The essential of Chamonix Zermatt

Beautiful altitude steps for a ski raid which embraces seizing views on the highest Swiss peaks : the Matterhorn in the background and the Valais' 4000m will stay in your memories for a long time..


This short version of the Chamonix-Zermatt route if offered to allow experienced people in classical raids but also to motivated hikers that only have three days available. Moreover, this trip has a step to the dizzying Bertol hut allowing us to ascend the Tête Blanche summit, which we don't offer in the classical Chamonix-Zermatt trip : a good reason to sign up for this one ! 

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Arolla - Vignettes Hut

    Arolla - Vignettes Hut We meet with the guide in Sion early in the morning and then take a short minibus transfer to Arolla, in Switzerland. We take the Fontaness ski lift which will take us directly to 2456m altitude. From there, we cross the Tsijiore Nouve glacier and climb up the Pièce glacier to finally reach the Vignettes hut perched at 3160m altitude.

    Positive difference in altitude : Around 800m | Negative difference in altitude : Around 80m | Altitude Max : 3160m | Accommodation : Vignettes hut

  • Day 2 Vignettes - Bertol

    Vignettes - Bertol From the hut, we gently start climbing towards the Vignettes pass and then get back down to the Charmotane pass at 3037m. From there, we get started on a steeper slope leading to the Évêque pass, crossing the Mont Collon glacier and Arolla's highest glacier. We then descend on a nice path to 2540m, going through the Plans de Bertol at 2664m to finally climb back up the Vallon de Bertol. A steep slope followed by a large crossing will take us to the Bertol pass at 3268m. A last effort to climb the ladders and here we are at our nice and cosy mountain hut for the night.

    Positive difference in altitude : Around 1100m | Negative difference in altitude : Around 950m | Altitude Max : 3382m | Accommodation : Bertol hut

  • Day 3 Bertol - Zermatt

    Bertol - Zermatt Starting from the Bertol pass, we join the Mont Miné glacier that we will climb in direction of the Bouquetins pass. Before rejoining the pass, we head towards the East slops, leading to the Tête Blanche peak. From there, we start the long descent by the Stockjigletschern, followed by the Tiefmattengletscher and finally the Zmuttgletscher, until we reach the skiing area in Zermatt. We get back to Sion in minibus and say goodbye.

    Positive difference in altitude : Around 550m | Negative difference in altitude : Around 2200m | Altitude Max : 3710m

ITINERARY CHANGE
The program can be modified by your guide due to weather conditions or participants physical conditions. For safety reasons and to ensure a uniform level corresponding to the one announced, the supervision and organisation boards have the right to interrupt your participation if your technical or physical level are lower than the one required. The interruption will not give you any right of refund or payment of compensation.

Dates & prices

Departures for French-speaking groups:

No departure for now

Trip code: SRCZS

Included

  • A deposit of 30% of the trip’s price will be needed during the booking, the whole price must be paid at least 30 days before departure. 
  • The technical organization of the stay
  • Mountaineering with high-mountain guides
  • Collective equipment provided (ropes)
  • Half-board accommodation in refuges, cottages and lodges
  • Lunch picnics
  • Safety equipment : avalanche transceiver (batteries non provided), probe, shovel 
  • Minibus transfers

Not included

  • Individual equipment : harness, crampons, ice axe, helmet
  • Ski-touring equipment : shoes, skis, skins, knifes, poles
  • Batteries for the avalanche transceiver (4 batteries LR03 AAA)
  • Drinks and personal expenses
  • Snacks (cereal bars, dried fruits, chocolate bars, etc...) at your own convenience
  • Transfers to the meeting and dispersion points
  • Insurance / assistance : research fees and helicopter rescue, hospitalisation and repatriation mandatory

International flights

If you wish, we can take care of booking your international flights to the closest airport of your destination. 

Terms and conditions

Subscription

Subscribe to one of our activities or travels means accepting general sales conditions. Each client must fill a subscription form, which will be accepted only after the payment of a deposit accounting for 30% of the travel’s price and according to the availability. If you subscribe less than 30 days before the trip, you must pay the whole price during the subscription. You can pay by bank transfer (SWIFT/IBAN) or with your credit card directly through our website (available soon). A booking confirmation will be sent to you be e-mail very soon. 

Invoice procedure

Once your booking is registered, we will send you an email containing the invoice. Full payment is required at least 30 days before your arrival. If the customer does not settle the payment of the travel price within the period agreed upon, Altaï Alpes has the right to cancel the booking free of charge. 

Cancellation policy

If for any reason, you decide to withdraw from a journey, the amount already paid will be refunded subject to the following exceptions:
  • More than 30 days before departure, you will be charged for the amount of 50€
  • From 30 to 21 days before departure, you will be charged for the amount of the deposit (30% of the trip’s price)
  • From 20 to 14 days before departure,  you will be charged for 50% of the trip’s price
  • From 13 to 7 days before departure,  you will be charged for 75% of the trip’s priceLess than 7 days before departure,  you will be charged for the whole trip’s price 

Particular case :

Whatever the cancellation or contract change date, the following fees will be added to the charges above:
  • Airline fixed costs: plane tickets are bought in advance to avoid too high airline prices, however they are non refundable in case of cancellation or plan changes. In that case, the charges above apply to the price of your trip without the plane ticket’s price
  • Ground fixed costs: you will be charged for the fees that were paid early
  • Insurance fees: Insurance fees will not be refunded if you have subscribed to a multi-risk or cancellation insurance. The specific conditions will be written on your subscription confirmationIf you have no choice but to cancel your trip before departure, you must inform Montagne Expeditions and your insurance provider with a written statement as soon as possible, you will get a receipt. 

The receipt date will be taken as the cancellation date to charge cancellation fees.  

If Montagne Expeditions has no choice but to cancel a group travel due to an insufficient number of participants, the decision will be taken and the clients informed at least 31 days before departure. Altaï Alpes can also cancel a departure due to exceptional events threatening participants safety (social events, strikes, weather conditions). In that case, the trip’s price will be fully refunded but the participants will not get any compensation.

Changes to travel contract


If any change in travel contract is made at the customer’s request, the customer shall pay any fee that might arise from this change. In any case, every request for changes shall be notified in writing. In case of external events that could not be foreseen, Altaï Alpes might change some aspects of the travel contract. We will inform you of any changes as quickly as possible.

Pricing


All group travel prices on our website have been calculated for the indicated number of participants for each trip. The price list is confirmed after the booking. If the number of participants is lower than expected, an additional payment charge might be applied. For each travel and program, we mention the price per person – valid for the minimum number of participants – and we provide you with detailed explanations about the services included or not. Any change in the exchange rates or in the price of travel services in particular regarding the cost of the fuel, might entail price revision.

Contract transfer

In case of contract transfer by the customer to an assignee, modification and cancellation conditions apply. 

Insurance

We recommend you to get your personal insurance before your departure to cover the activities undertaken by Montagne Expedition. If you have not purchased any of our insurances, we ask you to email us your insurance contract information (company, contract name, contract number, phone number) and bring those information with you on your trip. 

Practical info

Staff

The tour is supervised by a mountain guide who has been chosen for his field experience, his specific knowledge of one geographical area and the culture attached, as well as his passion for the region.

Food

Meals
  • Lunch picnics
  • Diners : meals prepared by shelter keepers
  • Take some race food according to your own tastes (cereals bars, chocolate bars, dry fruits,…).

Drinks
  • Water is not for free in refuges (from 5 to 8 euros one bottle). We advise you to bring some water purification tablets (Aquatabs or Micropur) in order to drink tap water. 
  • Personal drinks are not included in the trip's price
  • Bring cash for coffees, fruit juices, coke or beers during breaks… Shelters usually don’t accept bank card payments and Euros.

Accommodation

  • Every refuges of this itinerary are comfortable and warm. Dormitories are equipped with blankets for the night (plan to bring your personal bed sheet for hygiene reasons). 
  • Slippers are at your disposal : no need to bring trainers. 
  • We advise you to bring protection against noise (ear plugs).
  • A few electrical plugs are available in refuges, but plan to bring an external battery to charge your camera and switch off your phone during the day. 

Budget & exchange

Switzerland uses the Swiss Franc (CHF). It is better to change money before departure, however euros are widely accepted in Switzerland. 

Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances (but don’t forget to bring your PIN number!). 
ATMs are available in most of the towns you will cross during your stay, but there are no guarantees that your credit card will actually work in Switzerland. Also, refuges often don’t have EPT (Electronic Payment Terminal): it is best to bring cash.
Be aware of the fees usually applied when purchasing products or services on a credit card. 

Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spend your trip constantly feeling short on funds. 
As currency exchange rates can often fluctuate, we recommend to check the following website for daily exchange rates: https://www.xe.com/

Tips

Clients usually pay for the guides’ drinks : you might find it practical to make a group kitty at the beginning of your stay (no obligation). 

Supplied equipment

  • The group equipment (ropes, carabineers) is provided
  • Slippers and blankets are available at the lodges and refuges : plan to bring your own bed sheet
  • Individual safety equipment (beacon, probe and shovel) : thank you for letting us know if you have your own

Vital equipment

Skis
  • 1 pair of ski touring skis, light and with adapted fixations as well as a break or safety strips, and sharpened
  • 1 pair of ski touring shoes with VIBRAM soles
  • 1 pair of adhesive seals skin adapted to your skis
  • Knifes adapted to fixations
  • Poles with large disks

Other
  • Safety equipment : beacon, probe and shovel
  • crampons with "Antibott" system
  • Ice axe
  • Harness and carabineers
  • Survival blanket
  • 1 headlamp with extra batteries and bulb
  • Pocket knife
  • Thermos

Material

Upper body : 
  • Windstopper bonnet
  • Hat or cap
  • Neck scarf
  • Sunscreen (high protection) for skin and lips
  • Sunglasses for glacier category 4 + ski goggles 
  • 2 technical breathable long sleeve underwear type "Carline" (no coton which dries too slowly)
  • 1 technical and breathable shirt to put under your jumper
  • 1 thick fleece jacket
  • 1 fuzz jacket
  • 1 wind stopper and waterproof jacket type Goretex
  • 1 pair of wind stopper mittens (fleece or wool) 
  • 1 pair of undergloves

Lower body : 
  • 1 technical and breathable pair of tights type "Carline"
  • 1 pair of comfortable mountain trousers
  • 1 pair of wind stopper and waterproof trousers type Goretex
  • 2 pairs of socks : 1 thin and 1 thick

Other : 
  • 1 bed sheet for refuges
  • 1 small toiletry bag with 1 fast drying towel
  • Cream for sunburns (Biafine)
  • Biodegradable toilet paper
  • 1 or 2 100L plastic bags and an overbag to protect your belongings and your bag
  • 1 waterproof pouch in which you will put your identity paper, your phone, your money and your insurance/assistance contract with all of your emergency numbers

Luggage

  • A comfortable 40L backpack with ski straps

Medicine

Your guide has a pharmacy of first urgency.
Plan with your doctor your personal pharmacy:
  • Personal medicine
  • Pain reliever (preferably paracetamol)
  • Double skin
  • Elastoplast
  • Local disinfectant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antispasmodic
  • Anti-diarrheal
  • Anti-vomiting
  • Intestinal antiseptic
  • Eyewash
  • Light sleeping pills
  • Earplugs
  • Broad spectrum antibiotic
  • Vitamins C 
Non-exhaustive list.

Passport

Please make sure your passport and travel documents are valid.

Visa

  • Up to 90 days visit in Switzerland : citizens from most countries do not need a visa to visit Switzerland.
  • Over 90 days visit in Switzerland : non-EU or non-EFTA citizens must have a visa to visit Switzerland over 90 days.

For further information, please check the following website : https://www.swiss-visa.ch/

Mandatory vaccines

There are no mandatory vaccines needed to travel to Switzerland. 

Health information & recommendations

For this trip, you must be fit : you can train with other sports such as running, cycling, swimming or sportive walk. To have a reasonable chance of success, a high degree of fitness and stamina, some previous experience of altitude is highly recommended. 

Training advices to check with your general practionner : six months before departure, try to do at least 1 to 2 endurance sport sessions a week (each one must last at least one hour) and do a 6 hours trekking during the week-end with an elevation of 400m/hour during three hours. Three months before departure, try 2 to 3 endurance sport sessions a week and increase your trekking time during the week end from 7 to 8 hours.

Please inform us of any health issues : allergy, diabetes, asthma, or old strokes...

Weather

The Swiss climate is moderately continental in the plateau, Alpine in the mountains, and more temperate in the Canton of Ticino. In the mountains, the climate varies with altitude and slope exposure, but in winter, they are located above the blanket of fog and low clouds that often covers the plateau, so they are also sunnier in this season. The cold wind, which in Switzerland and in central France is called Bise, blows from the north-east and is more frequent in winter and spring.

Late winter and early spring (February-March) are recommended for a ski holiday, since the days are longer than in December and January. 

For further information on the wether during your trip, please check the following website : https://www.meteoswiss.admin.ch/

Electricity

The electrical current in Switzerland is 230V, 50Hz. Swiss sockets are recessed, three-holed, hexagonally shaped and incompatible with many plugs from abroad. They usually, however, take the standard European two-pronged plug.

Most refuges have electric plugs, but some haven't. If you scared of running low on battery, bring an external battery with you. 

Local time

Switzerland is in the Central European Time Zone (CET). Central European Standard Time is 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+1).

Sustainable tourism

We do our best to offer trips subscribed to the principles of responsible and sustainable tourism. Our aim is to allow visitors to discover the many facets of the Alps by taking you off the beaten path and getting you in touch with its nature and residents, while ensuring that your visits do not have a negative effect on its natural environment and people.

  • Most of our accommodations are run by locals, thus ensuring that the largest part of the revenue generated through your trip will stay within the region.
  • France is known for its exquisite cuisine. The art of cooking and the joy of eating are part of everyday life. Each region has its particular foods and flavors which we would like you to explore and appreciate.
  • Water is a precious and rare good. Our team and those travelling with us are thus advised to use it with consideration and avoid excessive water use where possible.
  • Please try to recycle your waste whenever possible, even though recycling may not be a well-known concept in all areas.
  • Be cautious and respectful when hiking. Make sure to wear suitable footwear and avoid picking flowers, moving stones or lighting fires.  
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Sandra

My local agent
Sandra

  • Technical adviser on all trips.
  • Passionate about mountains and particularly with backcountry skiing.
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Region
France Switzerland
Activity
Ski Ski-Touring
Duration
3 days
Group
4 to 6 people
Code
SRCZS
Price
From €795
Level
3/5
Comfort
2/5
Language(s)
French

Strengths

  • The last steps of Chamonix-Zermatt for those who couldn't do it completely 
  • Tête Blanche ascent at 3710m in altitude
  • Departure and  return in Sion

Guide's advice

« A short version of the famous Chamonix-Zermatt thanks to three astonishing steps embellished by the Tête Blanche ascent at 3710m in altitude, a variation which isn't done in our classic raid. »

Required level

Technical difficulties

Intense difficulties, accessible to experienced people in ski-touring and that have a good level in ski and freeride. It is mandatory to be efficient in every kind of snow. A good experience in ski-touring is required, with control of basic techniques especially the upstream-downstream conversion. You also have to handle the safety equipment : know how to use efficiently an avalanche transceiver, a probe and a shovel. 

Physical difficulties

Moderate but regular difference in altitude. You have to be in very good physical condition to do the three steps in altitude. You will carry your belongings during the whole trip. This trip should not be your first raid. 

Commitment

Isolation is pronounced, we leave for three days in high mountain. However, refuges are very comfortable and the guides will make sure to adapt the program to the mountain and weather conditions. 
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