Overviewgeographical classification: Western Alps > Pennine Alps > Monte Rosa Group > Parrotspitze
The Parrotspitze is the 12th highest peak of the alps. Nevertheless it is only a minor peak compared to the four main peaks of Monte Rosa. It is situated south of Signalkuppe/Punta Gnifetti at the very end of the Grenzgletscher glacier. It can be seen well from the famous viewpoint Gornergrat.
Most visitors take the Parrotspitze as an additional summit on their way to the Signalkuppe. If you are a peakbagger, then Parrotspitze, Ludwigshöhe, Corno Nero and Piramide Vincent (perhaps also Balmenhorn, if you should think, this is a mountain) are very easy to gain 4000 m-peaks during the Traverse Vincent Piramide - Signalkuppe. Especially in August (holiday season in Italy) you can meet every day with fine weather hundreds of people on the main route to the Signalkuppe. On the Parrotspitze you have at least a chance to be alone for some minutes.
First ascent: guides Melchior Anderegg and Peter Perren with tourists R.S. Macdonald, F.C. Crove and M. Woodmass, August 16th 1863.
For more Overview Information, please read the Monte Rosa Page
routesThere are two easy possiblities to reach the summit, so a traverse during the ascent to the Signalkuppe is a nice possibility.
a) from the west. If you go on the normal path from the Gnifetti hut to the Signalkuppe, you pass the italien-swiss border not exactly in the Lisjoch, but a little east in a height of 4246 m. There you leave the main route. From the plateau between Ludwigshöhe and Parrotspitze (Piodejoch, 4283 m, no name in the swiss map) you climb up to the west ridge which leads, a little bit exposed, to the summit. (30 min, 3 h from the Gnifetti hut). Sometimes the track follows the ridge in total that falls down from the summit to the main track to Signalkuppe.
b) From north-east. The saddle between Signalkuppe and Parrotspitze (Seser Joch, 4296 m) can easily be reached from the main Route. Following the NE-ridge to the summit.
For a trained climber, the north west face (200 m height, 50°) is perhaps an interesting training. You will have many spectators...
Getting There and hutsAs Parrotspitze is very near to the Signalkuppe, you can also refer to the Signalkuppe Page
or the Vincent Piramide Page
Starting point for the normal route from south is Alagna (1190 m) in the valley "Valle della Sesia".
a) You get there on the autoroute Nr. 26 about 30 km southwest of Lago Maggiore. (A friend of mine once drove into the wrong valley and lost a whole day)
b) You reach Alagna by car on the road no. E62 from Brig via Simplonpass. You turn off at Ornavasso (near the Lago Maggiore) and follow the small route to the S via Omegna. Here turn right and drive along the western side of the Lago d. Orta to Orgosésia. In Borgosésia you take the road to the N and reach Alagna via Varallo and Scopello.
c) You reach Borgosésia also from the S from Torino on the A4 till. Turn off with direction to the N to Gattinara and Borgosésia.
In addition to the Capanna Gnifetti (3611 m) there is the Rifugio Citta di Mantova (3498 m), 45 min below the Capanna Gnifetti. It is not so huge and a nicer place to stay.
You reach both huts from Punta Indren, 3260 m (cable car from Alagna), in 45 min Rif. Città di Mantova and in further 45 min Capanna Gnifetti.
If you are a real sportsman it's 7 h from Alagna (2420hm). In the lower part, it is a marked way (no. 5). The traverse of the glacier is not marked.
You reach Punta Indren on the marked hiking way no. 5 from Alagna via Dosso (1357m). You go to the Alpe Oltu (1847m, cable car station, 1,5 h) and further in the Valle d'Olen up. You go along the Sasso del Diavolo and reach almost Colle d'Olen, wher you turn right to the Vigevano-hut (3 h). You go further along Passo Salati (2936m) to the ridge-crest and traverse Stolemberg. Over the side of the Indrenglacier, you reach the station (1 1/4 h, totally 6 h)
From Punta Indren, you traverse the ski-run, slowly going up on the Indrenglacier till you reach the outstanding rock band above which the Mantova-hut is situated (yellow-red signs). You climb up the rock steps (fixed ropes). From the hut, you go up over the E-side of the Lysglacier to the N and at the end over rocks to the Gnifetti-hut.
You can reach the Gnifetti hut also from Gressoney in 6-7 h (1800hm). The lower part is a marked way (no. 6). Lift to Alpe Gabiet (1270 hm, 4,5 h). In the upper part: easy glacier walk.
the cablecar to Punta Indren from Alagna is closed since summer 2007. You can only reach Passo dei Salati (2936 m) either from Gressoney or from Alagna with mechanical help.
the other side...of the mountain is the huge SE face on Valsesia side.
On this face there are some old-fashioned (almost forgotten) routes requiring skills and adequate training (up to 1000m drop from the Huts) :
A) starting point: Rif. Gugliermina (3212 m) (was Valsesia)
- 1) W spur of S wall - 600m (via degli Alpini - 1940) - D/TD - heard about a strong route
- 2) S wall - (Antonioli-Della Giulia-Barchetto-Giossani - 1940) -D/TD
- 3) S wall and ESE spur - 800m (via degli Italiani - 1906) - PD/AD (better to do early in summer because more snow makes it easier and safer) - a worthful climb !!!
B) starting point: Rif.Barba Ferrero (2250 m)
- E ridge (via degli Inglesi - 1862) - PD/AD loooooooooong !!
some other routes and variants .... forgotten
(thanks for this section to gabriele.roth)
Red TapeNo limitations in climbing. There is of course the fee for the cablecar from Alagna
Maps and books(thanks for contributions to Rahel)
Schweizer Landeskarten, available at swisstopo
1:25000 no. 1348 Zermatt (best map, but it ends with the summit to the south)
1:50000 no. 294 Gressoney (shows the terrain on the italian side in swiss quality, but the content is not renewed since 1961. So for example the newer Mantova hut is not shown)
1:50000 no. 5006 Matterhorn-Mischabel (useful for a holiday in Zermatt)
1:50000 no. 284 Mischabel
interactive swiss online map for Parrotspitze
1:25000 IGC Monte Rosa - Macugnaga - gressoney, can be ordered at DAV Service
Hermann Biner, Hochtouren im Wallis. Vom Trient zum Nufenenpass. 2nd ed. 1996.
Helmut Dumler/Willi P. Burkhardt, The High Mountains of the Alps. 1994. (to order at amazon.com)
Helmut Dumler/Willi P. Burkhardt, Viertausender der Alpen. 11th ed. Munich 1998.
Michael Waeber, Walliser Alpen. DAV-Gebietsführer. 12th ed. Munich 1999.
Michel Vaucher, Walliser Alpen. Die 100 schönsten Touren. 2nd ed. Munich 1990.
The Alpine 4000m Peaks by the Classic Routes by Richard Goedeke, Menasha Ridge Pr; ISBN: 0897321111
- Monte Rosa - 10 4000ers in 1 week!
- Parrotspitze at www.4000er.de
Images, routes, coordinates and more information about the highest peaks of the Alps