In memory of
This page was made with the great help of SP member Cyrill Rüegger , who tragically died in an accident on Piz Palü on June 13th, 2009.
Rest in peace Cyrill.
In the heart of Ticino, deep inside the wild and rugged Verzasca valley, lays Madom Gross. Or as the Italians call it: Madone di Giove. Madom Gross is the highest peak of the entire Verzasca region and measures 2741 meters above sea level.
It is one of the harder hiking peaks to be conquered, the climb is rated T6 and therefore some experience is needed for those who want to enjoy this summit. Although the highest peak in the Verzaca region, it is not as often climbed as other Verzasca peaks like Madom da Sgiof (2265m) and Pizzo di Vogorno (2442m). It is therefore a great destination for those who enjoy the quietness of nature.
Madom Gross is located in the northern part of the Verzasca valley, east of the northernmost village in the Verzasca valley: Sonogno. The Madom Gross massif seperates the Verzasca (west) and Northern Leventina (east) valleys. Climbing the mountain accounts for great views. To the north the Campo Tencia (3072m) is visible, and to the East you hava amazing views deep down into the Leventina valley. Towards the West and South you enjoy the views of the rugged Verzasca valley and its peaks.
So if you are an experienced hiker/scrambler and you like to climb in one of the wildest and rugged places of Switzerland, the highest peak in the Verzasca region is a perfect destination.
The route starts in the village of Frasco at an altitude of 885 meters. From here a marked trail starts towards the east leading into the forest. You will follow the trail up to Refuge Alpe Costa (1941m), where it is possible to spend the night since the ascent involves a height gain of almost 2000 vertical meters.
From this point on a white-blue-white marked trail leads you up to the ruins of Laghetto at 2050 meters. Shortly after this you will leave the marked trail and head towards the north to find your own way up towards the summit.
Heading up towards the north you will reach point 2379. Above this the most difficult part of the climb starts. Heading north towards the summit you will encounter a steep rocky flank that has to be crossed. You have to find your own route across this steep part that is graded T6. After crossing this flank you will find your way to the summit while still heading in a northern direction.
At an altitude of 2741 meters you are now at the highest point of the entire Val Verzasca. The descent is the same way back, although a nice variant exists. You can follow the eastern ridge of Madom Gross that leads towards the summit of Pizzo Cramosino (2718m). From here you descend back via point 2503 and point 2059 towards Laghetto at 2050m. Then take the same route down via Refuge Alpe Costa back to Frasco.
The A2 highway crosses Switzerland from north to south. On this highway take exit 'Locarno'
Follow the Locarno signs for several miles on this secondary road.
After a few miles there will be signs saying: Val Verzasca. This will lead you to Val Verzasca.
In the Verzasca valley is only one major road. You follow this road and you will first pass the village of Vogorno, than you will pass Lavertezzo and the 3rd major village is Brione. Here the road splits up: Follow the road to the east towards Gerra, Frasca and Sonogno. When you reach the village of Frasca park your car. In this very small village a hiking trail starts towards the east. This is the starting point for the climb.
Climbing Madom Gross does not involve any gear. The climb is graded T6 which is the most difficult 'hikers' grade. The climb involves some major scrambling. You need to have excellent orientation skills and advanced alpine experience for climbing this mountain.
The altitude difference from the valley floor (staring point) until the summit is quite large. The climb includes an elevation gain of over 2000 vertical meters. Therefore, a good physical condition is advised.
Camping & HotelCamping Al Censo, Claro.
A beautiful campsite on less than half an hour drive from Verzasca.
For more info:
camping Al Censo
The nearest Hotel is in Vogorno:
Hotel Pizzo Vogorno
Weather and LinksClick for Weather
Val Verzasca Tourist office
Tel +41 (0)91 745 16 61
Official Ticino Site