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Winter Haute Route Packing List


  • Wrap clothing in waterproof plastic bags.
  • In your pack, take along water bottles, a thermos, sunglasses, camera, and appropriate winter clothing (see below). Add any other items you might need during your ski tour including safety equipement.
  • Bring double extra sets of batteries as cold weather shortens their life. This is crucial for your avalanche beacon.
  • Carry critical touring gear on the airplane in case baggage is delayed.


You want your inner layer to be wicking -- no cotton. The next layer should be insulating and warm, and the top layer should be water proof but breathable - goretex of softshell outerlayers are recommended. You will need clothes for before and after your tour - casual clothing of your choice.

Your clothing should be lightweight, breathable, and quick-drying.

  • Long pants (zip-off pants are very useful)
  • Short-sleeved shirts
  • Long-sleeved shirts
  • Undergarments, socks
  • Sport bras for women
  • Fleece top or vest, jacket, winter windbreaker
  • Hat with brim / cap
  • Bandana (for dust, washing, etc.)

Cold Weather Clothing

  • Long underwear
  • Fleece jacket or wool sweater
  • Fleece pants (optional)
  • Mittens and/or gloves (waterproof, one thin pair, one thick pair that can be layered)
  • Wool or pile hat
  • Balaclava or neck gaiter
  • Hand and foot warmers (chemical activated)
  • Down jacket or parka (for temperatures below freezing plus wind) / or softshell jacket
  • Hardshell jacket


Be sure to break in your ski boots before the tour!

  • Proper ski boots: Alpine Touring boots with removable liners are recommended
  • Tennis shoes or sandals for lounging in the evening
  • 3 Pairs of wool socks for colder conditions
  • Sock liners to wick away moisture
  • Gaitors
  • Alpine Touring skis and bindings with ski crampons
  • Climbing skins
  • Ski or trekking poles
  • Avalanche safety equipment: beacon, shovel, and probe

You won't need glacier safety equipment. Rental of a harness, rope and helmet is included!


  • Sleeping sack (cotton or silk) - huts are equipped with pillows and blankets


  • Large duffel bag for items that you do not take on the tour
  • 45 liter pack adapted for ski touring
  • Waterproof plastic bags for storing clothing and gear (ziplocks are great)


Store electronics in sealed water-proof bags (double bagged if possible).

  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Camera, lenses, filters, memory disks (you will not be able to download)
  • Video camera, tapes
  • Cell phone (3-band GSM)
  • Batteries, chargers
  • GPS (optional)


  • Soap, hand sanitizer
  • Shaving supplies
  • Nail clippers, file, brush
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste
  • Moist towelettes (handi-wipes)
  • Lotion
  • Hairbrush, comb, mirror
  • Small towel and wash cloth
  • Toilet paper
  • Facial tissue
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm with sunscreen
  • Q-tips
  • Feminine products
  • Cosmetics
  • Sewing kit

First Aid

Your guide will carry a first aid kit, but it is recommended that you bring one first aid kit in your travel group for certain personal items.

  • Ibuprofin, Aceteminophen, or Aspirin
  • Bandaids/plasters
  • Disinfectant, antiseptic cream, antibiotic ointment
  • Gauze bandages and tape
  • Throat losenges
  • Vitamins
  • Diahrea medicine
  • Antihistemines
  • Ace bandage
  • Melatonin or other sleep aid
  • Antibiotics (talk to doctor)
  • Prescription drugs (talk to doctor)
  • Diamox for altitude (talk to doctor - not necessary for most people on the Haute Route!)


  • Sunglasses with straps
  • Eyeglasses, contacts, solution
  • Binoculars (optional)
  • Pocket knife
  • Notebook, pencil and pen
  • Playing cards, games, books (optional)
  • Energy bars, hard candy, snacks, and comfort foods
  • Duct tape
  • Matches or lighter
  • 2-3 Water bottles/ or Camelback and Thermos
    • Huts will boil water or and provide warm tea for you along the route.
    • Additional water is available for purchase.
    • To prevent water from freezing on cold days, keep your water and tube inside your jacket or pack. For Camelbacks, bring insulated tubes and blow air back into the bladder after each sip. Drink often!
    • Gatorade or other drink mix (optional).
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