Dufour peak (4634m), is the main peak of the Monte Rosa. It is the highest peak in the Monte Rosa massif, the highest mountain in Switzerland, and the second highest mountain in the Alps. Would you like to climb the peak? Contact us - we can arrange it for you!
On the east side, overlooking Macugnaga, the mountain form a huge wall (2400m high, vertically) made of ice and granite that is the biggest in Europe. The Monte Rosa has ten peaks higher than 4000m: Dunantspitze (Ostspitze), Dufourspitze, Grenzgipfel, Ludwigshöhe, Nordend, Parrotspitze, Schwarzhorn, Signalkuppe, Vincent Pyramid, Zumsteinspitze.
Already in the late 15th century Monte Rosa was a studied by Leonardo da Vinci, who was not only an artist, but also a geologist and explorer. He probably included Monte Rosa in the background of the Madonna of the Rocks painting. The first serious climbing and attempts to reach the summit started in the 19th century.
The first official ascent of the western summit was achieved on 1st August 1855 by John Birbeck, Charles Hudson, Ulrich Lauener, Christopher Smyth, James G. Smyth, Edward Stephenson, Matthias Zumtaugwald and Johannes Zumtaugwald . However, many consider the earlier achievement of two climbers – Johann Madutz and Matthias Zumtaugwald in 1848 the true first ascent of Monte Rosa. Madutz and Zumtaugwald established a new altitude record at that time, but they did not reach the Dufour peak, but rather Dunant peak (4632m), the Eastern peak of the mountain.
The name of the mountain, Dufour peak, honours Guillaume-Henri Dufour (1787-1875), a “peace/building” general, a co-founder of the Red Cross, and a man who drew up the first topographic charts of Switzerland. The east point of the Dufour peak was renamed in 2014 into Dunant peak to honour Henry Dunant who established the Red Cross. Rosa can mean, “pink”, but it comes rather from the the Franco-Provençal Aostan patois word “rouése” – “glacier”.
A highest point in Switzerland is an extreme places regarding the natural conditions there. The average air pressure is about half of that of the sea level and the temperature can reach be even lower than -40C. The snow line is located at 3000m and frequent winds only intensify the feeling of coldness. However, equally extreme feelings can offer views that welcome climbers at the top.