A beautiful introduction to high Alpine Ski Touring. The trip follows the crest of the Alps on the border of Switzerland and Italy. You will be able to reach several peaks above 4000m. In general, these peaks are demanding, but not overly hard.
The breathtaking scenery never lets up. On one side is the Matterhorn, and on the other are all the other main peaks, including Weisshorn and Dom. To the South you look down on the North Italian lakes. Culturally, the country is very Italian. You can feast your eyes on the finest Alpine Peaks, and feast your body on pasta and fine espresso.
All overnights are at high altitude. One night will be spent in the highest hut of them all: the Cap. Margaritha at 4556m. To celebrate your achievement, you will spend the final night at the recently renovated Monte Rosa hut. A very hi-tech hut with every modern amenity you can think of, and state of the art ecological design. If you have an interest in an architecture and design, this hut is a must see.
A typical tour itinerary may look like this:
|Saturday||Fly out to Zürich
Train towards Zermatt, via Bern and Visp. Leave train at Herbriggen. Check into Hotel
|Sunday||Meet guide at Bergfreund Herbriggen. Equipment check and training hut: Gandegg.|
|Monday||Kleines Matterhorn via funicular; Breithorn; hut - Rifugio Ayas|
|Tuesday||Peak - Castor; hut - Quintino Sella|
|Wednesday||Il Naso Traverse; hut - Mantova|
|Thursday||Peaks - Parrotspitze, Sinalkuppe; hut - Margaritha|
|Friday||Peak - Zumsteinspitze; hut: Monte Rosa|
|Saturday||Descent via glacier.
Cog train from Rotenbogen
End of the tour: around 2 pm at Zermatt. Evening in Zermatt.
|Sunday||Check out of hotel.
Train, Zermatt to Zürich Airport
Fly back to UK, late afternoon.
Please note: This itinerary is a guide only. It can be subject to change dependent upon viability, course members' fitness, weather conditions or for any other reason the guide may deem necessary.
Detailed Tour Itinerary
Please note: this is a planned itinerary, which will have to be varied at the discretion of the guide if conditions such as weather, mountain conditions, and group fitness do not allow it.
For this, it may be useful to consult the appropriate maps, which are:
LK Schweiz 1:50000, Mischabel 284; Gressoney 294
10am: Meet the guide at Berfreund Herbriggen. Equipment check.Take the lift to Trockener Steg. Crampon and Ice axe training. Easy hike to the Gandegg Hut at 2795m.
Funicular to the Kleines Matterhorn, at 3883m. Continue via the Breithorn pass to the steepening flank of the Breithorn, 4164m. A not too technical climb leads us via a ridge to the summit. Our route traverses the mountain, down another ridge; then after a 90-minute glacier walk with a short climb, we descend to the Rifugio Ayas hut, 3251m.
A nice glacier walk and a 2 hour climb brings us back to the green meadows of the Rotenboden. This hike offers a great view of the whole route encompassed on the trip. From Rotenboden a cog train leads down to Zermatt.
The Monte Rosa Route is a high altitude mountain activity. You should be able to climb consistently for seven hours per day, including at least 1000m of ascent. You should preferably have had some experience in Alpine mountaineering, and at least have some experience with crampons.
The first day is a pretty gradual introduction, and consequently there is some time for a refresher or training in crampons and glacier travel. It also provides an opportunity to acclimatise.
You should be confident parallel skiing in variable and steep snow. The challenge arises in one's ability to manage poor snow conditions which can vary greatly from windblown icy terrain to heavy wet snow.
The knowledge of basic mountaineering skills is also quite helpful as you will be required to use ropes, ice axes and crampons whilst on the tour. Although your guide will be happy to teach you such skills, prior experience can only enhance your time and enjoyment whilst on tour.
It is necessary for you to have the appropriate insurance for this trip. Make sure it is relevant for mountain sports, and that it includes liability insurance, helicopter rescue from mountains, and repatriation. There are other factors you should also consider. Our insurance partner TAGIS will be able to advise you on all your insurance needs.
Please click here to enter the TAGIS insurance site.
It is necessary to arrive appropriately conditioned to ensure the highest chance of completing the trip. Aerobic exercise such as cycling, or on a "stepper", is a good way of building up your cardiovascular system and strengthening the leg muscles. If necessary please take advice from a professional fitness instructor.
Guides and Group Size
Your guides for the week are full UIAGM or aspirant guides. UIAGM the highest recognised guiding qualification in the world, and is a prerequisite for guiding in the Alps. All guides have a long history of personal climbing and skiing experience throughout the Alps as well as years of guiding experience.
The Guiding Ratio for this trip is 3:1. Minimum group size is 3. Maximum group size is 12 with 4 guides.
You fly to Zürich airport, and take the train directly from there towards Zermatt. Swiss trains have the reputation for running like clockwork. The train takes 2 1/2 hours, with changes in Bern and Brig. On this last train, you can get off 2 stops before Zerrmatt at Herbriggen. The Hotel Bergfreund is a three minute walk from the train station. Please feel to contact us for advice on this issue and also timings.
The season for this classic route is from mid March to the end of April.
This trip is available for individuals and groups; we can however be flexible and arrange your preferred dates when the traverse is in season.
All requested dates are unconfirmed until minimum numbers have been booked.
If you have a group of 3 or more people we will be happy to run an exclusive trip for yourselves.
Create Your Own Trip Dates
Price and Inclusions
2013 Price: £1799
- All guiding and instruction
- Use of group technical equipment
- Twin room hotel accommodation in the valley with breakfast (single room upgrade available)
- Dorm room, mountain hut accommodation with breakfast
- All ground transfers (funicular / cog train)
- Hire of personal technical equipment (crampons, harness, avalanche transceiver, shovel, probe)
Not Included / extras
- Personal equipment
- Ski boots or ski touring boots
- Hire of touring skis, skins and harscheisen
- Personal insurance
- Evening meals in the valley
- Ski pass