Monte Rosa Traverse

Monte Rosa is the second highest peak in the Alps at 15,292 feet. No other traverse in the Alps will let you summit as many 4,000 meter peaks in such a short time.

Difficulty rating and Skill requirements

Difficulty Rating System Explained

Prior mounaineering experience required; 
One should have glacier travel experience, solid cramponing and rock climbing skills up to 5.6 YDS. Continuous movement in exposed terrain should not be a problem. Elementary rope handling skills such as tying in, rappelling and belaying are required.

Excellent physical fitness; 
you should be able to hike or climb for more than six hours with a pack varying from 20 to 40 pounds and ascend 4,000 to 5,000 feet of vertical gain per day for up to a week.

  • Category: Alpine
  • Type: Guided
  • Ratio: 2:1,4:2

* Required Fields

Monte Rosa is the second highest peak in the Alps at 15,292 feet. No other traverse in the Alps will let you summit as many 4,000 meter peaks in such a short time -Breithorn, Pollux, Castor, Lyskamm, Balmenhorn, Signalkuppe, Zumsteinspitze, Dufourspitze. This spectacular week is not extremely technical, but strenuous and very exposed in parts. The general character of the traverse can be considered a mixture of the snowy Mont Blanc standard route and the seemingly endless fourth class terrain of the Matterhorn. We will be traveling on big glaciers, snow and rock ridges at altitudes between 12,000 and 15,500 feet, crossing the Swiss/Italian border a half dozen times, we'll sleep in the highest mountain hut in the Alps - Cabana Margarita, at 15,000 feet. We'll then traverse the spectacular summit ridges of the Dufourspitze before we return back down to Zermatt.
Suggested Itinerary:
Day One:
We will start in Zermatt and conduct an equipment check prior to our ride on the gondola up to the Klein Matterhorn. From here we will climb the easy summit of the Breithorn (13,740 feet) and descend down to the Rifugio Guide Ayas (Italy, 11,220 feet).
Day Two:
An early start gets us to the Schwarztor and then up the simple but steep West Flank of Castor (13,952 feet). The descent into the Felikjoch lets us see the massive ridge of the Liskamm for the first time. We descend down the Quintino Sella Hut (Italy, 11,830 feet).
Day Three:
This is one of the biggest days of the trip. From the hut we climb back up to the Felikjoch and continue on the West Summit of the Liskamm (14,576 feet). From here we continue along the exposed “maneater ridge” to the Main Summit (14,939 feet). At this point we will have spent several hours at over 14,000 feet before we tackle the descent to the Gnifetti hut (Italy, 11,916 feet).
Day Four:
With more peaks to bag, we climb up to the Lisjoch and on to the Parrotspitze (14,625 feet). We will have to make a quick descent to about 14,200 feet before we can tackle the endless cirque up to the spectacular Cabana Margarita (Italy, highest hut in the Alps, 15,028 feet).
Day Five:
After a good night of sleep up high we head out to traverse the great Dufour Summit Ridge of the Monte Rosa (15,291 feet). The actual climbing on the ridge takes only a few hours, but is extremely spectacular and quite exposed. A simple descent down the Monte Rosa glacier brings us to the Monte Rosa hut (Switzerland, 9,223 feet).
Day Six:
An early departure from the hut across the Gornergletscher will bring us to Zermatt by late morning.

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Pro Ski and Mountain Service is our retail specialty store. It has been located in North Bend, WA since 1999.

The past trips and courses have had a large influence on what we sell. Many of our Pro Guiding customers come on trips and courses with gear they purchased from our store. Not only do we want our clients to have the right gear for the job; we also receive direct feedback from them while they are using it in the field. Trust us - if the gear does not work - we won't sell it.

o  1 Bottom - midweight or lightweight
o  1 or 2 Tops - midweight or lightweight
o  Sock Liners - 2 pair
o  Socks - 2 pair
o  Windshirt, Soft Shell, Fleece Jacket - only one of these is necessary
o  Soft shell type pants
o  Lightweight Waterproof/Breathable Jacket
o  Lightweight Waterproof/Breathable Pants –
o  Warm Hat - should cover ears
o  Sun Hat - baseball type or visor
o  Lightweight Gloves - wind block or fleece/wool type
o  Warm Gloves
o Gaiters – smaller gaiters should be fine
o  Down or Synthetic Jacket – not too big
o   Day Pack - 35 Liter (2200 cu in.) minimum
o   Mountaineering Boots - leather or synthetic, crampon compatible
o   Headlamp – lightweight LED recommended w/ extra batteries
o  Water Bottles - 1 or 2 liters, wide mouth
o  Small Knife
o  Glacier Glasses
o  Sunscreen - SPF 35+, waterproof
o  Lip Balm - SPF 25+
o  Personal Toiletries - toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.
 Waterless hand cleaner (wet wipes) - there is no running water in the huts
o  Small Personal 1st Aid Kit - blister repair, aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.
o Sleeping bag liner – they can also be purchased in the huts
o Ear Plugs - essential for sound sleep
o  Ice Axe - 50-70 cm length, steel head only
o  Crampons – STEEL; NO ALUMINIUM, 12 point, pre-fit to boots
o  Anti-ball plates - for crampons
o  Climbing Helmet - UIAA approved only
o Climbing Harness - mountaineering style (e.g. B.D. Alpine Bod)
o  2 Locking Carabiners- (1) large HMS style and (1) regular locker
o  2 Non-locking Carabiners - any style, we recommend wire gates
o  1 Single Length Runner
o  1 Double Length Runner
o  1 Cordelette - 6 mm diameter, 6 meter length
o 2 Ice Screws  - 13-17 cm length
OPTIONAL ITEMS *We highly recommend these items, but do not require them to participate.
o   Camera - we’d like some shots for the PGS website!
o  Adjustable Trekking Pole(s) - nice to have for approach
o  Thermos - vacuum type
o  Note Pad and Pencil - Rite-in-the-Rain brand waterproof notebook works
o  Compass - adjustable declination a must
o  Altimeter - Suunto watch works well
o Warm Socks - to sleep in
o Foot Powder
o Cash - to purchase water and food in the huts
GROUP GEAR PROVIDED BY PGS *Please contact the guiding office if you prefer to bring your own gear in place of any of our group gear.
o Ropes
o Technical Group Gear (crevasse rescue kit, VHF radio)
o Group 1st Aid Kit

Should I tip my guide? And how much should I tip them? Although tipping is not a requirement it is considered standard practice in the guiding industry and is appreciated by our guides. We generally recommend roughly 10%-15% of your course or trip cost or flat price tip that you are comfortable with.