Winter Sports

Ski tour Haute Route

From Zermatt to Arolla - Dream tour for professional ski tourers

From Zermatt via the Tête Blanche 3,707 m to Arolla on your skis or snowboard in just two days: Our Swiss colleague Michi Bösiger went on a very impressive alpine ski tour in the Valais Alps and tells us all about it.

Zermatt in the canton of Valais is easy to reach by public transport or by car via Täsch – from there also by train. You will find a wide range of accommodation in this lovely and historical place. Zermatt is a car-free zone and located just in front of the Matterhorn. We decided to first visit the mountaineers’ cemetery, a highly recommendable sight for every Alpinist, before we went for our obligatory fondue.

The tour

After our first overnight stay we took the train to Schwarzsee early in the morning and then skied downhill to Stafel. Here, we applied the skins to our skis, assembled our equipment and began with the long ascent of the Zmutt glacier along the moraines and later past the Stockji peak. During this ascent you can see the Matterhorn from its rather unknown southern face. It got steeper and we gladly used the heel lifters on our touring binding. The weather meant well. After a cold start, it got noticeable warmer once the sun came out. Shortly before the Col de Valpelline we followed our track towards the east, in the direction of the Col de la Tête Blanche. We instantly understood why this summit is called “Tête Blanche” (“white head”). A wonderful and pleasant ascent lead us to the summit on 3,707m, from where we enjoyed a sublime panorama view over the majestic 4,000-metre mountains.

Hiking and climbing backpack Cebus 35 by Tatonka

Climbing backpack with elaborate details

The Cebus 35 is the perfect companion for strenuous and movement-intensive mountain operations.

Equipped among others with:

  • Packsack with snow guard
  • Side access to main compartment
  • Side pockets made of an elastic material
  • First Aid Compartment
  • Front pocket with integrated helmet attachment and rope holder

To the product

The ski-run down the glacier was pure enjoyment but we had to pay attention to hidden crevasses. We had kept to the rocks of the Dents de Bertol, as found on the map, until we arrived at a plateau. Our ski skins had to be renewed. During the ascent we could already see the Bertol Hut. It sat enthroned on the frozen surface and looked pretty cool. The last few metres via the glacier towards the hut entrance were not steep but dragged on and we had to mobilise our entire energy.

We stored our skis in a deposit below the hut and climbed up the ladder to the entrance. There was not much space and the toilet was built into the rock behind the hut, but we found it rather cosy. You can enjoy amazing views over the fantastic, alpine winter wonderland. The next morning, our descent down the almost upright ladder was icy cold and helped us waking up for the steep and long downhill run towards Arolla.

Reading tip: 150 years since the first ascent of the Matterhorn – climbing the “Horu“

Facts

This ski tour is suitable for advanced ski tourers. Less experienced alpinists should always ask a mountain guide to join them.
www.alpincenter-zermatt.ch
It is also possible to plan this tour for three days. If so, you would be spending your first night in the Schönbiel Hut.
Prior booking at the SAC huts should not be forgotten.

Equipment

  • Full ski tour equipment incl. crampons
  • For the snowboarders: alpine snow shoes
  • Multi-layered weather protection wear, sun screen, sun glasses
  • Harness, approx. 30-metre long climbing rope, Barryvox, probe, shovel, ice pick
  • Food and at least 1 litre to drink per person (for example Tatonka’s Hot&Cold Stuff)
  • Cash for the hut
  • Sleeping bag for the hut (made of cotton or silk) and anti-snoring ear protection
  • First-Aid Kit (e.g. First Aid Compact by Tatonka) mobile phone in case of an emergency
  • Ski tour map 283 S Arolla
  • Approx. 30-litre backpack (the model Cebus 35 by Tatonka is perfect)

Information

Summit: Tête Blanche, 3,707m a.s.l.
Metres in altitude: 1,150m
Difficulty: ZS
Map material: 283 S Arolla, 283 Arolla, poss.: 1347 Zermatt
Estimated time required without breaks:
Day 1 Zermatt – Bertol Hut: approx. 5.0 hrs
Day 2 Bertol Hut – Aroll: approx. 4.0 hrs

Weather: www.meteoblue.zermatt.com


Text & Photos : ©Michi Bösiger

You might also be interested in these articles:

Ski Tour Güntlespitze – A fantastic ski tour in the Swiss Kleinwalsertal
Ski-Tour to the Bärenhorn in Switzerland – Luxurious slopes down to the bottom of the fondue

Tags : Ski Touring
Michael Bösiger
Draußen unterwegs sein, die Natur hautnah spüren – man könnte sagen, dass ich ein echter Abenteurer bin. Auf meinen Fernreisen, beim Bergsteigen, Kajakfahren oder auf Skitouren verbinde ich Hobby und Beruf. Meine dort aktiv gesammelten Erfahrungen bringe ich nicht nur bei der Betreuung der Outdoorhändler in meiner Heimat, der Schweiz ein, sondern auch in die Entwicklung neuer Produkte. Gemeinsam mit meinem Kollegen und Produktdesigner Istvan Ladanyi konnten wir schon einige großartige Produkte kreieren. --- Being outdoors, feeling nature up close - you could say that I am a real adventurer. On my long-distance journeys, mountaineering, kayaking or ski tours I combine hobby and profession. I bring the experience I have gained there to bear not only in looking after outdoor traders in my home country, Switzerland, but also in developing new products. Together with my colleague and product designer Istvan Ladanyi we have already created some great products.