Piz de Molinera (also: Pizzo de Molinera) is located in the heart of one of the most beautiful places of Switzerland: Ticino. Above the ancient city of Bellinzona towers an impressive peak more then 2000 meters above the valley floor: It is Piz de Molinera. Located where the Moesa and Ticino rivers find each other, as well as where the Calanca and Leventina valleys meet, is the home of Piz de Molinera.
Although Piz de Molinera isn't as famous as it's higher neighbour Pizzo di Claro (2727m), it is a great destination for a single or even multiple day climb. Molinera is the southernmost peak of the Leventina East ridge and the summit offers great views in all directions. Looking south will let you watch over the ancient city of Bellinzona and you can spot the northern tip of the grand Lago Maggiore. To the east and north you are able to see many Graubundener mountains and also Monte Disgrazia is within sight. Towards the north Pizzo di Claro is the main eyecatcher, together with Torrone Rosso, Mottone and Torrone Alto further away. Last but not least, looking towards the west offers great views of the Monte Rosa and Mischabel Groups.
Summit view towards the South
Bellinzona and Capanna Brogoldone from Piz de Molinera
The climb of Piz de Molinera is quite straightforward. A marked trail leads all the way up to the summit. The final part includes a walk over the ridge that seperates the Leventina and Calanca valleys. The route is graded T3 and is marked very well. In the shadow of Molinera lies the Brogoldone mountain hut. It is located at a perfect spot for climbing Piz de Molinera. The hut is guraded during the summer season but also accessible in winter (winterraum) Spending the night here is a great experience seeing the many lights of Ticino's capital from above: Bellinzona by night.
Piz de Molinera summit
View towards Pizzo di Claro and Torrone Rosso
Upper part of the Trail
The main route to the summit starts at the top of the Lumino-Monte Sauru cableway (1215 m) also referred to as "Funivia Pizzo di Claro". It is also possible to start at the valley floor in Lumino. This adds 1,5 to 2 hours to the ascent. From Monti Sauru you need to follow the route towards 'Capanna Brogoldone' (1904m). The hiking trail starts directly behind the Funivia. Follow the signs (yellow signposts) "Capanna Brogoldone". After some 15 minutes, on the trail through in the thick forest, there is a junction marked by a large yellow signpost (point 1392 on the map at left). At this point there are two options for getting to Capanna Brogoldone: The fast and steep route, or the Alpe Domas variant. The first route goes up along the steep flank and directly to the Capanna. This route is over an hour shorter compared to the second, but also this route is quite strenuous due to the steepness of the hiking path. The second trail goes over a more gradual increasing slope. This trail first leads to Alpe Domas and then on to Brogoldone. Also see this link to get to the Capanna Brogoldone SP-page.
From Capanna Brogoldone a marked trail leads up towards the summit. It is marked by red-white-red painted lines along the path. You will first find your way up to the ridge that connects Piz de Molinera with Pizzo di Claro and that seperates the Ticino and Graubundener Kantons (Provinces). Walking on this ridge offers great views into both the Leventina (west) and Calanca (east) valleys. You will follow the ridge to the southeast where you eventually will reach the summit of Pizzo di Molinera. The route is graded T3.
When to Climb
Piz de MolinreraSW-Face
Piz de Molinera can be climbed best during the summer months until fall (June / October) when there is no snow present on the mountain.
How to get There
Piz de MolineraNorth Face
The starting point for the normal route to Piz de Molinera is Lumino, a small village close to Ticino's capital Bellinzona. Lumino is situated nearby the exit "Bellinzona-Nord" on highway 2 connecting Italy with the north via the Gotthardpass. Also highway 13 joins highway 2 at this point. Highway 13 leads to the San Bernardino Pass. After exititing at Bellinzona Nord from highway 2 or 13 it is just a 10 minute drive to Lumino.
A route (Google Maps) planner to Lumino (valley station of the Funivia/cableway) can be found HERE.