Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 46.29576°N / 9.60110°E
Additional Information County: Lombardia
Activities Activities: Trad Climbing, Big Wall
Seasons Season: Summer
Additional Information Elevation: 11046 ft / 3367 m
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Pizzo Cengalo 3369 m

East side of Cengalo seen from Passo del Camerozzo.
East side of Cengalo seen from Passo del Camerozzo.
Pizzo Cengalo north wall ......
Pizzo Cengalo north wall ......






Pizzo Cengalo has been affected in recent years by some landslides, such as those of July 2011 and December 27 of the same year.

As for the damage to mountaineers, the landslide involved and partially made inaccessible the routes located on the north-north-west side such as the Classica route, the Attilio Piacco route, the eastern pillars of the wall, Kasper - Koch route, and the via Cacao Meravigliao on the north-east slope.”

Further landslides occurred on August 13 and 23, 2017. On 23 August 2017, around 9.30 am, an enormous landslide detached from the north-east wall of Pizzo Cengalo, at about 3000 meters above sea level, giving rise to a debris flow (estimated at 4 million cubic metres), which it devastated the underlying Val Bondasca and also partially affected the town of Bondo.


Climbing Via Vinci (6) on...
Climbing the Spigolo Vinci


The first ascent was performed by the British pioneers D. W. Freshfield and C. C. Tucker with the alpine guide Francois Dévouassoud on 1866, july 25th, along what is still the Normal route of the mountain today.

Among the other routes the best known are the "Spigolo Vinci", a fairly popular rock route on the South ridge of the Southern fore-summit (400 m, TD V + / A0 or up to 6a in free climbing) and the route Gaiser-Lehmann on the North-west spur, rising from the Cengalo glacier (1100 m, TD V +). 

Unfortunately in the winter 2011 a large part of the north face was hit by a landslide which changed its appearance, destroying several existing climbing routes. Further landslides on the North-East side occurred in the August 2017, including one of colossal dimensions (approximately 4 million cubic meters of material are estimated), further modifying the conformation of the wall and devastating the underlying Val Bondasca.

Getting There

Northern side: Val Bregaglia - can be reached by car from Milan (SS-36) - Milano - Lecco - Chiavenna .... Malojapass : along this road you can enter the Val Bondasca

Southern side: Valtellina - can be reached by car from Milan (SS-36) - Milano - Lecco - Colico .... Sondrio : along this road you can enter the Val Masino

starting points :
- Ardenno - bagni del Masino - for Val Porcellizzo (Italy)
- Bondo for val Bondasca (Switzerland)

Routes overview

North wall the highest and most impressive wall

- NW pillar (Gaiser-Lehmann) TD - as fine as the NE wall to Piz Badile - 700 m + final ridge (WSW) -- (more pics from Lorenz)

- NNW wall (Schnitzler-Schocher-Borghese) - the classic - D - a big wall and a grand course - looks like a Mont Blanc Group classic

- NNW wall (Rusconi-Seinkotter-Tessari-Fabbrica) - few infos on it

- NNW wall eastern pillars - (Kasper-Koch) - ED - 600 m to get the classic route

East ridge - (Bonacossa-Prochownick) - D - 250 m - fantastic rock and climb

South-east wall
on this wall many routes and variants, difficulties starting from AD sup : the most important are the Bonacossa-Polvara and the via Chiara (Gugiatti)

South ridge 2 different possibilities on this ridge : - Via Vinci - TD - the finest climb you can make starting from Gianetti Hut --(more pics from Lorenz) - Via Bonacossa - D - this route goes round the Vinci route avoiding the main difficulties

South-west wall this is a wall that ends, after about 150m on easy rocks under the normal route, some routes on this wall can be used if you find Vinci route too difficult.
On this side some secondary towers (Selene and Sinistra) can be used for sport climbing

WSW ridge
the normal route - F or PD - snow and rock - wonderful views

Some climbing pics

Gaiser Lehmann (NW pillar)


Vinci route (S ridge)

My climbing mate on one of...
My climbing mate on one of...


Red Tape

No fees no permits required.


Rifugio Gianetti 2536m
Rifugio Gianetti 2536m


Three comfortable huts give you the possibilities you need.


- Rif. Gianetti 2534 m - Val Porcellizzo (Italian side)





Sasc Fura hut with Piz Badile
Sasc Fura hut with Piz Badile





- Rif. Sasc Furà 1904 m - Val Bondasca (Swiss side)






Evening in Sciora Hut
Evening in Sciora Hut





- Rif. Sciora  2118 m - Val Bondasca (Swiss side)

When To Climb

South-east side can be ready to climb in june, anyhow the descent could be a little complicate
all other sides from july to september
beware of bad weather, very dangerous on this summit just as on the near Piz Badile


Meteo Arpa Lombardia

Guidebooks and maps

Masino Bregaglia Disgrazia guidebook


“Masino Bregaglia Disgrazia” Vol. I by Alberto Bonacossa and Giovanni Rossi, Collana Guide dei Monti d’Italia CAI-TCI


- CNS - Swiss National Map sheet 1296 - Sciora, scala 1:25.000 - Kompass, foglio 92, Chiavenna - Val Bregaglia, scala 1:50.000 -

External Links Cengalo

climberland: link to a page about Gaiser-Lehmann spur
climberland: link to a page about Vinci edge



Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.