Monte Rosa Course and Ascents


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Meet in Zermatt. Hotel night.



Training at Riffleberg. Hotel night.



Breithorn. Overnight Val d'Ayas Guides Hut.



Castor and Pollux. Overnight Quintino Sella Hut.



Climb Balmenhorn and Vincent Pyramid. Overnight Gnifetti or Mantova Hut.



Parrotspitze. Overnight Margherita Hut



Grenz Glacier. Hotel night in Zermatt.



Depart Zermatt.


  • Alpine Mountaineering equipment; what to use and how to choose
  • Rope work, tying in and basic climbing knots
  • Progression over different types of terrain from glacier to rock and ice climbs
  • Awareness and avoidance of objective dangers
  • Alpine huts, early start and etiquette


We meet in Zermatt at the friendly local hotel in the evening. Your guide will brief you on the week ahead; the weather and conditions we will expect to have as well as checking the team equipment.

After breakfast we will take the Gornergrat mountain railway to Rotenboden for a day of technical ropework and rockclimbing training on Riffelhorn (2,927m), multipitch climbs to grade 5c. From here we have a panorama showing all the mountains we will be climbing over the next few days. A great introduction to the week.

After an early breakfast we take the cable-car to Klein Matterhorn, from where a simple snow/ice climb takes us to the West Summit (4,165m) of the Breithorn, and in good conditions we can continue to the Central Summit (4,160m) before descending the Grand Glacier de Verraz to the Val d'Ayas Guides Hut (3,425m). This is a cosy little hut with a rather good bar.
(Peak no 1)

We need an early start to climb the 400m to the base of the south side of Pollux (4,092m)  where the short but interesting South West Ridge might be climbed before the traverse of Castor (4,423m) to the Feliksjoch and the descent to the Quintino Sella Hut (3,585m) which has panoramic views over the beautiful Gressoney and Ayas Valleys. (Peak nos 2,3)

Another early start is needed to negotiate the West Lys Glacier under Lyskamm to the Passo del Naso del Lyskamm (4,100m) before crossing the crevassed West Lys Glacier to pick up the Balmhorn (4,167m), an odd little peak with a bivouac and statuesque cross at its top, and then the Pyramid Vincent (4,215m) before turning down the Garstele Glacier to the Gniffetti Hut (3,611m) or the slightly lower Mantova Hut (3,498m). (Peak nos 4-6)

After an early breakfast we slowly climb up the East Lys Glacier to reach the short but steep Corno Nero (4,321m),  a fine little summit soon followed by the more simple Ludwigshohe (4,341m) and the long whale back of the  Parrotspitze (4,432m) before crossing the Grenz Glacier to Signalkuppe (4,554m) on the summit of which is the Margherita Hut, the highest mountain hut in Europe, our last Italian night of this tour. (Peak nos 7-10)

After an early breakfast we climb the Zumsteinspitze (4,563m) by a short scramble and then stroll down the crevassed Grenz Glacier, passing under the magnificent North Face of Lyskamm and sprawling South West facets of the Dufourspitze, eventually reaching the very Swiss Monte Rosa Hut (2,795m)  for a welcome rest before heading off again across the icy Gorner Glacier and a gentle climb back to Rotenboden under the Riffelhorn, and the Gornergrat mountain railway back to Zermatt, civilisation, hotel, hot showers and beer. (Peak no 11)

After a late breakfast, we say goodbye to Zermatt and depart for home.

Please Note: Itinerary may change if conditions are more suitable in another region or factors such as weather or lift service precludes access into this region.


We commence our Monte Rosa Mountaineering Course from Zermatt in Switzerland. The closest international airports are at Geneva, Basel, Zurich and Milan. Regular taxi shuttles and trains operate through to Zermatt and the trip takes about 3 to 4 hours.

Zermatt is car-free. Vehicles are only permitted up to Täsch (5 km before Zermatt), and the road between Täsch and Zermatt is also closed to public transport. There is a shuttle train, the Matterhorn Gotthard Railway, which runs between Täsch and Zermatt every 20 minutes. Your transfers are at your own cost but we can help arrange this for you.


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