The Sciora group is the fabulous curtain that closes the eastern side of one of the finest rocky environment of the Central Alps : the Val Bondasca
After the fantastic rocky wall of Pizzo Badile, the huge wall of Pizzo Cengalo and the smart twin summit of Pizzi Gemelli, the main ridge goes down, toward East, to the Passo di Bondo.
A glacier (the vedretta della Bondasca) goes up from the low moraine to reach, to the right, near the Pizzi Gemelli, a big saddle : the Passo di Bondo and to the left, the wide, dangerous, snow saddle of Passo dell'Albigna.
This is the starting point of the ridge hosting the 4 main summits (and 1 minor) of Sciora group.
The group is oriented S-N and is made by (in order) the
Sciora di Dentro 3277m
Ago di Sciora 3100m
Pioda di Sciora 3236m
Sciora di Fuori 3169m
Impressive walls and ridges on the western side (rifugio Sciora side)
huge big cluster of rock, much less elegant, on the eastern side (Albigna side) wherefrom the group looks made by 2 big summits (Sciora di dentro and Pioda di Sciora) with the small pinnacle of Ago growing up between them.
The main characteristics of these mountains are :
fine slabs of good granite
bad rock where and when the snow has gone away : better climb here at the beginning of summer
long routes to go up and longer ones to get down
classic climbing difficulties (with the exception of some modern routes on Pioda and Sciora di Fuori)
so, here you can better amuse if you're a "mountaineer" and not a pure rock climber, but, anyway, you need to be able to climb on III-IV UIAA without problems ...
crossing all the summits is a "grand course"
2 main and 1 secondary accesses to the routes of this group :
from Switzerland : val BREGAGLIA (by car from Milan SS-36
Milano - Lecco - Chiavenna .... Malojapass
along the road of Maloia pass, at Pranzaira, there is the starting point of a small cable car (it was the telpher used for Albigna dam construction) that leads very near to the Albigna Hutte (val del Cantone) 2331m (aka Chamanna Albigna)
the cable car works only in summer - few runs a day (3)
if you loose the last descend (16:45) you have to walk for about 3 hours to get back to your car
don't forget it, coming back from a route don't try to avoid the reascent to Albigna Hutte crossing the slabs on the E side of the lake : I did it and was more difficult and long than climbing the Ago :)
along the road of Maloia pass, at Bondo, there is the starting point of a white road (toll 12 SFR or 9€, but if you pay with a 10€ note you'll get back 1 SFR ...) that leads to a car parking in Val Bondasca wherefrom, in 2 hours you can get the Sciora Hutte (Val Bondasca) 2118m (aka Chamanna Sciora)
from Italy : VALTELLINA (by car from Milan SS-36)
Milano - Lecco - Colico - Ardenno - Val Masino
from S.Martino Valmasino a road gives the access to the Val di Mello and with a not short (4 hours), but very fine, walk leads to Rifugio Allievi (val di Zocca) 2385m
herefrom you can, through the Albigna pass, get the starting points of the Eastern side of the range
Sciora di Dentro (Sciora Dadént)
the main and the less difficult summit of the group
from rifugio Sciora 3 not difficult routes to get it :
SSW ridge, from Passo dell'Albigna - normal route from the Sciora hutte - PD
SW side - good at the beginning of the season with good snow - PD
W side - a little more difficult then previous ones
and 2 first class routes along the walls
W wall - Fritz route - TDsup
NW wall - Burgasser route - D - 700m drop
from Rifugio Albigna only one good route (other ones are dangerous due to bad quality of the rocks) along the East wall
Ago di Sciora
the finest summit
can be climbed almost from everywhere with classic rock difficulties
the finest routes are :
from rifugio Albigna
the normal route starts from the "bocchetto dell'Ago", the saddle between Sciora di Dentro and Ago.
To get here one must climb along not always good and not easy rocks that require good knowledge of "mountaineering" (some passages of 4° UIAA and, in early summer some mixed stretches)
The last 100m leading to the summit require a very fine and amusing rock climb on the S wall of the Ago (I've climbed it it a rainy and foggy day but it was anyway amusing)
from rifugio Sciora
the long (750m drop) WNW edge - Risch route - not so difficult (D) but the rock is not always safe
some other less important routes start from the Forcola di Sciora (the pass between Ago and Pioda di Sciora) that can be climbed along the channels on both sides, to be done only at the beginning of the season and with good snow
once you get the summit you've made 50% of your efforts !
Pioda di Sciora
A rocky giant
from rifugio Albigna a not much difficult (AD) route along the ESE side,
from rifugio Sciora one classic route (Bramani) along the WNW edge - 700m - D, it looks very fine but a little uneven
I think that some modern and very hard routes should have been found and climbed on the N side of the spur
Sciora di Fuori (Sciora Dafòra)
almost invisible from Albigna side (east) the importance of this summit is all when seen from Val Bondasca (W side)
the normal route, used to come down, starts from the Colle della Scioretta and goes along the N ridge
along its W side some very difficult and not short (600m) classic and modern routes :
W wall and S ridge - Alippi-Livanos & co - ED
W wall straight - Nardella - ED
NW edge - Simon - TD
and many other recent ones ...
the minor sister ...
only one interesting (?) route along the S ridge
and beta will follow ... and, I hope, soon , some pics from the East side