Pizzo Ruscada is the culmination of a ridge, which separates Centovalli from Valle Onsernone. Though the ridge, and Pizzo Ruscada with it, is rather low the profundity of the canyons on both sides makes it very panoramic. Pizzo Ruscada itself is considered one of the best lookouts towards the huge glaciers of Monte Rosa. Having climbed the mountain in a whiteout, I'm in no position to confirm this, however.
Centovalli, one hundred valleys, is the name of a canyon, which leads from Locarno westward towards the Italian border. It is a famous hiking ground since two panoramic trails on either side connect Intragna at the mouth of the valley with two cable cars, which reach for Rasa in the south and Monte di Comino in the north. The bottom stations of the cable-cars are located some 100m from each other at the foot of the valley. Centovalli is also famous for its railway, which connects Locarno in Switzerland with Domodossola in Italy. It precariously hugs the slopes of the valley and leads through and across countless tunnels and bridges. In itself it is one of the tourist attractions of the area.
From Verdasio, or rather from Monte di Comino, a beautiful ridge traverse leads to Pizzo Ruscada. In contrast to the omnipresent brown granite, which you find elsewhere in Ticino, this ridge is made up from limestone. In itself rather fragile, it is a sequence of broad towers, separated by many (mostly) narrow saddles. The ups and downs of the ridge contribute greatly to the overall elevation gain of the climb. For the last section onto the summit of Pizzo Ruscada two routes are availabl, an exposed ridge traverse along the east ridge or a detour to the north with the ascent od the north slopes. This last and easier route is considered the normal route to the mountain
The best trailhead for Pizzo Ruscada is at Monte di Comino, a summer village to the east of the mountain. It can be reached by cable car from Verdasio in Centovalli. Two trails lead to Pizzo Ruscada from Verdasio itself, but the climb requires about 1500m elevation gain.
- Take the Gotthard Motorway A2 to the exit Bellinzona Sud
- Switch to A13, direction Locarno.
- Drive through the tunnel, cross the Maggia River to Ascona
- Follow the signs to Centovalli which lead you back across the river to Solduno.
- At Ponte Brolla the Centovalli Road turns off to the left. Follow it to the Verdasio cable-cars.
- Alternatively you can take the Centovalli Railway from Locarno. There is a station directly at the Verdasio cable-cars.
There's no red tape here. The ridge traverse from Monte di Comino across Pizzin is rather fragile in several sections so take care. Also, you are in the vicinity of an international border. Bring your ID.
AccommodationThere is plenty of accommodation to be found on the web, mainly apartments or holiday homes. However, Tessin / Ticino has become very expensive so you will have to carefully plan your vacation. Most expensive are the cities (Lugano, Locarno, Ascona) but also the villages on the shores of the lakes can burn deep holes in your pockets. In general the higher up and the better the view the more expensive.
A good alternative is agritourismo - farm holidays, either in the valleys or in one of the spring / autumn settlements at an elevation of around 1000m.
You can find accomodation of any type using the following url:
Maps & Books
- Digital Maps
- Regular Maps
Carta Escursionistica 286 T
Ufficio Federale di Topografia Swizzeria
Kompass Guidebook WF997