Cima Böis (2259m, N-ridge) as seen from the saddle with Madom da Sgiof
Cima di Nimi is a wild and lonely peak located in the heart of the Ticino Alps, situated on the ridge that separates the beautiful Verzasca and Maggia valleys. Cima di Nimi is one of those lonely peaks that requires a very long ascent in order to reach its summit. Wherever you start, the altitude gain is at least 1500 vertical meters (5000 ft) and a single day climb is only for those who are very fit. You will not encounter many people while climbing this beautiful peak.
Cima di Nimi appears to be a major peak when viewed from the south, but in reality Cima di Nimi (2191m) is the point where the SW and S-SE ridge meet each other. The highest point of this peak is somewhat more to the north and is officially known as Cima Böis (2259m). A small ridge , from South to North, connects the two points. Although Cima Böis is somewhat higher, Cima di Nimi is the better known peak in the area. The peaks are somewhat bound together and this is the reason to put both of them together on this SP-page. From now on I will mention only Cima di Nimi when referring to both peaks.
Summit view into the Verzasca valley
Lago Maggiore from Cima di Nimiby gmonty
Cima di Nimi is located almost halfway on themountain ridge separating the Maggia and Verzasca valley’s. Over the whole extent of this ridge goes a classic and famous trail called the Via Alta della Maggia, which translates more or less into: Maggia valley’s old trail. This trail, better decribed as a high alpine trail, follows the entire ridge from south to north passing many summits like Cima della Trosa, Madone, Cima di Nimi, Madom da Sgiof, Cima del Masnee and Poncione Piancasia to name a few. The route is graded T4+ and requires 6 days to complete. Whether coming from north or south, which are the two access routes on the mountain, climbing Cima di Nimi always requires climbing a part of the Via Alta.
The sharp North ridge to Cima Bois; The Climbing on the ridge is fun
The easiest ascent route of Cima di Nimi is graded T3+. This route starts from the Maggia valley and goes up to the Rifugio Alpe Nimi and further along the South ridge to the summit. Although long, this is the easiest way to access the mountain. The other route starts from the Verzasca valley (Brione) and goes up to the scenic Rifugio Starlaresc. From the Rifugio the route passes just underneath Madom da Sgiof and over the ridge to Cima Böis and Cima di Nimi. This route is graded T4+ because of the ridge that separates Cima Böis from Madom da Sgiof. This ridge is, on the most difficult parts, secured with cables and/or steps (Via Ferrata), but involves some (fun) climbing. This is also one of theharder parts of the entire Via Alta della Maggia.
Another option for climbing Cima di Nimi is of course to do the Via Alta starting from south. On the second day you will pass Cima di Nimi. Whatever route you choose, prepare for a long day /multiple day outing in one of the most rugged and untouched places in the entire Alps.
I from Val Verzasca
The route starts near Hotel/Restaurant Piee, which is located just outside Brione, a small village in Val Verzasca. You can recognize the start of the route by the yellow signpost along the main road just west (50 meters) of Piee. Follow the trail (well-marked, T2) towards ‘’Piano del Vald’ and ‘’Capanna Starlaresc’’. After about an hour and a half, or an hour if you are fast, you will reach Matar (1304 meters), recognizable by the yellow signpost. Shortly after passing Matar , there is a split-up in the trail. The red-white-red trail continues in straight line, but a white-blue-white marked route branches off to the right. Both routes meet up at the Capanna Starlaresc, but the white-blue trail gets you there much faster. If you take the red-white-red trail, the trail keeps heading through the forest until you reach Alpe di Sgiof and eventually Mottaruch at 2011m.
Cima Bois (2259m) as seen from the N-ridge
on the Marked Trail
Route Map from Brione / Val Verzasca
Continue from Mottaruch down towards the Capanna Starlaresc at 1875 meters. The capanna Starlaresc is a great place to spend some time to relax or to stay for the night. For more information see the Capanna Starlarescsection below. From the capanna the trail continuous (red-white-red), passes the lake and goes up to the passo Deva (2035m). This part takes about 30 minutes. At the Passo Deva you are on the ridge (saddlepoint) between Madom da Sgiof and Cima del Masnee. Follow the ridge towards the south (the yellow signpost that says Madom da Sgiof).
At the base of Madom da Sgiof there is another junction. The yellow signpost leads to the summit of Madom da Sgiof. The blue one indicates the Via alta della Maggia and goes to Cima di Nimi. Follow this route. Soon the route becomes more challenging and the climbing starts (T4+). The climbing is fun and the route is well-secured at the most difficult/airy parts. After about an hour you will reach Cima Böis, the true highpoint and from here a small ridge continues to Cimi di Nimi over easy terrain (T3).
II from Valle Maggia
Route Map from Gordevio / Maggia
Cima di Nimi from Alpe Brunescio
This route starts either from Gordevio or Maggia, both situated in Vallemaggia. A marked trail (T2/3) leads up to the Rifugio Alpe Nimi (1718m) from both villages. The total time is 4 hours to get from the hut from either one of the villages. From the Rifugio Alpe Nimi continue your way up to the Passo di Nimi at 2048 meters over a marked trail (T3). At this point you have reached the Via Alta della Maggia. Follow the trail along the SSE-ridge and in 30 minutes you have reached the summit of Cima di Nimi (T3+).
III Via Alta della Maggia
On the Via alta della Maggia
Climb the mountain as part of the Via alta della Maggia. This tour along the mountain ridge that separates the Maggia and Verzasca valleys takes 6 days to complete. Of course it is possible to take only a section of the total tour. If you start at Cardada (1329m) the first day brings you to Rifugio Alpe di Nimi. On the second day you will climb Cima di Nimi and continue to Rifugio Alpe Masnee. See this link for more detailed information about the Via Alta della Maggia.
I Rifugio Alpe Nimi
Rifugio Alpe Nimi
Rifugio Alpe Nimi is a cosy mountain Hut located south of Cima di Nimi. The hut is guarded from June until September. In this period it is possible to get a meal at the hut, but it is also optional to cook your own meal. The hut provides all basic supplies like matrasses, blankets etc.
The A2 highway crosses Switzerland from north to south. On this highway take exit 47 'Bellinzona- Sud'
Now you are on the secondary road no. 2. Follow the signs to ''Locarno''
Before reaching Locarno Val Verzasca will appear on the road signs. Follow these signs until you reach Val Verzasca.
In the Verzasca valley is only one major road. Follow this road and you will first pass the village of Vogorno, than you will pass Lavertezzo and the 3rd major village is Brione. The route starts just before the actual village at Restaurant Piee, which can be recognized by the parking space in front of the Hotel/Restaurant.
A Route Planner to Brione (Restaurant Piee) on Google Maps can be found here
On the A2 highway you also take exit 47 'Bellinzona- Sud'. Now you are on the secondary road no. 2. Follow the signs to ''Locarno'' After a few miles you will reach highway no. 13 which leads to Locarno. Keep on this highway until you are in central Locarno. Eventually the signs 'Valle Maggia' will appear. Take this exit ''Via Locarno'' and keep following the Valle MAggia signs. This will lead you straight into the Maggia Valley. After passing the small town of Avegno you will enter first the village called Gordevio and soon after Maggia. Both are starting points for the route.
A Route Planner to Gordevio/ Maggia on Google Maps can be found here
When to Climb
Madom da Sgiof from Cima Boisby gmonty
The best time to climb Cima di Nimi is anywhere between May and November. It is possible that in Spring or Fall snow is present on the mountain. This will increase difficulties, especially when ascending the mountain from the North. So be sure to check the local conditions. It is advisable to climb without snow present on the mountain unless you have the proper experience. Whatever season you choose, there won't be many people on the mountain.
Maps & Books
Kompass Map WK110 Valle Maggia ValVerzasca Scale 1:50.000