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~ Saturday 9th September 2017

The Margherita hut is the highest building in Europe at 4550m - yet still manages to provide free Wifi, phone charging, real coffee, a friendly welcome and the best hut meal of the summer (and free after-dinner Genépi!) From the hut the summit of Dufourspitze seems tantalisingly close, but the 4563m Zumsteinspitze bars the way, and the spectacular AD ridge joining the 2 peaks is narrow and delicate (even compared to the previous day on Liskamm!)

From the summit we back-tracked over the Dunantspitze and made a tricky descent to the Silbersattel. There used to be fixed ropes here but they were destroyed by rockfall and the descent now involves some careful down-climbing. We'd hoped to climb Nordend, but the wind had blasted the joining ridge leaving a terrifying traverse on steep bare ice, so we had second thoughts and trekked out down the Monte Rosa glacier pondering the ethics of the 2 other teams...who'd booked a heli pick-up from the Satteltole at 4100m!