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Piz Bernina

Piz Bernina

Piz Bernina

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Engadin, Switzerland, Europe

Lat/Lon: 46.38130°N / 9.90670°E

Object Title: Piz Bernina

Activities: Mountaineering, Trad Climbing

Elevation: 13280 ft / 4048 m


Page By: om, AlbertoRampini

Created/Edited: Mar 25, 2001 / Nov 12, 2016

Object ID: 150264

Hits: 65450 

Page Score: 95.35%  - 52 Votes 

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Piz Bernina 4051 m

Piz Bernina 4049 m is a very important peak, the only Fourthousander situated in the Eastern Alps - in fact all the alpine 4000s belong to the Western Alps - and consequently it's the most easterly 4000s and one of the most isolated Fourthousanders. It's lying on the main watershed between Switzerland and Italy, but the highest point is situated in Switzerland, and gives the name to the whole Bernina Massif, which is about 20 km long (East-West) and 10 Km large (North-South).
The summit consists of two distinct but closely spaced top: Piz Bernina and Piz Alv or Pizzo Bianco 3995 m, which is considered the Bernina fore-summit.
From the summit of Bernina they originate three ridges. The main ridge is the Northern one, that descends from the top to Breccia del Bernina and then rears up again, giving rise to the summit of Pizzo Bianco.
To east-west ridge of the massif belong lots of the highest peaks (piz) of Bernina Massif : Piz Cambrena (3604m - the only one on this ridge not on the
Italien border), Piz Palü (3905m), Bellavista (3888m), Piz Zupò (3996m), Piz Argient (3945m), Piz Bernina itself, Piz Scerscen (3941m),
Piz Roseg (3937m), Dschimels (3508m), Piz Glüschaint (3594m).
To north-south ridge of the massif belong Piz Tschierva (3546m), Piz Morteratsch (3751m) and Piz Bernina (4049m).
This ridge separates 2 long glacier: Vadret Morteratsch and Vadret Roseg.

Bernina Massif is west-north borded by Inn Valley (1700-1800m including St Moritz town),
north-east borded by Flaz valley (1700-2200m including Pontresina village),
east borded by Poschiavino valley (1000-2000m including Poschiavo town),
south borded by Val Mallenco (300-2000m in Italy until Sondrio town. Sondrio (300m) is only 25Km far from Piz Bernina !).

Piz Bernina, Piz Prievlus and Piz Morteratsch from Diavolezza - ph. kiss istvan
Piz Bernina Biancograt
Piz Bernina and Biancograt seen from Piz Morteratsch - ph. Silvia Mazzani

Getting There

Starting point for the normal route : Rifugio Marco e Rosa on Italy side. 2 hours to the summit ( 500 Hm )

Starting point for Marco e Rosa : Diavolezza 5-6 hours ( 1050 Hm )

Author: gabriele.roth
Date: July 04, 2005 03:42 AM
is, from Italy, the Rifugio Marinelli-Bombardieri (2815m).
It is a big construction with a lot af beds and much more cheap than Diavolezza Hut .
You can get the Marinelli-Bombardieri with a not tiring, almost comfortable along a good path, hiking of 3 hours starting from Campo Moro (Val Malenco).
From Marinelli-Bombardieri in 2-3 hours, along a not difficult track (some fixed ropes) you can reach the Rif. Marco e Rosa.
Warning : in the afternoon you could have to cross under some (small) water falls coming down the wall,

Map: 1:25000 Blatt 1277 Piz Bernina
Map: 1:50000 Blatt 268 Julierpass

To the Tschiervahütte (for west routes):
You reach the hut from Pontresina: on foot (1h), by mountainbike (to rent at Roseg-inn) or with coach (reservation by phone necessary!) to the Roseg-Inn (1999) in Roseg valley. You only have to follow the wide road.

From Roseg-Inn, you cross the river via a bridge and go along the river till the way goes up over the hangs. You follow the way all the time and reach in 2 h the Tschiervahütte.

You reach Pontresina by train or car on the road no. 29 from Samedan. You reach Samedan on the road no. 27 either from the NE (Zernez, via road no. 28 from Davos in the N or from Bozen in the E) or from the SW from St. Moritz. To St. Moritz a few kilometers on the road no. 27 from Silvaplana (and the Lago di Como). To Silvaplana, you can come also from the N from Chur on the road no. 3. To Chur: On the A13 from the N from the Bodensee.

Red Tape

free to climb


camping and hotels in the villages around.

Author: Boris Krielen
Date: May 01, 2002 12:01 PM
Camping between 15th of March and 15th of May can be a problem around Pontresina. Most of them are closed in this period of time, even the one in Silvaplana. Free camping is not allowed anywhere! They've have put down signs for that everywhere.

Halfway the Bernina-pass, on the north side, there's a camping that is open till 15th of april.

Closest camping that is open all the time is on the other side of the Bernina-pass (!) just after the small village Poschiavo. Excellent hot & free showers here!!! Friendly people. 9 Swiss Francs a person a night, but you can also pay in Euro's.

Mountain Conditions


Coacher (for reservation): 0041/81/8426057
Roseg-Inn: 0041/81/8426445
Touristinfo (Pontresina): 0041/81/8388300


Phone from abroad: ++411162

Biancograt Ridge

The most famouse route to the summit is the " Bianco grat "
A splendid snow ridge of 45°-50°. Difficulty AD with rockclimbing III

Author: alpenkalb
Date: Sept 06, 2001 12:58 PM
Starting point Pontresina (1800m) near St. Moritz. Railroad. Nice walk through beautiful forest to Tchierva hut (2480 m). Icy and tricky climb to Prievlus pass (3430). Here starts the famous Biancograt. First stay left (east) and go around the rocks. Then you start the snow and ice-clad Biancograt. It is easier than it looks. On Pizzo Bianco (3995 m) you take of the crampons off and climb for another hour on solid rock to the Bernina summit.
If you do not want to go down the same way (because of the tricky Prievlus pass) then take the normal route down the Spallagrat, down the Morteratsch glacier (long tight rope, keep on track!) to the Boval hut and down to Morteratsch (railroad).

Bernina's huts

Author: Fred
Date: Feb 26, 2004 09:57 AM:
Hut location Map

Boval-Hütte 2495m
Situation: North Bernina near Morteratsch Glacier.
open: 15 of March - 15 of May and 15 of june- 15 of October
Size: 100 pers.
Getting There: train Morteratsch station: 2 hours on path left of Morteratsch Glacier
Hut's phone : 081 842 64 03
Hut's reservation phone : 081 842 61 34

Tschierva-Hütte 2573m
Situation: West Bernina right near Tschierva Glacier.
open: end of March - 15 of May and 15 of june- 15 of October
Size: 100 pers.
Getting There: Pontresina + Val Roseg: 3 hours on path
Hut's phone : 081 842 63 91
Hut's reservation phone : 081 833 32 89

Coaz-Hütte 2.610m (Chamanna Coax)
Situation: west of Piz Roseg / Piz Bernina on Roseg Glacier
Open: end of March - 15 of May (make reservations!) and 15 of june- 30 of September
Size: 85 beds
Getting there: Pontresina via Val Roseg: 5 hours on path, from Silvaplana (lift to Surlej): 3 hours
Hut's phone: +41 (0)81 842 62 78
Hut's reservation phone: +41 (0)81 842 62 78

Rifugio Marco e Rosa 3.597m CAI
Situation: south of Piz Bernina (normal route)
Open: 1st of July till 10th of September
Size: 52 beds (winter 30)
Getting there: From Coax Hut (4 hours: Sella Glacier - Sella Pass - Superior Scerscen Glacier), Boval Hut (4'30 hours: Morteratsch Glacier), Rifugio Marinelli-Bombardieri (3 hours: Marinelli Pass - Superior Scerscen Glacier) or, from Francia via Campo Moro: 1 hour, from Francia via Alpe Foppa: 2'30-3 hours.
Hut's phone: +39 (0)342-515 370
Hut's reservation phone: +39 (0)342-515 370
Make sure to call and make a reservation if you want to go to the Tschierva-Hütte between 15th of March and 15th of May and want to have dinner and breakfast there. Otherwise the owner will not always be there.

The hut will be partly open anyway though. You can go in and upstairs there is one room for sleeping (22 beds) and one room for cooking, eating, sitting and sleeping (2 tables + 8 beds). You have to make a fire yourself and get the water from outside, behind the hut. Wood, matches and candles are available. There is no food.

Fist ascent and historical routes

Piz Bernina 1st climbing was done in 1850 by M. Coaz, 2nd climbing by M. Savatz from Pontresina and
3rd climbing by MM. Kennedy and Hardy.

The Bernina 1st route was:
going up along Vadret (glacier) Morteratsch until big serac
then going east direction and climbing along Bellavista big spur. It's necessary to climb somme rocks old named "chamois liberty fortress".
when big ice fall is toped, long going down on firn (glacier head).
then climbing of Bernina east ridge.

The route fist evolution was, with good snow conditions, to climb through glacier ice cataract to avoid to go up and down.
the second evolution was to go between the fortress and the ice cataract.

W.M. Conway tried in 1876 to climb the north snow ridge (named Biancograt).
In 1876 to MM; Cordier and Middlemore tried the same route but stopped on the inferior snow peak (Piz Bianco 3995m).
They were separated from Bernina peak by the Bernina Scharte.
that route was completed in 1878 by Paul Gussfeld.

M.B. Wainerwright open a new route in August 1880: He climbed the vertigineous west face from top of Tscherva glacier.
He arrived between Scharte and Bernina peak and finished climbing north ridge.

In 1878 Paul Gussfeld tried the south-west ridge and with difficultes climbed to Piz Roseg of Scercen.

In september 1886, B.Waineroright and M. Garwood climbed Piz Roseg of Scercen from Scercen Glacier,
then went up on the Bernina ridge until snow ridge down to Crestagüzza col. From there they joined Glacier Morteratsch top and finished
on the normal Bernina route.

17 August 1876 route: Hans Cross and Johann Cross (guides) W.M. Conway H.C. Warren.
They went up along Vadret (glacier) Morteratsch until the night pass in Boval hut. (at this time it was only a shepherd hut.
and Boval was the name of the old shepherd).
At 2 o' clock in early morning they left the hut, passed Morteratsch glacier until rocks betwween Morteratsch glacier and Pers glacier.
Along the rocks they climbed on hard snow avoiding large crevasses.
At 3h30 they arrived at the right border of the glacier, under the fortress.
From there, they went right under hudge seracs to the firn on top off the big ice cataract.They paused 30 min at 4h45. Sunrise colored Piz Bernina.
They continue their climbing, west on the small glacier between the principal east ridge and the snow ridge on Italy border.
They continue until they joined the east ridge on the right at 7h15. They climbed on the rock ridge during 1 hour 30 min.
At one place there is a very thin ice ridge. The rocks near the top are friable. the team was on top at 9h and staid here 1 hour.. the climbers used nearly the same route
to come down. 5 hours after they left the summit thy were back at Morteratsch restaurant in valley, just before storm time..

Morteratsch glacier

Bernina's north face seracs


Bernina & Bregaglia Selected Climbs
Lindsay Griffin
ISBN: 0900523603
Alpine Club (http://www.alpine-club.org.uk/)

Gebietsführer für Wanderer, Bergsteiger und Hochalpinisten
Walther Flaig
ISBN: 3763324178
Bergverlag Rudolf Rother, München

External Links