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Morteratsch North Ridge Normal Route

Morteratsch North Ridge Normal Route

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Morteratsch North Ridge Normal Route

Page Type: Route

Location: Engadin, Switzerland, Europe

Lat/Lon: 46.39540°N / 9.90410°E

Object Title: Morteratsch North Ridge Normal Route

Route Type: Mountaineering

Season: Summer

Time Required: Most of a day

Difficulty: PD-

Route Quality: 
 - 5 Votes


Page By: Silvia Mazzani

Created/Edited: Aug 14, 2004 / Mar 18, 2017

Object ID: 161814

Hits: 6603 

Page Score: 88.51%  - 27 Votes 

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Geographical classification: Alps Eastern part > Bernina Group > Piz Morteratsch > North Ridge Normal Route

Piz Morteratsch North Ridge Normal Route

Piz Morteratsch is a mighty and complex ice-capped peak and moreover it is an amazing balcony to take a breathtaking view over the peaks situated in the heart of Bernina Group.
The summit of Morteratsch, lying between Piz Prievlus and Fuorcla Boval and separating the Morteratsch basin from the Tschierva basin, can be climbed along a beautiful and satisfactory Normal Route running on the icy Northern ridge and starting from Fuorcla da Boval, a wide saddle at 3347 m. This saddle can be approached from two different sides: on the Eastern side from Chamanna Boval 2495 m, a shelter located in a superb position dominating the impressive Vadret da Morteratsch (Morteratsch Glacier) and on the Western side from Chamanna da Tschierva 2583 m, a shelter located near the smaller Vadret da Tschierva (Val Roseg).
The route rising from Chamanna Boval is more interesting and involves a pleasant rock climb on good granite steps to get the Fuorcla da Boval 3347 m and successively an easy ice-climb along the final ice-slopes on the upper Northern ridge of the peak.
The Normal route starting from Chamanna da Tschierva m. 2583, located on Val Roseg side, reachs the same Fuorcla da Boval, where it joins the previous itinerary rising from Chamanna Boval.

Parties on Morteratsch summit

Piz Morteratsch North Face
Piz Morteratsch North Face

Getting there

The starting point to reach the Chamanna da Boval is Morteratsch, a little railway station at 1896 m of altitude, located along the "Ferrovia Retica" (Retic Railway).
The starting point to reach the Chamanna da Tschierva is the village of Pontresina.
Both Morteratsch and Pontresina are located on the road running from S. Moritz to the Bernina Pass.

Road approach from Italy

By car: from Milano follow the Motorway to Lecco, then the road running on the East shore of Lago di Lecco to Colico - Chiavenna - Maloia Pass - Silvaplana - St. Moritz - Pontresina - Morteratsch

By railroad: Milano - Sondrio - Tirano - Bernina railway (the highest in Europe)

Scenery along Boval Hut trail
Scenery along Boval Hut trail
Piz Bernina and Biancograt seen from Piz Morteratsch
The awesome Biancograt seen from Morteratsch summit

Walking approach to Chamanna da Boval 2495 m

From the Morteratsch railway station a good and spectacular path running on the moraine of the left orographical side of Morteratsch Glacier reachs the place named Chamin 2343 m and rising on a rocky step (a brief fixed rope) leads to the shelter (2 hours)

Walking approach to Chamanna da Tschierva 2583 m

From Pontresina railway station take the Val Roseg road and follow it, reaching the altitude of 1994 m. Cross a stream on a bridge, getting to the Hotel Roseg. Take a path on the left, following the valley and then rising to the Margun Misaun 2245 m. Here the path heads to SW, approachs the moraine lying on the orographical right side of the Vadret da Tschierva and then skirts the glacier, reaching the hut (3,30 hours).

The mighty Morteratsch Glacier
Morteratsch Glacier seen from the Dadain Glacier
Sunrise on Piz Morteratsch
Starting at sunrise
Parties near Piz Morteratsch summit
Parties near the summit

Route Description

North Ridge (Normal route) from Chamanna Boval report - UIAA scale

Summit altitude: 3751 m
Difficulty: Alpine PD-, II- UIAA the rocky section, 35° on ice
Difference in level: 1250 m
Exposure: East, then North
First ascent: Ch. G. Brugger - P. Gensler - K. Emmermann - A. Klaingutti 11-9-1858

A superb high mountain route climbing one of the giants of Bernina Group

Piz Morteratsch North Ridge topo
Piz Morteratsch North Ridge topo

Starting the rocky section
Rocky section before Fuorcla Boval

From the Chamanna Boval (Bovalhütte) m. 2495 walk up on a steep path towards West along the Gianda Boval, heading to Corn Boval. At about 2800 m turn to left (SW), pass a small ridge, getting the small glacier named Vadret Boval Dadains. Climb up the glacier, heading to the rocky wall facing East and getting its base at about 3000 m. Start to climb it on easy rocky steps (red marks). In the upper part head to South, getting the Fuorcla da Boval 3347 m. From the col descend a few meters on the opposite side (West), then head to left (South), following the upper snow-slopes of the Vadrettin da Tschierva and skirting the huge rocky pinnacles located along the ridge overlooking the snow-slopes.
After the traverse, climb a rather steep icefield (35°) for about 50 m., reach the ridge and follow it to the summit. Beware of some snow-covered crevasses between 3500 and 3700m!

Pause on Fuorcla Boval
Pause on Fuorcla Boval

Up on the summit slopes
Up on the summit slopes

Descent on the same route

Essential Gear

Rope, ice-axe, crampons, helmet


- Chamanna da Boval (Boval-Hütte) 2495 m - CAS Bernina
Situation: North Bernina - West shore of Morteratsch Glacier.
Open: 15 of March - 15 of May and 15 of june - 15 of October
Size: 100 persons + 12 in the winter-shelter
Getting There: by train to Morteratsch station or by car, then 2 hours by walking on a path running on the left orographical side of Morteratsch Glacier
Hut's phone : 0041-8266403

- Chamanna da Tschierva (Tschierva Hütte) 2573 m - CAS Bernina
Situation: West Bernina near Tschierva Glacier.
Open: end of March - 15 of May and 15 of June - 15 of October
Size: 100 persons + 30 in the winter shelter
Getting There: Pontresina + Val Roseg - 3 hours on path
Hut's phone : 0041-8266391

Red Tape

Ranunculus Glacialis (Glacier Buttercup), Morteratsch Glacier
Ranunculus Glacialis (Glacier Buttercup) - Morteratsch Glacier

There are no particular restrictions in climbing, mountaineering and hiking.

When to climb

The best period goes from middle June to middle September


Meteo Switzerland

Guidebooks and maps

Bernina Group Guidebook
Piz Morteratsch map


"Bernina" by N. Canetta - G. Miotti Collana Guide dei Monti d'Italia CAI-TCI


- Swisstopo 1277 - Bernina 1/25000


The Biancograt between lights and shadowsScenery along Boval Hut trailPiz Morteratsch from Piz TschiervaStarting the rocky sectionA bright day\'s starting on Piz Morteratsch Normal Route Piz Morteratsch North FaceParties on Morteratsch summit
Parties near Piz Morteratsch summitUp on the summit slopesPause on Fuorcla BovalPiz Morteratsch North Ridge topoMorteratsch and Bernina from Piz TschiervaSunrise on Piz MorteratschSul diedro finale del penultimo tiro
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