Expeditions
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Monte Rosa 4000m Peaks

Background

Sick of walking among the great mountains of the world wondering what it would be like to stand upon them? Then this is your chance to live your dream and actually climb (not trek) your first 4000m peak! Hesitate no more!

Highlights

  • Climb your first 4000 meter peak
  • Learn how to use crampons and ice axes
  • Stay in the Alp's highest hut
  • Learn about the history of the Alagna region and its' climbing pedigree
  • Option to climb other 4000 meter peaks if time permits

Overview

The Monte Rosa massif contains 18 peaks of 4000 meters or more. The massif is second only to Mont Blanc. Situated between Switzerland and the Italian Piedmont and Aosta Valleys, Monte Rosa is the perfect 4000m to start your mountaineering life. High enough and technical enough to be a challenge, but simple enough for a beginner to learn about the finer points of mountaineering without risking too much.

Our expedition to Monte Rosa begins and ends in the beautiful Alagna, Italy. This small commune has a heritage of mountaineering dating back to the late 19th century and today has become both a mountaineering mecca and a freeride nirvana. 

Above the small village are amazing summits and glaciers where we will practice our ice axe and crampon techniques. Each group will be supported by an IFMGA Mountain Guide who will teach you how to correctly use crampons and ice axes.

Our highest peak will be Punta Gnifetti 4554 m which is easily accessible from the Italian side of the massif. We will also learn how to safely traverse a glacier and understand how mountaineers work out lines up to the summit of a mountain. If you have ever wanted to learn to climb (in an environment that is simply spectacular), then this trip is for you.

Itinerary

Day 1: Transfer to Alagna. (D)

Day 2: Tour of Alagna. (B,D)

Day 3: Summit Punta Giordani 4046m (B,D)

Day 4: Rest day. Trek to Rifugio Pastore (B,D)

Day 5: Trek to Rifugio. (B,D)

Day 6: Summit Punta Gnifetti 4554m and stay overnight in Rifugio Margherita.  (B,D) 

Day 7: Descend to Alagna with a couple more 4000-meter peaks on the way down. (B,D)

Day 8: Transfer to Malpensa airport (B)

Routes

"Climb mountains not so much for the world to see you, but for you to see the world"

Day 1

Transfer from Malpensa airport to Alagna and accommodation in Hotel Montagna di Luce. Dinner at the hotel. The trip from Malpensa usually takes about 2 hours through the lowlands before heading toward the spectacular Alps. Our hotel is the last accommodation before the mountains and provides a quiet place to relax, eat and sleep between climbs. (D)

Day 2

This morning we will do a mountain gear check, making sure everyone has the right equipment and if not, we can hire the gear in town. In the late morning, we will walk from the hotel, down through Alagna and then up into the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Orto Valley. This is where we will learn about the Walser people who still inhabit both the Italian and Swiss side of the Alps. The Walser arrived in the Alps in the 1500's, making their home among the spectacular summits. Their traditions live on in their architecture and their way of life. We will have lunch in the Orto Valley before heading back to Alagna for dinner. (B,D)

Day 3

Today is our first big climb as we climb Punta Giordani. Early morning we will take the cable car from Alagna to Punta Indren 3275 m. From there we will be shown the basics of crampons, how to fit them and use them and how to read the glacier and lines up mountains. The ascent is quite steep and usually takes between 3 and 4 hours to reach the summit of Punta Giordani at 4046 m, one of the easiest 4000 peaks of the Alps. But don't be fooled, while considered easy, under certain circumstances the conditions can be made difficult. From the summit, we will have spectacular views over the glaciers that spill down the mountain and other high peaks of the Alps. It is about a 2.5 to 3-hour descent back to the cable car which will take us to Alagna. (B,D)

Day 4

There is no rush today. You may feel a little tired from your climb the day before so we will take things slowly. At around midday we will head up the valley into the National Park and stroll to Rifugio Pastore, an hours walk from the road head. Here we can sample Rifugio food and have a great view of the Monte Rosa massif, with all its' glaciers spilling down and the summits that we are going to attempt in the coming days. This is essentially a rest day, readying ourselves for the following days of climbing. After lunch, we will head back to Alagna where you may like to relax at the hotel or head into town for some last-minute shopping or even grab a delicious gelati. (B,D)

Day 5

Our day will start late today as we do not need to take the cable car until 2 or 3 in the afternoon. After lunch, we will take the cable to Punta Indren 3275 m, the same place we started our climb up to Punta Giordani. However, instead of heading up the summit, we will head West around the glacier and up to Rifugio Gnifetti 3647 m. This trek only takes just over an hour and requires limited use of crampons. The last section of the walk is a 20 to 300-meter cliff where we will need to climb metal rungs to reach our Rifugio. Rifugio Gnifetti is situated just above the main glacier on the Italian side of Monte Rosa and provides not only our accommodation and meals for the night, but affords us some of the best views of the mountains and the glacier. Rifugio life is a little hectic and cramped with climbers from all over the world housed in a relatively small building. However, the atmosphere is electric with anticipation. Dinner at the hut. (B,D)

Day 6

Today is the big day where we will climb the second highest peak in the Monte Rosa massif AND stay at the highest Rifugio in the Alps, Rifugio Margherita at 4555 m. The first objective is to climb to Col Felice at just over 4200 meters. From here we can see the sun rising on the Gran Paradiso, Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. After a short break, we head onto the Swiss side of the massif into a large gully before heading back up toward our final destination, Punta Gniffeti. The trail provides for spectacular views over all the Alps. The last section up to the Rifugio is particularly steep but the views are incredible. We will stay the night at the Rifugio with amazing views of the flat plains home to Milan and Torino. Lunch and Dinner here. (B,D)

Day 7

We will descend to Alagna today, but not until we have climbed a couple more 4000-meter peaks on the way down including Vincent and possibly Ludwig. This can be a difficult day as our night's sleep may not have been particularly good. However, we will have lunch at Rifugio Mantova before taking the cable car down to Alagna for our dinner at our hotel and a celebration of the week we just had. (B,D)

Day 8

After breakfast, we will bid farewell to our hosts for the week and transfer to Malpensa airport. (B)


Single Supplement is available for Alagna portion only as Rifugios do not have single rooms. The cost for a Single Supplement is $675

SERVICES OF AN EXPERIENCED MOUNTAIN GUIDE

Our lead guides are fully trained, registered and licenced IFMGA members who work for us regularly. All mountain lovers, they have skied, climbed and hiked many of the routes around the area and spend their days off exploring the region. 

 

ACCOMMODATION

Our base is the beautiful Hotel Montagna di Luce. On other nights we will be using mountain huts including 'Capanna Margherita', the highest hut in the Alps. These are basic places with dorm accommodation. They are full of energy and atmosphere and are a great place to meet other climbers.

 

MEALS WHILE ON EXPEDITION

All breakfast and dinners are taken care of. All you need to do is pay for the lunches at various places along the way.

Breakfasts are usually a hearty Continental Breakfast of breads, spreads, muesli, yoghurts, juices, cereals etc

Dinners vary depending on where we stay but are usually a 3-course meal.

 

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO CLIMB MONTE ROSA?

The best time to visit and climb this area Mid June to the end of July and the start of September. The reason for this is that these times are the shoulder periods before the busy main season which starts at the end of July and throughout August when the mountain can get busy.

 

INSURANCE

As you will be undertaking "technical" activities on this trip, namely crampon use, you will require special insurance that most Travel Insurance doesn't cover. As such we suggest you purchase insurance for the climbing portion (1 week) from Global Rescue. Please click here to purchase this insurance. 

Inclusions

  • Led by qualified IFMGA Mountain Guides (1 Guide for every 5 climbers)
  • All accommodation in towns and on the mountain
  • Transfers Malpensa to Alagna return
  • All meals as outlined in Itinerary
  • Climbing permits
  • Cable cars from Alagna to Punta Indren
  • All activities as per itinerary

Exclusions

  • International airfares
  • Travel Insurance
  • Lunches and drinks
  • Climbing equipment rental

Maps

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