4 - 5
FATMAP difficulty grade
700m, AD+, III Dufourspitze is the principal peak of the Monte Rosa massif.
It is the highest point in Switzerland and after the Mont Blanc it is the second highest massif in the Alps.
The Cresta Rey splits the steep south face of the Dufourspitze and leads directly to the summit cross.
It was first climbed in 1874, by Eustace Hulton guided by Joseph Moser and Peter Rubi.
Though it looks imposing from a distance the spur is composed of reassuring blocky gneiss and is remarkably pleasant to climb.
Linking the Cresta Rey with a descent of the south-east ridge and over the Zumsteinspitze makes for an outstanding traverse as this peak.
The south-east ridge, though less technical than the Cresta Rey, is far more varied and has rocky slabs, delicate mixed terrain and narrow snow crests all hanging above the precipitous east face.