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Monte Rosa 4000ers

  • Where?

    Italy

  • Altitude

    4563m

  • Duration

    7 days days

  • Weather

  • Physical

    P3

  • Technical

    T3

  • P3 - This trip is physically tough. Frequent exercise is necessary to prepare properly for this expedition. Regular walking mixed with training at the gym to build up endurance and cardiovascular fitness is key. Expect to be able to do 8 hour days in hilly and often steep train, carrying a pack of 6-10kg in weight with the occasional extra long day.

    Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.

  • T3 - May involve harder scrambling or some trekking and climbing with ropes. If snow is encountered then glacier travel with ropes, ice axes and crampons will be necessary. Basic climbing skills is ideal, but will also be taught and certainly practiced during the expedition and  pre-summit phase.

    Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.

  • Overview

  • Date & Prices

  • Pics & Vids

  • Itinerary

  • Kit List

  • FAQ's

Overview

The Monte Rosa Massif straddles the border between Italy and Switzerland, including the famous mountain towns of Zermatt and Gressonney. The Massif dominates the surrounding area with an impressive ten peaks over 4,000m high. Although some of the peaks are quite technical climbs the majority are not. With some training, fitness, and a good guide, this is a place to do some serious peak-bagging !

A ratio of 1 Guide for 3 clients allows us to move quickly over long glaciated trails, while allowing the Guide to safeguard everyone on more difficult sections. Previous alpine mountaineering experience is not needed for this trip, but you should have worn crampons, be fit, and be ready for an adventure.

The journey begins and ends in Italy, making the most of the excellent lift infrastructure there. Once into the mountains the next four nights are in Italian mountain refuges as we tick off the peaks. In addition to the fantastic hospitality these refuges are famous among alpinists for great food and wine ! What’s not to like about the combination  of big mountains, great food, and lovely wine?

Find out more
Monte Rosa 4000ers

Date & Prices

For private trips or bespoke itineraries inc. different dates, please contact the 360 office on 0207 1834 360.

A monthly payment plan is possible, please contact the office to chat through the options.

For private trips or bespoke itineraries inc. different dates, please contact the 360 office on 0207 1834 360.
A monthly payment plan is possible, please contact the office to chat through the options.

Departure & Return

Duration

Price (excl. flight)

Price (incl. flight UK-UK)

Start: 04 July 2020
End: 10 July 2020

Price without flights:  €1,950

Leader: Stuart Mcdonald.
Price is based on a minimum of 2 pax joining.

04 July 2020

10 July 2020

7 days

€1,950

N/A

Leader: Stuart Mcdonald.
Price is based on a minimum of 2 pax joining.

Start: 03 July 2021
End: 09 July 2021

Price without flights:  €1,950

Price is based on a minimum of 2 pax joining.

03 July 2021

09 July 2021

7 days

€1,950

N/A

Price is based on a minimum of 2 pax joining.

Included

  • 5 days alpine guiding and all Guide’s expenses
  • 1 Guide to a maximum of 3 climbers
  • Transfers from Chamonix to Monte Rosa (return)
  • 2 nights hotels (B+B)
  • 4 nights mountain refuges (Half Board)
  • Mountain uplift as per itinerary
  • 15% discount at Cotswold Outdoor
  • Monthly payment plan, on request

Not Included

  • Flights
  • Airport transfers
  • Insurance
  • Equipment (hire can be provided for those that need it at additional cost, paid locally)
  • Lunches and snacks

Pics & Vids

Itinerary

DAY 1 : Depart UK & Briefing

Your trip will start with a briefing at 6pm at your accommodation in Chamonix. You will be notified of the location of this nearer the time. We will discuss the week ahead and answer any questions you may have before checking/issuing equipment.

DAY 2 : Chamonix to Refugio Quintino Sella

After breakfast we will drive through the Mont Blanc tunnel into Italy, arriving in Staffal near Gressonney after around 2hrs. We will then take the chair lift up to the Colle Bettaforca and walk to the Refugio Quintino Sella (3585m) (3hrs30).

DAY 3 : Castor (4220m)

After an early start we will make our way up the glacier. The ascent of Castor is a great place to both teach and revise skills which will be essential for the rest of the trip. The summit is a special place, with fantastic views of the surrounding 4000m peaks and all the way down to Zermatt.

DAY 4 : Refugio Quintino Sella to Gnifetti Hut

This day is begun with a long glacial hike beneath Lyskamm (4272m) towards the Passo del Nasso. This is potentially serious terrain and will only be undertaken if snow conditions are good. After the Passo there will be the option to ascend the Balmenhorn (4167m), Schwarzhorn (4321m) and Pyramid Vincent (4215m) before heading down to the Rifugio Gnifetti (3647m).

DAY 5 : Gnifetti Hut to Zumsteinspitz (4563m)

On the way back we may visit the Margherita Hut which is built on the summit of the Signalkuppe (4554m). This is the highest guardianed refuge in the Alps. After that  we will head back down the glacier to the Rifugio Gnifetti.

DAY 6 : Gnifetti Hut to Chamonix

On the final morning we will take in our last remaining big peaks. We first head up to the Ludwigshöhe (4341m). After that a short descent leads to a col and a nice snowy ridge that continues to the Parrot Spitz (4432m). After that we head back down the glacier to the refuge, collect our things, and then continue to Punta Indren where we can take the lift all the way down to Staffal. From there we will drive back to Chamonix for a well-earned shower and a night in a hotel.

DAY 7 : Departure

Breakfast at the hotel is included before departure. It is recommended that flights be booked for around lunchtime to avoid needing an early departure.

Transfers to and from Geneva Airport

The transfer is approximately 70 minutes. Mountain Drop Offs are highly recommended. Please use discount code SMRJ16 when booking.

If travelling independently please do not arrive at your accommodation before 1400.

At the end of the trip the transfer usually departs Chamonix around 3hrs before your flight.

 

These are subject to minor changes depending on flight arrival and departure times, weather, group dynamics and fitness and so on, but the itinerary outlined provides an excellent indication of the trek and what you will experience.

Kit List

Bags & Packs

Rucksack

30-40 litre maximum. Mammut “Granite 30/40”, and Osprey “Mutant” and Talon 33 recommended

Headwear

Warm headgear

This can be a warm hat, beanie, balaclava, anything to reduce the heat loss from your head

Wide brimmed hat

Keeps the sun off exposed areas like ears and the nape of the neck

Goggles

Low light lenses recommended as goggles most likely used in poor weather

Sunglasses

Worth spending money on good UV filters. For glacier work category 4 with side and nose protectors.  Julbo is our preferred supplier

Upper Body

Thermal shirt/T shirt

Merino wool recommended as they don’t smell

Fleece top/jacket or Softshell

Waterproof jacket

Gore Tex. Arc’Teryx Beta AR recommended

Duvet jacket

Synthetic jackets recommended as they stay warm if wet

Thin gloves

Fleece or leather gloves recommended

Warm gloves

Consider liners or a light polartec pair for lower altitudes and evenings, and a thicker waterproof pair like ski gloves for higher altitudes

Mitts

Dachstein wool mitts recommended, or fleece with Gore Tex shell

Lower Body

Thick socks

Smartwool or Teko recommended

Mountain trousers

Mammut “Base Jump” (Schoeller fabric) or similar recommended

Waterproof trousers

Like the jacket, an essential piece of kit to stay dry and should also be Goretex

Feet

Mountaineering boots (B3)

Scarpa Ribelles recommended. Boots must have a rigid sole. Sportiva Trango and Scarpa Manta are also recommended. Excellent boots can be hired in Chamonix for around €50/week

Gaiters

In case of deep snow

Sleeping Gear

Sleeping bag liner (sheet sleeping bag)

These are mandatory for the Mountain Huts for hygiene reasons. Silk bags are best due to their weight. Summit to Sea recommended

Hydration

Water bottles

2x 1L water bottles

Toiletries

Lip salve

Sun cream and lip salve. SPF >30

Wash kit

toothbrush, small tube of toothpaste, wet wipes, antiseptic hand gel

Ear plugs

For protection against the inevitable snorers!

Medications

Med-kit and personal medication

Blister Kit and personal medication if required. “Compeed” recommended

Technical Equipment

Head torch

Petzl “Tika Plus” or similar recommended

Harness

Black Diamond “Alpine Bod” and Beal “Aero Team III” recommended

Helmet

Petzl “Ecrin Roc” and Black Diamond “Half Dome” recommended

Ice axe

Grivel “Air Tech” recommended. The bottom of your axe should reach your shin when held in your hand standing upright

Crampons

Petzl Vasak and Grivel G12 highly recommended

Trekking poles

These can be handy when crossing glaciers, and on paths for reducing shock on your knees. Leki and Komperdell recommended. Snow baskets essential. 1 or 2 poles according to your preference

Misceallaneous

Camera

Compact camera, fully charged

Anyone wishing to hire equipment in Chamonix rather than buy it can do so. We use a local shop for boot hire (allow €50 for the week), and other items are available as follows:

 

EQUIPMENT HIRE PRICES

Full Package for 5 days: Duvet Jacket, Mitts, Axe, Harness, Crampons, Helmet – 85

PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL COSTS ARE IN €EURO

 
Ice Axe 22
Harness 16
Helmet 16
Crampons 33
Duvet Jacket 28
Mitts 11

 

 

 

 

 

FAQ's

What are the mountain huts like ?

Mountain Huts are mostly owned by the Alpine Clubs. They are there to provide accommodation and food for mountaineers. They often cater for large numbers (>100), and hence can be quite busy. Meals are usually simple but plentiful, and anyone with special dietary requirements must let us know in advance so we can inform the hut guardian. Please note that while huts will usually try and accommodate vegetarians etc they do sometimes struggle with more specialised requirements such as gluten free. Showers and running water are not usually available. Meals, drinks, and snacks can be purchased for cash. The rooms are usually dormitory style, with large alpine bunks (up to 15 people in a row).

Should I carry shoes for the evenings in the huts ?

No. All mountain huts provide footwear for your comfort.

How long are the days ?

The length of days will vary when Alpine Climbing. Training days will usually start between 0600 and 0800, and last for 6-8 hours.

How much water should I carry each day ?

Do not carry too much water – it is very heavy. As a general rule 1-2 litres is the right amount. Avoid using Camel Back style systems with drinking straws. They leak, the tubes freeze, and they will always let you down when you need them most. Nalgene style plastic bottles are the best.

What type of food should I carry ?

Everyone is different, however it is essential to eat well in the mountains. Sandwiches are hard to beat, supplemented by fruit and chocolate bars. Don’t carry too much food, and remember that some foods will freeze solid unless kept in jacket pockets.

What camera should I take ?

Avoid carrying bulky SLR style cameras. They are too heavy, and slow to use. Compact cameras that fit into a pocket are best. CAMERAS IN RUCKSACKS NEVER TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS. Digital cameras must be kept warm in a pocket or they will freeze and cease to function

What sun cream do you recommend ?

Any brand will be fine. The most important thing is the SPF – Do not bother with anything under SPF 30. Creams with UVA and UVB protection are best. Any don’t forget lip salve.

If there is no water in the huts for washing, what should we do ?

Take some wet wipes to give yourself a clean in the evening. A toothbrush, some wet wipes, and a small tube of toothpaste (shared between several people) is plenty. Some alcohol hand gel is also handy.

Are all Mountain Guides certified ?

All Guides operating in the European Alps must be Internationally Certified. Training and Assessment takes a minimum of three years and anyone caught operating without a license will be prosecuted.

Occasionally we employ trainee guides (known as Aspirants). They are in the final stages of qualifying as Guides and are allowed to operate under the tutorage of a fully qualified Guide.

Where can I get a packed lunch for each day ?

You can buy a good packed lunch directly from the refuge. Please let them know the day before.

What if the conditions are too bad for our itinerary?

If conditions are really bad we will find an alternative plan. This would usually involve climbing in either Italy or Switzerland.

What experience do i need to join?

You don’t need previous climbing experience for the trip but time spent on crampons would be a great advantage.

The climbing is all straightforward – mostly it’s hiking on glaciers or steep and snowy paths. You will be taught techniques in situ.. so don’t worry.. BUT you will need to be physically fit.

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