John’s Chamonix Classics
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?
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.
June - September
You have some previous experience in the outdoors, whether that’s hiking, skiing or climbing. You will either be starting to venture into more technical terrain or slightly more 'aggressive' environments. Let's dial it up!
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.
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.
Rent for €35
Straight shaft for general mountaineering
Rent for €45
12 point steel mountaineering crampons
Rent for €25
Standard hard plastic climbing specific helmet.
Rent for €30
Standard climbing harness
Foldable poles are best
Available to rent locally
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
At least cat 4 and ideally with limited gaps at the sides
Just in case you hit bad weather
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
Light colours are recommended
Hardshell hooded jacket
GORE-TEX® or similar
GORE-TEX® or similar
Soft shell trousers
Stretchy, durable mountaineering trousers
Something light and thin
Soft shell jacket
Light technical jacket ideally with hood
Lightweight and thin down jacket
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)
"It is quite possibly the best most rewarding week I’ve ever had pursuing my passions."
“The summit was like a dream. It was so overwhelming I began to cry with joy for making it to this magical world at the top of Europe.”
"I’d recommend Adventure Base 100%. I want to be an Adventure Base guide!"
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
- 3 nights accommodation in mountain huts with half-board included
- 4 nights accommodation in Zermatt on a twin share basis
- Hand-picked Adventure Base mountain guides
- All of your guide’s expenses
What's not Included?
- Transport to/from Zermatt
- Equipment rental
- Travel insurance
- Lunch when in the huts
- Evening meals when in Zermatt
- Uplifts according to itinerary
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. Breakfast is included and always plentiful.
Single and double available
Ayas hut and Mote Rosa huts
When climbing the mountain, on some of those bigger days, you will stay in the Ayas hut and Mote Rosa huts.
WHAT TO EXPECT
HERE'S YOUR ITINERARY
On arrival day you meet your guides and fellow climbers at the accommodation for a welcome briefing in the evening. We'll also cover your equipment and the current weather and mountain conditions.
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
Are ski/snowboard trousers suitable?
Typical ski/snowboard trousers aren’t suitable for the conditions of high altitude mountaineering. You’ll need a pair of Read more
Typical ski/snowboard trousers aren’t suitable for the conditions of high altitude mountaineering. 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.
Can I store my belongings with Adventure Base when I’m in the huts?
How many clients per guide?
The client : guide ratio for this course is 1:2.
The client : guide ratio for this course is 1:2.
Is there WiFi in the mountain huts?
No. All mountain huts are fairly basic and do not have access to WiFi. Some huts will have phone signal Read more
No. All mountain huts are fairly basic and do not have access to WiFi. Some huts will have phone signal and some will even have 3g signal but we cannot guarantee this will work at all times.
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 Brans 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 UIMLA International Mountain Leader/Guide and works as our lead Trekking Guide. He has 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 clients.
"I love what I do and love to transmit my passion while guiding. After touring the world following the call of the mountains and human cultures and fulfilling my dreams, I have put together all the knowledge gained and a strong background as a mountain guide to become one of the most versatile, dedicated and professional guides back home, in the Pyrenees."
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.Start your adventure