Hike 4000m peaks across the Swiss and Italian Alps. You'll go from hut-to-hut learning vital skills to move safely through glacial alpine terrain.
Book confidently, knowing that if your trip is cancelled, you’ll be offered a full refund.
You can also opt for a free date change at any point up to 24 hours before your trip, if Government restrictions prevent you from travelling*.
You'll meet your guide, and the rest of the team in Zermatt at 9 am for a safety briefing and equipment check. You'll then take the cable car up to Trocknersteg, where you'll begin your glacier training or "Ecole de glace". Your guide will literally show you the ropes, as you go over vital mountaineering skills such as; crampon use (spikes on your feet), ice axes and the rope work.
In the morning you'll take the cable car to the start of your hike. From here, you'll put your mountaineering skills into good practise with an ascent of the Breithorn (4164m). In the afternoon, traverse across the glacier to the Val d’Ayas hut. This is your home for the night and perched on the side of a wonderful alpine glacier.
Continuing your circuit you'll descend across the Italian border into Stafal. Be sure to have your camera at the ready, for this stunning terrain. This gives an opportunity to refuel at the restaurant before your ascent to the Refugio Grabiet Hut.
In the morning you'll hike well above the snow line to the Gnifetti Refuge. This remote mountain hut boasts some of the most spectacular views overlooking the Italian and Swiss Alps. In the afternoon you'll have the option of ascending Pyramid Vincent (4215m). If you prefer, you can spend some time relaxing in the hut.
After a hearty breakfast, you'll head for the summit pass of Lisjoch. You'll then put those Glacier crossing skills to the test as you weave through the crevices of the Grenz glacier down to the Monte Rosa hut - this is used as a base for the ascent of the tallest mountain in Switzerland.
Today is all about the return to Zermatt. We can have a leisurely breakfast in the hut before descending to the Rotenboden train station. This allows us to catch the traditional train back to Zermatt for celebrations. It is possible to fly out that evening or enjoy another evening in Zermatt.
Start: You'll meet your guide in the main square of Zermatt at 9 am on day 1 of your itinerary.
End: You'll end your trip in the main square of Zermatt at 2 pm on day 6 of your itinerary.
This trip is aimed at beginners with a reasonable level of fitness. You'll be taught all the skills you need. Anyone with basic hillwalking experience will enjoy this trip. Most days are equivalent to a good day hill walking but in more inspiring terrain and with a little more height. Each day has plenty of time to complete the objectives in and you will not be in any rush.
• Mountaineering boots (B2 rated)
• Backpack 30L or similar
• Harness (available to rent)
• Slings or daisy-chain (available to rent)
• Screw carabiner (available to rent)
• Ice-axe (available to rent)
• Crampons (available to rent)
• Trekking poles (available to rent and optional)
• Sleeping bag liner (available to rent)
• Water bottle (2L minimum)
• Wool cap/beanie or fleece-lined hat
• 4 x Hiking socks
• Sun hat
• 2 x mid-layer
• Waterproof shell jacket
• Light backup gloves
• Heavily insulated gloves
• Windproof jacket
• Mountaineering/glacier sunglasses
• Softshell trousers
• Down jacket (optional)
• Waterproof overtrousers
• Thermal leggings or tights
• 4 x breathable t-shirts
• Energy tablets
• Sunscreen (at least SPF 30) and UV protection lip balm
• Personal first aid kit
• Headlamp (with new batteries plus spares as backup)
• Toiletries (toothbrush and toothpaste, paper tissues, wet wipes)
You'll stay in basic mountain huts in remote locations in the Swiss and Italian Alps. You can expect dormitory-style accommodation, with no access to wifi. The huts have shared bathrooms and some will have access to a shower. You'll stay in the following huts:
Day 1: Gandegg hut
Day 2: Val D'Ayas
Day 3: Refugio Gabiet hut (showers)
Day 4: Gnifetti hut (showers)
Day 5: Monte Rosa
The huts are not basic though by any means. They have restaurants and bars, world-class food and the BEST locations for any mountaineer. Iconic is the only word best to describe them.
When adventuring in the mountains, you need to prepare for any eventuality. The weather can change at any given moment, which is why it is important to follow the equipment list provided. You should prepare for a potential itinerary change should the weather conditions become unsafe during a section of your trip.
1:5. It is more likely to be less, or for you to have two guides.
Yes, you must have travel and rescue insurance to maximum altitude 4,250m
Tipping in the alps is not mandatory, but will be greatly received.
Yes absolutely! Here is a list of available equipment for rent:
The minimum age for this trip is 18.
Yes, whether you are vegetarian, vegan or have allergies. You must inform your guide via your dashboard about your diet requirements before the trip.
Yes - your full bag should be no more than 8kg (we recommend aiming for 5kg). Pack as light as possible but bring all the items on the packing list.
You can leave items at the hotel in Zermatt.
The hike involves a fair bit of ascent and descent on a mix of trails. This includes – rocky terrain, forest trails, untracked routes, snow and sometimes gravel tracks. You can expect short scrambles throughout. However, we also use plenty of cablecars to reduce the amount we walk up and save out legs for the interesting bits.
You'll spend time in both Italy and Switzerland. Therefore, we recommend taking Euro's and CHF. There will be opportunities to buy drinks, snacks and souvenirs. Most places take card too.
How much spending money you take, very much depends on your spending habits. You can expect to roughly pay the following whilst on this trip:
Cable cars: 200 CHF
Transfers to and from the airport: 100 CHF or 50CHF if booked in advance.
Drinks and other refreshments: 200 CHF
Activity Hours: 4
Activity Hours: 6
Activity Hours: 5
Activity Hours: 7
Activity Hours: 7
Activity Hours: 4
Basically to protect you and to keep the price as low as possible. Now if plans change and we get less uplift then you get the benefit of reduced cost.
Two reasons Environment and Economy. With trains to Zermatt almost hourly from Geneva and Zurich it is unnecessary. It is not worth an extra days wage plus diesel and van depreciation to send someone to the airport. The trains run directly to the airport to Zermatt with one or two easy changes. Remember the Swiss trains are integrated and a joy to use, this is part of the experience of getting to the mountains.