Monta Rosa Climb, Swiss Alps (August 2006)

In August 2006, my great friend Steven and I climbed the second highest peak in the Alps, the mighty Dufourspitze in the Monta Rosa massif.

It’s big at 4,634 m (15,203 ft) high and, after a few days acclimatizing, we took 3 days to climb it.

On day 1 we walked up the valley and across the dry glacier to the hut (on the buttress just below the first snow patches in the first photo). We spent a pleasant afternoon at the hut before bivouacking a few hundred meters up the buttress, so we could get ahead of the hut crowd.

Day 2 dawned early and we gave it a good shot, but Steve suffered altitude sickness when we got above 4,000 m and onto the summit ridge, so we wisely turned around. This is one of the few times (only time?) we turned around on account of Steve and not me 😉

Next day, we gave it another shot and had a fantastic climb along the ridgeline to the summit, way up above the clouds. It was incredible. I remember feeling a wave of relief that the steep descent colouir had a fixed rope down it, so we could wrap a prussik loop around it to protect ourselves.

This was a big day out and I remember feeling completely beat by the time we finished the trek out to the valley, having started the day at 3 am.

Great trip!


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