Monte Rosa : Peak Dufour in 2 days

Pointe Dufour, and its 4634 m, the Monte Rosa massif’s peak, placed in Switzerland and in Italy: this is the second highest mountain top in the Alps after the Mont Blanc. The name 'Monte Rosa' does not come from the pink color of snow at sunset, its name comes from Val d'Aosta patois 'rouésa' or 'Rouja', which means 'glacier'. 

You will find your guide in Zermatt, to join the shelter Margherita placed at 2883 m above sea level, overlooking the Gorner glacier. The look at all the things in front of us, around us, like a magic, just like in your dreams: Cervin, Breithorn, Castor and Pollux, breathtaking and overwhelming view. We continue forward, for the ascent to 4515 m towards Silbersattel finding ourselves looking dawn on the peaks. Walking on the edge of the cliffs come to top of a crag from which we have magical 360 ° view!


  • Day 1Monte Rosa shelter

    Meeting point in Zermatt with your guide in front of the train station of Gornergrat. In half an hour, we reach the Rotenboden heights station at over 2800 m of altitude.
    From here we take a path towards the Gornergrat. By ladders and handrails made of a hard and solid rope we reach rear side of the glacier. It will take crosses before reaching the moraine of 300m which joins the refuge.
    Its specific shape and the fact that is covered with aluminum plates makes it look like a crystal rock. Thanks to the fact that southern facade is covered with solar photovoltaic collectors and other sorts of thermal collectors; the refuge cottage covers 90% of its energetic needs; a technological achievement on the altitude of 2883 m.

    - Elevation gain / Altitude difference: 300 meters
    - Elevation -: 240 meters
    - Maximal Altitude: 2883 meters
    - Accommodation: Monte Rosa refuge/cottage
    - Activity hours: 4h - 5h

  • Day 2Dufour Peak 4634m

    Departure quite early in the morning, at the beginning will stay in the rocky area and then we will place our feet on the glacier: the long climb to reach the Silbersattle at 4515m at the Monte Rosa Glescher! Our climb ends by the small saddle between the Peak Dufour and Nordend. In front of us, we will see the rocks, the ice, the snow… dominating view on the surrounding peaks, here we are at the top at 4634 m, nice feeling of relief and happiness!
    We will not have a time for linger, there is a long descent ahead of us, as well the path to return to the station of Rotenboden. All these efforts will exhaust our last resources, every ounce of energy.

    - Elevation gain / Altitude difference: about 2000 meters
    - Elevation -: about 2060 meters
    - Maximal Altitude: 4634 meters
    - Activity hours: walking, 12h to 16h

Please note that although the itinerary presented here is the one we intend to follow there is a high chance that variations may be necessary. Many factors can affect climbing in high mountains. Mountain adventures are weather and conditions dependant, individual member's abilities vary, as does their ability to assimilate the skills needed.The guide's main aim will be to ensure your safety and the maximum chances of success of the trip. 

Dates & prices

From To Price per person Guaranteed
€1,035.00 Ask for availability
€1,035.00 Ask for availability
€1,035.00 Ask for availability
€1,035.00 Ask for availability
€1,035.00 Ask for availability
€1,035.00 Ask for availability
€1,035.00 Ask for availability
€1,035.00 Ask for availability

Trip reference: AMR2

Price includes :
- The technical organization of the stay 
- 2 days of mountaineering with High Mountain guides
- 1 night accommodation (full board : all breakfasts, packed lunches and evening meals)
- Gornergrat train (needed for the normal program)
- The picnic - lunch  

Price does not include:
- All transports around the valley
- Flights
- Insurance : research costs, first aid and emergency costs and insurance costs of returning home by helicopter is mandatory in Switzerland by your contract.
- Individual equipment 
- Anything that is not mentioned in the "price includes" section.

To be paid on site :
- Drinks and personal expenses

We can offer you two options (to subscribe to our insurance is mandatory to be domiciled for tax purposes in Europe): 
- Cancellation Insurance- 3% of the price of your stay: for any accident or illness, dismissal or event occurring before your departure that could prevent you from caring out with the journey- Multi risk Insurance
- 4% of the price of your stay: it takes the "cancellation" above and covers you during your stay, it covers also research and rescue costs, as well as possible hospital coast and medical expenses. 
- Rapatriation assistance -2% of the price of your stay: assistance to persons in the event of illness or injury during the trip.

If you do not wish to subscribe on our insurance, you need to return us, mandatory, the discharging insurance sent to you with your registration confirmation.If you choose some other insurance and assistance company, please be so kind to verify that a part considering “Research and rescue by helicopter” is well adapted: coverage area, amount, risks covers.For information, a minimum of 15,000€ is recommended to cover Research assistance. Cards Credit offer little or not much of desirable guarantee. 


- collective equipment (ropes, carabiners, ...)
- slippers while in huts.

- Mountaineering boots that you can fit crampons onto (with rigid soles)
- A comfortable mountaineering backpack (40/50L)
- Ice axe, crampons, harness with locking carabiner, helmet 
- One or two collapsible walking poles (depending on what you are used to)
- A thermos water bottle (1.5L)
- A pair of gaiters
- A sheet-type for sleeping bag (there are blankets in the shelters).
- A small toiletry bag and a small towel fast drying (from specialized stores)
- A sunscreen (face and lips).
- A headlamp (LED type). tml
- A pocketknife. 
- Toilet paper + lighter.
- Two plastic bags (100 liters) to protect the backpack from rain. 
- A waterproof pouch/ carrier for your papers, money, phone, insurance / assistance contract, and all your numbers in case of emergency .

- Cap .
- Hat (or cap) for the sun 
- Snow Goggles (category 4)
- 1 pair of very warm mountain gloves 
- 1 pair of gloves in fleece or wool
- 1 extra safety pair of gloves (optional) 
- Breathable technical underwear
- Breathable Technical Sub-pull (carline, light fleece ...)
- Fleece jacket
- 1 windbreaker jacket and waterproof Gore-Tex
- 1 breathable technical sticky
- 1 cozy mountain pants
- 1 wind pants and waterproof Gore-Tex
- 2 pairs of socks, a thin pair and thick pair of socks
- A pair of gaiters
- A sheet (there are blankets refuge)
- 1 waterproof pouch for your money, your documents like identity card or passport, yours insurance contracts / assistance and emergency phone numbers

Find Zermatt rental stores on the website:

Before departure, it is important to have a good physical condition, corresponding to the requirements and activities of the program. Every day activity and the regular practice of a sport with elements of endurance is mandatory for high mountain activities.
This sport can be jogging, cycling, swimming or hiking. For information about the levels of difficulty for our holidays, check the "Evaluate your abilities" sight.
Training tips, however to confirm with your doctor: six months before departure plan to make 1-2 endurance training sessions during the year at least 3 times per week, a hike during  weekends - at least 6 hours with a positive elevation of 400 m / hour over 3 hours. Three months before departure 2 to 3 sessions endurance training per week and increase the walking time during the weekends to 7:00 - 8:00 hours.
Consider also prepare your acclimatization. 
Thank you for informing the agency about your medical conditions and particularity concerning your health: food allergies, diabetes, heart and vascular accidents you might had have, asthma, etc....

The summit of Monte Rosa peaks at 4634 m. This altitude requires prior acclimatization. The ideal would be to provide 4 to 8 days and to clime gradually between 2500 m and 3500. Avoid the brutal climbs above 4000 m; they can cause acute mountain sickness. A good acclimatization will help you feel ready for the efforts in front of you on the day of the climb.
ARPE (Association for Research the Environmental Physiology) has published a booklet entitled "Health and Altitude " in collaboration with the French Federation of mountain climbing and with the help of the National Ski and Mountaineering School. 
You'll find advice to prepare your departure, the recommendations during your stay on high altitudes and the useful addresses if you want a medical consultation before your climb.
The A.R.P.E - 74 rue Marcel Cachin - 93017 Bobigny

You can also get valuable information from IFREMMONT institute related to training and medicine research about mountain activities. These doctors are based in Chamonix and they are considered as experts for altitude.

Adaptation of the body to cold and altitude
During your stay in the mountains, where there so far any medical indications related to the altitude and cold weather? It important to answer to this question and we highly recommend you to consult with your physician. We can distinguish two types of stay: one below 1.500 m (accommodation and sport activities), and the one beyond that altitude. Medical side effects/contraindications may occur for a stay beyond 1,500 meters, except in exceptional cases even o the lower altitudes.
Medical side effects/contraindications during your stay in the mountains may appear in the following forms:
- Cardiac
Medical side effects, mainly related to the altitude: heart attacks, serious heart failure/ insufficiency, coronary illness, in general all sort of heart diseases. Please be cautious if you had any kind of heart diseases before; no matter where they were stabilized by treatment they may evolve despite the treatment. 
Mainly due to the effect of altitude, related to reduced amount of oxygen - hypoxia, body reaction called “polycythemia". 
- Vascular 
People who have had a stroke recently or ones who are at increased risk of a stroke cannot stay on these altitudes. Those who have had strokes before controlled, treated and followed should seek medical advice before they get to these heights.
Due to oxygen deficit in relation to altitude!
- Respiratory
Respiratory problems may have temporary or relative side effects temporary depending on the severity thereof; those who have problems with asthma have to be careful because of the cold and dry mountain air.
- Neurological
Epileptics and those with problems related to the balance cannot stay in high altitudes. Those taking treatments, and those who did not have a major crisis for a long time, must adjust their treatment because opportunities for new relapse related to the increased activity, stress and hyperventilation created by the altitude. 
- Dermatological :
People sensitive to cold or strong sun and those who have skin diseases should consult their doctor or specialist primarily living for high altitudes should protect themselves before any significant sport activity at certain heights specially if sanding in the cold.
- Pregnancy
You should consult with your specialist. Exposure to winter activities depends on the stage and progress of your pregnancy and medical history.
- Other side effects
For osteoarthritis, recent trauma, poorly controlled diabetes, uncontrolled hypertension, recent illness requiring any monitoring or treatment you should consult with your doctor!

- The effects of altitude on the body: 
Altitude results in a decrease in atmospheric pressures. This reduction has a direct impact on the amount of oxygen available for the human body. Under these conditions, altitude causes oxygen deprivation forcing the human body to adapt on higher ventilation from the normal one (hyperventilation) forcing the red blood cells creating what called polycythemia. 
Furthermore, the direct effect of the increase breathing, on the organism, is increased heart rate, called tachycardia. 
The oxygen decrease is proportional to the altitude.
Your oxygen ventilation rates at sea level "100". On altitude of 1,000 meters, it will rate 88%, and 78% on 2,000 meters, 69% on 3,000 meters, 60% up to 4,000 meters.

The direct effect on humans is a relative decrease in what we call VO2max. Its effects are still negative on the body, at least at first, but slowly adapting to the height allows a number of athletes to prepare for competitions at sea level due to this polycythemia (increased red blood cell), which allows to recover for a short time a "natural doping" of the human body.

How to fight against the harmful effects of altitude?
A priori in France, there are no sufficiently high altitude to cause serious and urgent problems of acute mountain sickness. However, the only solution, in case of emergency is to descend the person, as soon as possible, to lower heights. In case of urgency, it is done by helicopter, but in normal circumstances, one may descend quickly by car or train.

Conclusion :
The effects of altitude are taken into consideration, but the pleasure of ski touring in the mountains during the holidays the benefits go beyond the deficiencies.
You may suffer unknowingly from some disadvantage, however, only the pulmonary edema or brain edema remains a serious potential danger that may lead to death. It only takes to descend to lower heights. A hyperbaric chamber is also a solution!
If case of any doubt, consult your doctor before your holiday, if not for yourself but for the sake of your children, children are more susceptible to altitude sickness.

Source: article by Dr. P. Bacquaert on the medical information website athletes and sports professionals and health:

Your guide has a first aid kit. In consultation with your doctor, prepare your personal pharmacy according to your medical profile and the nature of the intended stay.
Individual pharmacy: 
- An analgesic (avoid aspirin). 
- An anti-inflammatory drugs (tablets and gel).
- A broad-spectrum antibiotic. 
- An antispasmodic, antidiarrheal, antiseptic intestinal, an anti-vomiting
- And double skin dressings, compresses, tapes adhesive
- An antiseptic.
- Sunscreen and Biafine.
- Coated tablets to purify water (type Aquatabs).  Bottle of water is very expensive in heights and on the mountains (up to 8 euros a bottle!).
- In addition: eye drops, tweezers, light tranquilizers and sleeping pills and / or earplugs, tonic for veins (against heavy legs)
- Personal medication.
Take a few pills  from each package of medication, do not need to carry a box of each drug. The guide will also have a pharmacy first aid kit.

Practical information

Please contact your ambassy to check the passports and visas rules to come to France.

This trip is supervised by a qualified High Mountain Guide whose main objective is to train you in basics technics and to enable you to complete a safe and successful ascent of Mont Blanc.

On two nights you will stay in mountains refuges which have mixed, shared, dormitory style accommodation but provide mattresses, pillows, blankets and even slippers. Toilet and washing facilities are basic.

During the training and the climb, you will carry your own personal equipment and packed lunches, plus communal equipment (first aid kid, safety items, etc...) will be distributed among the group members. Your guide will check your backpack and help you to keep it under 10 kg.

Meals :Your breakfasts and evening meals will be traditional and copious prepared  by refuges' keepers. 
Lunches : packed lunches. Drinks : Water is very expensive in refuges.

In the Mont Blanc massif, the weather can change very brutally : the wind can suddenly blow very hardly and the snow can fall abundantly until low in the valley, even in full summer. That is why we do our best to anticipate the evolutions of weather reports and if it is necessary we adapt our programs the weather conditions.

For this trip, you must be fit : you can train with other sports such like running, cycling, swimming or sportive walk. To have a reasonable chance of success a high degree of fitness and stamina, and some previous experience of altitude is highly recommended. For more information about our trips' levels, please go to the "Level" section of our website.

In mountain, you will often see water, but be careful, it is not always drinking water ! Ask your guide's advice before drinking, and keep with you pills to cleanse it.

The summit of the Mont Blanc is at almost 5000m. This height requires a preliminary acclimatization. The ideal is to plan 4 to 8 days to rise gradually between 2500 m and 3500m. Avoid the rough ascents (higher than 4000m, they can provoke Acute Muountain Sickness). A good acclimatization will really change improve your chances of success.

IGN sheets 1:25000- 3531 ET St Gervais- 3630 OT Chamonix