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by Nicolò Berzi/

Multi-day traverses have always been at the heart of ski mountaineering, and the Chamonix – Zermatt Haute Route, first carried out by the famous Mountain Guide Toni Gobbi in the 1950’s, is one of the most popular and fascinating traverses in the Alps.

chamonix skiing

The “high routes” cover enormous distances, and in winter the sensation of traveling on skis is something quite unique. The journey becomes an end in itself, and the “icing on the cake” are by no means the fantastic descents, but the actual terrain crossed. Looking back at the distance covered throughout the day and planning the next stage offers immense satisfaction and deep, new sensations. Once in the world of the Haute Route, you’ll find it hard not to dream about the next outing.

Obviously there are some slightly less positive aspects, such as the weight of the rucksack, which must contain clothing, gear, ice axe, crampons, harness, rope, maps, compass and…

And it must be said that this traverse requires considerable mountaineering experience, and the capability of turning back if need be. Changing snow and weather conditions may be the order of the day, and you may well have to make sudden, important decisions about alternatives to keep risks low, or even give up completely. This sensibility and

Multi-day traverses require knowledge, understanding, experience and the capacity to make decisions independently, rather than simply following the group ahead. It is because of this that the long traverses should remain the flagship of ski mountaineering,

- Introduction
- The traverse

chamonix skiing

Getting there
The starting point for this itinerary is Briga.
Best time of year
The b maggio, periodo nel quale la traversata è anche molto frequentata. Anticipando un po’ si trova molta meno gente, neve ancora polverosa ma qualche problema in più per il pericolo valanghe. Il giro proposto, con opportune varianti, può essere percorso anche a piedi nella stagione estiva.
Links and further info
Weather 0041/91162
Cable car des Grands Montets 0033/450540071
Cab. du Trient 0041/277831438
Cab. des Dix 0041/272811523
Cab. des Vignettes 0041/272831322

Internet:, (Swiss bus and train times)
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