The Haute Route

For most people familiar with back country skiing, there is no more well-known ski tour than the Haute Route, connecting the iconic ski towns of Chamonix, France and Zermatt, Switzerland. Join us this spring for seven days of world class skiing in the Alps from the mighty Mont Blanc to the iconic Matterhorn. April 3-9, Skyward guide, Steven Van Sickle will again lead a crew along this amazing trek. This trip is ski touring at its best – comfortable huts, delicious food, European amenities, and excellent skiing in one of the world’s most scenic mountain settings. The Haute Route is one of the world’s finest ski traverses and should be on every backcountry skier’s to-do list. Starting in the heart of the Mont Blanc massif and ending up in the shadow of the Matterhorn, this is a true journey that any dedicated backcountry skier wouldn’t want to miss.

This trip includes seven days of skiing including a prep day in Chamonix on the famous Vallee Blanche with IFMGA guide Steven Van Sickle, world class accommodations, and food in six different huts between Chamonix and Zermatt. You can find exhaustive descriptions of the trip abound if interested, however here is a brief highlight from Steven’s trip report from 2023. Cost is $3,350/person; an incredible deal for this experience!

The final day of the Haute Route was the highlight of the trip. With nearly 6,000 feet of climbing, it was a long and rewarding day out. We skinned by headlamp out of the Vignettes hut around 5:30am to begin our first big uphill climb of the day. The glow of our headlamps illuminated a maze of crevasses and hanging seracs as we gained elevation. Eventually we transitioned and enjoyed a spectacular ski descent into the Haut Glacier d’Arolla before putting crampons back on to climb the 40º snow couloir to the Col du Mont Brule. Another 400 feet of booting up to the saddle brought us to the next glorious 1000 feet of smooth turns in the shadow of the stunning walls of the Tête Blanche. After a quick break, we re-dawned our skins to tour through more blue glacial ice to the base of the final ascent of the day’s tour.

As we crested the top of the climb, the summit of the Matterhorn began to emerge. With the entire north face of the fabled mountain in view, we made our final transition of the trip. We enjoyed a baguette and took incredible photos before skiing 10,000 feet straight into the village of Zermatt. Skiing through the ice falls and finally weaving around 500-year-old mountain structures was an incredibly special experience. Arriving in Zermatt after six days of ski touring was a breath of fresh air. Steeped in history, this picturesque mountain town holds endless sights to explore and places to visit. That evening, we enjoyed a well-earned, delicious fondue and raclette dinner before parting ways. This trip is a bucket list experience to say the least, and it really is just the tip of the iceberg for skiing in the Alps.

Steven Van Sickle
IFMGA Mountain Guide

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Our Rock Climbing Guides: Your Partners in Adventure

Vince Anderson | Rock Climbing Guide | Ice Climbing Guide | Skyward Mountaineering

Vince Anderson

An IFMGA certified rock climbing guide with an adventurous spirit and decades of experience. Vince is known for his alpine expertise and has climbed extensively on Colorado’s big peaks.

Steven Van Sickle | Rock Climbing Guide | Ice Climbing Guide | Skyward Mountaineering

Steven Van Sickle

An IFMGA/AMGA certified rock climbing guide specializing in technical alpine routes and big mountain adventures. Steven loves exploring the high peaks of the San Juans and beyond.

Buster Jesik | Rock Climbing Guide | Ice Climbing Guide | Skyward Mountaineering

Buster Jesik

An accomplished climber and certified rock climbing guide, Buster brings knowledge and passion for routes throughout the state, from the Front Range to the Western Slope.

Katie Beringer | Rock Climbing Guide | Ice Climbing Guide | Skyward Mountaineering

Katie Beringer

A passionate rock climber, ice climber, and AMGA certified rock climbing guide, Katie’s enthusiasm is infectious, whether you’re a beginner or pushing your grade.

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