Take the High Road

To change the theme a little bit we’ve dug out a few links to stories about the classic Chamonix to Zermat Haute Route.  A six to seven day ski tour stopping overnight in huts.  We then take a look at some of the more serious trips, including Vienna to Nice!

The Guardian Travel journalists Georgina Henry and Natalie Sutton have both completed the Haute-Route.  Natalie described her trip as ‘like heli-skiing, without the helicopter’. That’s before she’d set out!

The glacier d’Argentiere, start of the Haute Route

Georgina thought it was the best trip of her life despite the pain and despare.  Take care, a friend of PisteHors.com, Susie, an experienced off-piste skier found just how much pain you may have to go through.  Her guide, worried about the worsening weather, had them do the final two days in one - 2,500 vertical meters of climbing in 12 hours.

When the weather turns bad, you’ve got to keep going

Of course, Chamonix to Zermatt may be the most famous of the European treks but there are many other long distance paths.  The Alta Strada on Corsica (aka The Corsican Haute Route) is perhaps one of the most challenging.  Surrounded by the clear blue waters of the Mediterranean sea it is anything but placid with risk of avalanche and other dangers with a big chance of being hit by a storm during the 11 day journey.

Longer, and requiring considerable logistical planning is the Trans Pyrenean ‘Grand Randonee (GR) 10’ which can take you through the Spanish and French backcountry on a journey lasting up to 40 days.

Ski Touring on the Pyrenean GR10

Something of a Boy’s Own Story, shades of Across the Andies by Frog! is the epic project: Vienna - Nice, following in the footsteps of Sir William Martin Conway, a British alpinist who completed the first ‘end to end’ in the summer of 1895 and the skier, Léon Zwingelstein.  On the 1st of February 1933, Zwingelstein left Grenoble for Nice, the start of his trip.  From there he set out, alone, in the direction of Austria arriving at the summit of the Dreilanderspitze (Three Country Summit) on the 6th of April.

Posted by davidof on Wednesday, 21 January, 2004 at 02:39 PM

Would be interested to know if this Chamonix - Zermat route is only for skiers. Is there a route which snowboarders can do?

Posted by  on  Friday, 23 January, 2004  at 02:57 PM

If you use a splitboard there isn’t much a skier can do that a snowboarder can’t.  However most boarders prefer the rigidity of their usual board and opt for snowshoes.  The Chamonix-Zermatt Haute-Route has been tackled this way… the main problem is that you are travelling over a lot of glaciated terrain and that means crevasses.  You will have to consider roping up for some of the sections.

Our article on backcountry snowboarding will give you some more information about the equipment.  Beyond that it might be worth contacting a guide specialising in snowboarding.

Posted by davidof on  Sunday, 25 January, 2004  at 01:24 AM
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