Chamonix zermatt par bourg saint PierreLa cabane des Vignettes sur la haute route Chamonix zermatt par bourg saint PierreArrivée à la cabane Bertol sur la haute route Chamonix zermatt par bourg saint Pierre
Arrivée à la cabane de Chanrion sur la haute route Chamonix zermatt par bourg saint Pierre Arrivee au sommet de Tete Blanche le dernier jour du raid Chamonix Zermatt


The Haute route via Bourg St Pierre follow the original line, taken in 1911 by Marcel Kurz and Professor Roget. This itinerary is harder and more technical with a wild alpine character during all the week. The stage between Valsorey hut to Chanrion Hut involve the crossing of the plateau du couloir with a slope of 500 m at 45°, cliombed on foot with skis on your back. This marvellous version of the Haute route is highly recommended for very advanced to expert mountaineering skiers with a previous experience of severals high mountain tours. This ski trip require reasonable weather and fairly stable snow conditions and in case of bad conditions, we may need to alter our plans to another alternative route.


Day by day

Day 1: Col du Chardonnet (3323m), relais du Val d’Arpette

Day 2: Valsorey hut (3030m)

Day 3: Col de Sonadon (3520m), Chanrion hut

Day 4: Pigne d’Arolla (3790 m), Vignettes hut

Day 5: Col de l'Evêque (3392 m), Bertol hut

Day 6: Tête Blanche (3724 m)

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The haute route through Bourg St Pierre is between 13000 and 16000 m of ascent and descent in 6 days, and technicaly more demanding than the standard Haute Route. Therefore you must be fully prepared for such a physical week. The best way to train is to run regularly on hilly terrain, cycling and skiing off piste as much as you can.  If you're uncertain about your skiing ability, we would suggest you ski for 1 or 2 days with a mountain guide in Chamonix prior to this trip.

Take only the essential kit in your rucksack.  You will fatigue much quicker if you are carrying excess weight.


If you need any advise, please call us to talk with a mountain guide.