Monte Rosa Climb

Climb Switzerland`s highest mountain




From $3,220 Land only

Book this holiday

Holiday Overview


  • Three 4000 metre Alpine summits
  • IFMGA guides at 1:2 ratio on all summits
  • Free equipment hire for early bookers
  • All uplift included in the holiday price

A challenging walking and mountaineering holiday climbing Monte Rosa, the highest mountain in the Swiss Alps. Only Mont Blanc stands higher in the European Alps. Towering above the town of Zermatt, the many-summited massif of Monte Rosa presents a whole range of mountaineering challenges to those aspiring to go walking and climbing in the Alps. We have included two climbing peaks, Castor (4228m) and Pollux (4092m) to develop mountaineering skills and gain crucial acclimatization, before turning our attention to climbing the Dufourspitze (4634m), the highest peak in the Monte Rosa group. We make the ascent from the ultra modern Monte Rosa Hut (2795m) which is located on a rocky island in a veritable sea of glacial ice. We ascend Monte Rosa, via a long glacial approach and finally along the stunning West Ridge, to the highest point, the Dufourspitze. The views of the Alps, particularly Liskamm (4479m) and the Signalkuppe are simply breathtaking. This great week of alpine adventure makes use of superb Italian and Swiss mountain huts and is a great choice for anyone with some alpine or winter mountaineering experience.

Is this holiday for you?

This is an Alpine climbing trip led by professional IFMGA guides. It is an ideal trip for fit hillwalkers who have some previous experience of using crampons and a single ice axe, either in the Alps or in the UK in winter. The three peaks included in the itinerary will provide a strenuous challenge on account of the height gained and the relatively high altitude. The expedition will involve roped glacier travel, easy snow-slope climbing, some easy scrambling and exposed ridges. Ropes, crampons and an ice axe will be used. Guiding is at a ratio of 1:2 during the ascents of Castor, Pollux and Monte Rosa

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in St. Niklaus.
  • Cable car to Trockenersteg (2939m) and walk to the Gandegg Hut (3029m). Skills practice.
  • Cable car to Klein Matterhorn (3883m). Climb Pollux (4092m) and descend to the Ayas Hut (3440m).
  • Climb Castor (4228m) and descend to Zermatt (1608m).
  • Train to Rotenboden (3089) then trek to the Monte Rosa Hut (2795m).
  • Early start to climb Monte Rosa (4634m) and descend to the Monte Rosa Hut (2795m).
  • Return trek to Gornergrat (3089) and train to Zermatt (1608m).
  • Departure day
Sat 23 Jul - Sat 30 Jul Code MRA /01/16/ Adult$3,220 Status Available Book now
Sat 20 Aug - Sat 27 Aug Code MRA /02/16/ Adult$3,220 Status Available Book now
Sat 03 Sep - Sat 10 Sep Code MRA /03/16/ Adult$3,220 Status Guaranteed Book now
We sell this holiday on a Land Only basis and recommend that you book your flights to Geneva Airport which is approximately an hour's drive from Chamonix and three hours by train from Zermatt. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements and transfers' section of the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

If flying from the UK there are a number of low cost airlines offering flights to Geneva. These include Easyjet who have flights from London, Manchester, Liverpool & Glasgow and Jet 2 who have flights from Manchester, Leeds Bradford & Belfast. Other airports may be available. Click on the 'Flight information' link below for further information on booking low cost airlines. Alternatively if you would prefer to book a 'flight inclusive package' using scheduled airlines from the UK please contact our flights department for a quote. Whilst flight prices are likely to be more expensive you will benefit from full financial protection.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • point
  • peaks
  • trip direction
  • transfer
  • trek

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in St. Niklaus.

    The group will meet at the group hotel in St. Niklaus. Here, you will meet your guides and be made to feel at home. In the evening, we will have an informal chat about the week ahead. There will also be a chance for our guide to check out your clothing and equipment and to decide if you will need to pick up any further items of equipment in Zermatt the following morning. KE Land Only package services begin with the evening meal, taken in the hotel restaurant.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals d

  • Cable car to Trockenersteg (2939m) and walk to the Gandegg Hut (3029m). Skills practice.

    From the hotel, we take the train into Zermatt and walk for 15 minutes to the Klein Matterhorn cable car. It’s a spectacular ride up to the mid-station at Trockenersteg at 2939 metres. From here, it is just a short walk up to the Gandegg Hut (3029m), located below the Breithorn on a rock ridge separating the Oberer and the Unterer Theodul glaciers. There are classic views of the Matterhorn and of Monte Rosa from the terrace of the hut. This afternoon we will have a session of instruction and/or practice in the necessary skills for the climb.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Meals bd

    • Time 15 minutes walking

  • Cable car to Klein Matterhorn (3883m). Climb Pollux (4092m) and descend to the Ayas Hut (3440m).

    We make the short descent to the Trockenersteg cable car and use this system to take us to the top of the Klein Matterhorn at 3883 metres. From the lift, we traverse glacial terrain below the south face of the Breithorn, to a col known as the Schwarztor. From here, we gain the foot of the west ridge of Pollux and climb via rocks and a snow ridge to attain the summit. We descend by the same route as far as the Schwarztor, and then descend the other side of the col, crossing a glacier, to reach the Refugio d’Ayas (3440m). In all, we have a 2.5 - 3 hour climb to the summit from the cable car station, followed by a 3 to 4 hour descent to the Refugio d’Ayas.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Meals bd

    • Time 4 - 5 hours walking/climbing

  • Climb Castor (4228m) and descend to Zermatt (1608m).

    We get an early start and re-ascend to the Schwarztor to climb castor (4228m), the higher twin of the 'Zwillinge'. After the ascent we descend to the Schwarztor and retrace our steps of the previous day back to the Klein Matterhorn lift station after an approximately 8-hour day. We then descend to a well-earned shower at our hotel accommodation in Zermatt. This evening, we have a chance to check out the sights of Zermatt.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bd

    • Time 8 hours walking/climbing

  • Train to Rotenboden (3089) then trek to the Monte Rosa Hut (2795m).

    We have a relaxed start to the day and make any final adjustments for our ascent of Monte Rosa. We then take the Gornergrat Railway to Rotenboden (3089m) and walk for two hours to the Monte Rosa Hut (2795m). En route, we will have time to practice further glacier travel skills or to do a rocky scramble. There is a final, steep ascent to the hut, which is located on the Plattji, an island of rock in the sea of ice of the Gorner, Monte Rosa and Grentz glaciers. From the hut, there are fantastic views of the north faces of the Breithorn and of Liskamm (4479m). 4 to 5 hours walking.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Meals bd

    • Time 4 - 5 hours walking

  • Early start to climb Monte Rosa (4634m) and descend to the Monte Rosa Hut (2795m).

    A very early start this morning, as we set off on the ascent of the Dufourspitze, the highest point of the Monte Rosa Massif. We leave the hut by way of a glacial moraine, which leads, after about 2 hours, to the Monte Rosa Glacier. We reach this glacier just as the sun touches the tops of the Matterhorn, Breithorn, Weisshorn and the Dent Blanche. At first, this glacier is very complex, presenting a maze of crevasses, which we wind our way through, eventually giving access to the easier slopes of the Sattelltole. From here, a broad slope leads us to a col, known as Sattel (4359m), which marks the start of the final 300 metres of the west ridge. The character of the route finally changes, from open glacial terrain to a narrow, exposed ridge of rock and snow leading us up to the summit at 4634 metres.. The Dufourspitze is a fine viewpoint. The descent is made via the same route. A welcome lunch can be obtained on our arrival back at the Monte Rosa Hut. We spend a second night here.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Meals bd

    • Time 10 - 12 hours walking/climbing

  • Return trek to Gornergrat (3089) and train to Zermatt (1608m).

    After a leisurely breakfast, we make our way back to Zermatt via the Gornergrat Glacier and railway. This descent takes around 3 hours. After checking into our hotel in Zermatt there is time to look around or relax before dinner.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals b

    • Time 3 -4 hours walking

  • Departure day

    KE Land Only package services end after breakfast.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • Professional IFMGA Guide(s)
  • Accommodation as described
  • Meals as detailed in the meal plan
  • All cable car and mountain railways as detailed in the itinerary

  • Travel insurance
  • Airport transfers
  • Some meals as detailed in the meal plan
  • Miscellaneous personal expenses - drinks
  • souvenirs etc.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

You must join group at the hotel in St Niklaus in the evening of Day 1 of the trip itinerary. The guide will hold a trek briefing at approximately 7 pm, at the hotel before the evening meal. There are two convenient international airports which allow easy access by train to Zermatt. Zurich - transfer time approx. 3hrs 40 mins - cost one way £83.00 and Geneva - transfer time 4 hrs - cost one way £70.00. Train tickets can be booked on-line with Swiss Federal Railways on or by telephone on 00 41 900 300 300. The railway station is actually in the airport at Geneva and there is an hourly service (throughout most of the day) to Saint Niklaus VS, Bahnhof, connecting in Visp. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation. If you are intending to drive to St Niklaus, we will provide route details and directions to the group hotel.

After breakfast at our overnight accommodation, we try to get a reasonably early start. Lunches tend to be eaten on the move, as we are normally under pressure to complete the day’s walk or climb whilst the snow conditions are good. On some days there is the opportunity to take a late lunch on arrival at our next overnight stop. Pasta in Italy and Rosti and eggs in Switzerland, are popular choices for a late lunch! Ideally, we should arrive at our overnight accommodation by early afternoon. The afternoon is spent relaxing, sleeping, playing cards, and enjoying the view. The evening meal in the huts is a set menu of 3-courses at about 7 p.m.. Most people are tucked up in bed by 9.30 p.m.

During this trip the group will spend 1 night in hotel accommodation in St. Niklaus and 2 nights in hotel accommodation in Zermatt. Accommodation here is based on twin share and if you are travelling by yourself you will be paired with another individual traveller of the same sex. Single rooms are not available. Whilst in the mountains, there are 4 nights spent in mountain huts where the accommodation provided is on a non-segregated, dormitory-style basis. In some high mountain huts, washing facilities are limited.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

As to be expected, the food available in restaurants and hotels in Italy and Switzerland is excellent. The food provided in most huts is of a high standard considering the difficulties of supply inherent in their locations. Evening meals tend to be simple but wholesome and there will usually be a limited menu choice including a vegetarian option. Beer and wine as well as soft drinks and bottled water is available to purchase at most huts. Breakfasts in Italy and Switzerland are usually 'continental' style based on bread with jam, cheese or meat and sometimes boiled eggs. This is sometimes supplemented with cereals, yoghurt and fruit.

All breakfasts and 6 dinners are included in the trip price. Packed lunches and snacks can be bought in the huts. On some days there may be the possibility of having a hot lunch either at a hut encountered on route or a late lunch taken at our overnight halt. You should allow around CHF15 / 10 Euros for a packed lunch from the hut or CHF 20 -30 / 15 - 20 Euros for a hot lunch. Most groups prefer to choose a restaurant for the final evening meal in Zermatt and we have therefore not included this meal in the price of your holiday. We suggest 30 - 40 Swiss Francs should be sufficient to cover this meal. Note that the Ayas hut is in Italy and for this nightyou will use Euros.

Please note that this is Switzerland and you should take the majority of your money in the form of Swiss Francs. You should make an allowance for lunches / snacks, drinks etc and the final evening meal in Zermatt. Approximately CHF 200 - 250 should adequately cover typical personal spending requirements including the aforementioned items. There are cashpoint facilities at Geneva Airport and in Zermatt. If you are intending to hire or purchase items of equipment, you should budget accordingly. For the night spent in the Ayas Hut which is in Italy you will also need some Euros (we suggest 30 should be sufficient).

On a trip of this type, we will take a maximum of 8 clients. The number of guides will depend on the group size. Guiding is at a ratio of 1:2 during the ascents of Castor, Pollux and Monte Rosa

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

This holiday involves going to high altitude. During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 3500 metres. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude on our website which can be viewed via the link below. You can also talk to one of our trekking experts if you have any concerns about altitude.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your pack to a minimum.

You must bring the following items:

  • Mountain Boots (see notes below)
  • Crampons – MUST be fitted with anti-balling plates*
  • Crampon bag
  • Ice Axe*
  • Mountaineering harness*
  • Screw gate karabiner x 1*
  • Helmet
  • Trekking poles x 2 (with baskets)
  • Gaiters
  • Socks – technical walking socks are best (2/3 pairs)
  • Trekking Trousers (i.e. not cotton)
  • Waterproof Overtrousers
  • Underwear
  • Thermal Base Layer x 2 (one long sleeved for glacier travel)
  • Fleece jacket or pullover
  • Waterproof, breathable jacket (with hood)
  • Extra warm layer – (prima loft or lightweight down)
  • Sunhat
  • Warm hat
  • Eye wear – sunglasses – category 3 or 4.
  • Thin gloves – leather or thermal
  • Warm gloves/ski gloves or mittens
  • Sleeping bag liner/sheet sleeping bag (silk is lightest)
  • Rucksack (30 - 40 litres should be sufficient)
  • Head torch – with new battery
  • Sun Protection (high factor for skin)
  • Lip salve – with sunscreen
  • Water bottle x minimum 1 litre
  • Small, lightweight wash kit and pack towel
  • Plastic Bag to keep essentials dry
  • Small hand sanitizer gel
  • Basic First Aid Kit including: Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters (band-aids), blister treatment (zinc oxide tape and ‘Compeed’), insect repellent, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).

The following items are optional:

  • Change of shirt and trousers
  • Long johns
  • Shorts (for non-glacial travel)
  • Rain cover for Rucksack
  • Earplugs (particularly if you are not the one snoring!)
  • Repair kit – (eg. Pocket knife, needle, thread, duct tape etc.)
  • Camera, media, batteries
  • Travel Clothes (can be left at your hotel)
  • Travel Shoes (can be left at your hotel)
  • Small Padlock (for trek bag)


Mountaineering Boots:Recommended boots for this trip are comfortable, warm and sufficiently stiff to take a crampon securely (A ‘worn in’ B2 boot is ideal)

  • .

    Crampons: Modern strap on crampons are perfectly acceptable for this trek and will fit any boot. All crampons MUST be fitted with anti-balling plates. Grivel Crampons - G10 or G12 with a strap system are excellent and they come fitted with anti-balling plates.

  • .

    Equipment hire: Equipment marked *can be hired from KE. This can be reserved either when you book your trip or closer to your departure but we advise booking hire equipment as soon as possible to ensure availability. We do not hire mountaineering boots, but there are several shops in Chamonix renting boots that are suitable for this trip.

  • .
  • Sleeping bags are NOT required as bedding and hut shoes/slippers are provided at mountain refuges. However, you should bring a sheet sleeping bag.
  • Needle Sports (specialist mountaineering equipment shop)

    • Needle Sports is the English Lake District's foremost specialist climbing shop supplying mountaineering, rock, ice, alpine and expedition equipment worldwide. Internationally recognised as among the very best of the UK's top technical climbing gear retailers. They have a good range of equipment appropriate for this trip and offer knowledgeable advice both on their website and in store.
    • View >>

    A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

    Visa Europe

    UK and USA passport holders do not require a visa.

    We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

    It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on a trekking or climbing trip getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. We would suggest that you adopt a weekly exercise regime leading up to your trip. Jogging, squash and swimming are good for developing better stamina. Before departure, we suggest that you try to fit in a number of long walks in hilly country. For this trip you will need to be competent in the use of an ice axe and crampons. This means you will be an experienced winter hill-walker or will have attended a basic snow skills course before coming on the trip. No previous (technical) climbing experience is required. Winter Skills Courses These courses are extremely helpful if you are undertaking one of our mountaineering trips. For information about available courses, please contact: Glenmore Lodge. (Scotland's National Outdoor Training Centre). Tel. 01479 861 256 email.

    You should contact your GP or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations. UK residents should obtain a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment, but is not a substitute for medical travel insurance which is still vital when travelling overseas.

    As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

    KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

    The temperatures that we can expect to encounter during the day will vary considerably. In the heat of the day on the glacier, it can be quite hot, up to 25°C / 77°F. By contrast, high on Monte Rosa in the chill of the early morning, it may be as cold as minus 20°C / minus 4°F or even colder. The weather is usually stable throughout the summer season. But, mountainous areas do generate their own weather systems and occasional rain and even stormy weather cannot be ruled out.

    Walking in The Valais Kev Reynolds Cicerone Press Cicerone Press are one of the UK`s most well known and respected publishers of guidebooks for the outdoor enthusiast. Easily distinguished by their convenient pocket size, these books have been a favourite amongst walkers, climbers and cyclists for many years.

    Swiss Topo 1:50,000 Special Edition Hiking Maps

    Swiss survey maps are highly regarded for their superb use of graphic relief and hill shading, presenting an almost 3-D picture of the terrain. These are 'special edition' maps from the Switzerland Topographic Survey at 1:50,000 which have the same excellent cartography as the general network which covers the entire country in 78 sheets, but are specifically designed for hikers and are centred on particular tourist regions. They also cover a larger area than the normal sheets. For this holiday you will need the following sheet: 5028T - Monterosa-Matterhorn 1:50 000

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