Dufourspitze | Alpinism | Swiss Alpine Club SAC

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Dufourspitze 4634 m Alpinism

The Monte Rosa massif (known to locals as "Der Gourner") is one of the mightiest mountain ranges in the Alps. From close up on the Swiss side, it does not look very bulky. The strong amount of glaciation and the enormous dimension of its base weaken the effect of its enormous height. From Macugnaga in Italy, however, you can see directly onto the phenomenal, incomparable east face, which towers almost 2500 meters high above the Belvedere glacier; dimensions that can otherwise only be found in the Himalayas.

The Monte Rosa consists of a magnificent series of ten peaks that are over 4000 m high. Many of them bear the names of people, a tradition that is otherwise not very common in Switzerland. The highest point of Monte Rosa is the Dufourspitze (4634 m). It is the highest point in Valais and Switzerland and forms the culmination point of a mighty rock ridge that continues west from the Grenzgrat and separates the Grenz glacier from the Monte Rosa glacier. With the exception of the approach from the Margherita Hut, all climbs to the Dufourspitze are long and strenuous. Orientation is also difficult with poor visibility, and the glaciers have a lot of dangerous crevasses. Nevertheless, the Dufourspitze cannot complain about a lack of visitors. The view from the summit is indescribably beautiful, a comprehensive panorama opens up, all other four thousand meter peaks look like dwarfs. The dark depth of all the valleys is very impressive.

The name of Monte Rosa was derived from the Arpitan word roëse (glacial stream).

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