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Parrotspitze (4432 m a.s.l.)

The Parrotspitze is one of the nine independent, 4,000-metre summits of the Monte Rosa Massif, with a prominence of 136 m. The prominence of a mountain is an important characteristic for the determination of its autonomy (compare the prominence of the Balmenhorn and the Schwarzhorn). From the west and the east, the Parrotspitze has the shape of a pyramid, and of a hump from the north. It is covered with firn (corn snow) – this is old snow (last-year’s snow) that occurs when snow crystals melt together into large, hailstone-like pieces as a result of melting and re-freezing. The appearance is very different from the south: here, the mountain presents a sheer face.

Origin of the name
The summit was named by the Austrian general and surveyor Ludwig von Welden, who set a monument for the German doctor and scientist Johann Jakob Friedrich Wilhelm Parrot, a pioneer of alpinism.

There is a second Parrotspitze in Turkey – it is the main summit of Mount Ararat, the mountain on which Noah’s Arc came to rest after the Flood according to the story in the Old Testament. Parrot was the first to climb this 5,137 metre-high mountain. The doctor’s 1816 expedition  on the Monte Rosa Massif was a failure, however.


4432 m a.s.l.

First climbed

16th August 1863

First climbed by

A first expedition by the British climbers Hereford Brooke, George and Adolphus Warburton Moore with the mountain guides Christian Almer and Matthias Zumtaugwald from Switzerland climbed over the East Face of the Parrotspitze up to the final ridge just below the summit, but did not continue to the summit.
The second expedition, on the 16th August 1863, led by Melchior Anderegg and Reginald S. Macdonald, Florence Crauford Grove, Montagu Woodmass and William Edward Hall was successful. Their route led over the West Ridge, which is nowadays regarded as the normal route.

Information for hikers

Different hiking tips with a view of the mountain

Hike from Gornergrat to the new Monte-Rosa hut

Mountain cabins en route / picnic

Gornergrat, new Monte-Rosa hut

Mountain railway offers

With the Gornergrat-Bahn Zermatt – Rotenboden - Zermatt

Information for excursions

Information about the various summits

You have the best view of the Parrotspitze from the Gornergrat
With the Gornergrat-Bahn Zermatt – Gornergrat - Zermatt

Short, easy walks  or hikes



Information for mountaineers / alpinists

Valley location

Alagna Valsesia (1190 m a.s.l.)

Starting point

Capanna Gnifetti (3,611 m a.s.l.)
Rifugio Città di Mantova (3,498 m a.s.l.)



Various routes

  • The Normal route follows the footsteps of the first successful climbers over the West Ridge. The starting point for the glacier tour is the Gnifettihütte cabin (3,647 m a.s.l.) in Italy. From there, the Piodejoch col (4,283 m a.s.l.) near the Ludwigshöhe can be reached in 2½ hours by tracks that are mostly already existent. From there, continue in a NE direction onto the West Ridge and over this (up to 40° steep) to reach the summit in around 30 minutes. This is the most commonly used ski ascent route in winter and spring.
  • On the Swiss side, the West Ridge can be reached from the Monte-Rosa hut (2,795 m a.s.l.) over the Grenzgletscher glacier. This route is seldom used, however.
  • Due to the short distances on the Monte-Rosa route, the Parrotspitze is often visited within the context of a traverse. An example of this is the ascent following the normal route followed by a descent over the north-east ridge onto the Seserjoch col (4'296 m a.s.l.) and, from there, a new ascent to the Signalkuppe with the Capanna Regina Margherita. (This can also be done in the opposite direction from the Signalkuppe to the Gnifettihütte cabin). With a little more effort, it is possible to cross the Balmenhorn, the Ludwigshöhe or the Schwarzhorn in the ascent from the Gnifettihütte cabin.


Refreshment areas / mountain cabins

Capanna Gnifetti (3,611 m a.s.l.)

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