OverviewThis mountain is part of the Val Masino - Bregaglia group. It is located at the end of the Forno Valley, straddles the Italian/Swiss border and is considered to be both a Swiss and an Italian summit. This summit sits NW of and very close to Monte Disgrazia. Cima di Castello is W of Cima di Rosso.
Piz de la Margna is another nearby peak described on Summitpost and is a pleasant day's outing.
Cima di Rosso offers a wide variety of routes, both easy and technical, as well as some fine ski mountaineering opportunities.
Cima di Rosso and Cima di Vazzeda are called the Chiareggio Twins on the Italian side. Starting from Italy, the traverse of the two summits is a classical climb of the range.
Getting ThereMost of the technical routes as well as the normal route are approached from Maloja Pass, near the village of Maloja in Switzerland. The E-SE ridge as well as the traverse of Cima di Rosso - Cima di Vazzeda are approached through the small village of Chiareggio in Italy. Chiareggio is the jumping off point for a number of other Italian huts as well.
One can take a train to St. Moritz, then go by bus to Maloja Pass. From Italy, one would take a bus to Maloja Pass.
To reach Chiareggio, take the hourly train from Milan (Milano Centrale or Porta Garibaldi) for Sondrio. (Train Schedule Query)
From Sondrio there are 4 buses daily to Chiesa Valmalenco and Chiareggio (Montana) STPS - Società Transporti Pubblici Sondrio - via Samaden, 35 - 23100 Sondrio (SO) Tel: 0342/511212
There are two main highways leading to St. Moritz and on to Maloja Pass: From the north and west via Chur and the Julier Pass, from the east via Innsbruck (or Bozen) - Landeck - Zernez and from the south from Chiavenna over Maloja Pass. There are parking opportunities on Maloja Pass.
From Milan, follow the SS36 (Spluga e Stelvio) to Sondrio (136 km) At the beginning of the town (traffic circle) choose the left fork to Valmalenco. After 12.6 km the road reaches picturesque Chiesa in Valmalenco (960 m). Follow signs toward Chiareggio (12 km). (See map)
From Maloya Pass a trail heads to the Forno Valley. The right hand fork leads up the well marked and fairly flat Forno Glacier. This is a very long and dry trail - take plenty of water! On the moraine at left side of the glacier lies the Forno Hut. About three to four hours from Maloja Pass.
Del Grande Hut
The trail head is on the west end of the village. From Chiareggio, walk 2.5 to 3 hours on a well marked trail to the small Del Grande Hut.
Routes OverviewThis is merely a general overview of possible routes on Cima di Rosso. Consult a guidebook for specific details. All the routes require glacier travel.
SW Flank (Normal)
The normal route and the route of the first ascensionists WA Coolidge with F and H Dévouassoud on 30 July 1867. Rated F+ this route is a basic glacier slog, and is often done on skis.
See the description under the routes section of this page. A very pleasant and relatively easy snow climb up the NW face. Again, changing glacier and snow conditions have made this climb much more challenging than when I did it in 1981.
There are actually 2 North Face routes. The classic, direct route first climbed by Amstutz and Bonacossa on 15 June 1930 and the Right Lead, first ascended by H. and E. Heinzle with W. Rinderer in May 1964. The 380 m (1247 ft) high face is rated AD+, with snow and ice up to 55 degrees steep. Current snow and ice conditions may have made this route more difficult. The Classic route ascends the broad snow face to the left of the rocky ridge that leads to the summit, while the Right Lead follows a narrow snow gully between the rock ridge and the hanging glacier. This route is more serious and has much higher objective dangers from ice and rock fall.
North Face Rib
First climbed by JS Cleare and MW Springett on 22 July 1969, this route ascends the rocky ridge that splits the North Face. Rated AD+ with sections of UIAA IV and IV+ (YDS 5.6 to 5.7)
This is the normal route from the Italian side, started from Del Grande hut. The ridge is reached from an easy glacier bay on the north side. UIAA III (YDS about 5.3 to 5.4). First ascent by GM and A Bonacossa and P Orio, 11 Oct 1925.
Skiing Route PicturesSee the Skiing Route page for a complete description.
When To ClimbDepending on snow and glacier conditions, this peak can be climbed in all seasons. The recent warming trend has changed the glacier. Call the hut warden for current conditions. This area is also well suited for ski mountaineering.
AccommodationsCamping, hotels, condos and pensions abound in the whole Engadin valley from St Moritz to Maloja Pass. This is an extremely popular resort area, so reservations are advised. It's also expensive (so it seemed to me).
Chiareggio also has hotels, pensions and camping.
The Forno Hut at 2574m or 8444 ft) is the best place to stay near the mountain base. Camping is discouraged for environmental reasons.
Del Grande Hut can be used for ascents from the Italian side.
Mountain ConditionsThe current warming trend in the Alps has changed many of the routes and approaches. Be sure to check with locals (the hut warden is most knowledgeable) about the most current conditions and problems.
For latest weather, check Swiss Weather and Conditions and/or Extreme Weather
Check the St Moritz website for conditions as well.
Live webcam above St Moritz is also a good information source.
Other ResourcesThe books in the sidebar are the closest thing Amazon has. Robin Collomb has a Bregaglia East (which I own) and Cima di Rosso is described in that book, not the listed west.
Bünder Alpen 4, in German, published by the Swiss Alpine Club. Last edited 1992.
Italian Alpine Club books Unfortunately the Val Masino guides seem to be currently sold out.
Needed 1:25000 Swiss topographic maps: Val Bregaglia # 1276 and Sciora # 1296
Swiss Datum CH1902, Swiss grid coordinates: 775603E 130863N