The Spaghetti Tour - swiss - italian alps

With a name like this - the Spaghetti tour is bound to attract attention and this it does with due reason. The Spaghetti tour is an amazing week of peak bagging of some of the Alps' best 4000m peaks. But it is also about some incredible scenery, an interesting mix of Swiss and Italian cultures and sampling some great - you guessed it pasta! 

The Spaghetti tour is a week that should be on every mountaineer's bucket list. It's a trip that never disappoints and will probably have you coming back to sample more...

Course Highlights:

  • 6 days - the course covers some basic mountaineering techniques
  • each day sees participants climbing at high altitude and ascending 4000m peaks
  • This area of the Alps has 38 peaks that reach 4000m or higher - that's more than anywhere else in the Alps
Included

Cost Includes:

  • Guide fees
  • huts and half board when in the huts with breakfast and dinner
  • local transportation included during the entire course
  • hut reservations
  • group equipment
  • assistance for travel logistics and planning


Cost Exclusions:

  • Lodging when in town
  • drinks and lift fees for you and the guide
  • lunches
  • personal equipment
  • travel to or from the course departure point of Zermatt
  • rescue insurance
Program

Spaghetti Tour Course Details

The Spaghetti tour is also known as the frontier tour or 4000m peak tour. It alegedly got it's name from Swiss guides (they must have been tired of eating puree in their huts) - since you can eat pasta every night.
The tour starts and finishes in Zermatt and winds it's way more or less along the border of Switzerland and Italy for the entire week, though each night we stay in the very friendly Italian huts of all but the final night of the tour.
This is a demanding tour requiring not only excellent stamina but also previous experience on steep snow and mixed terrain.

Typical 6 day Program

Day 0 - Meet in Zermatt for a pre-trip briefing and check gear and discuss logistics over dinner.

Day 1 - An early tram ride to reach the Klein Matterhorn. From here we have a couple of options but we will most likely climb the Breithorn as a warmup climb before heading down the Verra glacier and past Pollux (which is another option to climb) before continuing down to the Guide d'Ayas Hut (3420m) for the night.

Day 2 - Climb Castor (4,223m) and descend the stunning ridgeline to reach the Felikjoch. From here we have a pretty straightfoward descent down the glacier to reach the Sella hut (3858m) for the night.

Day 3 - More options today - typically one traverses below the enormous south face of Liskamm, over the steep "nez" or nose to reach the the Lysgletscher and then possibly climb the Vincent Pyramid prior to reaching the Mantova hut for the evening. 

*It is also possible to traverse over the entire ridge line of the two summits - the west and east summits, both of which reach well above 4500m. To do this variation one must have solid cramponning skills, excellent fitness, good snow conditions, good weather and used to exposure. It is a long, exposed traverse that will only be done on a 1:1 ratio. 

Day 4 - More alpine starts from the Mantova Hut as we reascend the Lysgletscher to the Lysjoch, and then continue to the Margherita Hut (the highest hut in the Alps at 4554m) taking in another 4000er - the Parrotspitze before spending the night at the Margherita hut.

Day 5 - One final dawn start is needed if we choose to traverse the Zumsteinspitze en route to Monte Rosa's highest peak, the Dufourspitze (4618m). The climbing and the views are as dramatic as it can get - true alpine flavored scrambling along the thin ridge line to reach the small summit platform. 
From here, one typically descends down a series of steep fixed ropes to reach the Silbersattel. Then the route becomes easier down the long glacier and even longer moraine to reach the Monte Rosa hut for the evening.

Day 6 - Finally a casual breakfast is in order - today we have a simple descent back down to reach the Gorner glacier and an uphill path leading to Rotenboden and the Gornergrat railway which takes up back into Zermatt for a well deserved celebration!

* Actual course details and climbs may vary depending on conditions and or participants level.
    Dates

    Length:
    6 days, 5 nights

    2018 COURSE DATES
    June 25-30
    July 9-14
    July 23-28
    Sep 3-8
    Sep 10-15

    This course is also available on a custom basis from the beginning of June through the end of September. You can custom choose your dates. Please inquire for availability.

    *Please note that I do not add an extra "fluff" days before or after. I  consider that to be false advertising. My program is 6 actual days of activity.

    Skills

    Required Level:
    Excellent base fitness – some prior experience is highly recommended
    Please do not under-estimate the nature of the course. This is full on mountaineering and not a simple walk up a hill.
    There are some minimum standards that have to be met, such as uphill per hour and being successful on the training peaks.

    Climbing Grade:
    PD to AD - grade 3
    Moderate to steep snow, mixed terrain and rock

    Technical Level:
    3 out of 5

    Fitness Level:
    4 out of 5

    Price

    2,195 € / pp with min 2 guests
    2,995 € private arrangement

    Group Size:
    Maximum group size is 4 : 1
    If more than 2 participants sign up, each group will climb with their own guide the entire week.
    *This is a super important detail that pays dividends when ascending exposed 4000m peaks - you want to know your guide just as much as your guide wants to know you! Meeting your guide the day before an ascent is far from ideal.  I don't believe in courses where the climber to guide ratio is different than that of the actual ascent. This is how "guide companies" become greedy....at your personal expense.

    Local links

    Course Base:
    Zermatt, Switzerland

    Local Airport:
    Geneva Intl Airport, Switzerland - GVA

    Map
     
    Equipment List

    Here is what you will typically have in your pack when going to a hut and or climbing

    CLOTHING

    • Gore-Tex (or similar breathable hardshell clothing) Jacket and pants
    • Gaiters
    • Lightweight softshell climbing pants
    • Lightweight thermal top (polypro, smartwool or capilene)
    • Fleece or synthetic insulation jacket
    • Warm ski gloves w/ leather palms if possible and a shell over-mitt
    • Spare pair of lightweight spring gloves or wool liners
    • Warm hat or balaclava
    • Baseball cap (for the sun)
    • 2 pairs of socks
    • Glacier glasses or Cat 4 sunglasses

    GEAR

    • Harness * w/ 2 locking carabiners and a belaying device
    • 2 prussik loops
    • 1 long sling
    • ice axe *  typically anything over 60cm is too long
    • Crampons * w/ anti- balling plates
    • Mountaineering boots *. Leather is the preferred choice. Make certain your crampons work on them !
    • helmet
    • Rock shoes *
    • A small rucksack 30-35l (2000c.i.) is plenty big enough
    • Headlamp with new batteries
    • Telescopic poles - help take a load off you legs and back
    • Small compact camera, GoPro or just simply your camera phone (avoid bringing along a heavy DSLR)
    • Personal first aid kit (second skin, aspirin, toilet articles)
    • Sun block and lip cream
    • Water bottle 1 liter minimum - I prefer metallic bottles
    • sleeping bag liner for the huts

    (items with * can be rented in most alpine areas such as Chamonix or Zermatt)

    Reserve

    To book this course - just hit the book now button