We have two groups already out on the Haute Route ski tour from Chamonix to Zermatt, and currently there’s perfect weather and high pressure across the Alps. Here’s a conditions report, based on the information from the two IFMGA mountain & ski guides (Teo and Paolo) who are currently out leading our groups. The summary is that the route is in good condition, and with the warm Spring temperatures in the afternoons, the groups are setting off early from the huts when there’s a good re-freeze, to reach the destination for the next day in the early afternoon, before the snow becomes too wet.
Both our groups have set off via the Argentiere refuge, to cross the Col du Passon in the early morning, for the best snow conditions. There is a good track, and then the route passes via the Col Superior du Tour. The first pass is currently possible without boot crampons, but they are required for the Col des Ecandies, where there are two fixed ropes in place, which assisted the groups. The ski conditions were on good spring snow down into the Arpette valley, so the crossing to Champex is all in good condition. There are reports from other teams, that the Col du Chardonnet being in poor condition, and very icy on the far side already, so all the guided teams recently have gone via Col du Passon.
The reports for the section for Le Chable to Arolla are that the route is well tracked, but that there is some old avalanche debris from last week, which is large but tracked and stable to ski across. The teams summited the Rosablanche, before skiing down to the Cabana Prafleuri. Beyond, the traverse above the Lac de Dix is delicate (as ever), and it’s necessary to cross early and high, above the avalanche debris. In some sections crampons are required as the debris is very icy and solid. At the head of the lake, there is a great ski track up to the ladders of the Pas de Chèvre, and the ski down to Arolla is in good condition. For this time of year, this is very typical condition for this section.
Now our first team reached the Cabanne Bertol this morning, and they decided to push on through to avoid slightly unsettled weather tomorrow, and have just skied down into Zermatt as I type, so it’s success for the first team! In summary the Haute Route is in good condition, and despite the weak cohesion in the snow pack later in the afternoons, this is felt to be typical for this the time of year. Still, our guiding team are all in agreement that it is safest to set off slightly earlier than normal, for the best snow conditions and stability. This is great news, and good luck to our two teams out at the moment, to finish the Haute Route in the next days. Good skiing, and stay safe!
Once again, a big thanks to the guides for your really useful feedback, and great safety and group management decisions! We are exceptionally lucky to work with you all.
There’s some final trip spaces this year, as follows; 2 – 9 Apr 2017 (2 spaces), 9 – 16 Apr 2017 (2 spaces), 16 – 23 Apr 2017 (4 spaces). As you can see, we only have 8 spaces left on our Haute Route trips for the whole year, so if you are still planning it this season, move quickly. You can view the live availability and read the trip itinerary – click here.
To view the photos from this years groups on the Haute Route – click here.