Imperial Haute Route

Start in the Royal Crown, ski around the Dent Blanche

Dent Blanche

The Val d’Anniviers where this tour starts is also known as the Royal Crown, and is reputed to be Switzerland's most beautiful valley! The massive peaks surrounding this cirque at once engulf you and impress with their vast spaces. Set as it is on the linguistic boundary of German and French Switzerland these peaks seem to juggle both languages - La Dent Blanche, the Obergabelhorn, Le Grand Comier, the Zinalrothorn, Le Mont Durand and the Bishorn! Most of these are 4000 metres and their sharp ridges are breathtaking.

The Dent Blanche around which the tour is based could be described as the perfect mountain with its four steep arêtes all meeting and forming a perfect sharp point in the sky. What a stunning setting for a six day tour which will take you through tormented glacial slopes and up steep alpine passes. With one night in a non guarded hut, and one night opposite the north face of the Matterhorn, this tour has variety as well as great skiing in an exceptional environment.

¤ Starting in the beautiful Val d’Anniviers, climb and ski a 4000 metre peak- the Bishorn(4153m)
¤ A tour for the fit and experienced, involving high altitude and complex glacial terrain
¤ Spend a night opposite the fabulous north face of the Matterhorn

Dates: 13 - 20 April 2019
Grade: D3:A3:F3
Price: 1525€pp includes accommodation, dinners, breakfasts, picnic lunches, transfer from Geneva and return.
Meeting Point: Geneva.
Extras: Lift passes, hire gear (190€ for the week + 80€ for avalanche pack).
Contact: Sian


Day One: Taxi transfer to the ski resort of Saint Luc in the Zinal Valley, where we sleep for the night, sort our equipment and discuss the week with the guide.

g. IHR avril 2011Day Two: From Saint Luc we take the ski lifts to gain height quickly, before skiing the ridge to the Col de la Forcletta. Here it is possible to do the Omen Rosso peak at 3041metres before the ski down to the Lake Turtmann (2174m). There follows a short climb to the Turtmann Refuge.

Day Three: Today is a transition day in which we hope to set ourselves up for an attempt on the Bishorn (4153 metres) tomorrow. If the weather window is such that its better to go for the peak today, then with an early start this gives us the flexibility to do just that. Otherwise we will take the climb and traverse gently in order to acclimatize for tomorrow's peak. The night is spent at the Tracuit hut at altitude (3256m).

k. IHR avril 2011Day Four: From the Tracuit hut we traverse through a crevassed area before beginning the 900 metre climb. This at first heads to the pass separating the Bishorn from the Steinberg before joining the North West slopes of the Bishorn. From here it is straight up to a pass which separates its two peaks and then up to the top. The descent follows the same route at first before you put the skins back on and head for the Col de Milon. From there the descent to the Cabane de L’Ar Pitetta (2786m) . This is a very well equipped non guarded refuge.

Day Five: Today provides an astonishing traverse and climb over very complex glacial terrain. The Moming glacier is heavily crevassed and our route takes us through zones of seracs and icefalls. The views over to the West face of the Weisshorn are fantastic. Once we have joined the shoulder of the Zinalrothorn we continue our climb before heading down to the Cabane de Mountet at 2886 metres. (In case of bad conditions there is an alternative route on this day)

z. IHR avril 2011Day Six: We will ascend the Glacier Durand before heading to the pass of the same name at 3451 metres. From here we have great views over the north face of the Matterhorn. Our descent at this point is gentle as we aim to keep our height heading south towards a small pass at 3209 metres. A short climb follows this gentle descent before we head down the south-west facing slopes which lead us to the moraine on which the Schonbiellehutte is perched. In the afternoon sun we can enjoy our drink as we look onto the magnificent Matterhorn.

Day Seven: For many, the route we climb up the glacier to the summit of the Tete Blanche constitutes their final descent of the Haute Route down to Zermatt. Traffic on this day tends to go in the opposite direction to us. This means we get to savour the views of this terrain for longer. After a 1000 metres of climb we will arrive at the summit of the Tete Blanche (3710m) where we will begin our descent down the Ferpecle Glacier to La Forclaz. We will spend the night in Les Hauderes where our bags will be waiting for us at the hotel.

Day Eight: Transfer to Geneva Airport for travel connections or on to the next ski tour……

Reserve your place

To book you can use the on-line booking system below - click on the start date and then proceed. The system will ask for a deposit which you pay using PayPal. Or, if you prefer, you can email us directly (, ring directly on +33 5 62 92 81 52 or Skype: sian.grigg.

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