Vedrines Completes the Chamonix-Zermatt Haute Route In Less than 15 Hours

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Benjamin Vedrines has set another astonishing speed record in the Alps. Yesterday, he joined forces with skimo racer Samuel Equy and turned the classical Chamonix-Zermatt ski-mountaineering route into a day trip. They completed the 100km-long, 8,300 vertical meter route in 14h 54 minutes, without external help or resupplies.

The two started before dawn from the center of Chamonix, in front of the church. They ran to the beginning of the snow in Argentiere. They also ended up right in the town of  Zermatt. Chamonix photographer Seb Montaz joined them along part of the route to document their feat.

Average ski tourers do the Chamonix-Zermatt Haute Route in six stages. They choose among several variations, depending on their preferred difficulty and the conditions, overnighting in mountain huts. Most of the route is done on skis, although there may be some technical sections that require crampons, ice axes, and roping up.

The traverse crosses several high passes between France and Switzerland. The speed version of the challenge started in the 2000s. Stephane Brosse and Lionel Bonnel made it in 21 hours with minimal assistance in 2003. Others have followed since then. Some days ago, Callum Muskett completed the trip alone, in 24h 30 minutes. Vedrines and Equy’s is the fastest-ever known time.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.