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When it comes to multi-day ski tours, the Urner Haute Route is one of Europe’s finest. Big climbs, very remote mountains, and ridiculously long descents for 5 days straight in the heart of the Swiss Alps. Apart from the name, the Urner Haute Route from Andermatt to Engelberg doesn’t share much with its more famous peer—the Haute Route. We get to ditch the crowds here in Switzerland and move south to north, meaning that we skin up the sunny slopes and ride down shaded north slopes (powder, powder, powder!). As for the nights, we’ll go to typical mountain huts and embrace the full Alpine experience. Don’t look any further. This is the challenge that you’ve been searching for—join us in March!

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Adventure highlights

  • An IFMGA Guide will lead the way

    To maximize our experience in the Alps, an expert IFMGA Guide will join us, who knows the area like the back of their pocket

  • Known as the Skier’s Haute Route

    Take the less-traveled traverse and join this fantastic alternative to the most famous (and most crowded) Haute Route

  • Swiss Alpine vibes in mountain huts

    For the most authentic and charming experience, we’ll spend our nights and eat in mountain huts along the way

Itinerary

Let’s avoid the crowds and let’s cruise through the pristine powder of the Swiss Alps—let’s embark on the Urner Haute Route. This 5-day journey takes us from Andermatt to Engelberg, across lofty peaks, down really long descents, and to charming mountain huts. Starting from Andermat, we’ll spend 5 days skiing up north until we reach Engelberg, a winter holiday destination. This ski traverse is for the fittest, most experienced, and those starving for a real challenge—have you got what it takes to cross the remote heart of the Swiss Alps?

  • As the Urner Haute Route ski traverse begins in the morning of Day 1, it’s recommended you reach Andermatt at least a day prior to that. It’s also possible to have one additional day to warm up and prepare the day before starting your traverse—let us know if you’re interested!

    Accommodation prior to and after the 5-day Urner Haute Route is not included in the price of the tour, so you should arrange it on your own.

    The itinerary below is a suggested itinerary, but it is by no means set in stone. Depending on weather and numerous other factors, your guide will make the best and safest decisions on the route.

  • Begin your journey in the morning, which is when you’ll meet up with your guide and your team! Starting from Andermatt, you will climb up to Chli Bielenhorn, and then descend to Albert Heim hut.

    Schafberg in the Swiss Alps
  • Start the day by climbing up to Lochberg, which is a challenging ascent. Once you’ve reached it, it’s time to enjoy the descent. Ski down to Göscheneralpsee and overnight.

    Happy skiers in the Urner Alps
  • Usually you’ll have some of the best skiing on Day 3! Start the day by climbing up to Schinstock. From there, ski down to Voralptal, where an easy climb will take you up to the huts. If the snow is particularly good, you might do an extra lap.

    Sustenhorn mountain in Switzerland
  • You’ve got a big day climbing Sustenhorn today, and then, once again, there’s a treat after the climb. Descend to Steingletscher and get some rest once you reach your accommodation.

    Two skiers on powder in the Swiss Alps
  • Today you have two ascents and then two thrilling descents. Climb up to Fünffingerstöcken and then ski down to the Wenden glacier. After a short climb up to Grassen, enjoy your final ski descent down to Engelberg. This is where your trip ends, but if you’d like to stay longer and enjoy the area, just ask your guide for some recommendations!

    Engelberg in winter
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Meet your guide

Olov Isaksson
5.00
Olov Isaksson
Olov grew up in Sweden, but his passion for the mountains brought him to the Alps at an early age. Having lived in Switzerland, France, and Germany for 15 years, he now splits his time between Scandinavia and the Alps. Olov is an IFMGA guide, but also works as an Associate Professor of Business Administration at Stockholm University. Olov enjoys all sports in the mountains, but has a special love for ski touring, rock climbing, and winter climbing. He has personal and guiding experience in the Alps, Scandinavia, Himalayas, Karakorum, Patagonia, Yosemite, and the Rockies. Olov can guide you in Swedish, English, French, Swiss German, German, and, if you’re patient, Italian.

Things to know

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • An experienced, IFMGA certified ski guide with extensive knowledge of the area
      • 5-day Urner Haute Route ski tour
      • Accommodation in mountain huts/hotels for 4 nights
      • Breakfasts and dinners at mountain huts
      • Luggage transport from Andermatt to Engelberg
      • Transfers during the trip

    What’s not included:

      • Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
      • Transportation to the starting point and from the endpoint
      • Lunches and snacks during the tour
      • Accommodation prior to and after the trip
      • Personal insurance
      • Guide gratuities — optional
  • The Urner Haute Route is reserved for advanced backcountry skiers. This means that you should be an experienced ski tourer who has previously done hut-to-hut or multiple day trips. The terrain can sometimes get quite steep (35-40°), and you have to be able to get down from anywhere.

    There will also be some occasional scrambling or climbing on snow and rock, so you have to be confident of using crampons and an ice axe.

    As for the physical condition, excellent fitness is required. Keep in mind that you’ll be skinning up multiple hours per day, gaining significant elevation. You can expect long touring days, so stamina and maintaining a good level of fitness are key here. Overall, the Urner Haute Route is for strong skiers with previous multi day experience, able to handle all conditions.

  • To join the Urner Haute Route ski tour, you have to be a very experienced backcountry skier. If you’re a beginner, but would like to give skiing in the Alps a chance, consider joining this one-day off-piste skiing in the Mont Blanc massif.

  • For technical backcountry ski touring gear, you will need to bring:

      • Alpine touring skis, telemark skis or splitboard with skins
      • Touring boots (ideally worn before so they fit well) and poles (telescoping poles can be useful)
      • Crampons that fit the boots
      • Light ice axe
      • Two screw carabiners
      • Avalanche safety equipment (can be rented):
        • Digital, 3-antenna avalanche transceiver or beacon
        • Lightweight snow shovel
        • Avalanche probe
        • Climbing harness

    For personal items, we recommend bringing:

      • Backpack — 30-40L, it should be easy to attach skis to
      • Helmet
      • Sunglasses or ski goggles
      • Headband or hat (cap or sun hat for hot days)
      • Thin and thicker gloves
      • Clothing for all weathers (layers!)
        • Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore-Tex recommended)
        • Ski pants (Gore-Tex recommended)
        • Down jacket or vest
        • Synthetic or wool base layers, underwear and socks
      • Sleeping bag/silk sheet
      • Cash for cabins
      • Water bottle and 1L of water
      • Snacks for the first day (resupplies can be bought at cabins)
      • First aid kit
      • Sunscreen and lip balm with SPF
      • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, earplugs)
      • Power bank/charging cable for phone
      • Repair kit and Leatherman for your equipment (can be shared between several people)
      • Thermos with a warm beverage — optional
      • Camera — optional
  • All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent:

      • Avalanche safety pack, including backpack, beacon, shovel and probe
      • Alpine touring or telemark skis (or splitboards), touring boots and poles

    Your guide will help you with the rentals at their partner’s shop. Rentals should be picked up a day prior to the start of your Urner Haute Route ski tour. If you need to rent gear, let us know and we can help make arrangements.

  • Group sizes and prices:

      • For the Urner Haute Route, the usual client-to-guide ratio is 6:1. That’s also the maximum group size.
      • It takes a minimum of 3 people for this tour to operate.
      • The cost is per person and doesn’t decrease as the group grows.

    The Urner Ski Route ski tour 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.

  • To get to Andermatt in Switzerland, the starting point of your tour, the closest airport to fly into is Zürich Airport (ZRH). From there, you’ve got 1.5-2 hours by car or by train to reach Andermatt.

  • 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.

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

  • A 30% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 3 months (90 days) prior to departure. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies.

      • If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to thirty (30) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a 50% (fifty percent) refund of the total amount of the trip.
      • After that deadline, Client is not entitled to any refund.

    Secure your spot for 2025 with a 10% deposit! This tour gets sold out very quickly, but with early-bird booking, you can rest assured you’ve booked your dream adventure in time.

    • Only 10% of the total amount should be paid as a deposit upon booking. This deposit is non-refundable, but can be transferred to another 57hours adventure anytime in case the dates don’t suit you. This can be done by the end of the year.
    • Another 20% needs to be paid by the end of this year.
    • The remaining balance is due 3 months (90 days) prior to departure.
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