Looking into val Fedoz with Muot'Ota to the left, Piz de la Margna to the right
Some mountains appear to be so insignificant that you would never dream climbing them. Muot'Ota
is one of these mountains, located on the long north ridge of Piz Fora
. Its summit is a bump on the ridge and if you proceed on the ridge you can easily get higher with the first culmination point being Piz Salatschina
at 2824m. We climbed Muot'Ota
in a brief weather window between two downpours and it turned out to be quite an experience.
At 2490m Muot'Ota
might stand out in other mountain ranges but since it is part of the Bernina Group
it is a dwarf compared to its neighbours. Yet this dwarf rears its head above the timberline and serves as a wonderful lookout towards all those higher mountains around. "Lookout" might not be the correct word, the whole traverse along the north ridge of the mountain is one panoramic trail. At first you enjoy the views of Lai da Segl
and the Albula Group on its northern banks but the higher you get the deeper you hike into the heart of Bernina
. Piz de la Margna
to the west and Piz Corvatsch
to the east accompany the hike and Piz Tremoggia
, Piz Fora
and Piz Fedoz
join in later.
Lai da Segl and the Albula Alps
Piz de la Margna Piz Corvatsch Pizzo Muretto, Piz Fedoz
Piz Chüern Piz Tremoggia Piz Fora
is a popular hiking destination from Sils / Segl
even though you have to scale 800m of elevation. Even more popular is the hike through Val Fex
(one of the possible routes) since you can hike out the valley until you can nearly touch the Bernina glaciers.
So why was the hike to Muot'Ota
an experience? The views obviosly, as you can see from the pictures. Also, even before we reached the base of the mountain we came across a newly born calf (less than 15 minutes old), which was lying directly on the trail to Muot'Ota. Its mother was lying exhaustedly to the side of the trail while another cow watched us nervously. Later, on Muot'Ota's north ridge, we harvested hundreds of blueberries.
And after we had passed by Muot'Ota's summit we came across a forgotten sheep one one of the bumps on the ridge. It let us pass but when we returned to descend it adopted us as honorary sheep to lead it down to the valley. Which didn't quite happen as it got distracted by two men, whom it adopted instead. Still it posed for several funny photos for me.
360° Summit Panorama
360° panorama from our highpoint above Muat'Ota
The usual trailhead for Muot'Ota
is Sils / Segl in Oberengadin
- Western Access (Switzerland, Germany):
- Either take motorway A3 from Zürich or A13 from the Swiss - German - Austrian border near Bregenz.
- Both combine south of Liechtenstein and lead (A13) to Landquart or Chur.
- From these exits take one of the mountain passes (Flüela, Albula, Julier) to cross over to Oberengadin.
- Reaching B27 in the valley, turn right (south-west) until you reach the Sils / Segl exit.
- North-Eastern Access (Austria):
- Take A12 (Inntalautobahn) to the exit Landeck.
- Switch to B180 and after Pfunds cross the Swiss border.
- Stay on B27 through Engadin until you reach Sils / Segl.
- South-Eastern Access (Italy through South Tyrol):
- Take Brenner Motorway A22 to the exit Bozen / Bolzano Sud.
- Switch to SS38 and pass Meran / Merano to drive through Vinschgau / Val Venosta.
- At Sponding / Spondinga turn onto SS40 to Schluderns / Sluderno
- Switch to SS41 through Glurns / Glorenza to the Swiss border.
- Stay on B28 across Ofenpass / Pass dal Fuorn until you reach Zernez.
- Turn onto B27 south until you reach Sils / Segl
- Southern Access (Italy)
- Either Take SS37 through Chiavenna and Val Bregaglia to Maloja Pass and on to Sils / Segl (B3 and B27 in Switzerland).
- Or take SS38 to Tirano and B29 across Bernina Pass to Pontresina, B27 to Sils / Segl.
- Or take SS38 to Bormio and SS301 through Livigno, which will lead to B28 near Zernez, then onto B27 to Sils / Segl.
There are two routes which can be neatly combined into a loop.
Lai da Segl
Hike from Sils / Segl
to the south-west heading for Silser See / Lai da Segl
. Follow the banks of the lake for a few km until you reach the base of the Muot'Ota
north ridge. Now follow the marked trail to the top.
Albula Group seen through Val Fex
From Sils / Segl
follow the Fex Creek
through its gorge until you reach the meadows of lower Val Fex
. Head out the Valely on the paved road which leads to Alp da Segl
. A few steps behind the Allp Buildings turn right onto the marked trail which heads up the steep east slopes of Muot'Ota.
Squirrel at the base of Muot'Ota
I'm not aware of any red tape on Muot'Ota. As you can see from the pictures, the mountain is used for sheep grazing and there are fences along the steep drops on the western side. Take care to keep everything in working conditions. Close gates wherever you find them.
In Sils / Segl
you will have to pay a parking fee. There is a large parking deck near the centre of the village.
Heavy Weather Approaching from Unterengadin
Maps & Books
- LK 268 T: Julierpass
- Oberendagin / Alta Engadina
- LK 1277: Piz Bernina
- Bündner Alpen 6
Sac Schweizer Alpenclub
- Oberengadin - St. Moritz, Zuoz, Pontresina
Rudolf Weiss, Siegrun Weiss
- Skitouren Graubünden Süd: Oberhalbstein / Albula / Davos / Engadin
Sac Schweizer Alpenclub