Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Lat/Lon: 46.29450°N / 9.61040°E
Elevation: 10702 ft / 3262 m


The Pizzi Gemelli is situated in the wild and remote Val Masino Alps offering both wonderfull rock climbs and wild glaciers. The Gemelli, Cengalo and Badile threesome are one of the most photographed sceneries of the Alps. Their steep walls drop down in the bowl formed Val Bondasca.

The Val Masino range is famous for it's classic routes in beautifull granite. Though the Gemelli doesn't offer as much routes as it's more famous neighbours it is very famous for its NW-ridge, more known by the names of 'Bügeleisen' or 'Ferro da Stiro', meaning 'Flat Iron'. This is a real 'plaisir' climb if done to the top of the 'Bügeleisen' and a serious alpine outing if continued to the top of the Gemelli.

When the Gemelli NW-ridge was first climbed in 1935 it was the first VIth grade route in the Alps, it was however quickly downgraded to V+.

Getting There

The first thing is to get to the Bregaglia valley, the northern boundary of the Val Masino alps. The Bregaglia valley is on the way from Chiavenna (I) to St. Moritz (CH), and located on the W-side of the Malojapass.

Maloja -> Vicosoprano -> Bondo -> Laret Parking (22 km).
Chiavenna -> Castasegna -> Bondo -> Laret Parking (17 km).

Park your car in the village of Bondo and continue on foot to the Rifugio Sciora. Gabriele Roth suggested the following: You can also drive up to near Laret (saving about 1,5h of walking) by buying a ticket for that particular piece of road.

From the Sciora hut it is a 1h30 walk to the NW-Ridge. You will have to cross a glacier. Walk in SW direction and later due S to the base of the ridge.

Red Tape

No permits are required.

When To Climb

The granite slabs can still be covered in snow in early summer. Best chances are mid-july to september. Dependend on snowfall and daylight a little bit later may be possible.


NW-Ridge / Bügeleisenkante / Ferro da Stiro
V+, 3-6h
First ascent: H. Frei & J. Weiss, 1935.
Re-equiped: B. Götte, 1996.
Classic ridge climb, mainly on slabs. Rappel down the route.

Cuore di Ferro
6c, 14 pitches

Camping & Sleeping

Camping Bondo:
A well know climbers camping situated between Bondo and Promontogno.
The campsite is open from 1st May to 30th October

Rifugio Sciora(2118m):
Located in the Bondasca valley.
Open from 1st of july till the 30th of september.

Books & Maps

Landeskarte der Schweiz, 1:25.000 - nr. 1296 (Sciora)

SAC Clubführer - Bündner Alpen
Schweiz Plaisir Süd, J. von Känel
Bergell, Disgrazia, Engadine: Les 100 plus belles courses et randonées, G. Miotti & A. Gogna.

Bügeleisen Climbing Guide

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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Gabriele Roth

Gabriele Roth - Sep 4, 2006 8:04 am - Hasn't voted

faster access

"Park your car in the village of Bondo and continue on foot to the Rifugio 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 ! :)


Lortnoc - May 16, 2007 3:49 am - Hasn't voted

Re: faster access

Thanks! I have incorporated your tip in the text.


sararickt - May 27, 2011 5:56 am - Hasn't voted

Continuing to the summit along the NW ridge

On 10th July 2006 we did the whole route from the Sciora hut to the summit with a descent into Italy to the Gianetti hut. We climbed as a party of three, which was not optimal, and we took about 13 hours hut to hut. In the upper section, marked Red on my image of the Gemelli we chose to leave the ridge using an obvious break as a traverse line. This led into an area of more broken rock and less pleasant climbing. We had to traverse back across poorly protected but easy IV+ slabs, and were relieved to find the long stride pitch and it's old ladder of pegs as an indication we were properly back on route.
Note the route was not (2006)equipped beyond the top of the Flatiron except for occasional pegs and slings.
Later, back in the Sciora hut, we were told the last party that had done the whole route had made the same detour. We got the impression that the full route wasn't very popular, maybe one ascent a year or so.

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