OverviewThe Piz Frachiccio is a minor summit in the Albigna area of Southeastern Switzerland. As seen in the overview photo it could almost be described as a foresummit in the ridge leading up to the higher Piz Cacciabella (2980m).
On its eastern flank there are several multipitch alpine sportclimbing routes such as the popular 'Schildkröte' but otherwise the Piz Frachicchio does not get much attention from visiting climbers. With the very popular Spazzacaldeira a much shorter distance from the cablecar station that most climbers use to get to the Albigna area, this comes as no surprise. However, for those climbers looking for an enjoyable outing of an alpine nature, the East Ridge of the Frachiccio could be a good choice. A straightforward III'd grade climb on good granite and relatively long which makes it good practice for the longer alpine rock routes in the area. An enjoyable daytrip in itself for those who are looking for a bit more solitude and a less travelled route.
Getting ThereAs with many of the mountains and routes near the Albigna lake the easiest access is made by taking the cablecar up to the lake. Alternatively it is also possible to walk up, should your climbing ethics keep you from using cablecars! The footpath starts just along the main road above the cablecar station at Pranzaira. Follow the signs marked 'Cab. Albigna SAC' and the red-white markings.
The footpath takes you through pine forests to emerge into the open underneath the north ridge of the Spazzacaldeira. It is well marked and except for causing a good sweat on warm days poses no problems or dangers. A walk up to the cablecar station at the foot of the dam takes about 3 hours.
The cablecar costs 18CHF for a return ticket (approx. 12 Euros) and takes about 15 minutes.
Having arrived at the foot of the Albigna dam by foot or mechanical means, follow the path up to the top of the dam and take the footpath that starts behind the building at the start of the dam. Follow this path along the righthand (western) side of the Albigna reservoir until you reach the large eastern flank of the Frachiccio. Please note that the path is often snow covered precisely where it runs above a very steep drop, and that this cannot be observed from the cable car station. Bring an axe and somewhat sturdy shoes so you can cross this part safely.
Red TapeNo red tape, however keep in mind that camping and bivouacing is illegal. (There are however plenty of great places to spend the night.)
CampingThe Albigna hut located on the north-eastern side of the reservoir offers a nice and clean place to put your head down and keeps you well provided for with good meals. It is also very centrally located and thus makes a good place from wich to explore the many climbs the area has on offer. For those on a tight budget climbing holiday there are also bivouacing oppertunities aplenty and water can easily be got at the cablecar station.
Down in the valley the nearest campsite to the cablecar station is located just outside of the small town of Vicosoprano and is called Camping Mulina.
It is less than five minutes drive from the cablecar station.
External LinksThe Albigna hut