This mountain is located in the heart of one of the most beautiful places of Switzerland: Ticino. Above the ancient city of Bellinzona towers an impressive peak more then 2000 meters above the valleyfloor: It is Pizzo di Molinera. Located where the Moesa and Ticino rivers find each other, as well as where the Calanca and Leventina valleys meet; is the home of Pizzo di Molinera.
Although this mountain isn't as famous as it's higher neighbour Pizzo di Claro (2727m), it is a great destination for a single or multiple day climb. Molinera is the southernmost peak of the Leventina East ridge and the summit offers great views in all directions. Looking south will let you watch over the ancient city of Bellinzona, the great Lago Maggiore and Italy's Po-plain. To the east and north you are able to see many Graubundener mountains, including the Bernina Massif.
Furthermore, the highest peak of Ticino, Rheinwaldhorn, is visible. Last but not least, looking towards the west offers great views of the Monte Rosa and Mischabel Groups.
The climb of Pizzo di Molinera is quite straightforward. A marked trail leads all the way up to the summit. The final part includes a walk over the ridge that seperates the Leventina and Calanca valleys. You have to be careful in this part, so any hiking experience is very useful.
In the shadow of Molinera lies the Brogoldone mountain hut. It is located at a perfect spot for climbing Molinera and the hut is opened and hosted all seasons except for winter. Spending the night here will combine two great experiences. The first one of course is summiting Molinera with its great views and the second one is seeing the millions of lights of Ticino's capital: Bellinzona by night.
Getting To The Summit
The route starts at the top of the Lumino-Monte Sauru cableway (1215m), From here you need to follow the route towards 'Capanna Brogoldone' (1904m). This part is a very well marked route, with little elevation gain. You can also choose to start in the village of Lumino (so at the bottom of the cableway), this will take 2 hours longer. There are multiple other ways to reach the Brogoldone Hut, follow this link to the Capanna Brogoldone SP site
From Capanna Brogoldone a marked trail leads up towards the summit. It is marked by red-white-red painted lines along the path. You will first find your way up to the ridge that connects Molinera with Pizzo di Claro and that seperates the Ticino and Graubundener Kantons (Provinces). Walking on this ridge offers great views into both the Leventina (west) and Calanca (east) valleys. You will follow the ridge to the south where you eventually will reach the summit of Pizzo di Molinera.
Difficulty & Practical Information
Climbing pizzo di Molinera does not involve any scrambling and therefore is a great hikers destination. There are no real steep parts involved during the ascent. The climb is graded T3
-->Good mountain boots are sufficient. No ropes etc needed.
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.
-->To shorten the climb there is the possibility to use the Monte Sauru cableway. For more information about this cableway follow this link.
Coming from Gotthard, drive down towards Bellinzona and go off at 'Bellinzona-Nord'
From there follow the signs 'Lumino'
Coming from Italy it's the same thing. On the highway (there's only one going through Ticino) go off at Bellinzona-Nord.
Huts / Camping
Camping Al Censo, Claro ( for route 1) A beautiful campsite just a couple of miles away from Lumino. For more info:
camping Al Censo
It is possible to stay in Capanna Brogoldone (1900m) During the whole season there is a women who hosts the hut, For a small amount of money you can stay the night and enjoy a good meal cooked by the host. Also beautiful is the view at night towards Bellinzona, capital of the ticino-area.
Mountain ConditionsThis link leads to a webcam renewed every hour with a view on pizzo di Claro and Pizzo di Molinera from the city of Bellinzona,Ticino:
webcam Pizzo de Molinera
This link leads to the weather in the pizzo de Molinera area:
weather pizzo de Molinera AREA