Monte Rosa Gressoney, Valle d'Aosta, Italy

Trekking the Tour de Monte Rosa

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Trip code: 
TDL
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Point-to-point Trips
Min age:
18
Group size:
4–12

Circumnavigate Monte Rosa along some of the most spectacular pathways that the Swiss and Italian Alps have to offer.

One of the finest long distance treks throughout the Alps, the Tour de Monte Rosa offers jagged peaks, dramatic glaciers and impressive high mountain passes. Stretching 162.5km and circumnavigating the second highest peak in Western Europe, this challenging route traverses some of the most spectacular pathways that the Swiss and Italian Alps have to offer. For the finale we cross the sparkling Theodul glacier before heading to our end point; the alpine resort of Zermatt to celebrate the success of this magnificent trek.

Highlights

  • Western Europe's second highest mountain
  • Swiss and Italian mountain culture
  • The high valley of Gressoney
  • The impressive Theodul glacier pass

Key information

  • 5 nights hotel and 5 nights mountain refuge
  • 9 days challenging point to point walking
  • Backpacking; with steep ascents/descents
  • Altitude maximum 3,317m, average 2,000m
  • Group normally 4 to 12, plus leader

What's included

  • All meals
  • All accomodation (see accommodation section)
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Luggage transfer from Täsch D1 to Saas Grund D4,
  • The transfer by public bus from Saas Grund to Mattmark Dam

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single supplement
  • Visa's and vaccinations
  • Drinks
  • Optional cable car

9

Terrain:

Rocky terrain with some steep ascents and descents

Day by day breakdown
Day 212.0km/7.0miles
Day 315.0km/9.0miles
Day 418.0km/11.0miles
Day 513.0km/8.0miles
Day 616.0km/9.0miles
Day 719.0km/11.0miles
Day 815.0km/9.0miles
Day 920.0km/12.0miles
Day 1013.0km/8.0miles

Itinerary

Täsch
to
Zermatt
  • Day 1

    Arrival transfer to Tash.Tour briefing in the evening.

    Our start point is a comfortable 3-star hotel in Täsch, situated in the heart of the Mattertal Valley, very near to Zermatt. The valley is surrounded by some of the most impressive summits of Valais.

    In the evening our guide will hold a welcome meeting to discuss the week ahead, give advice and answer any questions. This evening we can lighten our load, pack a small lightweight bag and this will be transported to Saas Grund, we will be reunited with our bag on day 4.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Trek along the Europaweg to Europa Hutte.

    We begin by heading uphill to Blasboden, before reaching Eggenstadel where the route takes us to the extraordinary Europaweg. This high-level balcony path contours along the Zermatt Valley with stunning views of the white summits of Mattertal until we reach Europa Hütte.

    *The Eggenstadel path may be closed due to rock falls. If this happens, it is possible to descend to Randa by train (or by foot), and then hike directly up to the Europa Hütte.

    6 hours walking,12km/ 7.5mi, +1,254 m elevation gain, - 390m of descent.
    Mountain Refuge

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Continue on the Europaweg, cross the Grathorn pass (2,320m), before reaching Grachen.

    Today’s route continues along the Europaweg. The trail traverses the mountain side and is protected by ropes and tunnels up to 2,630m high. After reaching the Grathorn Pass (2,320 m), we will hike along the bottom of the Ried Glacier and arrive in Grächen (1,620m).

    7 to 8 hours walking, 15.3km/ 9.5mi, +691m elevation gain, - 1,348m of descent.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Follow high trails leading to Saas Grund.

    We start by trekking up the Hannigalp pasture (2,122 m) before continuing to the high trail that follows the bottom of the summits Seetalhorn, Lanmenhorn and Balfrin (3,796m). The route reaches Saas Grund after a fantastic day of trekking.

    *It is possible to shorten the hike by taking the Hannigalp cable car (not included in the price). It shortens the climb by 1h30 (3.2km) and a 500m elevation gain. If the rest of the group does not wish to take the cable car you will need to wait for them at the top.

    This evening you will receive the luggage which you left in Täsch. From now on you will be carrying all your belongings.

    7 to 8 hours walking, 18.8km/ 12mi, +1,331m elevation gain, -1,437m of descent.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Transfer to Lake Mattmark; Walk to Macungnaga via the Monte Moro Pass.

    Today starts with a short transfer, taking a public bus to Mattmark Lake at 2,200m.

    The path takes us to the Monte Moro Pass. The atmosphere becomes more and more alpine as we progress through the climb. At the top of the climb we cross the pass, a golden statue of Marie marks the border with Italy. We descend until Macugnaga (1,320 m) below one of the most impressive cliffs of the Alps, the north east face of the Norden Peak (4,609m).

    6 to 7 hours walking, 13km/ 8mi, +740m elevation gain, -1,605m descent.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Walk to Pastore Refuge by the Turlo Pass, and Alagna Valley

    The trail continues up through the Quarazza Valley until the high pasture chalet of Piana (1,613 m). The path then climbs up to the treeline on the Schena pasture (2,037m) to reach Lanti bivouac (an Italian Alpine Club). The route finally takes us up into a series of switchbacks to the Turlo Pass where we discover the Alagna Valley on the other side. The descent above the Turlo Lakes reaches Grafenboden pasture (2,200m) before it continues on to the Faller pasture, and ends at our refuge for the night.

    7.5 to 8 hours walking, 16km/ 10mi, +1,490m elevation gain, -1,300m of descent.
    Mountain Refuge

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Walk to Gabiet Refuge; cross the Ollen Pass before discovering the high valley of Gressoney.

    We ascend through Bors pasture, on to Balma pasture at 2,207m, before crossing the green meadow of Boccheta delle Pisse (2,396m). The trail descends to 2,200m, before taking us up in the ‘closed’ valley of Rothone and Genshhore where the Ollen Pass enables us to continue our journey. Behind the Ollen Pass, we discover the high valley of Gressoney, arguably one of the most beautiful landscapes of the Aosta Valley, found right below the Monte Rosa.

    7.5 to 8 hours walking, 19.7km/ 12mi, +1,760m elevation gain, -600m of descent.
    Mountain Refuge

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Hike to Ferraro Refuge (Resy), via the Bettaforca Pass.

    This morning we descend until Stafal (1,825m), on the top of the Gressoney valley. It is the starting point of the climb to the Bettaforca Pass (2,672m) through Sitte and Bätt pastures and the wonderful panoramic views of the Lys Valley and the Lyskamm/Monte Rosa glaciers await.

    We follow the path and descend on the Fourcare “combe” until the mountain hamlet of Resy.

    7 to 8 hours walking, 15.8km/ 9.8mi, +980m elevation gain, -1,180m of descent.
    Mountain refuge

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    Trek across the Cima Bianche High Pass (2,982m); continue to Théodulo Refuge (3,317 m).

    The trail starts with a descent into the St Jacques Valley and continues uphill on a long ascent through the Aventince and Mase pasture up to the Cima Bianche, with an astonishing view of the iconic Matterhorn. The path heads towards the small lake of Cima Bianche, above the ski resort of Brueil Cervinia, and continues steeply upward to Théodulo refuge, on the Swiss-Italian border, right next to the glacier.

    7 to 8 hours walking, 19.9km/ 12mi, +1,730m elevation gain, -430m of descent.
    Mountain Refuge

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    Cross the spectacular Theodule Glacier Pass; trek finishes in Zermatt or Tasch.

    Today we set off early to meet a local Italian high mountain guide to descend on the Theodule Glacier Pass (he joins us just for this section only). Here we experience a fantastic atmosphere surrounded by 4,000m high peaks including the Matterhorn and the Dent Blanche. We will be walking on ice, however this is not particularly technical. Walking poles and lightweight trail crampons are advisable and can be hired for 10EUR payable locally. We descend further on the Furi pasture and finally reach Zermatt (1,650m).

    Our final evening will be spent in Zermatt or Täsch depending on accommodation availability. Here we will be able to have a celebratory drink and toast our success at completing the trek.

    5 hours walking, 13km/ 8mi, -1,800m of descent.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    End

    End of the tour after breakfast.

    Meals included: Breakfast

Essential Info

Visas

Switzerland

No visa required for British passport holders.

Italy

No visa required for British passport holders.
Please note in Italy it is compulsory to carry ID with you at all times.

Vaccinations

Switzerland

There are no specific health risks.

Italy

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All meals included

Each morning you will be provided with a continental breakfast before you set off for the day. Your picnic lunch will be prepared by your guide in the morning and divided among the group.You will need to carry your own lunch. Evening meals will be at the hotel/refuge in which you are staying or in a nearby restaurant. Please note dinners will be carbohydrate heavy.

If notified in advance, we can cater for specific diets (vegetarian, gluten free, etc.).

Weather

From late June to early October fair weather is to be expected, but all mountain ranges create their own weather patterns and the Alps are no exception. It can and does rain and especially on the high passes it can be surprisingly cold at times. Expected daytime temperatures are in the range of 15 to 25§C in the valleys (although it can sometimes reach 30§C in July/August), 5 to 15§C on the passes (though it will feel colder if wet and windy) and 5 to 15§C in the valleys at night; possibly a little lower early and late in the season. There is always the possibility of lying snow, especially in the early season, and snowfall even in August and September when we may find new snow on the passes. Please note that on late season treks (September) the days are shorter and we will need to make early starts to make the most of the available daylight hours.

Is this trip for you?

Activity level 6 Challenging/Tough - 9 days walking

This trek is graded as Challenging/Tough as it involves backpacking and some long days. You will have to carry your own gear with you (there is no vehicle support), but this need not weigh more than 8 to 10 kilos if you pack carefully. You will be able to lighten your load for the first few days as one luggage transfer is provided transporting your luggage from Täsch (day 1) to Saas Grund (day 4).

Most of the days are long, quite often involving an ascent of 740m - 1,760m (2,500-5,800 feet), equivalent to 3 to 5 hours walking uphill, followed by a similar descent. On average you will be walking for 7 hours a day. Although the paths are well maintained there are sections that are steep and rough underfoot. Some sections of this itinerary may prove difficult for those who suffer from server vertigo. Part of the Europaweg, a high level route that traverses and contours between Grächen and Zermatt, has steep drops.

We recommend that you make a special effort to get in good physical condition for the trip. Experience of point to point treks is essential.

As this is a group holiday you need to be confident that your fitness will allow you to enjoyably walk at a consistent and steady pace that matches the group average, therefore allowing the group to finish the day at a reasonable time. You will also enjoy the trek a great deal more if your fitness allows you to walk the route in relative ease.

Our leaders will assess the group's fitness and ability over the first couple of days and, as per our booking conditions, they may ask people who are not fit enough for the trek to complete certain sections by public transport or taxi (at your own cost). This is to ensure the safety and enjoyment of every participant.

You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference: http://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/pdf/Exodus_WT_Fitness_Training_Guide.pdf

Accommodation

5 nights Gites/mountains huts, 5 nights Hotels.

We use 2 and 3-star hotels for 5 nights of the trip. Most of the hotels are in stunning locations and culturally represent the countries and environment they are in. These hotels are a vital source of income to the local community. All are clean, well run and set up with the needs of the trekker in mind. Couples will always have their own room but we cannot guarantee whether this will be twin or double.

5 nights are spent in mountain refuges where you will sleep in bunk beds in dormitory style rooms, so please be prepared to share with other members of the same sex. The facilities can be quite simple but cosy.

A single supplement is available only at the hotels for 5 nights, in Täsch, Grächen, Saas Grund, Macugnaga and Zermatt. Available on request (limited availability) please enquire for details.

Additional Acccommodation

If you require any additional accommodation either before or after the trip, we can book this for you (subject to availability). Please notify us at the time of booking.

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Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Call us on 0208 772 3936