OverviewSan Matteo is a mountain belonging to the "Ortles-Cevedale group" in the Italian Stelvio national park. It ranks the top fourth mountains of the park in height. From the peak it is possible to admire the wonderful scenario of the mountains range of the region, among which Gran Zebru' (Konig-spitze), Ortles(Ortler). On this mountain Italian and austrian soldiers have fighted the highest battle in the history of the big war! The tales about this battle describes the big courageous of the soldiers! Many of them are again missing.
The first ascent was by the englishmen Tuckett, Freshfield, Backhouse and Fox with swiss guides Devouassoud and Michel on June 28th 1865. The name was given by the second climber Julius Payer. He climbed the mountain with his guide Johann Pinggera on the day of the holy St. Matteo on September 21st 1867. They were lucky as they survived a 800 ft/250m high fall after the break of a corniche.
Getting ThereFROM MILAN BY CAR: statal route "Vallassina" number 36 to Lecco and then to Colico (north side Como lake) and then Stelvio statal route to Morbegno, Sondrio, Tirano and then to Bormio (three hours). From Bormio only 12 Km to Santa Caterina Valfurva and then 8 Km to Refuge ai Forni, where is situated a free parking area.
FROM MILAN BY TRAIN AND BUS: take a train in the Milan Central station destination Tirano and then a bus to Santa Caterina (4 hours).
FROM SUDTIROL BY CAR THROUGH STELVIO PASS: from Bozen (Alto Adige on the highway between Innsbruck and Verona) to Merano by main route and the by local route through Venosta Valley follow the signals to Stelvio mountain pass (2700 meters, the highest mountain pass reaching by car, open only in the summer period). From here to Bormio (3 hours and half from Bozen, Stelvio pass requires 44 bends to go up and 15 to go down). From Bormio only 12 Km to Santa Caterina Valfurva and then 8 Km to Refuge ai Forni, where is situated a free parking area.
FROM SAINT MORITZ (CH) BY CAR: go to Pontresina and then follow the signals to Bernina pass. Turn left when you look the indication to Livigno (I) through Forcola pass (open only in summer period) and then from Livigno through Foscagno pass (2200 meters, open all the year) to Bormio (3 hours). From Bormio only 12 Km to Santa Caterina Valfurva and then 8 Km to Refuge ai Forni, where is situated a free parking area.
FROM SANTA MARIA (MUNSTERTAL - CH) BY CAR: follow the signals to Giogo di Santa Maria (Pab Umbrail) on the border between Switzerland and Italy and then to Bormio (1 hour and half, border near Stelvio pass, open only in the summer period). From Bormio only 12 Km to Santa Caterina Valfurva and then 8 Km to Refuge ai Forni, where is situated a free parking area.
FROM GERMANY OR AUSTRIA BY CAR: on highways via either Innsbruck or Bregenz to Landeck and then following Staatsstraße S 13 to the italian border at the Reschenpass / Passo di Resia . There the Vinschgau / Val Venosta valley starts that represents the northern border of Ortles-Cevedale group. At Prad the Trafoi valley starts that leads either to Sulden / Solda or via Stilfser Joch / Passo di Stelvia to Bormio. From Bormio only 12 Km to Santa Caterina Valfurva and then 8 Km to Refuge ai Forni, where is situated a free parking area.
FROM PONTE DI LEGNO: through Gavia pass, dangerous route (very small) open only in the summer period. From Santa Caterina Valfurva to the Refuge ai Forni, where is situated a free parking area.
Red TapeIt is possible to arrive by car from Santa Caterina Valfurva (Lombardia - Italy) to the refuge 'Ghiacciaio (glacier) ai Forni' (2.170 m.), where there is a free wide parking area.
Be carefull: the area has been theatre of battles during the first world war. In case you find out any old war weapon, do not touch it and call the police guards.
When To ClimbThe best season to alpinism activities is between June and September. To lead San Matteo peak it's necessary absolutely to use the crampons and the ice-axe. Is also recommended to climb on the rope (presence of crevasses on the path).
Check the wheather forecast and any mountain condition at
Meteo Lombardia and Banca Popolare di Sondrio site.
Dangerous north wall
Date: Dec 26, 2005 06:12 AM
The north wall is no more safe: an extremly large mass of ice and rock is going to fall!!
Ice Fall danger
Author: Mathias Zehring
Date: May 15, 2005 04:25 AM
There is presently (May 2005) a danger for a very big ice avalanche from the north face of Punta San Matteo
Re: ice fall danger
Date: May 17, 2005 05:39 AM
One member (Ricky Scotti) of Servizio Glaciologico Lombardo (SGL) has for the first time noticed the danger of this huge serac 1st of May 2005.
The Local Administration (Santa Caterina Valfurva - Upper Valtellina) has already issued an official warning about the danger of ice-slide ( roughly 1 million m3 ) on western part of Ghiaciaio dei Forni.
The SGL has placed two stations for monitoring the evolution of the serac that it is supposed to fall in July/August in one step or in parts ( who knows? difficult to forecast...)
13 peaks tour
It's a tour that in few days without go down under 3000 meters lead you through 13 peaks of the region:
From Pizzo Tresero (m.3594) to Punta S.Matteo (m.3678)
- DAY 1 -
From Santa Canterina Valfurva (Valtellina - Italy) you go by car to Gavia pass. From here on the left side of the pass you walk through the normal route to Pizzo Tresero until Bivacco Seveso, and crossing South-West ridge on the snow (keep the left), you lead the Monte Tresero peak (m.3594 - easy passages on the rocks near the peak). Then through small rockes you lead Punta Pedranzini (m.3599): from where, without difficult passages, you arrive on Cima Dosegù (m.3560) From here you can admire the north side of Punta San Matteo! Then be carefull at the short ridge south-east (ledges to north). If the visibility is not good, keep the easy small rockes at south. To lead San Matteo (m.3678) walk on easy snow-ridge NW, (45° - use absolutely the crampons). From the peak you go down and through south side of Monte Giumella (m.3596 - easy to climb - few minutes from the path). Then go down to Colle degli Orsi (m.3304), in wich you find Bivacco Meneghello, that you can look when you are very near to it (ore 2.30-3, PD+).
From Punta Cadini (m.3524) - Monte Vioz (m.3645)
- DAY 2 -
From Bivacco Meneghello, after Col degli Orsi, you go up through West that leads on Punta Cadini (m.3524). Go down from here, you climb the easy rocks through Rocca di Santa Caterina South-ridge. You climb a small wall (few meters - II/IV level) and leaded "la Rocca" you arrive quickly on Cima di Peio (m.3549) from where, always through the ridge, you reach Punta Taviéla (m.3612). When you go down you have to climb the hardest passages on the rocks of the tour. From here to East, you arrive on Monte Vioz (m.3645), at few minutes to Refuge Mantova/Vioz (6-7-hours, AD).
From Monte Vioz (m.3645) to Monte Cevedale (m.3769)
- DAY 3 -
From refuge Refuge Mantova/Vioz you lead in 15 minutes the peak of Monte Vioz (m.3645), from where you go down to north, to pass of Vedretta Rossa (m.3405). From here you go up through the SW ridge of Palón de la Mare (m.3703), easy until the peak.
An other easy path the go down leads to Col de la Mare (m.3442), near Bivacco Colombo. You cross to Cima del M. Ròsole (m.3536) until the pass with the same name of the mountain (m.3502) from where, you arrive on the Monte Cevedale peak (m.3769), highest point of the tour. By Cevedale Normal route (look the description in the Cevedale page) you lead Refuge Casati (ore 4-5, PD).
CampingsThe nearest campings are in Santa Caterina Valfurva and in Bormio. They are opening during all the summer period.
Refuges and bivouacs of the areaRefuge Pizzini Frattola
Books- In Italian : Guida dei Monti d' Italia (CAI/TCI), "Ortles-Cevedale", by Gino Buscaini
- In German : Alpenvereins Führer "Ortlergruppe", by Peter Holl, Bergverlag Rudolf Rother, München
- in English : Ortler Alps, selected climbs by Arthur J. Thompson, West Col Alpine Guides
This is a very short and primitive bibliography, these books might be also out of print, so library work could be better....!