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+.
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.
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.
RoutesNW-Ridge / Bügeleisenkante / Ferro da Stiro
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 & SleepingCamping Bondo
A well know climbers camping situated between Bondo and Promontogno.
The campsite is open from 1st May to 30th October
Located in the Bondasca valley.
Open from 1st of july till the 30th of september.
Books & MapsMaps:
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