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 whose 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 with 12 that are over 4000m, the highest being 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 boarders of Switzerland and Italy you'll notice the culture changes from one country to the next. The trip has been built so you get as much mountain time as possible while staying in some memorable accommodation. The experience in each mountain hut and valley lodge is so unique it really ads to the flavour of this trip.
Get in to the high mountains for the first time, learn new alpine skills and climb some epic peaks in a stunningly beautiful location. What’s not to like?
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 fitness and a sense of adventure. Previous mountaineering experience is essential and you need to have previous experience with crampons, ice axe and 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 enable you with a good 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 have a fair amount of experience climbing, hiking or skiing more technical terrain. You’re comfortable on sustained adventures and you call yourself a ‘hardened’ adventurer. You're not quite George Mallory but you subscribe to his 'because it there' attitude.
Great news! Your place on this adventure is carbon offset along with our footprint in creating it. To learn more about what we're doing head to our 'about us' page.
LIVE THE ADVENTURE
Adventure Base: Through our clients eyes.00:53
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.
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED FOR THIS CLIMB
Certain items can be rented from Adventure Base such as crampons, ice axe, helmet and harness. You are able to add these to your cart at checkout. We use the latest kit from Black Diamond meaning you'll be using quality equipment and our rental options are much cheaper 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 dependent 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 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
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
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 / Drivers license, Visa, Insurance, Yellow Fever Card (if applicable)
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) as well as some other 4000m peaks
- All accommodation and guiding during the trip
- All evening meals in Zermatt on a 3 course basis at the Hotel
- 4 nights accommodation in Zermatt on a twin share basis (Single rooms available at a supplement)
- 3 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?
- Transport to / from Zermatt
- Personal equipment rental
- Personal travel insurance
- Personal snacks, lunch and drinks
- Uplifts according to itinerary (approx. CHF150)
This trip is running on the following dates
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 lodge with it's 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 Matterhorn views 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 others on your trip. Single rooms are available for a supplement. A delicious evening meal is included and breakfast is always plentiful.
Twin Shared Basis
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.
We meet in the evening at the accommodation to go through the plan for the week as well as the current weather and mountain conditions. You will meet with your fellow climbers and your guides so you can ask any questions and will have a chance to go through your kit.
Training and acclimatisation
First training and acclimatisation day. We take the Gornegrat railway from Zermatt and head towards our first peak, Riffelhorn (2928m). We climb the east ridge whilst practicing rope skills, climbing and scrambling techniques. This is a great preparation for some of the technical sections on the Dufourspitze later in the week. We return to our hotel in Zermatt for the night.
Climb Breithorn (4164m)
Today we make our way up to the Breithorn (4164m) our first 4000m peak of the week. This is great for further acclimatisation and we continue to progress our mountaineering skills. After reaching the summit we descend to the Ayas Hut and spend our first night in the mountains at an altitude of 3400m.
Climb Castor (4228m) and Pollux (4092m)
Waking up early we set off from the Ayas Hut and aim to climb Castor (4228m) and if we have time we will also climb Pollux (4092m) before descending down to Zermatt for a welcome night back in the hotel.
Time for the main objective
Time to set off for the main objective of this course: The Dufourspitze (4634m). We leave our hotel and set off to the Monte Rosa Hut by taking the Gornergrat railway and then hiking for approximately 4 hours. We settle in to the hut and try and get a good night sleep at an altitude of 2795m.
We 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 us up to 10 hours in total from leaving the hut to returning for the night. We spend this night in the hut and reflect on the achievements of the day over a delicious meal.
Descend back to Zermatt
After a more leisurely breakfast than yesterday, we make our way back down to the Gornergrat railway and descend to our 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.
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.
What Insurance Do I Need?
Let’s face it, these types of trips don’t come risk free. We’re putting ourselves in amazing environments Read more
Let’s face it, these types of trips don’t come risk free. We’re putting ourselves in amazing environments but also environments that carry an element of risk with them. In order to protect yourself adequately you will need a specialist travel insurance that caters for the types of activities you will be undertaking. It is a condition of our agreement that you are covered by adequate travel insurance for your arrangements. Click here to understand which one is for you.
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 kind of fitness level do I need?
You need to be able to hike comfortably with a heavy pack for up to 10 hours at a moderate pace. Read more
You need to be able to hike comfortably with a heavy pack for up to 10 hours at a moderate pace. Mountaineering is all about having good cardiovascular endurance to be able to continue being active for long periods. As well as this you will need to have a good head for heights and good overall body balance and awareness.
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.
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.
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