Cicerone Guide Book: Trekking The Tour of Monte Rosa
A Trekker's Guide by Hilary Sharp
This guidebook to walking the Tour of Monte Rosa on the Italian-Swiss border takes the walker on a challenging trek in an 8-stage circuit starting at Zermatt.
The high route hugs glaciers and has views of over ten 4000ers. The contrast between the Swiss and Italian Alps, their different cultures, food and languages, give this trek its originality.
This guidebook to walking the Tour of Monte Rosa, explored the Italian-Swiss border region in an 8-stage trek, starts and finishes in Zermatt. Along the way, the Alpine trail takes in spectacular views of the Monte Rosa massif, including ten 4000m summits, as well as breaks in mountain huts and the towns of Resy, Saas Fee, Macugnaga and Cervinia among others.
The guidebook also provides a wealth of practical information on the area, travel, and the best way to tackle the trek.
Situated on the Swiss Italian frontier, the Monte Rosa massif is the largest massif in western Europe. The Tour of Monte Rosa is an adventure, challenging and very varied, taking a high route around the massif, hugging the glaciers on several stages.
As the tour passes through areas of true wilderness, walkers will experience a sense of remoteness rarely found in the Alps.
The spectacular scenery is not all that the Tour of Monte Rosa offers: the contrast between the Swiss and Italian sides of the range adds immeasurably to the whole experience and walkers are advised to take the time to explore some of the charming hamlets and villages found en route and to savour fully the different gastronomy, history and culture that make up this alpine region.
Multi-day alpine trekking, including a glacier crossing
Although only one section of the trek is on glaciers, the trails are often high and late lying snow can remain on shady slopes well into July. High summer is the ideal time for this trek, and earlier or later some slopes could be quite dangerous for walkers.
Zermatt, Grächen, Saas Fee, Macugnaga, Alagna, Gressonney St Trinité, St Jacques, Cervinia
The trek is ideal for keen hillwalkers who enjoy rocky terrain, long days and who have a sense of adventure.
The one glacier crossing is easy doesn't require technical skills other than being able to walk on gentle terrain in crampons and knowing how to stay safe.
Regular hiking gear will do the trick but a rope, harness and crampons could be required for the glacier section.
Monte Rosa peaks, including the east face (highest wall in the Alps) and other summits - Lyskamm, Matterhorn, Theodule Glacier, Walser culture, alpine culture in Switzerland and Italy. Col Turlo - ancient route now remade by the Italian alpine. Fauna - especially the ibex. High alpine flora - notably the King of the Alps.
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