Haute Route Imperiale: Col Durand Traverse

Le Mammouth

Zermatt - Breuil-Cervinia

Day 5: Traverse of Col Durand and descent to Zermatt.

Ski Touring Severe

Distance
21 km
Ascent
1.2 km
Descent
2.5 km
Duration
1 day +
Low Point
1.6 km
High Point
3.7 km
Gradient
31˚
Haute Route Imperiale: Col Durand Traverse Map

This is another great mountain day with an optional extra summit, Mt Durand if so desired.

Description

From the hut descend to the SE, E and then S onto the Durand Glacier. Follow gently up the glacier to the SW on its R side in ascent, then S, flattening at about 3200m, before turning to the E, then back S as it steepens to Col Durand at 3436m. This final slope is about 40 degrees for a short distance and may be icy. Many people will want to take in the summit of Mont Durand which adds an extra hours climb, partly on foot, partly on ski. Ski down the Hohwang Glacier, gently initially. There is a direct descent to the Schonbiel Hut from the R hand side of the glacier in descent but it is steep and S facing. Less committing is to skin up an additional 180m to the saddle at 3408m, N of the Abihorn. Next descend the Arben Glacier to the NE, then slowly arcing round to the S, avoiding occasional bit of steep ground, heading to the L in descent of the obvious spur in the valley below until the flat ground on the lateral moraine of the old Zmutt Glacier. Look for the track that comes up from below and follow it past the reservoirs and down R to join the pistes that lead down to Zermatt.

Difficulty

Severe

Steep skiing at 38-45 degrees. This requires very good technique and the risk of falling has serious consequences.

High Exposure (E3)

3 out of 4

In case of a fall, death is highly likely.

Remoteness

4 out of 4

In the high mountains or remote conditions, all individuals must be completely autonomous in every situation.

Best time to visit

March, April, May

Features

  • Alpine
  • Single Descent
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Rope
  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons
  • Glacier kit

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area