There are two possibilities:
1) Start at the Diavolezza hut (cablecar), be aware of crowds !!!! Expensive !
2) Much better: there are great bivys half the way up from Diavolezza to Pers-Gletscher (Pers Glacier) on the regular route to Piz Palü. Not as many people as at Diavolezza, cheap, impressive, easy to reach ....
To start at the Diavolezza go down to the Persgletscher and scramble up on the galcier directly to the base of the middle buttress of piz palu east face (about 1 hour ).
Starting at a bivy follow the path of the regular route to Piz Palü up to the Persgletscher, then turn right (direction Piz Bernina) and reach the base of the butress scrambling up the Persgletscher (about 1 hour ).
The Bumiller-butress route follows the middle of the three spurs of the east face of the Piz Palü. There are four main sections of the route:
1) The first part starts at the Persgletscher. The route follows the western glacier gully of the Piz Palü east face to reach the big snow crest in the middle of the Bumiller-butress. SERIOUS DANGER OF ICE FALL !!!! BE FAST !!!
There is an other, more safer possibility for the lower part of the route (thanks for this information to risch):
It`s possible to start the Bumiller Butress allready on the glacier, so you don`t have to walk for one hour under the big serac.
This way is best on spring or early summer because there is a gully filled with snow which is good to climb. If this gully has no snow enymore it get`s difficult because the rock is bad.
This route needs about one more hour to climb but the chance is much bigger to arrive on top allive.
2) Middle part: from the big snow crest up the main part of the buttress to the great serac below the final ice shield. When reaching the snow crest you are out of ice fall danger. In this middle part there are two possibilities:
(a) The original route goes up somewhat left of the buttress himself. This is a mix of moderate to hard ice and rock climbing. About four pitches below the serac the route joins (b). We found very poor conditions at this part of the climb. Stay nearby the butress, do not go to far left (south).
(b) There is a newer possibililie (I would suggest this) : starting at the snow crest the newer route follows the buttress straight forward. Mostly hard rock climbing. This may be a little more difficult but I think this is the better way in the middle section of the route.
3) The serac himself, this is the crux of the route. The difficulties are depending on the actual conditions. Most time hard ice climbing, in some cases extreme difficult. When you reach the base of the serac you have to look for the best possibilitie to climb the serac. Sometimes there is a possibilitie to go left around the serac doing a very steep traverse, but this is often still hard to climb and very exposed !
4) The final ice shield below the summit, easy scrambling, but take care of crevases !
Over all a big, classic, very impressive route in a spectacular scenery. Hard rock climbing (harder then I expected !), hard ice climbing. It will take about 8 to 12 hours to reach the summit. Remember the serious ice fall danger !
Descent the regular route of Piz Palü (most times a clear path) to the bivy or Diavolezza.
2 ice axes, ice screws, some rocks, some friends, may be pitons, rope, helmet
You can find a trip report (german only) at:
Trip report Bumillerpfeiler
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