OverviewThe valley around the Albigna Reservoir offers great sport climbing and mountain routes on the fine granite of the Bregaglia (Bergell). Most of the shorter, more technical climbs lie west of the reservoir. They can be climbed in a day from the car, if one uses the cable car to the top of the dam, or one can base out of the Albigna Hut. or the Sciora hut.
The peak shows as Al Gal on the topo map, but is more commonly know as Il Gallo. It means the rooster, but rock fall broke the beak off its profile in 1923. While it's small looking on the Albigna side, it presents an impressive NW ridge on the Val Bregaglia side. It was first climbed in 1909 by Rodio and Steiner.
Immediately north of Il Gallo is a small spire known as La Vergine (2620m). Its N-NE ridge is often climbed in conjunction with the N-NE ridge of Il Gallo for a traverse that makes for a moderately long day out on the finest granite.
Getting TherePublic Transportation
One can take a train to St. Moritz, then go by bus towards Vicosoprano, SW of Maloja Pass. From Italy, one would take a bus towards Maloja Pass. There is a bus stop at Pranzaira, east of Vicosoprano, near the cable car station run by the hydrodam company. It's a truly airy, scary ride!. It is open to the public and takes you to the top of the dam. From there, trails lead to the various climbs.
Walk across the dam and follow the trail to the Albigna hut , a short hike of 45 minutes.
There is a trail from Pranzaira up a stone staircase to the dam that takes about 3.5 hours to hike.
There are two main highways leading to St. Moritz and on over 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 in Pranzaira
Routes OverviewThe following is a general listing of the most climbed routes. See the routes section of this page and a guidebook for more detail.
La Vergine and Il Gallo, from the east. The standard traverse of the N/NE ridges runs from right to left more or less along the skyline. This is a composite of 2 photos and there is some distortion.
- N - NE Ridge
The normal route and the route of the first ascent. 150 meters, UIAA III to IV (YDS 5.3 to 5.6), 3 hours from the Albigna Hut. Also taken in descent by rappelling or downclimbing.
- South Ridge
Often rappelled in descent to complete a traverse of the peak. First climbed 1930 by Mrs. Mann, Bray, Standring and Georges le Skieur. UIAA IV, 3 hours from the Albigna hut.
- Northwest Ridge
One of the finest climbs of its class in the Bregaglia, but hard and long to approach. UIAA IV+ (YDS 5.7), 550 vertical meters. 2 hours for the approach from Albigna and 6 to 8 hours for the ridge. First acent 1936 by Simon and Weippert.
- Traverse N-NE ridge
100 vertical meters of UIAA IV+ (YDS 5.7).
AccommodationsCamping, hotels, condos and pensions abound in the whole are from St. Moritz to Vicosoprano and beyond. This is an extremely popular resort area, so reservations are advised. It's also expensive (so it seemed to me).
If wanting to do several climbs, including Piz Casnil, one should base out of the Albigna Hut.. It is also possible to climb from the Sciora hut.
When To ClimbEarly summer to late fall, depending on snow conditions and weather.,
Mountain ConditionsSee Meteo Swiss for current weather, avalanche and other conditions throughout Switzerland.
Check the St Moritz website for local conditions and other information.
Live webcam above St Moritz is also a good information source.