The route crosses glaciated terrain and you will be roped up for added security. The summit day from the Monte Rosa hut is a demanding 7 hour day with an elevation gain of almost 1900 meters. If you walk regularly in the UK and have a good level of aerobic conditioning you should have no problem undertaking alpine trips at this stamina level. For alpine walking & climbing, aerobic fitness and leg strength are the key. So when preparing for this trip nothing beats activities that increase your heart rate and build your aerobic levels e.g. running, cycling and swimming. Movement skills - agility, balance, flexibility - which allow you to walk easily over rough ground to make your way safely up a snow slope - are also very relevant. If time permits try to include some yoga or pilates into your training schedule.
Day 1: Meet up with your guides in Zermatt in the evening for an initial briefing and equipment check. Stay overnight in hotel.
Day 2: Set off on a 3-day acclimatization and climbing preparation trip with two nights in huts. You will start by taking the aerial tramway to the Klein Matterhorn and traverse the Verra glacier to climb Pollux (4092 m) via its Southwest Ridge before continuing on to the Guide d'Ayas Hut for the night (3420m). Pollux is a fun climb, first on rock, then finishing with a fine snow arête. Total walking time is about 4-6 hours.
Day 3: Climb Castor (4223m) via its glaciated west side and return for a second night in the Guide d'Ayas Hut. Total walking time about 5-6 hours.
Day 4: Return to Zermatt via the Kleine Matterhorn lift bagging a traverse of the Breithorn (4164m) en-route. Overnight in Hotel. Total walking time about 5 hours.
Day 5: From Zermatt take the Gornergrat train to Riffelberg and 3-hour walk to the Monte Rosa hut crossing the Grenz glacier.
Day 6: Summit Day: an early alpine start (about 2am) from the Monte Rosa hut for the 5-7 hour ascent to the summit of the Dufourspitz. The reward is a spectacular panoramic view of the Italian Alps and Mont Blanc Massif. Return to the Monte Rosa hut for a 2nd night.
Day 7: Return to Zermatt and stay overnight in Hotel.
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