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Val Masino Alps

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Val Masino Alps

Page Type: Area/Range

Location: Italy/Switzerland, Europe

Lat/Lon: 46.24730°N / 9.63160°E

Object Title: Val Masino Alps

Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing, Bouldering, Aid Climbing, Big Wall

Season: Spring, Summer

Elevation: 12067 ft / 3678 m

 

Page By: Gabriele Roth

Created/Edited: Feb 13, 2004 / Nov 8, 2010

Object ID: 152320

Hits: 47797 

Page Score: 97.19%  - 66 Votes 

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Overview

This is an alpin region very important for rock climbers, It is also known as Bergell (by Deutsch climbers and hickers), Masino-Bregaglia-Disgrazia is used normally to define the alpine ridge section that, starting from the valley named Pian di Spagna (N of the Como lake) ends with the Passo del Muretto.

 
panoramic of Masino Alps from...
 


here an interactive schematical map

This group, oriented West-East (or viceversa) is on the principal ridge of Alps, dividing Italy (Lombardia) from Switzerland (Engadina)
Starts from Como lake (western boundary) and ends, joining on his eastern boundary with the Bernina Group.


outline with roads, villages, huts and some mountains of Val Masino Alps - created and submitted by Mathias Zehring

Starting from West, clockwise, these valleys are the accesses to the various subgroups :
  • Val Bondasca (Switzerland) - Rif. Sasc Fourà and Rif. Sciora
  • Val del Cantone (Switzerland) - Rif. Albigna
  • Val Forno (Switzerland) - Rif. Forno
  • Val Ventina (Italy) - Rif. Del Grande - Rif Tartaglione - Rif. Porro - Biv. Oggioni - Biv Taveggia
  • Val Masino (Italy) with its subvalleys :
    - Vallone di Preda Rossa - Rif. Ponti
    - Val di Mello - Biv. Manzi
    - Val di Zocca - Rif. Allievi
    - Val del Ferro - Biv Molteni
    - Val Porcellizzo - Rif. Gianetti
    - Val dell'Oro - Rif. Omio
  • Val dei Ratti (Italy) - Rif. Volta
  • Val Codera (Italy) - Rif. Brasca - Biv. Valli - Biv. Vaninetti
    (see sections below for the links to Rifuges)

    The most known summit of this chain is Pizzo Badile, but it is neither the highest nor the most difficult one.
    Here rock are 2 kinds of diorite : "serizzo" (quartzdiorite) and "ghiandone" (granodiorite), with amphibolite and less quartz, so less slippering than granite.
    caution : even if summits are not so high, bad weather can give many problems and be dangerous in the main groups - these mountains are severe !

    Many possible routes could be opened
    Val di Mello (see When to Climb) is one of the best climbing area of Europe !!!
    For skilled hikers the Sentiero Roma is a 3-4 or more days walk in unforgettable and wild sceneries
    link to pages in italian, for page in english

    here under the list of the summits worth to be climbed (79) divided in subgroups or subchains.
    now only few of them have a page, I'll make here a link to the new ones that will come


    Best rock routes shortlist

    the classic routes that "must" be climbed
    Italian Side
  • Punta della Sfinge - NE wall (Bramani) AD - NNW edge (Crippa) D+ can be done in the same day
  • Pizzo Badile - SE wall (Molteni) D+
  • Punta Sertori - S ridge (Marimonti) follow for the Badile AD+
  • Pizzo Cengalo - S ridge (Vinci) TD
  • Torrione di Zocca - S wall (Parravicini) TD-
  • Punta Allievi - S edge (Gervasutti) TD+
  • Punta Rasica - SW ridge (Bramani) D+
    Swiss Side
  • Pizzo Badile - N edge D - NE wall (Cassin) TD
  • Pizzo Cengalo - NW pillar (Gaiser) TD
  • Pizzi Gemelli - NW ridge (ferro da stiro) TD-
  • Pioda di Sciora W ridge (Bramani) D

    For the difficult and wild routes the Torrone range gives a wide choice


    Pizzo di Prata - Monte Gruf

    Starting points
    Huts
    • Chiavenna - for Val Aurosina
    • Prata Camportaccio - for Val Schisone
    • San Cassiano - for Val Scarione
    • Samolaco railway station - for Val Lobbia
    • Novate Mezzola - for val Codera

    The western zone of this group, almost forgotten by hickers and climbers, very wild (only val Codera has some hicking frequentation),
    ... but there is a 700m drop wall (pizzo di Prata) ...

    Main summits :
  • Pizzo di Prata - 2727 m - huge N wall
  • Monte Beleniga - 2636m - for hikers
  • Monte Gruf - 2936m - amazing views




    Pizzo Badile - Pizzo Cengalo

    Starting points
    Huts
    • Novate Mezzola - for val Codera (Italy)
    • Ardenno Bagni del Masino - for Val Porcellizzo (Italy)
    • Bondo - for val Bondasca (Switzerland)

    panoramic from sentiero Roma
     
    the range West of Pizzo Badile
     
    a wonderful curtain
     


    The most important (and known) sub-chain.
    walls up to 1300m drop (Cengalo north wall), extreme difficulties, wonderful rock.

    Here one of the most famous wall in the Alps (NE wall of Pizzo Badile) and a lot of routes (none easy).

    Worth and very amusing the "ferro da stiro (flat iron)" (Gemelli north wall) and the Cengalo NW pillar.

    Main summits :
  • Pizzi dei Vanni - 2731-2774m
  • Pizzo Trubinasca - 2921m
  • Punta S.Anna (Badilet) - 3171m
  • Piz Badile - 3308m
  • Punta Sertori - 3195m
  • Piz Cengalo - 3367m - north wall 1300m drop - the highest wall of Retic alps
  • Pizzi Gemelli - 3259-3221m

    worth to be mentioned (for hikers) is the path joining the Refuges Sasc Furà and Sciora along the "Viale" :
    a very fine walk-up (some exposed passages and some danger if full of snow or iced)



  • Pizzo Porcellizzo

    Starting points
    Huts
    • Chiavenna - for Val Aurosina
    • Novate Mezzola - for val Codera (Italy)
    • Ardenno Bagni del Masino - for Val Porcellizzo and Val dell'Oro(Italy)

    A wild zone (except for the sorroundings of Rif. Omio) where some short but very amusing routes call lombard climbers to have a good weekend

    Main summits :
  • Punta Torelli - 3137m
  • Pizzo Porcellizzo - 3075m
  • Cime dell'Averta - 2778-2733-2684m
  • Cima del Barbacan - 2738m
  • Punta Milano - 2610m
  • Pizzi dell' Oro - N-2653m - C-2703m - S-2695m




    Ligoncio

    Starting points
    Huts
    • Novate Mezzola - for val Codera (Italy)
    • Ardenno Bagni del Masino - for Val dell'Oro(Italy)

    Here two big and incredible north walls (Ligoncio and Sfinge) and some very amazing and amusing walls and edges

    Main summits :
  • Punta della Sfinge - 2802m
  • Pizzo Ligoncio - 3032m




    Cime del Calvo - Monte Spluga

    Starting points
    Huts
    • S.Fedele di Verceia - for Val dei Ratti (Italy)
    • Ardenno Bagni del Masino - for Val dell'Oro(Italy)

    A wild zone ! Here new routes can be found and open (they're waiting :)

    Main summits :
  • Pizzo della Vedretta - 2907m
  • Pizzo Ratti - 2919m
  • Cime del Calvo - 2943-2967-2873m
  • Punta Fiorelli - 2391m
  • Punta Madaccio - 2350m
  • Monte Spluga - 2845m




    Cime di Gaiazzo - Sasso Manduino

    Starting points
    Huts
    • Novate Mezzola - for val Codera (Italy)
    • S.Fedele di Verceia - for Val dei Ratti (Italy)

    A wild zone ! Here new routes can be found and open (they're waiting :)

    Main summits :
  • Punta Bonazzola - 2940m
  • Pizzo Brescadega - 2666m
  • Punta Magnaghi - 2871m
  • Punta Como - 2846m
  • Sasso Manduino - 2888m




    Sciora

    Starting points
    Huts
    • Bondo (Switzerland)
    • Vicosoprano (Switzerland)

    the Sciora Group from Val...
     


    Wonderful group
    , aesthetical mountains, wonderful rock, long routes

    ... a paradise for climbers

    Main summits :
  • Sciora di Dentro - 3275m
  • Ago di Sciora - 3205m
  • Pioda di Sciora - 3238m
  • Sciora di Fuori - 3169m
  • Scioretta - 3046m



  • Cacciabella

    Starting points
    Huts
    • Bondo (Switzerland)
    • Vicosoprano (Switzerland)

    If you are here and weather is not good enough for Sciora summits you can spend (not easily) your time on these ones

     
    the  costiera  di Cacciabella...
     
    Main summits :
  • Innominata di Cacciabella - 2930m
  • Pizzo Cacciabella S - 2970m
  • Pizzo Cacciabella N - 2980m



  • il Gallo - Pizzo Spazzacaldera

    Starting points
    Huts
    • Bondo (Switzerland)
    • Vicosoprano (Switzerland)

    Amusing climbins for the beginning of summer, when upper mountains are still full with snow ...


    Main summits :
  • Il Gallo - 2774m
  • La Vergine - 2620m
  • Pizzo Val della Neve - 2626m
  • Pizzo Spazzacaldera - 2487m
  • La Fiamma - il Dente - amusing short climbs



  • Forcellette

    Starting points
    Huts
    • Bondo (Switzerland)
    • Vicosoprano (Switzerland)

      Amusing climbins for the beginning of summer, when upper mountains are still full with snow ...


      Summits
    • Torri di Grande - climbing area
    • Pizzo Grande - 2459m



    • Pizzi del Ferro - Monte di Zocca

      Starting points
      Huts
      • Ardenno Bagni del Masino - for Val Porcellizzo (Italy)
      • Bondo - for val Bondasca (Switzerkland)

      Rarely climbed zone :( ... would be very worth if there weren't so many fantastic summits all around
      Only one wall is frequently climbed : Torrione di Zocca south routes, amusing.

      Summits
    • Pizzo del Ferro Occidentale - 3267m
    • Cima del Cavalcorto - 2763m
    • Cima della Bondasca - 3287m
    • Torrione del Ferro - 3235m
    • Pizzo del Ferro Orientale - 3200m
    • Monte di Zocca - 3175m




      Albigna - Forno

      Starting points
      Huts
      • Ardenno Bagni del Masino - for Val di Mello (Italy)
      • Vicosoprano - Promontogno (Switzerland)
      • Maloia pass (Switzerland)

      A wonderful wild zone ! Created to be climbed

      Summits
    • Punta Allievi - 3123m
    • quota 3228
    • Cima di Castello - 3386m
    • Cima di Cantone - 3354m
    • Punta dell'Albigna - 2824m
    • Pizzo Casnile - 3189m
    • Pizzo Bacone - 3244m
    • Pizzo Balzetto - 2869m
    • Cime del Largo - 3188m




      Pizzi Torrone - Monte Sissone

      Starting points
      Huts
      • Ardenno Bagni del Masino - for Val di Mello (Italy)
      • Maloia pass (Switzerland)

      The italian side is the highest concentration of difficult routes : here the hardest routes of this group.
      Often "forgotten" by all climbers searching only famous routes.
      Here the best challenges to climbing and mountain skill !!!
      Swiss side has wonderful ice climbs !!!

      Summits
    • Punta Rasica - 3305m
    • Pizzo Torrone Occidentale - 3349m
    • Picco Luigi Amedeo - 2800m
    • Punta Ferrario - 3258m
    • Pizzo Torrone Centrale - 3290m
    • Pizzo Torrone Orientale - 3333m
    • Torre Re Alberto - 2832m
    • Monte Sissone - 3331m
    • Cima di Rosso - 3369m
    • Cima di Vazzeda - 3297m
    • Cima di Valbona - 3033m
    • Monte del Forno - 3214m




      Disgrazia

      Starting points
      Huts
      • Ardenno - val di Preda Rossa
      • Sondrio - Valmalenco - Chiareggio
      • rif Ponti (val di Preda Rossa) 2559m
      • biv Oggioni (val Ventina) 3151m
      • biv Taveggia (val Ventina) 2845m
      • rif Porro (val Ventina) 1960m

      Wonderful mountains, the highest of the chain, with many ice-routes worth to be climbed.
      Ski mountaneering of Monte Disgrazia is very fine and one of the few you can do here.

      Summits
    • Monte Disgrazia - 3678m
    • Punta Kennedy - 3283m
    • Pizzo Ventina - 3261m




      Remoluzza - Arcanzo

      details in the Disgrazia group page



      Corni Bruciati

      details in the Disgrazia group page


      Pizzo Cassandra - Cima del Duca

      Starting points
      Huts
      • Ardenno - val di Preda Rossa
      • Sondrio - Valmalenco - Chiareggio

      An amazing little group, here you can find the easier routes of the whole chain

      Summits
    • Pizzo Cassandra - 3226m
    • Pizzo Giumellino - 3094m
    • Cima Sassersa - 2977m
    • Pizzo Rachele - 2998m
    • Torrione Porro - 2357m

      Further details in the Disgrazia group page



      Val di Mello ... the hard side

      Val di Mello climbing area allows all year long extreme climbings : routes up to 600m drop is one of the best climbing area of Europe !!!
      a little Yosemite

      Val di Mello ... the soft side

      and is a wonderful resting area to spend good time with family :)




      here a photo album




      Bouldering

      Between Filorera and San Martino Val Masino, along the road you can see a huge rock (some thousands of cubic metres) : the Sasso Remenno
      routes of all difficulties, useful for training and used by climbing schools.




      Getting There

      Northern side : val BREGAGLIA - from W to E
      all these valley can be reached by car from Milan (SS-36)
      Milano - Lecco - Chiavenna .... Malojapass

      along this route you can enter the following valleys

    • Val Schiesone
    • Val Aurosina
    • Val Casnaggina
    • Val Bondasca
    • Val Muretto

      Southern side - VALTELLINA - from W to E
      all these valley can be reached by car from Milan (SS-36)
      Milano - Lecco - Colico .... Sondrio

      along this route you can enter the following valleys

    • Val Scarione and Val Lobbia
    • Val Codera
    • Val dei Ratti
    • Val di Spluga
    • Val Masino
      • val Porcellizzo
      • val di Mello
      • val di Preda Rossa
    • Val Malenco
      • val Torreggio




      Red Tape

      these are wild mountains, no natural park but ...
      for some valleys you have to pay a fee :
    • Val Bondasca (Switzerland) - Rifuges Sasc Furà and Sciora : You can drive till near Laret (saving about 1,5 h walk) simply buying a ticket that allows it
      It's quite strange (for Swiss precision): ticket has a cost of 12SF or 9€, but if you enter a 10€ bill you get back 1SF ! :)
    • Val del Cantone (Switzerland) - Rif. Albigna : fast access is done using a (very strange) cable car leading to Albigna dam - it was the cable car used for building the dam, now it is a little more modern but ...
    • Val Forno (Switzerland) - Rif. Forno : you have to pay a parking fee (not so cheap)


      When To Climb

      june to september





      Books and Maps

      Many books contain info about some of the summits of this group but I think the best way to know all about is to buy the "bible" of these muntains :
      A.Bonacossa - G. Rossi - Masino Bregaglia Disgrazia - vol I - CAI -TCI - 1977
      A.Bonacossa - G. Rossi - Masino Bregaglia Disgrazia - vol II - CAI -TCI - 1975

      A wonderful "selected climbs" book (in Italian) is :
      Miotti-Gogna - Dal Pizzo Badile al Bernina - Zanichelli - 1986
      it is full of photos and gives you 100 routes to choose from

      gasgenova gives this info :
      The best for climbing, mountaneering and ice is "Masino-Bregaglia-Disgrazia" G.Maspes and G.Miotti - Guida delle Guide"

      Maps .
      Kompass - Chiavenna-Val Bregaglia 92 - 93


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