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Monte Rosa climb: an unforgettable experience

Dizzying walls, sharp ridges, and peaks over 4000 meters offer endless views and challenging slopes. On the 4000s of Monte Rosa, solitude, silence, training, and curiosity intertwine in a symphony of emotions. Joy and defeat alternate.

Monte Rosa is not just Capanna Margherita. If mountaineering has captured your heart, Monte Rosa and its 4000-meter peaks are surely the beyond that you desire. Climbing with UIAGM mountain guides makes this experience accessible and safe.

Climbing monte Rosa with alpine guides

If you ask the mountain guides who accompany climbers on the 4000-meter peaks of Monte Rosa, they will tell you that their villages have short horizons. Alagna, Gressoney, and Ayas are enclosed by mountains, with limited spaces. Those born in the mountains must climb to widen their view of the sunset, and the guides of Monte Rosa love to do this. They will teach you how it’s done, and you will love it too.

The 4000-meter peaks of Monte Rosa: a story of a climb for many

On Monte Rosa, there are 4000-meter peaks within reach for many climbers, though not for the inexperienced. One truly beautiful ascent is the traverse connecting the Parrot, Ludwigshöhe, and Corno Nero peaks. This traverse is a harmonious blend of ridges and steep climbs interspersed with easier sections. It reaches three summits above 4000 meters without extreme challenges or significant technical difficulties. The route can be completed in two days with moderate elevation gains, making it suitable for climbers who have already taken some steps on glaciers and wish to advance to the next level. It is also a perfect path for those on the hunt for 4000-meter peaks.

The Night in the Hut isn’t always easy

The first goal will be to reach the Capanna Gnifetti, the historic base camp for almost all climbs on Monte Rosa. The journey involves an hour and a half of trail walking with a final equipped section that offers a few thrills.

Although Capanna Gnifetti is cozy, it is located at an altitude of 3647 meters. The rooms are dormitory-style with bunk beds, there are no showers, and there is a large terrace with a view. The atmosphere is bustling with climbers, lively and friendly, and the kitchen serves excellent meals, catering to vegetarians, vegans, those with food intolerances, and food lovers alike. Sleeping isn’t always easy, but you can rest.

A climb on Monte Rosa is never something you can undertake on a whim.

In the morning, you will rise early—at 4 or 5 a.m. The guide will choose the time based on the weather, temperatures, and frost conditions. In about two hours, you will reach the Colle del Lys at 4200 meters, where you’ll be greeted by a stunning view of the Matterhorn. It is impossible not to stop and take in the spectacle. I can’t say it will be easy, but it’s a balanced effort that is rewarded with profound emotions. Leaving behind the Capanna Gnifetti amid the muffled sounds of the night, peering into the sleeping valleys, is the beginning of the journey. Following your guide’s footsteps with a clear mind will be the next step. The awareness of the guide’s professionalism adds significant value to the experience.

Punta Parrot

Punta Parrot stands as a prominent feature of Alagna’s skyline, with its sinuous, snow-covered ridge. While it may seem intimidating at first glance, reaching the summit is not overly difficult. The climb to the top is exhilarating and filled with emotions. After a steep ascent, you will suddenly find yourself at the summit, and at first, you might hesitate to look over the edge. From this vantage point, you will see the Valsesia 3000 meters below, a sight you would have imagined from the base of the peak.

As you traverse the crest of this 4000-meter summit, you will quickly adapt to walking along the narrow, snowy ridge. The route is straightforward and gently inclined, making the climb relatively easy. You will come to see it as a preferred pathway through the clouds, with little effort required to follow it. When you finally reach the top, you will stand at an elevation of 4434 meters.

Ludwigshöhe

From Punta Parrot, you will descend along a gently sloping route to the Sesia Col, which offers a more accessible gradient for the descent. The Col itself provides a moment of respite and a chance to take in the surrounding landscape before you embark on the ascent of Ludwigshöhe. This next section involves a short but steep climb up the smooth, rounded ridge leading to the flat summit of Ludwigshöhe, where you will stand at an elevation of 4342 meters. The route up to Ludwigshöhe is brief, but its steep nature and the effort required to climb it are significant, offering a rewarding and breathtaking experience. The knowledge that the rock marking the pre-summit is only 50 meters from the top serves as a mental boost, encouraging you to push through the final stretch and appreciate the stunning vistas from the summit of your second peak in a single day.

Corno Nero

From the Colle Zurbriggen, you will ascend a short but steep snow slope with an incline of about 50° to reach the summit. The final part of the climb takes you along a beautiful and harmonious rocky ridge, where the Madonnina statue stands majestically at the very tip of the peak. The careful and mindful movements required for this climb will help you focus on the moment and forget any physical fatigue. As you traverse the snow and ice, you will experience a kind of dance between your steps and the mountain. For me, mountaineering reaches its peak when the body and mind are in harmony. The physical exertion becomes secondary to the pursuit of balance and connection between yourself, the natural world, and your inner self.

The Christ of the Peaks

From Corno Nero, a brief descent will lead you to the base of the rock where the imposing statue of Christ of the Peaks stands at 4161 meters. Although I typically oppose the idea of human alterations to natural landscapes, I have to confess that the statue left a profound impression on me. At 3.60 meters in height and subject to the harshest weather conditions, it was entirely white and glistening under a thick layer of ice when I encountered it. Despite my reservations about its presence, I found it to be a touching and awe-inspiring sight. The final approach to the statue involves a short climb up the rock, assisted by steps and a rope, making the ascent both straightforward and enjoyable.


Do you like to climb the monte Rosa peaks? see here


Notes

  • 4 peaks above 4000m: Parrot 4434m, Ludwigshöhe 4342m, Corno Nero or Schwarzhorn 4321m, and Balmenhorn 4161m
  • Total vertical gain: 1100m
  • Ascent time: 4 hours
  • Descent time: 4 hours

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