Monte Rosa Dufourspitze
Monte Rosa lies on the border between Switzerland and Italy and is one of the best kept secrets in the Alps. The highest peak of the range is the Dufourspitze (4634 m), which is the highlight of four peaks you climb on this stunning mountain adventure. Speak to any mountaineer who has taken this trip and they'll tell you how truly special it is.
June - September
- + 2
CLIMB THE HIGHEST PEAK IN SWITZERLAND
Nestled within the Monte Rosa massif are 17 recognised peaks (12 that are over 4000m), the highest of which is the Dufourspitze (4634m). Over the course of 6 days you will climb some great peaks such as the Breithorn (4164m), Riffelhorn (2928m) and Castor (4428m) to help with acclimatising and training for the Dufourspitze. Yep... you can tick off a ton of peaks in this one adventure.
Nestled along the borders of Switzerland and Italy you'll notice the culture differences between the two countries. The trip has been built so you get as much mountain time as possible, with memorable experiences in each mountain hut and valley lodge really adding to the flavour of this adventure.
This is a physically demanding trip and previous mountaineering experience is essential. Our Mont Blanc trip is good preparation.
If you'd like to get some experience first then check out our North Wales Alpine Prep Course here. Perfect for improving and preparing for big mountains like this one.
YOUR ADVENTURE STARTS HERE
WHO IS THIS FOR?
This climb is a great challenge for anyone with a good level of endurance and fitness and with a sense of adventure. Previous mountaineering experience is essential and you will need to have experience using crampons and an ice axe, and with glacier travel. This is a great progression course following Mont Blanc. Dufourspitze is the second highest peak in Western Europe and therefore the altitude makes it hard work. It is only 176 metres lower than Mont Blanc. Determination is needed to keep going to the top. We acclimatise and train properly during the first 3 days of this course to provide you with the best chance of reaching the summit and not suffering from altitude sickness.
Not sure whether you're ready? No sweat! Drop us a note and we'll be happy to talk it through with you. If you'd like to get some experience first then check out our North Wales Alpine Prep Course here. Perfect for improving and preparing for big mountains like this one.
June - September
You’ve been on more adventures than you've had hot dinners and you've built up a crafty skill set to tackle most challenges out there. It's go time Captain Scott!
LIVE THE ADVENTURE
Adventure Base: Through our clients eyes00:53
We asked our clients to let us know how their trips went. They decided to show us instead. Below is footage captured by our clients on some of our favourite adventures. Thanks guys.
Meet The Team01:48
Introducing our crack squad of mountain lovers and adventure junkies. We spend most of our days plotting, planning and building some of the very best trips out there for you all to enjoy.
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED FOR THIS CLIMB
Certain items can be rented from Adventure Base such as crampons, ice axe, helmet, harness, and trekking poles with snow baskets. You are able to add these to your cart at checkout. We use the latest kit from Black Diamond and Petzl meaning you'll be using quality equipment at cheaper prices than if you were to rent it from a local shop when you get here. Win! (Note: Your kit might vary sightly from the images below)
Please note this is a guide and you may be required to rent or purchase last minute equipment on arrival depending on the weather and changes in itinerary. For the full downloadable Monte Rosa kit list, click here.
Straight shaft for general mountaineering
12 point steel mountaineering crampons
Standard hard plastic climbing specific helmet.
Standard climbing harness
Foldable or telescopic poles are best
Mountaineering-specific 35-40L backpack
You must be able to carry at least 2L of water in your backpack
Factor 30-50 High Mountain sunscreen
For your nose and lips
Category 4 sunglasses
Must have high level of sun glare reduction and good UV protection.
Just in case you hit bad weather
Lightweight and thin down jacket.
GORE-TEX® or Similar
Light technical jacket, ideally with a hood.
Something light and thin.
Keep them light and thin.
Highly breathable, lightweight synthetic technical t-shirt.
GORE-TEX® or similar
Stretch, durable mountaineering trousers.
Keep them light and thin.
Choose your hat of choice as long as it shields you from the sun.
Ideally thin and single layered so it can fit under the helmet.
Good walking socks are required
Thick and built for the cold
Thinner to be used for mid mountain conditions and glacial walking. Look for a pair with good grip.
Hiking shoes / Trail Shoes
Good grip and ankle support is recommended
Good to have for approaches to the mountain huts especially in warmer temperatures
Don't forget to pack spare batteries. They're essential
Sleeping bag silk liner
You don’t need a sleeping bag itself, as blankets are provided in the huts
Highly recommended for the mountain huts
First aid kit
Blister kit, paracetamol, etc
To protect your trousers from crampons and to keep any snow out if it's deep
Cash / credit card
For extra costs such as drinks and snacks
ID and documents
Passport / Driver's license, Visa, Insurance
Just completed a week in Zermatt, climbing the Monte Rosa range including Dufourspitze. This is my second trip with AB (the first was Grand Paradiso/Mont Blanc). With all the complications of Covid ever present when booking the trip, Olly could not have been more helpful or accommodating to make the trip happen. (1/2)
My week was fantastic, my guide, the lovely David, was incredibly knowledgeable, experience and super professional, but really fun with it. He pushed me hard, which is what I asked for, but it was all a brilliant experience. My hotel in Zermatt was perfect too. All in all I loved every minute of my week and would definitely return to Olly and Adventure Base for my next adventure! (2/2)
"I've been going on tours with Adventure Base for 5 years now and fully anticipate signing up with them next year too. The AB team is helpful, engaging, accommodating and professional, with a network of excellent guides. I consider the AB team my trusted friends in the Alps."
"Overall, their team of staff helped give me the most amazing, challenging and unforgettable experience that I have ever had. They are great at what they do and as importantly were thoroughly decent, kind and considerate people both with their clients and their spectacular environment."
"I was lucky enough to have an amazing week in the Alps with Adventure Base last month. We had a couple of trips cancelled because of COVID but I have to say that the level of customer service received from Olly and his team was exceptional.
YOUR ADVENTURE PACKAGE
On arrival day you meet with your guides and fellow climbers at the accommodation for a welcome briefing in the evening. Here you will have an opportunity to ask any last minute questions as well as share your pre-trip excitement with your group.
- Climb Monte Rosa (4634m) along with other 4000m peaks
- All accommodation and guiding during the trip
- All evening meals in Zermatt on a 3 course basis at the hotel, except on Wednesday
- 3 nights accommodation in Zermatt on a twin sharing basis (single room available at a supplement)
- 4 nights accommodation in mountain huts with breakfast and evening meals included
- Hand-picked Adventure Base mountain guides
- All of your guide’s expenses
What's not Included?
- Airport transfers to / from Zermatt
- Personal equipment rental
- Personal travel insurance
- Personal snacks, lunch and drinks
- Uplifts according to itinerary (approx. CHF150)
- Gratuities for the guides
OUR ZERMATT ACCOMMODATION
When not climbing the mountain we know the importance of having a comfortable base. That's why we've chosen this mountain hotel with its super comfortable rooms and warm atmosphere. The perfect spot to rest up in-between your stays in the mountain huts. But don't let that nice linen and chocolate on the bed win your favour just yet. Wait until you've experienced a good old mountain hut with its basic, but charming amenities and friendly hosts. We bet you go home missing the huts more!
We stay in a beautiful 4 star hotel with views of the Matterhorn and a relaxing spa. We use this as a base to rest and relax in-between your stays in the mountain huts. Rooms are all en suite and on a twin-share basis with the other participants on your trip. Single rooms are available for a supplement - please request in advance. A delicious evening meal is included and breakfast is always plentiful.
Twin Shared Basis
Half Board (Except Wednesday)
Ayas and Monte Rosa huts
As part of the experience of climbing the peaks on this trip you will stay in two different mountain huts: the Ayas hut and the Monte Rosa hut. Both are beautifully located and provide a warm Swiss welcome.
WHAT TO EXPECT
HERE'S YOUR ITINERARY
While we try and stick to the tried and tested itinerary below, the mountain and the weather sometimes has other ideas. We will always remain as flexible as possible, which is why we only work with experienced and knowledgeable guides, to make sure we can change any plans if required. You can check out the full itinerary here.
You will meet with your guide for a briefing in the evening to go through the plan for the week as well as the current weather and mountain conditions. Here you will have a chance to go through your kit under the experienced eye of your guide and can ask any questions that you may have.
Training and acclimatisation
On your first day you take the Klein Matterhorn lift to the middle station to do a refresh session on crampons on the glacier and begin your acclimatisation. After the session you will climb the easy ridge of Theodulo Horn in the afternoon to reach the Theodulo hut, where you will settle in for dinner and your first night at altitude.
5km / 250m up / 630m down / 2-3hrs
Climb Breithorn (4164m)
Today you make your way up to the Breithorn (4164m), your first 4000m peak of the week. This is great for further acclimatisation and you continue to progress your mountaineering skills. After reaching the summit you descend to the Ayas Hut and spend the night in the mountains at an altitude of 3400m.
12km / 1038m up / 976m down / 5-6hrs
Climb Castor (4228m) or Pollux (4092m)
Waking up early, you set off from the Ayas Hut and aim to climb Castor (4228m) and if you have time you will also climb Pollux (4092m), before descending down to Zermatt for a welcome night back in the comfort of the hotel.
9km / 1103m up / 606m down / 5-6hrs
Time for the main objective
Time to set off for the main objective of this course: the Dufourspitze (4634m). You leave your hotel and set off to the Monte Rosa Hut by taking the Gornergrat railway followed by a 4 hour (approx.) hike. You settle into the hut for the night and try to get a good night's sleep at an altitude of 2795m.
8km / 649m up / 352m down / 3-4hrs
You set off very early from the Monte Rosa Hut and aim to climb the Dufourspitze before returning back to the same hut for the night. It is a long and demanding summit day that will take you up to 10 hours in total from leaving the hut to returning for the night. You spend this night in the hut and reflect on the achievements of the day over a delicious meal.
12km / 1682m up / 2682m down / 8-10hrs
Descend back to Zermatt
After a more leisurely breakfast than yesterday, you make your way back down to the Gornergrat railway and descend to your hotel in Zermatt. There is the option to depart this afternoon if needed, otherwise you can enjoy a well deserved afternoon rest before a final meal and celebration together in the evening. Overnight in the hotel is included.
8km / 649m up / 352m down / 3-4hrs
Frequently asked questions about this adventure
Monte Rosa: Are ski/snowboard trousers suitable?
Typical ski/snowboard trousers aren’t suitable for the Monte Rosa trip. You’ll need a pair of mountaineering trousers ( Read more
Typical ski/snowboard trousers aren’t suitable for the Monte Rosa trip. You’ll need a pair of mountaineering trousers (soft shell) as well as a waterproof hard shell pair that are lightweight and not insulated. Conditions can be harsh especially on the summit days so it’s important to have these two layers. We also recommend to bring lightweight thermal leggings. Read through our kit list for a full description of what you’ll need to bring.
Monte Rosa: Can I store my belongings with Adventure Base when I’m in the huts?
Yes. From when you arrive till when you depart you are able to store your belongings in our Zermatt accommodation. Read more
Yes. From when you arrive till when you depart you are able to store your belongings in our Zermatt accommodation. Please note rooms are usually allocated on a twin share basis, in most cases sharing with others from your course.
What are the guides like?
All of our guides are highly experienced and friendly people. They have all been hand picked by us over the Read more
All of our guides are highly experienced and friendly people. They have all been hand picked by us over the many years we’ve been in the guiding industry. Our guides are of various nationalities but all speak a high level of English and are very attentive. Their primary role is to get you to the summit and back safely, but they also provide a high level of customer service along the way and are very interesting people to spend time with. They like to share their knowledge of the mountains and their experiences, so don’t hesitate to ask questions and pick their brains. Lastly, they know the routes on this course like the back of their hands and this is the most important thing when it comes down to making key decisions in the mountains and providing the safest experience for our clients.
What are the mountain huts like?
The mountain huts we use for our Monte Rosa course are fairly basic but comfortable. You will sleep in dormitories Read more
The mountain huts we use for our Monte Rosa course are fairly basic but comfortable. You will sleep in dormitories on a shared basis, usually 6-8 per room. The huts provide breakfast, lunch and a 3 course dinner.
What size backpack should I bring?
Your backpack should be no bigger than 50l and no smaller than 30l. It is important that your backpack has Read more
Your backpack should be no bigger than 50l and no smaller than 30l. It is important that your backpack has an ice axe strap to stash your ice axe when you are not using it. Your backpack must also have a rain-proof cover. Think light-weight, remember you have to carry it!
What type of boots do I need for Monte Rosa?
You will need a B2 or B3 mountaineering boot for Monte Rosa. All mountaineering boots are graded in a B1, Read more
You will need a B2 or B3 mountaineering boot for Monte Rosa. All mountaineering boots are graded in a B1, B2, B3 system. B3 boots are the most rigid, and therefore most suitable for walking on snow with crampons, and B2 boots are a little more comfortable but less rigid and also less warm.
What will we do if the weather is bad?
This depends on a few factors and how bad the weather actually is. Should Monte Rosa be unsafe, we will Read more
This depends on a few factors and how bad the weather actually is. Should Monte Rosa be unsafe, we will study the conditions on other peaks in the Alps. Should conditions be a lot better elsewhere, we will propose this to you as an option.
Strong winds of 50km+ – this means reaching the summit is very unlikely. High winds on the final ridge to the summit is dangerous and therefore summit success is very unlikely. In the case of high winds we will look for suitable alternatives in the mid-mountain range or elsewhere in the Alps.
Precipitation – When it snows on Monte Rosa it usually means a summit attempt will be difficult. Route finding in a snow storm is generally unsafe. An attempt will depend on the thickness of the snowfall and it will also greatly depend on the wind.
Whiteout – A cloudy whiteout will make a summit attempt difficult. Route finding in a whiteout is generally unsafe and therefore we will encourage you to consider an alternative. It depends on the thickness of the cloud and we will most likely attempt a summit but turn back if necessary.
Will I definitely make it to the summit?
In short, no. Whilst we will always strive to get you to the summit safely, sometimes the weather or the Read more
In short, no. Whilst we will always strive to get you to the summit safely, sometimes the weather or the conditions of the mountain don’t play ball. When there is precipitation, high winds and low visibility for example, we cannot guarantee reaching the summit and will sometimes recommend an alternative. Each Monte Rosa course has a lead guide. The lead guide will always conduct a meeting with the clients and other guides each evening. During this meeting the latest weather forecast, conditions of the mountain, and the clients own ability to reach the summit will be discussed. Clients and guides alike will voice their opinions and/or concerns at the time and then decide how best to proceed. We fully trust and back our guides to make these final decisions based on their years of experience on the mountain. They are entrusted to make the final call and the client must accept any decision made. All decisions will have client safety as a top priority.
Monte Rosa: What Insurance Do I Need?
Yes. If you have previous experience on alpine grade AD terrain with good physical fitness, the Matterhorn is within your Read more
Yes. If you have previous experience on alpine grade AD terrain with good physical fitness, the Matterhorn is within your grasp. We aim to attempt the Matterhorn climb towards the end of the week, after suitable preparation and acclimatisation. You must have a good head for heights and a good level of balance control whilst walking along narrow exposed ridges.
MEET THE GUIDES
Lars is a IFMGA Guide originally from Belgium, with over 20 years of experience climbing and splitboarding in the Mont Blanc massif, the Alps and the greater ranges of the world. Having lived in Chamonix for over a decade he has enjoyed the unique and unlimited climbing possibilities in and around the valley. Lars is also one of the most recognised and experienced splitboard guides leading expeditions to Kamchatka, Greenland, Iceland and more.
Miha is an IFMGA guide from Slovenia based between the beautiful Julian Alps and Chamonix. He has been climbing for over 20 years all over the world, including expeditions to Nepal, Tibet, India, Pakistan, USA, Mexico and Peru. He summited an 8000er on his first expedition to the Himalaya, did a first ascent on the previously unclimbed Lasher peak in the Himalaya and climbed El Capitan and many routes over the Alps.
Pablo is originally from a small mountain village in Spain and came to Chamonix with only one dream to become a mountain guide. Based in Chamonix since 2013, Pablo made the Alps his playground as a guide and as an alpinist and has climbed many of the classic alpine routes. He combines mountain guiding with helicopter rescue work in Spain during the off seasons.
Fabio has guided with us for close to ten years now and has summited Mont Blanc more times than we can remember. He's even helped Sir Richard Branson get to the top of Western Europe. When asked what his favourite mountain was his response was 'It's the mountain not known to many, in a remote country that provides opportunity for adventure. That said, I do love Cordillera Blanca (Peru) to guide in, Montserrat (Barcelona) because it's where it all started for me and Main De Fatima (Mali) because it's special to me!"
Born in the Aran Valley, from parents who were ski teachers and mountain guides, the motivation inherited by nature has led him to practice all facets of mountain sports such as climbing, skiing and mountaineering. He has spent his alpine career as part of the FEDME team (Spanish Federation of Mountain and Climbing Sports) and his passion and profession have led him to travel to other continents to carry out his activity.
"My favorite mountain is the Midi d’Ossau, in the Pyrenees. It is a volcanic and unique mountain, that a stands out from the other peaks around. It is a huge fortress with many different features that provides incredible rock climbing routes, and the most important thing is that is 20 minutes from my house ;)"
"If asked about my favourite mountain or mountain range, it wouldn't be easy to answer since perfect places to climb, ski or explore can be found all over the world. But, if I had to choose one, I think I'd say the Pyrenees, not very high, but wild and still quite unknown: the mountains where I learnt when I was a child and where I can still live great adventures far from the crowd".
Ben is a fully qualified British UIMLA International Mountain Leader with Swiss and French equivalence and he is also a fully-qualified Swiss Brevet Fédéral Ski Instructor and an ISIA card holder and an accomplished outdoor educator and a qualified Outdoor Education and Geography teacher. He has been based in the Alps for a long time and has extensive knowledge on a whole variety of treks and adventures. Ben brings a whole bunch of experience to our guiding team, having worked as an Expedition Leader in challenging environments around the world in countries such as Borneo, Mongolia, Morocco and Costa Rica and at home in the European Alps, responsible for the safety and success of expeditions for many years. His passion for the mountains is infectious and he loves sharing a summit photo or long-distance trek with our community.
Are you ready?
Our adventures are attributed a difficulty level from A to E. This Monte Rosa Dufourspitze trip is rated Level D, for the pros We recommend you only book a trip that reflects your ability.
For beginners and newcomers
- You’re not quite sure where to start but you’re hungry for an adventure
- Little / no prior experience
- Shorter time duration
- No technical skills required but keen to learn
- Basic level of fitness
For those with some prior experience
- You have some previous experience in the outdoors, whether that’s hiking, skiing or climbing, and are keen to build on that
- You will either be starting to venture into more technical terrain or slightly more challenging environments
- Some basic skills
- Moderate fitness
For accomplished adventurers
- You enjoy challenging yourself physically and mentally
- You’re comfortable on multi-day adventures and you call yourself an avid adventurer
- You're not quite George Mallory but you subscribe to his 'because it is there' attitude
- Strong level of fitness
For the pros
- You're ready to test your skills on the next challenge
- You're comfortable in most types of alpine environments
- Some level of technical skills
- Strong level of fitness
Think you've got this?
This trip is at this level
For the experts
- You’ve been on multiple adventures and have built up a solid skillset to tackle most challenges out there
- Good technical skills and knowledge
- Experienced in alpine/mountains environments
- Very high level of fitness
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READY TO CLIMB MONTE ROSA?
We hope you've found all the information you need above, but if not don't hesitate to get in touch. If you're ready to book, follow the link below.Deposit/Book Now