We caught the Globe Trekker episode on the haute route by accident. We were totally riveted watching it — a seven-day ski tour of the highest peaks of the Alps. Oh.my.god. It looks an absolute, stupendous, “I wanna do this” fantasy.
First tackled by the members of the Alpine Club in the mid 19th Century, it was originally a hiking route from Chamonix to Zermatt. The ski route was first tackled in 1911. The English name was “The High Route” but the French version became more prominent.
The ski route takes 7 days, and the hiking takes about 2 weeks. Needless to say, participants need to be extremely fit as well an advanced off-piste skier. They also need to have luck on their side, because bad weather can totally ruin the well planned itinerary. Tours usually allow an extra day for delays. At around £825 half board (flights, lunches, insurance and equipment are extra) it’s not cheap … for staying at basic mountain huts. But I’m willing to bet it’s a great experience.
I’ll never reach any sort of proficiency at skiing to attempt this; but may be I’ll keep hiking as a pipedream.
Sigh. I wish.