The seven-day Haute Route from Chamonix to Verbier can easily be considered a must-do for all backcountry skiers. There is no better time than 2018 to tick this one off your bucket list so you can keep coming back for more year after year. Here are few things you should know about the hautest ski touring route out there:
The Haute Route was first skied in 1911 by a group of Frenchmen – the history here runs deep. Since then it’s become one of the most famous high alpine ski tours in the world, and things don’t just become famous without a reason, except for the Kardashians.
It all begins in the heart of the Mont Blanc Massif in Chamonix and then the journey continues through a number of alpine cols into Switzerland. The close-up views of the Matterhorn are just the cherry on top of the stunning alpine vistas. A few days carb loading in Chamonix never hurt either.
Europe knows how to do huts. The fully serviced refuges along the Haute Route are unlike any you’ve ever set foot in, and are so well set up that you’ll only need to carry a light pack for the week. You can count on beautiful views of the Alps, stunning architecture and breakfasts and dinners that will fuel you up to lap the amazing skiing nearby.
There are two routes to chose from, the Verbier Route and the Classic, both are around 180km long, some of this is covered by ski lift, some by descending, some by ascending and some by shuttle. We take the Verbier for less technical, but still challenging, touring and the fact that there is more descending than climbing. Most of the travel days also allow for plenty of time to enjoy the skiing around the hut. The skinning is fun, but the skiing is what we really go for.
Once we set foot in Zermatt, you have the option to stick around to enjoy some raclette and Swiss skiing or hop on the train back to France. Things are just easy in Europe.