The ultimate Haute Route ski tour for those who likes long nice runs. Every day we are rewarded with a run down that is 1000 meter vertical or more.
We spend the nights in nice huts with half board service. In that way we can walk and ski with light backpacks.
Skills and level
You need to have a good level of fitness since it is an intense week with many meters up and down to cover every day. It is suitable for skiers who have previous experience in backcountry skiing, in order to be able to cope with variable off-piste snow conditions. If you feel you lack the experiences or if you are uncertain of your own level, please feel free to contact us. We will do our best to give you the best experience possible.
This is a tour that we normally start to do from middle/end of March to mid/late April. It's really a wonderful time in the Alps with lots of snow above 3000 meters, but at the same time warm and comfortable down in the valleys. We experience a nice combination of great skiing in powder snow and perfect spring snow in the mountains, and then sit at the huts terrace in t-shirt, with a cool drink in your hand.
Program for the week
The following program is a typical week. There might be changes due to weather and snow conditions, with alternative routes and huts to be used.
Day 1, Sunday
Check in Engelberg. You can check in at the hotel in the afternoon. If you want to come early or stay some extra days in Engelberg after the thour, we can help you book additional nights.
Day 2, Monday
Preparation day in Engelberg
We do a shorter ski tour in the area. A perfect time to check all the equipment to make sure everything is ok. It also gives the guide a chance to see how you ski. We prepare our lunches for the tour, check what's in our backpacks, etc. We sleep at the hotel in Engelberg this night.
Day 3, Tuesday
Realp (1 540 m) – Albert Heim Hütte (2 543 m)
The first day of the tour we take the train from Engelberg to Realp, located just beyond Andermatt. We have lunch before we start walking towards Albert Heim Hut. If we have the strength, we can continue to go towards Galenstock and get a nice ride down. Or we can just sit on the terrace and enjoy the view for the rest of the day.
Day 4, Wednesday
Albert Heim Hütte (2 543m) – Chelenaalphütte (2 350m)
Waking up in a hut is a special thing. Take your time to go outside and watch the stars. The days start early. Breakfast is served in the dining room. We begin the day with a small downhill to the start of the first ascent for the day. We walk about 500 meters altitude until we reach Winterlücke. From there we ski down directly to Göcheneralpsee. 1000 glorious meters. Or, if we want to take the route via Lochberg, weather and condition will determine. We then continue into Chelenaalptal towards the hut, about 500 meters more.
Day 5, Thursday
Chelenaalphütte (2 350 m) – Steingletcher (1 865 m)
We start directly with the skins on the skis and go aim for Sustenlimi, about 700 meters ascend. Here we can choose whether we want to continue moving towards the top of Sustenhorn, 3500 meters, or just ski down via Steigletcher to tonight's accommodation at the bottom of the valley. 1700 fabulous meters from the top of Sustenhorn ... who can say no?
Day 6, Friday
Steingletcher (1 865 m) – Süstlihütte (2 257 m)
We are moving towards Fünffingerstock but go via the pass Obertaljoch (about 2 850 m). Here are more choices down to Sustlibach. A pleasure ride .. nice views and hopefully good snow ... last bit to the hut we have to put our skins back on. Once we are at the hut, we make sure to enjoy the last night in the mountains.
Day 7, Saturday
Süstlihütte (2 257 m) – Engelberg (1 000 m)
Last day. It begins with moving uphill against Grassengrat/Stössensattel – about 600 meters ascent. After that it's just downhill... Maybe this week's best ride. We have 1800 meters downhill. You can go by the Grassen bivoac located very nicely just below the overwhelming southeast wall of the Titlis. Once down in the valley we take the local bus back to Engelberg.
Day 8, Sunday
Time to go home.
About skitouring and Haute Route
We will use an alpine ski touring setup, skins and binding that allows you to hike with a free-heel upwards. A normal day on the tour is intense, you start quite early and continue by hiking up and skiing down for 6-9 hours, so you should have a good level of fitness. However, there will be plenty of time every afternoon to enjoy the mountain scenery, dry the wet clothes and to take care of yourself by having a rest.
We only take 4-6 skiers/guide during these weeks. Some weeks there are two guides with independent groups working together. However, we travel independently so that the groups can ski different lines.
The following is an equipment list. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us. Equipment marked with * can be provided by your guide when needed.
• Skis with AT bindings (Dynafit or Diamir type) that should be light but stable for the downhill skiing.
• Climbing skins adapted to your skis.
• Poles, adjustable with big baskets that can be mounted on a backpack.
• Ski crampons
• Ski touring boots
• Backpack, 35-45 liters, with straps for skis and poles.
• Ice axe, straight classic model 40-50 cm.*
• Crampons, light but durable. We do not recommend aluminum crampons.*
• Avalanche transceiver*
• Harness, light with adjustable leg loops.*
• Ski goggles, "orange/yellow" lenses to be used at bad weather.
• Sunglasses, category 3-4.
• Gortex jacket or similar.
• Gortex pants or similar with ventilation possibilities.
• Down jacket lightweight.
• 2 pairs of base layer, synthetic or wool.
• 2 pairs of ski socks.
• Mid layer
• Thin gloves
• Insulated gloves
• Hat and balaclava to protect your face in bad weather.
• Sun hat to protect you against the Sun.
• Head torch with spare batteries.
• Sun block
• Water bottle (1-2 liters), since we do not recommend Camelback systems.
• Travel sheets to sleep in at the huts.
• Small repair kit.
• Small medical kit.
• Professional Mountain Guide authorized by UIGMA/IFMGA.
• All transport during the week including return to Courmayeur.
• Ski passes
• Hotel accommodation in twin double rooms including breakfast before and after the week (a single room can, where possible be arranged at additional cost).
• Nights at mountain huts including breakfast and dinner.
• Fantastic views and excellent skiing in the national park of Gran Paradiso.
• Lunch and drinks up in the mountain huts.
• Personal ski touring equipment (see list above).
• Travel to/from Courmayeur.
• Mandatory insurance to cover mountain rescue costs.