This is the Dave Butcher photo diary of a Chamonix and Zermatt Haute Route ski mountaineering trip in 1993.
Probably the best known ski tour in Europe, if not the world, is the Haute Route between Chamonix in France and Zermatt in Switzerland. We took just over 6 days to complete the route and went via Verbier. The weather was pretty good the whole way, which was lucky for us.
Our mountain guides were Brian Hall (from Derbyshire near where I live) and Jon de Montjoye (English but now living in Vallorcine near Chamonix). There was also an aspirant mountain guide, Richard Masters, an instructor from Glenmore Lodge in the Cairngorms.
Mark Rogerson (pathologist from Northwich), John Cameron (garage owner and ski instructor from Perth), Mark McDonnell (marketing manager), Michael and son Mathew from Toronto, Gian (Radiologist from the Wirrall), John Carney (on extended 9 week leave from his job), Team Purple (7 friends who all wore purple Buffalo windroofs and were dubbed Team Purple as a result, including Kate and Patrick). We were also joined by professional photographer Jess Stock and Vaila MacDonald (his wife and extreme ski world champion). Jess was taking photographs for a book on ski mountaineering around the world with a chapter and one iconic tour for each month of the year.
Our guides Brian and Jon had arranged for the group to have a practice day using the Le Tour ski lifts to practise off-piste technique, including side slipping down steep slopes and abseiling over an overhang while roped up. We split into 2 groups and I was mainly with Jon and Team Purple was mainly with Brian .