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Splitboarding the Haute Route - Best itinerary?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi. I have a friend who is zealous and committed to splitboarding the Haute route from Chamonix to Zermatt this March. I'd like to go with him, but don't want to be miserable! We have another 2 friends found so we can do a private guided tour. My friend is letting me figure out the itinerary as long as it's most nights in huts. Does anyone know the best splitboarder friendly route for this? One guide I talked to mentioned Grand Montets > Albert Premiere > Mont Fort > Prafleuri > Dix > hotel in Arolla > Bertol > Zermatt. Is this the best? How does it compare with the regular Verbier mod including Argentiere, Trient & Vignettes?

Thanks!!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
To me, the 2 parts of the regular Verbier route that might be a pain on a splitboard are the climb up to the col du chardonnet (due to it being steep and often icy on the lower slopes), and the traverse around Lac des Dix (as it's a traverse)

With the Grand Montets > Albert Premiere > Mont Fort > Prafleuri > Dix > hotel in Arolla > Bertol > Zermatt route, you'd miss the col du chardonnet, but still have Lac des Dix traverse. I can't immediately see a reason to go for Arolla and Bertol instead of the Vignettes hut (there's a bit of a traverse after the Vignettes hut, but I remember it as shorter than the one around Lac des Dix (though I was a bit distracted on both)
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I was told that the snowboard ride down to Arolla was one of the best descents of the trip using that variation. And Bertol was a nice hut. I'm fine with vignettes, unless the three cols is a bit of a hassle with having to transition several times with the board. As you know, on skis, you can skip a lot of transitions and they're some gentle rollers you can ski down with skins attached.
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The decent from col d chardonnet has become tricky and is avoided by many favouring the col d passion which still gives the option of using the trient. The run to champex is very nice. Lots of teams now do the verbier option but from me this misses the crux sector above the Valsorey. The day from the vignettes hut was my favourite but there’s a long flatish bit right under the Matterhorn where hanging about is bad news so maybe it would be a bad idea on a board.
The guide usually makes the call on the final route.
Fatmap have a route for the hlr done by one of the guides which also has the standard variations marked. I’ll post some screenshots if you want.

Swiss online maps. https://map.geo.admin.ch/mobile.html?lang=en&topic=ech&bgLayer=ch.swisstopo.pixelkarte-farbe&layers=ch.swisstopo.zeitreihen,ch.bfs.gebaeude_wohnungs_register,ch.bav.haltestellen-oev,ch.swisstopo.swisstlm3d-wanderwege&layers_visibility=false,false,false,false&layers_timestamp=18641231,,,
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Here's one thing to say about splitboarding the haute route:

I hope you are comfortable with a lot of side stepping, side slipping and loads of skating on the flats and on off camber slopes with these make shift planks attached to your feet.

Bottom line is - there are way better tours to do than the haute route with a split board. (and yes I have done it with a split board and with skis - so I can compare the two first hand. I have also done the haute route around 35 times so "you can trust me on this ")

That said if you really have to do this don't be disappointed with skiers blazing past you....
Good luck
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chamo74 wrote:
Here's one thing to say about splitboarding the haute route:

I hope you are comfortable with a lot of side stepping, side slipping and loads of skating on the flats and on off camber slopes with these make shift planks attached to your feet.


Ugh no, I will be splitting with soft boots and I feel virtually no edge hold. I still get very scared when skiing down hill in tour mode, as I have no technique for turning or stopping. And skating up hill is something else I need to work on. I imagine with hard boots this could be much easier.

chamo74 wrote:
Bottom line is - there are way better tours to do than the haute route with a split board. (and yes I have done it with a split board and with skis - so I can compare the two first hand. I have also done the haute route around 35 times so "you can trust me on this ")

That said if you really have to do this don't be disappointed with skiers blazing past you....
Good luck


What can you recommend for a splitboard tour either from Chamonix or Zermatt as we plan to ride some lifts in both alpine centers?

My one issue is that one of the members of my 4 member team cannot be persuaded to deviate from the haute route. This means that if I want to do something else, then I'm reduced to a group of 3, which becomes quite expensive when arranging a private tour. My other friend has told me already that if I deviate from his plan he will just find an empty spot on an already scheduled tour with a local guiding company. rolling eyes
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
yeah sorry I understand - just wanted to pont out the reality of it. Most average folks find it a good challenge on skis. The board and soft boots just makes it harder that's all. Even with the massive progress that's been made with modern splits. Given the choice I will always revert to my skis.

The idea would be try and cut out as much of the flat skate stretches or off camber bits as possible....

As for touring (not sure how experienced you are) but both of these alpine meccas offer loads of day and overnight tours. Many of which are better suited for split boarding.
Some thoughts that come to mind would be touring from Zermatt over to the Champoluc/Gressoney/Alagna area (lots of possibilities to add lifts, huts, towns...etc) and even climb some big peaks if the conditions are good.

Otherwise 3 cols tour in Cham, numerous day tours as well

A couple other ideas would be:
Zinal/Chandolin areas
Dolomites

Both of which have an amazing amount of opportunity to combine touring/huts/lifts....

Hope this was helpful. Not sure dropping from 4 to 3 would make a massive difference but surely more expensive.
If you need more help - holler Smile
Cheers
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
What would you do in my situation, if given these choices:
1 do the Haute Route on splitboards with group of 4
2 do Gran Paradiso on splitboards with group of 3

I'm a bit Concerned for wanting to keep the team together. That's been my flaw in making these decisions.
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@Solidbored, are you sure there actually is a guided group for your friend to join? I had the impression that it was arrange your own guide/group territory for a splitboard. If so that might solve your problem...
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Quote:

What would you do in my situation, if given these choices:
1 do the Haute Route on splitboards with group of 4
2 do Gran Paradiso on splitboards with group of 3

I'm a bit Concerned for wanting to keep the team together. That's been my flaw in making these decisions.


I'd go with my friends but first make certain this wasn't my first time out. If the HR is your maiden overnight trip - you'll probably have trouble.
Good luck
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
*My other friend has told me already that if I deviate from his plan he will just find an empty spot on an already scheduled tour with a local guiding company.*

I do not think he will be able to join an existing group on a split board?

My split board guide in cham (also ski guide) was very VERY VERY off putting about HR on a split and basically said literally zero point, its horrible and super hard on a split. He has guided the HR (ski) over 50 times said he would not take a group on splits. I'm sure it *can* be done - but why bother when there are actual fun things to do?

In your situation I would split the group. And in fact, I doubt your friend will find a HR group that will take him anyway so he will come crawling back to you!
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Solidbored, just FYI, an ad popped up on my Bookface for these guys: http://www.theridersocial.com/ - seems they do guided split tour packages around the PdS, might be of interest to you?
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