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Monte Rosa Massif

From Gran Paradiso to Monte Rosa, Aosta Valley - Mountaineering Stage 2

Technical lev. : 4 / 5

Technical lev. : 4 / 5

Maximum 5 clients per guide, but this can be reduced to 3 depending on the course and mountain conditions.
You should be comfortable in mountain walking and varied terrain. Easy crampons walking on glacier.
If you have already done a glacier hike it is better but it is not mandatory: if you have good shape and good mental handling, you should have no problem.
Learning of hiking progression in High Mountain, for rather easy races and easy rescue techniques.
Example of level: an easy 4000, such as Gran Paradiso (4061 mt) - Gran Paradiso National Park

Physical lev. : 4.5 / 5

Physical lev. : 4.5 / 5

Effort corresponding to 1500m - 2000m of ascent in hiking.
You like and regularly practice endurance sports at a good level.

  • 4 days & 3 nights
  • Participants : 3 to 4 max
  • From June to September
  • All Included

Starting from the king of the Gran Paradiso National Park to end with the climb of the Capanna Margherita, Europe highest mountain Hut at 4554 mt, on the well known Signalkuppe or Punta Gnifetti.
This program will allow you in one week to learn the basic techniques of mountaineering, of glacier walking and of new safety systems, while being in a beautiful alpine environment, with huts known for their Italian quality.

From 980

The highlights
of this mountaineering trip

. Small groups, maximum 4 people
. Local guides, fluent in English
. Ascent to two 4000m summits in four days - progressive programme
. Discovery of the Gran Paradiso National Park and the magnificent glaciers of Monte Rosa
. View of the most beautiful 4000m peaks of the Alps
. Italian welcome at the Refuge Chabod and Refuge Mantova, well known for their warm welcome and good food

Dates & Prices



Price *


Du 01/07/2024 au 04/07/2024

au 04/07/2024



Du 18/07/2024 au 21/07/2024

au 21/07/2024



Du 15/08/2024 au 18/08/2024

au 18/08/2024



Du 26/08/2024 au 29/08/2024

au 29/08/2024



Du 09/09/2024 au 12/09/2024

au 12/09/2024


Confirmed in 2 signup/s / 3 place(s) left

* Price per person (without insurance)


Above are some dates we propose, but do not hesitate to contact us at if you wish to organise the mountaineering course on a different date.

The Ascent for the dates above is guaranteed with 3 participants.

If the number of participants is not reached 21 days before departure, Esprit des Guides SA will cancel the reservation and refund the payment received (3% will be kept for bank fees).
If you wish and if you agree, Esprit des Guides SA can still offer you to pay the remaining balance based on the number of participants reached (see prices above) and therefore guarantee the departure.

The price is 1600 euros per person if the group is composed of 2 people and 2700 euros for a single person.


Some of the most beautiful Mountaineering in the Alps: the climb of Gran Paradiso and Monte Rosa, discovering the Aosta Valley

This program will allow you in one week to learn the basic techniques of mountaineering, of glacier walking and of new safety systems, while being in a beautiful alpine environment, with huts known for their Italian quality.
We will start with the ascent of Gran Paradiso (4061 mt) to finish with the ascent of the Punta Gnifetti (4554 mt), in the Monte Rosa massif, where we will stay two days.
Gran Paradiso, a summit at 4000 meters accessible to novice mountaineers who are in good physical condition, is located at the heart of the Gran Paradiso National Park, it is a jewel of the Aosta Valley. It will be your first 4000 which will allow you to well acclimatize for the next ascent.
The Punta Gnifetti is one of the main peaks of the Monte Rosa Massif and it is surely the highest peak in the Alps easily accessible for intermediate mountaineers.
The view from up there is exceptional on all the Alps, you have the impression of having the world at our feet, only the Punta Dufour overlooks us.
Once at the top, we will visit the famous Capanna Margherita - 4554 mt - the highest observatory hut in Europe and we will eat Europe highest pizza before heading back down to the Città di Mantova hut. 
The guide will adapt to the weather and mountain and group conditions to make the most of this week.


Day 1

Meeting with the Mountain Guide at 9am in the Val de Rhêmes, in front of the Hotel Granta Parey, to start the day on a nice Via Ferrata. It will be an opportunity to get to know each other and to get into the mood, while having fun and building confidence with the technical moves.
After a good picnic, we will take the car to get to the Valsavarenche (40 minutes by car) and reach the trailhead of the Gran Paradiso refuge.

We will walk about 2/3 hours to reach the hut. During the walk we will have the chance to appreciate the landscapes, the fauna and the flora of the Gran Paradiso National Park. Once we arrive at the hut and after settling in, we will check the equipment and organize the backpack for the next day.

Dinner and night at the refuge.

Day 2

Departure at 4/5 am, ascent to Gran Paradiso and return (6 to 8 hours). The day starts with about 40 minutes of walking on a path to reach the first part of the glacier; the climb continues to reach the glacier shoulder in about 2/3 hours, leaving the last ramp to overtake the glacier terminal and reach then to the Madonnina, following easy steps along the rocky ridge. The descent will be done on the same side. Walking time: about 6/8 hours - return to the hut scheduled for 12.00/1.00 pm, depending on the training of the group. Afternoon and night at the hut to rest properly for the next day.

Day 3

After a good breakfast, we slowly walk down from the Chabod hut to the car parking area.

We drive to Gressoney with the guide to reach Staffal, the last inhabited hamlet in the valley, at the departure of the Gabiet cable car.

We will take the cable car up to Punta Indren in the early afternoon. We will then walk for 40 minutes to reach the Città di Mantova refuge.
This will be a rest day to recover energies, enjoy the view of the Monte Rosa glaciers and get used to the altitude to be in shape for the next day's climb.
We will have dinner and stay for the night in this beautiful refuge, we will be sleeping at 3400 meters of altitude which allows us to have a good sleep.

Day 4

The climb to Margherita Hut starts at the early lights of dawn. After a good breakfast, using front lamps and after being roped up, you will begin your climb along Lys glacier, which will take you to the saddle of the homonym Pass (4248 mt). You will reach the Capanna Margherita, climbing on the top of Punta Gnifetti (4554 mt.), around mid-morning. Once on top our eyes open on the magnificent summits of Punta Zumstein (4561 mt) and Punta Dufour (4633 mt - the highest summit of Mont Rose) and the vertiginous walls of Lyskamm. You will enjoy the satisfaction and the panorama from the hut’s terrace and resume your energies, warming yourself up with a cup of hot tea. The descent will be along the same climbing route. Consider about 5/6 hours of ascent and 3 of descent. You will arrive at Rifugio Mantova for lunch time - you can then take a break and stop for a pasta and finally walk down with the guide to Punta Indren again, to take the cable car back to Staffal. In the afternoon we will descend back down in the valley and return to Aosta.


Mountaineering Technical Equipment

  • mountaineering goretex shoes suitable to crampons
  • crampons
  • walking poles
  • iceaxe
  • helmet.

How to dress for climbing in the Alps

First layer on the skin:

  • (merino wool) thermal/breathable long sleeve
  • (merino wool) long thermal/breathable underwear
  • woolen warm socks

Second layer:

  • warm technical sweater
  • waterproof & windproof hiking pants

Third layer:

  • thin but warm duvet (to wear just in case of cold temperatures)

Last layer:

  • waterproof & windproof Goretex jacket

Important Additionals:

  • sleeping sheet for the hut
  • warm winter hat
  • buff/head-neckband
  • warm winter gloves
  • headlamp
  • suncream (protection factor 50+)
  • sunglasses
  • camera

If you have any doubts or simply need clarification on what gear to take for your climb, you can take a look at our Blog page "What gear for mountaineering?"

N.B. Consider a change for when you are back to the hut (you can leave some stuff at the hut).


Difficulty of the Mountaineering Tour

Programme thought for well-trained hikers, in search of new perspectives: From Gran Paradiso to Monte Rosa provides a great variety of terrain.
This programme is designed for those who want to discover the mountaineering world and to progressively improve your level throughout the week.
You will need to have a good level of fitness, good sense of balance and the ability to walk on rough terrain.
It is necessary to have a resistance to about 6 to 10 hours of walking a day and a good acclimatization to the high altitude as you will be staying at above 3500 mt. Be aware that the weight of your backpack and high altitude will reduce your usual strength.
It would be advisable for you to properly train and to climb a 3000 peak at least once before leaving for this Tour.

Useful infos

Meeting point on the first day:

Meeting with the Mountain Guide at 9am in the Val de Rhêmes, in front of the Hotel Granta Parey Click on the map below to see the departure point: you can park the car just aside the river.

If you are coming only for the climb, we can organize you a taxi to pick you up or the mountain guide can come to pick you up on the road nearby Aosta (organization upon booking).

End of the tour

End of the mountaineering week in Aosta (unless otherwise agreed with the guide on site) on D4 in the afternoon between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. 


The week before your departure, you will receive a reminder by email with all the information concerning the meeting and the guide in charge of your group.

Esprit Montagne takes care of the hut reservation, you do not need to think about it.


French and English speaking local UIAGM mountain guide from our team.


Cancellation and repatriation insurance is mandatory, as is mountain search and rescue insurance (minimum cover of 10,000 Euros).

Esprit Montagne offers the following insurance:


For those who wish to sleep in the valley of Rhêmes Notre Dame the evening before meeting the mountain guide, we recommend the Hotel Granta Parey: you will be directly on site for the 1st day.


  • Half board treatment at the refuge
  • Lunch and drinks are at your expense
  • Before leaving, remember to bring some food to eat during the programme (cereal bars, dried fruit, chocolate, etc.)

Budget and currency

Italy is in the Eurozone, so the currency is the Euro (€).
The shelter has a credit card terminal, however, we strongly advise you to bring cash!
Be aware of the usual bank charges when purchasing goods or services with your credit card.

How to reach Aosta Valley

  • Via Chamonix Mont Blanc – you can reach Chamonix by train from the main French airports or from Geneva airport – then you can reach Courmayeur – Aosta Valley through the Mont Blanc Tunnel (there are buses connections from Chamonix to Aosta Valley, but if you would like to be free to move it is advisable to rent a car). IMPORTANT: when you exit the Mont Blanc tunnel, do not take the highway in direction of Aosta, but do stay on the normal road (blue signs) that goes to Courmayeur, you will avoid a 20 min additional drive and 20 € of highway; VERY IMPORTANT: check the tunnel closure planning ( in order to avoid bad surprises at last minute!!!!
  • Via Geneva or Martigny – you can easily reach Martigny by train from Geneva airport - then you reach Aosta city center via the tunnel of Grand Saint Bernard (there are buses connections from Martigny to Aosta Valley, but if you would like to be free to move it is advisable to rent a car).
  • Via Milan/Turin airport – rent a car directly to reach Aosta via the highway;
  • Or via Bourg Saint Maurice (73700, France) - Col du Petit Saint Bernard - you can reach Bourg Saint Maurice by train from the main French airports. Once in Bourg Saint Maurice you will need to rent a car to reach the Aosta Valley via the Col du Petit Saint Bernard (2 hours drive). It's a slightly longer trip but you can save the toll at the Mont Blanc Tunnel.
  • By train:

Public transport in Aosta Valley

Hire of specific equipment (crampons, ice axe and harness):

  • Ascent Grand Parardis: rental possible directly at the Chabod hut.
  • Ascent Mont Rose: rental possible at Ermanno Sport in Staffal (Gressoney), directly at the departure of the gondola: please contact the shop in advance to book your equipment.

Unless otherwise preferred, we advise you to rent the technical equipment as explained above: it will be cheaper to rent the equipment for each use than to rent it directly for the 4 days. The guide will assist you with the rental on site but it is up to you to book the equipment.

Tips for hiring mountaineering boots:

When it comes to mountaineering boots, these are the types of boots you should have: Scarpa Triolet GTX

You can rent them at Le Pilier du sport in Morgex, Gal Sport in Aosta or Ravanel or Snell in Chamonix.

Car sharing

When you register online, you can choose whether or not you wish to take part in the car-sharing scheme to get to the starting point of your course. Once you have made your booking, you can log back into your Esprit Montagne account to access a section dedicated to carpooling. Here you will find the contacts of the other participants who are interested in car-sharing, so that you can contact them directly.


The budget for the mountaineering course


. The guiding of an experienced UIAGM Mountain Guide of our team, plus his/her accommodation and meal expenses;

. The use of equipment for the group (ropes, pitons, karabiners).

. Half board to the huts for yourself and the guide;

. Transfers from Aosta to Gressoney, round trip;

. Cablecar tickets from Staffal to Punta Indren, round trip.



. Personal technical equipment: crampons, harness and ice axe rental in case of need (it can be organized upon booking);

. Lunches, snacks an drinks so that you can eat as you wish in the refuge or in town; 

. All what is not explicitly mentioned in the "price includes".

Photo gallery

Any question?

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