Il Chapütschin (speak: Tschapütschin) is the easiest and quickest climb in the surroundings of Chamanna Coaz. The normal route uses the northeast slopes of the mountain and its northeastern glacier. To summit you can use both the north ridge or the southeast ridge.
Time required from Chamanna Coaz is about 2,5 to 3,5 hours. Return is about 2 hours. So you have a moderate to long half days hike.
Difficulty ranges from “F” /facile - easy) to “PD” (peu difficile - moderately difficult).
These routes are the ski routes in spring, too.
Your starting point is Chamanna Coaz, a recommended hut of the swiss alpine club with a very friendly staff and 80 beds and - as usual in the swiss mountains, with good food.
You reach Chamanna Coaz from Pontresina via Val Roseg, Hotel Roseg (there is a coach service from Pontresina train station to Hotel Roseg), Alp Ota and alternatively the panorama trail via Marguns da l´Alp Ota or via glacier lake. Both trails are beautiful and long (about 5 hours from Pontresina, 3 hours from Hotel Roseg).
Chamanna Coaz can be reached via Fuorcla Surlej, too. You can use the Corvatsch cableways to shorten the ascent and have a nice hike on the panoramic trail from Fuorcla Surlej to Chamanna Coaz.
The views to Piz Tschierva, Piz Morteratsch, Piz Prievlusa, the famous Bianco arete, Piz Bernina and the incomparable Piz Roseg are just overwhelming.
From Chamanna Coaz follow the ascent trail back to the west and northwest. Traverse the many creeks coming down from the glaciers and pass below the rock slabs, called “Las Plattas”. At the northern end of Las Plattas there is a trail junction which can easily be missed: a narrow and steep trail branches off to the left; there is only one mark: “F F” for Fuorcla Fex and a white - blue - white sign.
Follow this trail up for about some minutes. Another trail junction bears the marks “F F” to the right and “P C” for Chapütschin to the left. This trail leads up steeply to a moraine crest which has to be followed for a while. At the upper end of this moraine the trail traverses to the right and ascends into a southwest - northeast orientated, shallow, in early summer still snow filled valley between two rock ridges.
Ascend this steep little valley up to the actual end of the northeastern Chapütschin glacier.
In july 2009 the glacier was still completely snow covered and there were no major crevasses to be seen. But my guidebook says that also this small glacier has its huge crevasses so don´t think about leaving the rope and the glacier gear at the hut. On the Google Earth image with the route you can see crevasse zones which were mercyful covered in july 2009.
Ascend on the steep glacier in southwestern direction until the glacier slope gets more level. Now there are two possibilities which can be combined to a nice traverse:
- Go on in southwestern directions to gain a notch in the north ridge north of the rock part of the north ridge. Depending on snow and glacier conditions you can easily step from snow / glacier onto the ridge or you have to pass a bergschrund and climb some 10 to 20 meters up to the ridge over loose and instable rocks.
In common the route will be easier the earlier you will undertake your hike and the more snow there was during winter. July 2009 had excellent conditions.
Climb up west of the rock part of the ridge (Fex valley side) and follow the talus and scree or snow ridge up to the summit.
- At the shallow part of the glacier turn left and traverse on the glacier below the north and the southeast ridge. Ascend onto the broad southeast ridge where it is possible (there are several possibilities to gain this ridge) and follow the talus ridge up to the summit.
Full mountain gear and good shoes are required. In spring you need full ski hike gear and your avalanche gear.
Il Chapütschin is an easy glacier summit but for your own safety you need a rope, ice axe and crampons.
Additionally you should have at least minimum knowledge of glacier hikes and how to rescue someone out of crevasses.