Switzerland/Italy (4,634 m) – 2nd Tallest Mountain in Europe
Monte Rosa is the second tallest mountain in Europe and the Alps. Like Mont Blanc to the west, much of Rosa lies within the Italian border, but the peak sits on the far side, in this case Switzerland. Although not as famous as the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa is nevertheless the highest point in Switzerland, one of the highest countries in the world. The two peaks are visible from each other. The name is Italian and means “Pink Mountain”.
Historically, Rosa has been known at least as long as Blanc, and perhaps even longer as it is highly visible from many points south of the Alps. It was first ascended in 1855, and has since been climbed by many intrepid explorers including a future Pope and a future Prime Minister of Great Britain. Thanks to its position close to the south side of the mountain range, there is a long uninstructed view southwards that includes as far as the island of Corsica.
Thanks to it proximity to Zermatt, one of the most famous resort destinations in the Alps, Monte Rosa is very accessible, and mountain trekking there is a popular Swiss pastime. Most climbing attempts are based Monte Rosa Hut which is maintained by the famous Swiss Alpine Club. According to tradition, the mountain in Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting The Madonna of the Rocks may have been inspired by Monte Rosa.