We were seriously prepared to make the traverse over Dufourspitze and on to Zumsteinspitze and further on to the Monte Rosa Traverse.
Camped at the 4300 m on the glacier and started early the next morning.
Wind was really strong and the snow conditions a bit difficult and restraining. The snow pack had a 2-3 cm ice coating which did not support your weight. Instead you punged through the knee deep wet snow.
The rocky ridge was as beautiful as before and we made it to the top in pretty good time.
The ridge down towards Zumsteinspitze was coated with a thick pack of loose snow. After trying it out for a while we decided that it would take us too much time to descend and then make it to the Margerita Hut.
So we descended the couloir from the summit of Dufourspitze to the Silbersattel and set our camp there. The highest camping I've done in the Alps and what a setting!
Long and cold climb (on skis). Fierce winds on the summit ridge almost nixed it, but we battled through and made it. One 10m section of fixed ropes just before the summit, other than that just some scrambling. Really amazing ski down in about 30cm fresh to the hut, really ardouraous walk carrying skis all the way down to Zermatt, as the snow cut out at the end of the Gorneglaciar. Great climb!
Here is a great alternative to the very long normal route to the summit of Monte Rosa: take a helicopter most of the way and then save your endurance for the final ridge and the long descent back to town!
I had come to Zermatt with my sons to climb the Matterhorn. We reached the summit via the Hörnli ridge on Aug. 10, 2004 and just rested from the previous exhausting climb for the next 3 days. My sons had achieved their objective so I was unable to convince them to embark on another long trek up the normal route (via the Monte Rosa hut) to the Dufourspitze . Our local guide suggested the following compromise: a helicopter ride (provided by Air Zermatt) until to the Monte Rosa saddle, and then the use of our legs for the rest of the climb. It sounded like a great idea because in that way we would save a lot of energy and the cost of the overnight stay at the hut. Those savings, however, were outbalanced by the extra cost of the helicopter flight.
Therefore, on the last morning of our fortnight stay we woke up in the cozy beds at our pension and met the guide at the Helipad in town [alt. 1620m] at 8:00. It was a gorgeous, clear and hot summer day in the valley but higher up it was quite a different situation. The helicopter took us in less than 15 minutes to 4100m where it was cold and very windy. Fortunately we had taken appropriate clothing and extra wind protection in our backpacks. The ridge which leads to the summit was quite easy when compared to the Hörnli ridge. We arrived at the Dufourspitze [alt. 4634m] at 10:30 and enjoyed the spectacular views in all directions.
We were able to fully enjoy the dramatic seracs and other glacial formations on our descent on foot because we had not expended as much energy on the climb due to the helicopter ride. We arrived at 14:30 at the Monte Rosa hut [2795m] and had a very leisurely lunch. Finally we proceeded to the glacier crossings (Grenzgletscher and Gornergletscher) and up the steep hiking trail to the Rotenboden station (of the Gornergrat train) where we arrived at 19:00. It was a long but unforgettable last day for a memorable stay in Zermatt.
Climbed solo. Began at 01:00, I was the second party to get underway. Heavy snow year kept route closed till the previous week, but today the tracks in the snow were deep and obvious. Saw a fantastic sunrise over the Alps; bit tricky getting past the bergschrund and onto the summit ridge rock. Alone at the top for over 1 hour, then down the glacier all the time thinking "I'm crazy for doing this by myself -in the dark!"
The longest and one of the nicest climbs I have done. Nice rocky part just before the top! Very good view at the surrounding area, including Matterhorn.
Climbed with Sonya Burgers and guide Klaus Tsherrig from Zermatt - beautiful sunrise and spectacular climb! Klaus was great - highly recommended.
A long day starting in the Marguerita hut at 8 AM and ending in Zermatt at 7:30 PM. Took us 25 minutes from Marguerita hut to the summit of Zumsteinspitze and then an addtional 3 hours to reach the top of Dufourspitze. A very beautiful ridge traverse. From there, 4 hours down to the Monte Rosa hut and an additional 2.5 hour and two glaciers to the Rotenboden train station. From there a half and hour ride to Zermatt.
What a crummy day. The weather had been bad in the afternoon but halfway decent the previous morning. I had thouht the same would happen on my summit day. It didnt, we got caught in some bad weather up high but managed to make it down. The snow was still questionable, we were up to our knees at times. I even punched through on the glacier. A stressful and non productive day, didnt make the summit.
Do it from Monte rosa hutte up and down, Great weather, great climb!
Spent almost the whole week on the glacier at Scholle and summitted the Dufourspitze on wednesday, the 20th august.
During the week experienced quite a rough thunderstorms by nights and awesome sunny days.
Due to bad conditions on Täschhorn - Dom - Traverse, my friends Anton, Albert and Albrecht returned to Germany, so that we did not try it this year. Instead I called some other friends from the German Alpine Club in Ulm, who just came down from Grand Combin. Within 2 hours we decided to make this traverse, although we all do not like glacier walking, which is the main part of the whole trip, if you want to make the Monte-Rosa-traverse.
Finally, Wolfgang, Andreas, Michael and I climbed this traverse Signalkuppe - Zumsteinspitze - Dufourspitze on a very sunny day and with best rockclimbing conditions. Wolfgang and I climbed without using any rope.
We started the whole trip from Monte-Rosa-Hut, climbed Grenzglacier up to Rif. Magherita and returned to Monte-Rosa-Hut after the traverse. All glaciers had very big crevasses.
I finished my last summit of the Monte Rosa Massif and this highest swiss mountain on the swiss national day. Conne, Oli and I had perfect weather: warm, no wind, no clouds, only few people at the top and a perfect panorama from Mont Blanc to the cities of nothern Italy. During the very long way down (more than 3000 m) we climbed Parrotspitze in addition and descended to the Gressoney valley.
We came from our campsite on the Grenzgletscher (at 4000) under Rif. Margherita and over the Zumsteinspitze we climbed the Dufour. Beautiful ridge with breathtaking views to both sides. We descended the Normal route to the saddle (at approx. 4500) and then we decided for W-face (40-50°) which was the easiest way how to get to our tent, but not very safe, especially in the sunny afternoon. Moreover, the Grenzgletscher is full of crevasses, so it was difficult to find the way on the plateau.
After our victory on Lyskamm we slept in RIf.Margerita and went over the Zumsteinspitze and Dufour back to our bivac. Briljant tour, not very difficult III but very good view (deeeeeeeeeep) on both sides of the ridge.
It was great to climb Dufourspitze with my old friends Helena and Paulo Coelho (Brazil) and Raffaello Martinaglia (Switzerland).
It was only a pity that Ozzi, Klaus and Annette Sartori (Germany) were not with us... the other pity was the weather, that disturbed a bit our plans. The main one was to attempt the Matterhorn...
Andrea Mattos (Brazil, but living in Germany)
great climb together with Norbert and Martin
Rolf, Thomas, Steve and I made it within 60 vertical meters of the summit before I felt nauseous and had to stop. The ski up had gone swimmingly and we had passed many of the skiers whom had started in the early hours. We had to overtake a string of 8 climbers while their guides fixed ropes on the final ridge. It was very popular that day and provided the altitude we sought after in training for the Patrouille des Glacier the next week.
We worked well as a team, despite some bad luck with weather and enjoyed the ski out towards Saas Fee knocking off Strahlenhorn en route.
Great friends in great mountains! Can one ask for anything more?
I arrived in Zermatt after travelling on foot from Chamonix via the well know Haute Route. It was my intention to climb the Matterhorn, but arrived to find it still covered with quite a bit of snow. There had been three deaths the previous week and icy conditions on the Hornli Ridge made for slim chances for success. So after much debate, I decided to attempt Monte Rosa instead.
I had planned to climb with Francis Kelsey, but he unfortunately came down with a stomach virus and wasn't in any condition to climb. At this point I only had 3 days left in Europe, so we went to the Guides' Office, hoping to find me a last minute partner. Luckily, there were some available guides already at the Monte Rosa Hut, so I headed immediately to the Gornergrat rail station.
After taking the train to Rotenboden station, I hiked down onto the glacier and followed the well-marked route across. There were some pretty large crevasses to cross. I then climbed the rocks up to the hut and enjoyed the fixed handrails on the smooth slab sections. On reaching the hut, I talked with a father-son team from Switzerland, who would also be climbing the next day.
At dinner, I met my guide, Harry, but later was passed off to another guide, Iwan, since Harry had business to attend to in Zermatt. I slept pretty well. We left for the summit at 2:45 AM. Once on the glacier, I was surprised by how gradual the slope was. After 1500 m of easy climbing, we reached the saddle just below the West Ridge of the Dufourspitze. Here the slope steepened significantly to about 40 degrees. The next 300 m of climbing were quite interesting with some nice sections of steep rock. We reached the summit block at 8 AM and paused for snacks and to enjoy the view. Mont Blanc, where I had been some 3 weeks earlier, was clearly visible.
We made the descent back to the hut in about 2 1/2 hrs, where I took about an hour to relax and rehydrate before heading back to the train. The walk back to Rotenboden took about 2 hrs and wasn't as bad as I expected. I really enjoyed the climb, since it requires lots of endurance and has some tricky sections near the summit. Lots of other nice peaks all around, so there will definitely be a return trip in the near future.
with ski on the normal route
Every summer since 1995 I failed to reach the peak. The reasons were all stupid like wrong girlfriend, too early in the season, too windy or lack of guts.
In July 1999 I stood up 2:00 AM at the Monte Rosa hütte, 2795m, after two hours sleep. We left at 3:00 AM with maybe 20 other climbers. It was 0 celcius, starlight and I felt good. We reached the Monte Rosa-glacier at 4:10 and a half hour later we could turn off the headlight. At 4.100 meter it was damned cold - I guess 15 C below zero. I had to dress up with all kind of extra clothes. From 4500 meter the easy climbing started, easy but airy. Three climbers drop dead here few years ago. The 800 meter long ridge look like the tail to a sleeping Stegosaurus. Then my guide stop walking: - This is the very peak, he said. We reached Dufourspitze at 8:30 AM. The sun had made everything better and I could go back to my new girlfriend in Norway and start a family.