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Disgràzia West-North-West Ridge or Cresta di Pioda

Disgràzia West-North-West Ridge or Cresta di Pioda

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Disgràzia West-North-West Ridge or Cresta di Pioda

Page Type: Route

Location: Sondrio/Lombardia, Italy, Europe

Lat/Lon: 46.26680°N / 9.75110°E

Object Title: Disgràzia West-North-West Ridge or Cresta di Pioda

Route Type: Mountaineering

Season: Spring, Summer

Time Required: Most of a day

Difficulty: Alpine PD, UIAA II+, 40°

Route Quality: 
 - 4 Votes


Page By: Silvia Mazzani

Created/Edited: Mar 2, 2014 / Sep 6, 2017

Object ID: 888499

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Page Score: 89.68%  - 30 Votes 

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Disgràzia WNW ridge or Cresta di Pioda

The normal route to climb the highest peak of the Val Masino Alps

Cresta di Pioda (Pioda Ridge) follows the West-North-West ridge of Monte Disgrazia 3678 m and it’s the normal way to climb this mighty peak located between Val Màsino and Val Malenco, in the Western Rhaetian Alps. This popular route starting from the Sella di Monte Pioda m. 3387 (a saddle lying between Monte Pioda and Monte Disgrazia) is frequently climbed in reason of its beauty and its moderate difficulty; it’s a mixed “course”, alternating snowy ridges and easy rocky steps.

Disgràzia South ridge
Disgràzia on the left and the S ridge with Corni Bruciati on the right from Rif. Ponti - Ph. morceaux

The peak is built in by a good kind of “serpentino”, a greenish rock having a metamorphic origin. Cresta di Pioda is the route climbed in the summer 1862 by the first summiters of the mountain, the British pioneers E. S. Kennedy and Leslie Stephen with the guide M. Anderegg and T. Cox. The view from the summit is quite spectacular and 360° wide, towards the neighbouring peaks and valleys of Masino-Bregaglia region, Bernina group and also far off over the Western Alps.

The Disgrazia normal route...
The WNW ridge
Monte Disgrazia
Disgràzia seen from Preda Rossa

Getting There

Road Approach

The starting point to climb the route is the village of Filorera in Val Masino

From Milano to Filorera (Val Masino) - Follow the East Motorway to Lecco, then the road n. 36 running on the East shore of Lago di Lecco, reaching Mandello del Lario, Varenna, Dervio and Colico m. 202 (90 km. from Milano). In Colico leave the road n. 36 (getting to Chiavenna), turn to right, take the road n. 38 (signposts Sondrio- Morbegno) entering the Valtellina, pass Morbegno and follow it as far as Talamona. After Talamona leave the Valtellina road and turn to left (signpost Val Masino), taking the road SP9 which enters the Val Masino , getting to Cataéggio and Filorera.

From Filorera to the Preda Rossa parking - In Filorera follow the signpost to “Piana di Predarossa” and Rifugio Ponti. Leave the main road and turn to right, following a toll-road entering the long Valley of Sasso Bisolo (5€ - you can buy the ticket in Cataeggio or Filorera snack-bars). Where the road is blocked by an old landslide nearby a cave, follow an alternative unsurfaced road running on the other side of the valley (km. 1,8) and joining the original road above the landslide. The last part of the road reach the wide parking of Predarossa.

Walking approach to Rifugio Ponti

From the parking nearby the Alpe di Preda Rossa (m. 1950) follow the path (signpost Rifugio Ponti) leading soon to a the plain of Preda Rossa where Monte Disgrazia shows its superb shape. Cross the plain on its right side (some wooden bridges), getting the upper plain. On the left a good path with some hairpins rises to reach a morainic terrace lying nearby the Glacier od Preda Rossa. A long traverse heading NNE leads to the hut (2 hours and a half from the Preda Rossa parking, red-white marks along the path).

M. Disgrazia WNW Ridge topo
West-Nort-West ridge or Cresta di Pioda topo
Huge cornice along the ridge
Huge cornice on the ridge

Route Description

Disgrazia West–North–West ridge report - UIAA Scale

Summit altitude: m. 3678
Difficulty: Alpine PD/PD+, II+ UIAA
Difference in level: 27200 m. from Preda Rossa, 1120 m. from Rif. Ponti
Equipment: not equipped
Exposure: WNW
First ascent: : E.S. Kennedy – Leslie Stephen – M. Anderegg – T. Cox 1862, August, 24th
Hut: Rifugio Ponti m. 2559
Starting point: Predarossa Alp m. 1950

Sella di Pioda seen from the route
Sella di Pioda seen from the route
Almost on the summit
Almost on the summit
Downclimbing - Ph. ferro

Disgrazia West-North-West ridge – or Cresta di Pioda – is the easiest way to get the summit of this mountain, the highest one of Lombardia. It’s a popular mixed “course”, alternating snowy ridges and easy rocky steps.

Part I – Scrambling approach from Rifugio Ponti m. 2559 to Sella di Monte Pioda m. 3387

Sella di Monte Pioda m. 3387 is a wide saddle lying between Monte Pioda and Monte Disgrazia. From the hut take a well worn path heading East (red-white marks), getting the edge of the right lateral moraine of Preda Rossa Glacier. Follow the moraine edge; when it ends (cairn), turn to left and rise on a stones-ground (some cairns) heading to a steep rock wall on the orographical right side of the glacier. The route gains the edge of the Preda Rossa Glacier; cross the glacier and climb its steepest section on the left, near the rocks, to avoid the crevasses, getting a terrace below the wide saddle of Preda Rossa, then the saddle m. 3387, where a breathtaking view over the Bernina Group appears (2 hours from the hut).

The steep snow slope
The steep snow-slope

Negotiating a snow cornice
Negotiating a snow cornice

The ancient summit signal
The ancient summit signal

Part II – Climbing section from Sella di Monte Pioda m. 3387 to the summit of Monte Disgrazia m. 3678

The climb starts from Sella di Monte Pioda. Skirts the first rocks on the right for about 50 meters, then take the ridge, alternating Up the fine ridge, alternating snowy slopes and rocky steps, being aware to the huge cornice protruding to the Disgrazia Glacier. After a steep snow- slope (40°), climb some rocky steps (max II grade UIAA), reaching two small rocky prominces. The rocks are of good quality and are engraved by the crampons’ points. After this rocky section, climb an easier but airy snow ridge, reaching the fore-summit called “Syber-Gysi". After having climbed a steep boulder 5 meters high called “Cavallo di Bronzo” (“Bronze Horse”, II+ UIAA) follow the ending ridge to the tiny summit.

Descent: following the same route

Essential Gear

Rope, helmet, ice-axe, crampons, some ribbons, glacier-gear, some quickdraws.

Red Tape

No particulary restrictions in climbing and hiking. The road running from Filorera to Preda Rossa is a toll-road.


Refugio Ponti
Rifugio Ponti

Rifugio Cesare Ponti m. 2559 – C.A.I. Club Alpino Italiano Sez. Milano

Situation: South Disgrazia - Shore of Preda Rossa Glacier.
open: from June, 20th to September, 30th
Size: 60 persons + 6 in the winter-shelter
Guardian: Ezio Cassina
Hut's phone : +390342611455 - +390342640138
Email address: gestore@rifugioponti.it

When to climb

The best season is the late spring and the early summer.




Guidebooks and maps

Disgràzia map

Disgràzia guidebook


“Masino – Bregaglia – Disgrazia Vol. II” by Aldo Bonacossa – Giovanni Rossi – Collana Guide dei Monti d'Italia C.A.I.-T.C.I.


- Kompass n° 92 "Bernina - Sondrio" 1:50.000
- Multigraphic “Pizzo Bernina – Monte Disgrazia”
- CNS “Monte Disgrazia” 1:50.000


On the normal routeAlpenglow on DisgraziaMonte DisgraziaDisgrazia south ridge alpenglowDisgraziaM. Disgrazia WNW Ridge topoNegotiating a snow-cornice
Disgràzia WNW ridge, the steep snow-slopeThe Disgrazia normal route...Huge cornice along the ridgeMonte Disgrazia south FaceAlmost at the top of Monte...Monte Disgrazia old summit signalThe Sella di Pioda from...
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