Day 5: A huge skin to a high col and optional climb up Europe's 2nd highest peak

Statistics

1

day +

1,567

m

2,844

m

29

max┬░

Difficulty

FATMAP difficulty grade

Severe

Description

Monte Rosa is a tough mountain on foot by any approach.

Sadly it is the realm of heliskiers too, but nevertheless is an amazing day out.

A very early start is needed from the hut, with a shockingly early breakfast and many hours skinning in the dark.

It is relatively easy to get to the Sattel at 4359m but the final ridge is a couple of hours of Alpine climbing that most forsake.

Another optional endpoint is the Silversattel at 4545m, in between Dufourspitze and Nordend.

This has the advantage of dramatic views down the enormous E Face of Monte Rosa, but not dissimilar to those you will have had from the Margherita Hut the day before. From the hut retrace your tracks from yesterday past pt 3109m, then diverging from them turning NE then back SE onto relatively easy glacial slopes than gently climb for several hours to a vague flattening at about 4000m, not far from the helicopter landing spot.

The tracks may then diverge at this point, the L hand ones going to the Silversattel at 4545m and the R hand ones to the Sattel at 4359m.

Pick you destination and continue up, both of them steepening towards the top.

Some people take in the true summits but this makes the day very long- from the Sattel it is a PD+ ridge for a couple of hours in each direction.

Reverse your ascent route to the hut, enjoying beautiful open turns, then continue down the Gorner Glacier to Zermatt, watching out for the thinly iced stream bed at the foot of the glacier, where you enter a gorge.

Just after this point look out for a bridge which takes you onto a piste, then to Furi, from where you can either ski down or get the lift for the final section.

You have completed the Monte Rosa Haute Route with many 4000m peaks and even more memories.

Well done!