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Ready to become a part of Alpine heritage? Just over a century ago, skiers traversed what is now known as the Haute Route for the first time—and they haven’t stopped since. The fascination with this iconic route slithering through the French and Swiss Alps has only been growing, and it’s no wonder. Linking two historic Alpine centers, Chamonix and Zermatt, the route will take us from France to Switzerland over numerous glaciers, cols, and lovely downhills. It’s high-altitude, challenging, and incredibly scenic. Add to the mix vibrant huts and a seriously experienced IFMGA/UIAGM guide, and we’ve got a perfect recipe for a world-class skiing tour.

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  • World’s most famous ski traverse

    Follow in the footsteps of alpine pioneers who have started crossing the route in 1911

  • Cross the Swiss-French border in style

    Start in Chamonix, finish in Zermatt—with stunning Alpine landscapes along the way

  • Lively huts with hearty meals

    Try typical Swiss and French food, enjoy the unique après-ski scene, and mingle with skiers


Every serious skier wants to traverse the premier Haute Route. Connecting Chamonix, the birthplace of modern alpinism and ski mountaineering, and Zermatt in Switzerland, the route takes you through some of the world’s most spectacular mountain terrain, allowing you to discover high alpine passes, exciting summits, and fantastic skiing. You’ll be joined by an expert guide who has extensive experience with the Haute Route—they’ll show you the best way, navigate you through technical challenges, and make sure you get to huts safely. Terrifically positioned mountain huts will always welcome you with home-cooked meals, while some even have showers and Wi-Fi! Ready for the traverse of all traverses?

  • Your Haute Route traverse begins in the Chamonix Valley. You might go for some warm up skiing to Vallée Blanche, just an hour from Chamonix. To start the traverse, cruise up to the village of Argentière, which has lift access to the Argentière Glacier.

    Depending on the group’s wishes and weather conditions, there are a few options here. Some might go up the glacier to Argentière Hut, and this option gives you a short day with some lift-accessed skiing—this is good because it allows you to practice crevasse rescue skills. Then on the second day, you would go through either Col du Passon or Col du Chardonnet.

    The other option is to undertake one of these cols on the first day, making it a long one. It’s worth mentioning that Col du Passon, unlike Col du Chardonnet, does not have mandatory rappelling, though it still involves some technical climbing. Either way, you will get to Trient Plateau, crossing into Switzerland, and overnight at Trient Hut.

    The final part of the first section is marked by a short climb to Col des Escandies, and then you have a long 2,500-meter descent down Val d’Arpette, all the way to the village of Champex, where you catch a taxi to the Swiss village of Verbier. This is the ideal time for a resupply. Grab your lift tickets, ski around the Verbier Ski Resort and stay at the Mont Fort Hut.

    Peaks of the Alps on the Haute Route
  • Early in the morning you will skin out of the Mont Fort Hut and do a big climb out of the Verbier Ski Resort. You’ll have some long climbs and long descents alternating today (all of it around a 3,000-meter mark). When you get lucky with powder skiing and bluebird skies, you’ll add some bonus laps into the route. Continue to the summit of Rosablanche and enjoy a descent to the Prafleuri Hut. Settle in, share stories with other folks at the hut, and get some rest.

    Get a very early start the next morning—the reason for this is lots of south-facing slopes on the way which can get warm and wet, presenting avalanche danger. By leaving super ealy, you will try to get around these. You’ll see how things go, but some people choose to detour to the village of Arolla by climbing down the Pas de Chèvre (“goat steps”) and base down there, and then travel to the Dix Hut. Another option is to travel up straight to the Dix Hut, in which case you would reach it early on, giving you the chance to get some drinks, lunch, and then do some ski turns.

    On your second to last day of the Haute Route Traverse, you will go up and over the Pigne d’Arolla—a 3,800-meter summit, the highest point on the Haute Route. Enjoy a long ski descent down to the Vignette Hut, one of the more famous huts on the route, spectacularly positioned.

    Last day of the Haute Route! Also the biggest one—you’ll cross 7 glaciers, a couple of cols, cover 20 km of distance, and have a massive descent into Zermatt. Congrats! You’ve reached the end of this iconic route.

    Skiers on Pigne d’Arolla
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Meet your guides

Jayson Simons-Jones
Jayson Simons-Jones
IFMGA/AMGA Certified Guide
Jayson is an IFMGA/UIAGM Licensed Mountain Guide with over 18 years of guiding experience around the world. Currently, Jayson splits his time guiding, photographing, and managing guiding programs between Colorado and Chamonix, France.
Lotus Alpine Adventures
Lotus Alpine Adventures
Lotus Alpine Adventures
Lotus Alpine Adventures is the alpine, rock, ice, and ski mountain guiding company of IFMGA/UIAGM Licensed Mountain Guide, Jayson Simons-Jones. This is a company born from over 25 years amidst the mountains and deserts of the world, and it’s built solely out of their passion and desire of wanting to share with you the wild places and experiences that have shaped them into who and what they are today. They offer a wide range of guiding activities and venues across the US and the Alps.

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5.00 (3 reviews)
Josh Walsh (source: Google Reviews)

If you’re looking for a mountain guide to bring you out climbing, mountaineering, skiing or an all around alpine mentor, Jayson is the one. I’ve traveled the world with Jayson and other mountain guides and can confidently say he is the best in the business! A great teacher and a fun person to spend time with in the mountains.

Talia Hinojosa (source: Google Reviews)

My experience learning from Jayson was awesome. He is a super talented, educated, and knowledgable climbing instructor. I am definitely going to continue expanding my education with him. Looking forward to more adventures.

Peter Snavely (source: Google Reviews)

For the past 10 years I have skied and climbed with Jayson all over the world. I can say without hesitation my relationship with Jayson as a friend, educator, mentor, and guide is one of the most positive in my life. He has pushed me to be a better climbing, skier, and person and I’m forever grateful.

Things to know

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • Experienced, IFMGA/UIAGM Certified Guide with extensive knowledge of the area
      • 8-day Haute Route Ski Traverse
      • Lift tickets
      • Transportation during the tour
      • Luggage transfer
      • Huts and associated meals

    What’s not included:

      • Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
      • Avalanche gear
      • Transportation to and from the starting/end point
      • Some lunches when skiing
      • Meals while in town (Chamonix and Zermatt)
      • Accommodations while in town
      • Guide gratuities — optional
  • To enjoy this guided Haute Route Traverse, you need to be in excellent physical condition. Apart from that, you need to have previous backcountry skiing experience and advanced ski ability is required (black diamond runs).

    You will be on your feet for 6-7 full days for an average of 6 miles (10k m) per day, with the last day amounting to +13 miles (+20 km). You will need to manage controlled descents and ascents in variable conditions, as well as feel comfortable with technical climbing. All participants should feel comfortable on challenging black-level resort runs and be able to carry a loaded daypack while skinning up variable degrees of terrain.

  • To participate in this tour, you need to have extensive previous backcountry skiing experience. You will be skiing, touring, and summiting on glaciated terrain for 5-7 hours every day. If you’ve never backcountry skied before, we suggest joining a guide for a day of touring in Chamonix and Mont Blanc.

  • Huts along the Haute Route can sleep from 75 to 150 people. Bedding is already provided so you don’t have to worry about dragging sleeping bags with you. Some of the huts have showers, some Wi-Fi, but one thing that you can always count on is home-cooked meals. You can have a beer or a glass of wine to enjoy after a long day on the snow, and you’ll always re-fuel with hearty meals. Usually there are three-course meals and they even cater to a vegetarian diet!

    They get quite busy and crowded during the skiing season, but there’s a really nice atmosphere overall. You’ll get to mingle with skiers from all over the world!

  • Clothing list

      • Wool or synthetic socks and liner socks
      • Long underwear top — synthetic or wool
      • Light fleece or wool sweater
      • Wind shell — nylon or ‘Schoeller’ type jacket
      • Waterproof breathable jacket
      • Warm insulated jacket — down or synthetic
      • Long underwear bottoms — synthetic or wool
      • Multipurpose stretch nylon or ‘Schoeller’ type pants
      • Waterproof breathable pants
      • Warm hat — wool or synthetic
      • Brimmed cap for sun protection
      • Face warmer — scarf, neck tube or balaclava (optional)
      • Light gloves — wool, synthetic or leather
      • Insulated gloves or mitts with waterproof outer shell
      • Spare gloves or mitts


      • Avalanche safety equipment
      • Ski helmet
      • Skis or split board
      • Lightweight, touring bindings (Dynafit or ATK are best)
      • Ski strap
      • Ski or snowboard boots and ski crampons
      • Poles
      • Climbing skins
      • Skin wax (or a candle)
      • Binding repair kit to fix your personal travel setup

    Personal Equipment

      • Daypack large enough to carry things you might need throughout the day
      • Sunglasses
      • Goggles
      • Sunscreen and lip cream (SPF 30+)
      • Head lamp with good batteries
      • Insulated water bottle or thermos (1-2 L)
      • Personal blister kit (i.e: Leukotape-P and Compeed/Second Skin blister pads)
      • Personal medication
      • Pocket knife — optional
      • Camera — optional
  • All mandatory gear can be rented from one of the manifold rental shops in Chamonix. If you don’t have your own, you can rent:

      • Avalanche safety pack (including backpack, beacon, shove, and probe)
      • Alpine touring or telemark skis, touring boots, and poles
      • Splitboards
      • Glacier gear and helmet

    Gear rental locations are in Chamonix and should be picked up the night prior to your outing. If you need to rent gear, let us know and we can help make arrangements.

  • Group sizes and prices:

      • For this Haute Route Ski Traverse, the usual client-to-guide ratio is 4:1.
      • The group can have up to 8 skiers, in which case another guide would join the tour.
      • The cost is per person and doesn’t decrease as the group grows. Itinerary changes due to bad weather, client fitness, or equipment issues may be extra.

    Haute Route Ski Traverse can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

    Min. age requirements:

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
      • Minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis.

    If your group has skiers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

  • A 50% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 2 months (60 days) prior to departure. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies. If a Client cancels the Booking…

      • 120 (hundred-twenty) calendar days prior to the trip departure, Client is entitled to a total refund minus the $500 cancellation fee for administrative costs.
      • 120-60 (hundred-twenty to sixty) calendar days prior to the trip departure, Client is entitled to a 50% (fifty percent) refund.
      • Within 60 (sixty) days prior to the trip departure, Client is entitled to no refund (unless the spot can be taken by another client).
  • To get to Chamonix, most people fly into Geneva International Airport (GVA), one hour away. Once you arrive, there are several ways to reach your destination, including public transport. Looking to make the airport transfer hassle-free? Check out Mountain Drop-Offs—they provide door-to-door service in their comfy and spacious shuttles.

    Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.

  • We highly recommend that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more.

    Travel insurance covers canceled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans.

    We also expect you to respect local regulations and take measures to protect yourselves, your guides, and the communities you’re traveling to. For more information on travel recommendations and restrictions in France and Switzerland, please refer to France and Switzerland Foreign Travel Advice.

    If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!

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