Classic Haute Route - Trekking Chamonix to Zermatt

Classic Haute Route - Trekking Chamonix to Zermatt

From £3,195
Altitude 3,796m Grade: Introductory
9 Mountain Days Guide Ratio: 1:4

Classed as one of the world’s greatest mountain journeys

Classic Haute Route

Classed as one of the world’s greatest mountain journeys, our Classic Haute Route is a challenging, linear, high altitude trek that links two of Europe’s most famous mountains, Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. Our itinerary is a longer version than some, with the full length of the journey being completed under your own steam, without the use of intermediate transfers or missed sections as with other itineraries going by the same name. It involves crossing numerous glaciers (training given) and ascending many high passes, but the rewards are absolutely stunning and a journey to be remembered. You will be able to claim two summits, the Pigned’Arolla and the Breithorn..

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Dates & Prices

Show prices in
All prices in Euros are guide rates, not live rates
All prices in US Dollars are guide rates, not live rates


DatesAvailabilityDays Price Select
17th Jul 2024 - 27th Jul 2024
£200 Early Booking Discount
Spaces11 £3,195
Book Now
14th Aug 2024 - 24th Aug 2024 Spaces11 £3,195 Book Now

* A deposit of £400 will be required at checkout.


Extras can be added per-person when you book onto a date

Breithorn Extension £250+1 days

* A deposit of £200 (or the full extra price, whichever is lower) will be required at checkout for each extra added per-person on this trip

What's Included

  • Instruction/guiding (9 mountain days)
  • Guides Expenses
  • Hut accommodation (half board) and valley hotel accommodation on a B&B basis (apart from where indicated in Trip Notes)
  • 15% off the RRP on clothing and equipment purchases from Adventure Peaks shop

What's Excluded

  • Transport to course venue
  • Insurance
  • All lunches and valley evening meals (apart from where indicated in Trip Dossier)
  • Telepheriques (approx £50)
  • Transport during the course
  • Personal equipment


Day 1 Fly to Geneva and take a train or private 'door to door' shuttle to the hotel. A full trek briefing is given in the early evening with an opportunity to buy any additional equipment that evening or early the next morning.

Day 2 After final sorting and packing of kit we walk up to the Albert Premier hut from the village of Le Tour, covering glacier training on the Le Tour glacier en route.  If you wish to avoid this first climb you are welcome to take the Le Tour/Col de Balme chair lift.  Looking back we have magnificent views of Mont Blanc and Aiguille Vert.  2 to 6 hours walking.

Day 3 We start early from the Albert Premier hut to make the best use of the snow conditions as we climb up to the Col Superior du Tour (3289m) to cross into Switzerland, then crossing Trient plateau, we walk down to the Col d'Orny (3098m) and east along the Glacier d'Orny to reach a well earned rest at the Cabaned'Orny, then continuing to the beautiful turquoise Lac d'Orny. We descend steeply down the Vallond'Arpette de Saleina to eventually pick up the Tour de Mont Blanc path which takes us to La Fouly. 7 to 8 hours walking.

Day 4 We follow the road for a short while to Les ArsDessous, (1955m).  The path continues steeply up zig-zags to the Col des Planards 2737m, then descends a pleasant scrambly route in a northerly direction to the Lake Gouille du Dragon to pick up a path down the left side of the Combe des Planards to La Letta and eventually a minor road that takes us to Bourg St. Pierre. 7 hours walking.

Day 5 Leaving the comfort of Bourg St Pierre we head up the lovely Valsorey valley to the Chalet d'Amont (2198m).  A rising traverse takes us to our high overnight stop at the Valsorey Hut, high on the slopes of the Grand Combin! 4 to 5 hours walking.

Day 6 Given good weather we climb the zig-zag path and take an exposed path up to the Plateau du Couloir with its outstanding views of the Grand Combin and its neighbours.  We descend onto the Sanadon Glacier to traverse across to the Col du Sanadon (3504m) and descend the Mont Durand Glacier below the Grand Tête de Bay and Tête Blanche. We then have a steep climb to reach the Chanrion Hut (2462m) which is our destination for the evening. The Chanrion Hut is said to be one of the best huts on the Haute Route, situated opposite Mount Avril, it is located on summer pastures. The well known, but very rare Edelweiss can be found here. 7 to 9 hours walking.

(Progress from the Valsorey hut to the Chanrion Hut can be restricted in poor weather, but in the worst scenario we can drop back to Bourg St Pierre and take a bus to Aosta- Ollomont -Glacier to eventually walk up to the Chanrion Hut via the Fenêtre du Durand).

Day 7 This is a very fine day, long and varied but with incredible views throughout. We find ourselves in more rugged mountain scenery, traversing some glacial ice and moraine before joining our path up to the Col de Lire (3115m). It is usual to see herds of ibex on the slopes. Crossing the remnant glacier between this pass and the next, the Col de Mont Rouge (3325m), we may well have to put on our crampons as there is a steep snow slope to be negotiated. Beyond this pass, we cross the upper part of the Gietro Glacier to reach the Col de Cheilon (3243m). We make a short glacial descent which takes us to our overnight stop at the Cabane des Dix with a deserved reputation for great food. 5 to 6 hours walking.

Day 8 Up before dawn today, as we head for the main summit and the highest point of our route.  We make a short descent from the hut onto the Glacier de Cheilon, which is initially bare of snow. Before beginning our ascent of the Pigne d’Arolla (3796m) we rope up and put on our crampons as the start of the route crosses dramatically crevassed glacial terrain, leading up to the Col de la Serpentine.  From here we cross a short, but steep, ice slope.  This is the crux of the route, giving us access to the easier upper slopes of the Pigne d’Arolla.  From the summit the view must rank as one of the finest in the Alps. It stretches from Mont Blanc to the Grand Paradiso, with awesome views of Matterhorn, the Dente Blanche and the Bernese Peaks.  A short glacial descent takes us to the impressively situated Vignettes Hut. 6 hours walking.

Day 9 Today we cross beneath the north face of the Petit Mont Collon on glaciated terrain to reach the Col de L’Eveque (3386m). This takes 3 to 4 hours.  From here, we descend onto the Haute Glacier d’Arolla, traversing snow slopes and then bare glacier.  At the snout of the glacier, we pick up a trail leading towards a bergerie on the eastern slopes of the valley.  Beyond this, we are faced with a 600m ascent to the Col de Bertol (3268m) and our refuge for the night.  Access to the hut is via a string of exciting ladders up a rock face, directly after a challenging snow slope, making reaching the hut even more rewarding! There are stunning views towards the Matterhorn and the Dent Blanche. 7 hours walking.

Day 10 Weather dependent, we shall attempt the summit of the Tête Blanche.  We descend the ladders from the hut, rope up and start the long, gentle ascent of the Mont Mine Glacier, heading for the easy snow peak of the Tête Blanche (3724m).  This takes 3 to 4 hours and our reward is even more impressive views of the Matterhorn: surely the most generic and famed of mountain views. We descend by way of the complex and heavily crevassed Stockji (a rocky island in the middle of this glaciated terrain). Here, we pick up a narrow trail which traverses steep slopes, leading to an improving alpine path on a moraine on the north side of the valley.  Finally, we cross the huge rock-covered glacier below the Zmutt Ridge of the Matterhorn and pick our way up the Schonbiel Hut. Rested, we make our final descent along good trails through the beautiful Swiss meadows to Zermatt.  From the rugged mountain scenery, we soon find ourselves among pleasant woodland and pretty hamlets. This is a splendid walk with the north face of the Matterhorn and Dent d’Herens hovering above us. We have the remainder of the day to explore this car-free Alpine haven before enjoying the luxuries of our comfortable hotel. 7 to 9 hours walking.

Day 11 After breakfast we transfer to Geneva airport for the homeward flight.


It is essential for a trip of this type that you are adequately insured. When researching insurance options, please ensure the policy covers you for the following:

  • Cancellation or curtailment
  • Helicopter rescue (most insurance companies will no longer cover for ‘search and rescue’ but providing you stay with the group, they will assist with ‘rescue’)
  • Repatriation
  • The altitude that you are expected to attain
  • The location especially when travelling to Antarctica
  • Grade of trek/climb/expedition
  • Medical cover

Adventure Peaks partners with Global Rescue to offer the world’s leading travel protection services. Medical and security emergencies happen. When they do, we rely on Global Rescue to provide our clients with medical, security, travel risk and crisis response services. Without a membership, an emergency evacuation could cost over $100,000. More than one million members trust Global Rescue to get them home safely when the unexpected happens. We highly recommend our clients enroll with Global Rescue, in particular for peaks over 7000m:

We are aware the following provide insurance:

For UK based clients:

Expeditions and Treks under 7000m - Campbell Irvine Direct :

HCC Medical Insurance Services: LLC Tel: 1-800-605-2282
Travelex Ins. Services: Tel: 1-800 228 9792
True Traveller Ins: Tel: 0333 999 3140 for treks including over 4500m
Austrian Alpine Club (UK) Tel: +44 (0)1929 556870
Rothwell & Towler: Tel: 0345 908 0161 (under 6400m)
J S Insurance: Tel: 0844 848 1500
Snowcard: Tel: 01295 660836
The B.M.C.: Tel: 0161 445 6111 (call and speak to Jim. Please note the BMC cannot cover Mt Damavand)
Dogtag: Tel: 0800 036 4824 (Check excess etc)

For non-UK based clients:

HCC Medical Insurance Services: LLC Tel: 1-800-605-2282
Travelex Ins. Services: Tel: 1-800 228 9792
True Traveller Ins: Tel: 0333 999 3140 for treks including over 4500m
Austrian Alpine Club (UK): Tel: +44 (0)1929 556870
AXA Worldwide Travel Ins: Tel: +44 (0)844 874 0360
Ingle International: Tel: (USA) 1.800.360.3234
Insure for Less: (Australian clients)

You do not have to use any of the above, but if you make your own insurance arrangements documentary evidence of your own policy is required.

Please forward the details of your Insurance as soon as you have it: we need the insurance company’s name, their 24 hour emergency telephone number and your insurance policy number –


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