OverviewThis a beautiful calck mountain located in the Ortles-Cevedale group (Stelvio National Park) which presents 3 main routes: a superb ice-mixted nord wall (rem a famous climb on overhanging ice cornice by Kurt Diemberger), and a not-easy normal route, plus a mid-difficulty nordwest ridge. You need a good stability on crampons thinking about a climb on ice and snow with steepness up to 45-50 degrees on normal route.
According to the conditions of the mountain you may have 30 people on summit in a July day with a lot of snow on normal route and possibility to climb without crampons, but only few mountaineers in late season (after mid of August) when the route become completely on ice.
See on the second picture the climbing route.
Getting ThereFROM MILAN BY CAR: statal route "Vallassina" number 36 to Lecco and then to Colico (north side Como lake) and then Stelvio statal route to Morbegno, Sondrio, Tirano and then to Bormio (three hours). From Bormio only 12 Km to Santa Caterina Valfurva and then 8 Km to Gavia pass.
FROM MILAN BY TRAIN AND BUS: take a train in the Milan Central station destination Tirano and then a bus to Santa Caterina (4 hours).
FROM SUDTIROL BY CAR THROUGH STELVIO PASS: from Bozen (Alto Adige on the highway between Innsbruck and Verona) to Merano by main route and the by local route through Venosta Valley follow the signals to Stelvio mountain pass (2700 meters, the highest mountain pass reaching by car, open only in the summer period). From here to Bormio (3 hours and half from Bozen, Stelvio pass requires 44 bends to go up and 15 to go down). From Bormio only 12 Km to Santa Caterina Valfurva and then 8 Km to Gavia pass.
FROM SAINT MORITZ (CH) BY CAR: go to Pontresina and then follow the signals to Bernina pass. Turn left when you look the indication to Livigno (I) through Forcola pass (open only in summer period) and then from Livigno through Foscagno pass (2200 meters, open all the year) to Bormio (3 hours). From Bormio only 12 Km to Santa Caterina Valfurva and then 8 Km to Gavia pass.
FROM SANTA MARIA (MUNSTERTAL - CH) BY CAR: follow the signals to Giogo di Santa Maria (Pab Umbrail) on the border between Switzerland and Italy and then to Bormio (1 hour and half, border near Stelvio pass, open only in the summer period). From Bormio only 12 Km to Santa Caterina Valfurva and then 8 Km to Gavia pass.
FROM GERMANY OR AUSTRIA BY CAR: on highways via either Innsbruck or Bregenz to Landeck and then following Staatsstraße S 13 to the italian border at the Reschenpass / Passo di Resia . There the Vinschgau / Val Venosta valley starts that represents the northern border of Ortles-Cevedale group. At Prad the Trafoi valley starts that leads either to Sulden / Solda or via Stilfser Joch / Passo di Stelvia to Bormio.
FROM PONTE DI LEGNO: through Gavia pass, dangerous route (very small) open only in the summer period.
Look here for more info
Red TapeYou have to act considering you're in a national park, no camping is allowed on route to hut or mountain.
Mountaineering equipment necessary is that for glacier and mixt climbing, it must include the helmet.
Do not go to this mountain without an helmet, the recent climatic condition may cause some stone fall.
When To ClimbJuly is the best moment if your looking for an easy access, but sometimes the mountain is too dangerously crowded, and snow may have stability problems in hot days.
Wonderful in september, few climbers, but more difficult and at the same time interesting for the ice tecnique necessary.
In winter you have to check the quantity of snow on the sholder, risk of avalanche.
Going with skis:
the mountain can be mostly descended with skis in spring (March-May), you can reach the base with skis, climb carring them and enjoy a "steep descent". But consider having good snow conditions, strong legs and not too soft binding on skis, then do not make mistakes.
Nearby mountainsAt the same group Ortles-Cevedale belong two other mountains included in SummitPost.com data base:
* Palon de la Mare
You can see the records of those mountains also for more info about this mountain chain
Science & MountaineeringIn S. Caterina are carried out studies on ski athlets by ITBA group, the same which is carring scientific research on high altitude on human physiology in the Everest region.
They work in a scientific facility on the way to Everest, the Pyramid EV-K2-CNR / RONAST International Laboratory Observatory located in Lobuche, last camp before BC, which is an enteresting base for multidisciplinary scientific research on high altitude and remote areas.
Moreover the Pyramid is locally run by mountain guides with a large experience on himalayan mountaineering.
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