Ascent to Capanna Margherita (4.554 m.)Characteristics
The Regina Margherita hut, dedicated to Queen Margherita and built in 1893 and renovated in 1980, is located at the summit of Punta Gnifetti, one of the highest peaks of Monte Rosa massif on the Italian-Swiss border.
The "Capanna Margherita” is the highest hut in Europe and it is also an important physical-meteorological observatory for the Piedmont region, and serves also as a laboratory in collaboration with the University of Turin; in fact, it has been for many years an important place for medical and scientific research, being one of the world's highest laboratories.
This is a journey that will never lose its charm, walking through a fabulous landscape and prestigious peaks. Monte Rosa rivals Mont Blanc for beauty and grandeur: its peaks have an average altitude ranging between 3600 and 4000 mt. Its name "Rosa" takes birth in local traditions: in fact, its ancient name was "Roese", which in the Aosta Valley dialect means glacier.
The climb to Capanna Margherita is one of the most exciting experiences for mountain enthusiasts: once at the summit, from the top of 4554 meters of Punta Gnifetti, the gaze can range from the vertiginous south wall of Monte Rosa to Alagna and Gressoney, losing sight through the Padana plain and the Maritime Alps.
Program - Itinerary:
Day 1: meeting with the mountain guide in Staffal (Gressoney) at the departure of the Gabiet cable car around 2 pm. After a short equipment check you will take the cable car up to Punta Indren: once there, you will need a 40 minutes / an hour walk to reach the Rifugio Città di Mantova (3498 mt.), located in a very suggestive and welcoming place where you will eat and spend the night.
The climb to Margherita Hut starts at the early lights of dawn. After a good breakfast, using head lamps and after being roped up, you will begin your climb along the Lys glacier, which will take you to the saddle of the homonym Pass (4248 mt). Along the way you will admire the highest peaks of the Monte Rosa chain: Zumstein (4561 m), Dufour (4633 mt - the highest summit of Monte Rosa) and the vertiginous north wall of Lyskamm. You will reach the Capanna Margherita, climbing to the top of Punta Gnifetti (4554 mt.), around mid-morning. Once on top, 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 and maybe a slice of pizza Margherita! The descent will be along the same climbing route.
Consider about 5/6 hours of ascent and 3 of descent.
You will arrive at the 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.
Prices available on demand
The price includes:
• the assistance of an experienced mountain guide of our Team;
• use of equipment for the group (ropes, pitons, karabiners).
Not included in the price:
• cable car tickets to Punta Indren for yourself (around €40 per person, round trip);
• half board to the hut for yourself and the guide (around €65 per person);
• crampons, harness and ice axe rental in case of need (it can be organized upon booking);
• all what is not explicitly mentioned in the "price includes".
• hiking Goretex shoes suitable to crampons
• walking poles
Clothes and more
First layer on the skin:
• (merino wool) thermal/breathable long sleeve
• (merino wool) long thermal/breathable underwear
• woolen warm socks
• warm technical sweater
• waterproof & windproof hiking pants
• thin but warm duvet (to wear just in case of cold temperatures)
• waterproof & windproof Goretex jacket
• warm winter hat
• warm winter gloves
• suncream (protection factor 50+)
N.B. Consider a change for when you are back to the hut (you can leave some stuff at the hut).
• Difficulty and level required
Well-trained hikers or trekkers looking for new perspectives: the climb to Capanna Margherita does not require special technical skills, but it is necessary to have resistance to about 8 hours of walk and a good acclimation to altitude, given the stay to above 3500 mt. It is recommended to train yourself appropriately and climb at altitude at least once before this ascent. If you wish, we will be happy to arrange a training ascent such as Gran Paradiso, Breithorn or some other peak between 3600 and 4000 mt.
• Group size
Maximum of 4 people per Mountain Guide.
June, July, August, September.
we recommend to have your own personal travel insurance, covering accident abroad and repatriation.
• How to reaxhe 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).
- 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.
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).