Chamonix to Zermatt Haute Route • April 2002

On the first of our Alps ski trips for the 2002 season we were joined by Bill Hudon, Ken Mackinnon and Roger Belman. We had a great trip and were able to ski the route right on schedule, via the "Classic" line over the Plateau du Couloir.

The snow started firm, as it had not snowed much in the Alps for the last couple weeks, but by the end we had received a healthy dose of powder and had some great time skiing the fresh snow.

Other Recent Trips

A happy Bill Hudon.

And partner in fun, Ken Mackinnon.


Roger Belman, from Anchorage.

Our first day was an exercise in.... I'm not sure what. With clear skies, the Aiguille du Midi was closed because of high wind, so no Vallée Blanche. We headed to the FlÈgËre lift for a tour in the Aiguilles Rouges, but after waiting over an hour in line for that lift (running slow because of the wind) they closed it! So it was up the Montenvers train for us, hoping the wind would not blow it off the track. Finally, here we are, skinning up the Mer de Glace.


Climbing back up the ladders to the Montenvers at the end of the day.

Our second day was also beautiful (less wind). Here we are heading up to the Argentière Hut, visible near the left edge of this photo. The weather came in later in the afternoon, and a short tour above up the Glacier des Améthystes we enjoyed in a whiteout.


On day three, we are skiing up to the Col du Chardonnet, on our way to the Trient hut. . The Aiguille Verte behind.


Day four, we had a short climb up to the Col des Ecandies in the cool morning.


At the top of the Col we are rewarded with a great view down the Val d'Arpette. Unfortunately, the snow was firm and "burly", making for a rather demanding ski down.


But a pleasant break awaits in Champex. Waiting for the bus to take us to Bourg-St-Pierre.


On day five we hike out from Bourg-St-Pierre, heading up to the Valsorey hut.

Enjoying a break in the Valsorey hut, end of day five.


Climbing up to the Plateau du Couloir on the Grand Combin. The weather was not so fine this day, and we enjoyed a bit of Whiteout navigation down the Glacier du Mont Durand.

But we made it to the Chanrion hut without incident. The following day, the weather remained poor, and we opted for the Otemma route to the Vignettes hut. We are enter the gorge at the toe of the glacier here.


Higher up on the Otemma Glacier, the sun would peak through the mists for spectacular view.


Ken and Bill, and the Cabane des Vignettes.


Funhogs, Roger, Kathy and Mark could not resist the good snow on the Glacier de Pièce, just out the door from the Vignettes hut. In the background you can see a helicopter depositing skiers and a film crew at the hut. We had the smug satisfaction of ripping up the slope ahead of them.


The following morning we left the Vignettes and were off to Zermatt. Here, we are crossing the Col de Charmotane, not far from the hut.

Later in the day we arrive at our lunch spot on the Haute Glacier de Tsa de Tsan.


The short walk to Stafel at the bottom of the Zmuttgletscher. We have passed into German speaking territory.

A large beer in preparation for the last piste ski down to Furi and Zermatt.


To the Zermatt train station.

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