Piz Morteratsch is a mighty and complex ice-capped peak and moreover it is an amazing balcony to take a breathtaking view over the peaks situated in the heart of Bernina Group. The summit of Morteratsch, lying between Piz Prievlus and Fuorcla Boval and separating the Morteratsch basin from the Tschierva basin, can be climbed along a beautiful and satisfactory Normal Route running on the icy Northern ridge and starting from Fuorcla da Boval, a wide saddle at 3347 m. This saddle can be approached from two different sides: on the Eastern side from Chamanna Boval 2495 m, a shelter located in a superb position dominating the impressive Vadret da Morteratsch (Morteratsch Glacier) and on the Western side from Chamanna da Tschierva 2583 m, a shelter located near the smaller Vadret da Tschierva (Val Roseg).
The route rising from Chamanna Boval is more interesting and involves a pleasant rock climb on good granite steps to get the Fuorcla da Boval 3347 m and successively an easy ice-climb along the final ice-slopes on the upper Northern ridge of the peak. The Normal route starting from Chamanna da Tschierva m. 2583, located on Val Roseg side, reachs the same Fuorcla da Boval, where it joins the previous itinerary rising from Chamanna Boval.
The starting point to reach the Chamanna da Boval is Morteratsch, a little railway station at 1896 m of altitude, located along the "Ferrovia Retica" (Retic Railway). The starting point to reach the Chamanna da Tschierva is the village of Pontresina. Both Morteratsch and Pontresina are located on the road running from S. Moritz to the Bernina Pass.
Road approach from Italy
By car: from Milano follow the Motorway to Lecco, then the road running on the East shore of Lago di Lecco to Colico - Chiavenna - Maloia Pass - Silvaplana - St. Moritz - Pontresina - Morteratsch
By railroad: Milano - Sondrio - Tirano - Bernina railway (the highest in Europe)
Walking approach to Chamanna da Boval 2495 m
From the Morteratsch railway station a good and spectacular path running on the moraine of the left orographical side of Morteratsch Glacier reachs the place named Chamin 2343 m and rising on a rocky step (a brief fixed rope) leads to the shelter (2 hours)
Walking approach to Chamanna da Tschierva 2583 m
From Pontresina railway station take the Val Roseg road and follow it, reaching the altitude of 1994 m. Cross a stream on a bridge, getting to the Hotel Roseg.
Take a path on the left, following the valley and then rising to the Margun Misaun 2245 m. Here the path heads to SW, approachs the moraine lying on the orographical right side of the Vadret da Tschierva and then skirts the glacier, reaching the hut (3,30 hours).
North Ridge (Normal route) from Chamanna Boval report - UIAA scale
Summit altitude: 3751 m
Difficulty: Alpine PD-, II- UIAA the rocky section, 35° on ice
Difference in level: 1250 m
Exposure: East, then North
First ascent: Ch. G. Brugger - P. Gensler - K. Emmermann - A. Klaingutti 11-9-1858
A superb high mountain route climbing one of the giants of Bernina Group From the Chamanna Boval (Bovalhütte) m. 2495 walk up on a steep path towards West along the Gianda Boval, heading to Corn Boval. At about 2800 m turn to left (SW), pass a small ridge, getting the small glacier named Vadret Boval Dadains. Climb up the glacier, heading to the rocky wall facing East and getting its base at about 3000 m.
Start to climb it on easy rocky steps (red marks). In the upper part head to South, getting the Fuorcla da Boval 3347 m. From the col descend a few meters on the opposite side (West), then head to left (South), following the upper snow-slopes of the Vadrettin da Tschierva and skirting the huge rocky pinnacles located along the ridge overlooking the snow-slopes.After the traverse, climb a rather steep icefield (35°) for about 50 m., reach the ridge and follow it to the summit. Beware of some snow-covered crevasses between 3500 and 3700m!
Descent: reversing the same route
Rope, ice-axe, crampons, helmet
- Chamanna da Boval (Boval-Hütte) 2495 m - CAS Bernina Situation: North Bernina - West shore of Morteratsch Glacier. Open: 15 of March - 15 of May and 15 of june - 15 of October Size: 100 persons + 12 in the winter-shelter Getting There: by train to Morteratsch station or by car, then 2 hours by walking on a path running on the left orographical side of Morteratsch Glacier Hut's phone : 0041-8266403
- Chamanna da Tschierva (Tschierva Hütte) 2573 m - CAS Bernina Situation: West Bernina near Tschierva Glacier. Open: end of March - 15 of May and 15 of June - 15 of October Size: 100 persons + 30 in the winter shelter Getting There: Pontresina + Val Roseg - 3 hours on path Hut's phone : 0041-8266391
There are no particular restrictions in climbing, mountaineering and hiking.
The best period goes from middle June to middle September
"Bernina" by N. Canetta - G. Miotti Collana Guide dei Monti d'Italia CAI-TCI
- Swisstopo 1277 - Bernina 1/25000