Margherita Hut

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Margherita Hut
Rifugio Regina Margherita (it)

Photo of the Margherita Hut
The Margherita Hut, highest hut in Europe

Elevation 4,554 m14,940.945 ft
2.83 miles
Type CAI
Location Valle d'Aosta, Italy
Range Pennine Alps
Massif Monte Rosa
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DMS Coor. 45°55´38"N, 7°52´57"E
Swiss Coor. 634000 / 86250
Links Topographic Detail

Coordinates Information

Nearby Features
Balmenhorn, Balmenhorn Bivouac, Città di Gallarate Bivouac, Corno Nero, Dufourspitze, Grenzgipfel, Grenzsattel, Gugliermina Bivouac, Ludwigshöhe, Marinelli Bivouac, Monte Rosa, Nordend, Ostspitze, Parrotspitze, Punta Giordani, Pyramid Vincent, Resegotti Bivouac, Signalkuppe, Silbersattel, Zamboni and Zappa Hut, Zumsteinspitze
Alpinist's Info
Base(s) Alagna Valsesia, Gressoney-la-Trinité, Zermatt
Summit(s) Castor, Corno Nero, Dufourspitze, Jägerhorn, Liskamm, Ludwigshöhe, Parrotspitze, Piramide Vincent, Signalkuppe, Zumsteinspitze
Topo. Map SLK 1348: Zermatt
IGC 109: Monte Rosa - Alagna -
Valsesia - Macugnaga - Gressoney
Approach Difficulty Rating F F
Hut Info
Places 70
Guarded 26 Jun. - 6 Sep.
Catering Drinks and Food
Tel. 0039 (0)163 910 39 (hut)
0039 (0)163 515 30 (warden)
0039 (0)163 92 28 05 (info)
Margherita Hut (Italy )
Margherita Hut
Margherita Hut
>> European Alps > Western European Alps > Pennine Alps > Monte Rosa > Margherita Hut


General information

The Margherita Hut (Italian: Rifugio Regina Margherita) (4,554 m14,940.945 ft
2.83 miles
) is a mountain hut above Gressoney-la-Trinité and Alagna Valsésia in the Pennine Alps in Valle d'Aosta, Italy. It's the highest refuge in Europe: situated on the summit of the Signalkuppe. It also serves as an observatory and research centre and is constructed so as to dissipate the effects of lightning strikes.


The hut was opened on 18 August 1893, when Margherita de Savoie, queen of Italy, together with some alpine guides, spent the night in the hut. The cost for the hut was 17,094.55 lires.

The hut-laboratory was very important for the research on high altitude medicine by the Italian physiologist and archeologist Angelo Messo (early 19th century). Before, the research had been done on the Col des Salati (2,900 m) in the Mosso Institute. In 1979, the original hut was replaced by the current hut-laboratory. It also houses the Italo Grassi library of the Varallo section of the CAI, the highest library in Europe.


70 places, 12 in winter room.

No self-cooking facilities.

Category Price/pers
Half Pension CAI Member 60€
Half Pension Non Member 80€
Night CAI Member 18€
Night Non Member 33€
Half Pension Guide 40€

Approach Route

Climb the rocks above the hut to get on to the Lis Glacier. Climb the glacier up gently inclined slopes towards the NE and then N to pass the W flank of Piramide Vincent. Somewhat steeper, crevassed slopes are now climbed whilst still heading N. The angle eases considerably as you pass the rock outcrop of the Balmenhorn (4,167 m) on your R. On the rocks there is a statue of Christ which is visible from the trail and there is also a bivouac hut (Balmenhorn Bivouac) which cannot be seen. Straight ahead now is the W col of the Lisjoch; to reach the E col slant up NE. The summit of Dufourspitze is visible through the gap. Now cross, almost horizontally, the upper slopes of the Grenz Glacier below the N flank of the Parrotspitze and reach the slopes below the Seserjoch. Here turn N towards the Zumsteinspitze and climb steepening snow slopes towards that summit. At about the 4,000 m contour, swing round to climb ESE up the steepening slope to the hut.

From the Monte Rosa Hut, either follow a track up the hollow on the E side of the moraine flanking the R bank of the Grenz Glacier or take the track along the moraine itself. Reach the glacier itself just SE of Pt. 3,109 m. From this point the route to Dufourspitze goes L. Climb the R bank of the glacier but moving well out on to the glacier, crossing or turning several crevasses as necessary, to pass the point at which a branch glacier joins from the SE. Pass close to the foot of a rockt shoulder, Pt. 3,472 m. The next part of the route depends on the prevailing conditions of the glacier. Provided the crevasses are passable it is easier to move well away from the rock to pass R of the rocky outcrop below Pt. 3,699 m. Otherwise climb the steep snow slope close to the rocks. Either way reach a glacier plateau at 3,720 m. Now head ESE into a glacier combe leading up between serac to another, much smaller glacier plateau at 3,950 m. Cross this one SSE into the middle of the glacier and climb up it until you reach the upper parts of the glacier. At 4,150 m, and some way S of a crevassed part of the glacier below the Zumsteispitze, swing L into the glacier combe below the Colle Gnifetti and join the route coming from Lisjoch.



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