In the Gotthard area arise the Alpine streams the Rhine, the Rhone, Reuss and Tessin. Further the Gotthard is a region the centre of Switzerland and the central mountain base.
The Pizzo Rotondo is the highest summit of the Gotthard group and very attractive one.
Starting point is Realp at the Furka pass.
This route is good for skiers and hikers.
Walk to the end of the Witenwasseren valley (2185 m) and follow the marks to the Rotondo hut. There are 33 rods marking the way.
From Realp to the Rotondo hut you have to ascend 1000m and about 9km walk.
From the hut across the Witenwasseren pass to the glacier basin at the foot of the Rotondo north face or to the foot of the north ridge southeast of point 2755.
All'Acqua (on the southern limit of Gotthard tunnel) fast to get here from Milano, Luzern or Zurich along the Gotthard highway.
From Airolo follow the Nufenen Pass road till All'Acqua where you must start to walk.
In less than 1 hour you can reach the Capanna Piansecco (Val Bedretto) - 1980 m - open in weekends.
Pizzo Rotondo North Face
In early summer this route is an attractive ice climb. Elevation difference 200 m, 45 degrees steep, graded VD.
2 hours from the Rotondo hut, 2 hours for the wall, 2-3 hours for the descent and the return to the hut.
From the hut across the Witenwasseren pass to the glacier basin at the foot of the Rotondo north face. Cross the Bergschrund (the top crevasse that is between the moving part of the glacier and the part that is frozen onto the mountain). Ascend in direction to the main summit, later somewhat more to the right to the large col on the north west ridge. After reaching the north west ridge continue to the summit (about 50 meters). From the main summit continue to the south ridge down to the Passo di Ruino (approx. 2940 m, without names and height on the process map, between the Pizzo Rotondo and the Puncione di Ruino). Now across the Passo di Rotondo and the Witenwasseren pass back to the hut.
Pizzo Rotondo via the NNW ridge
Worthwhile climb on solid granite.
2 hours from the Rotondo hut to the beginning of the climb, 3 hours for the climb to the summit 2-3 hours for the descend and back to the hut. Difficulty IV (VD+), equipment: Rocks, a few Friends, slings.
From the Witenwasserenpass to the foot of the north ridge southeast of point 2755. Now upwards on well graded plates within the area of the edge and in most beautiful climbing over two strongholds to the point, where the ridge turns southeast. Continue eastward, move past a steep slab and across the gendarme into a col. Continue from there to the north summit and the main summit, Descend the south ridge down to the Passo di Ruino (approx. 2940m, without names and height on the map, between the Pizzo Rotondo and the Puncione di Ruino). Now across the Passo di Rotondo and the Witenwasseren pass back to the hut.
From SW, Piansecco Hut, PD:
Start in the Pianseccohut 1964 m. In northern direction, on a path, to the alpe di Ruino 1951 m.
About the stone waste dump southeast from the Pizzo Rotondo pulls down to the Passo di Rotondo 2764 m.
There by a precipitous stone flank on the saddle between Puntone di Ruino and Pizzo Rotondo.
Then about the southeast burr on the summit of the Pizzo Rotondo.
Descent: On the same route back to Bedretto.
Winter ascent with Ski
Turn east at the Rotondo hut (2571 m) across the Witenwasseren glacier to the Witenwasseren pass (2819 m).
Now descend approximately 60 meters and move around the SW ridge of the Witenwasserenstock across the terrace of the Geren glacier to the shoulder at Pt. 2775.
Descend to the foot of the western rock ridge of Pizzo Rotondo, turn around it and climb up to the Passo di Rotondo until Pt. 2764 (this point is also reached from the Capanna Piansecco).
Climb north-west of the canton border across the wide slope below a significant red wall, where the skis are deposited.
Without skis through the steep couloir to the summit.
Here using the rope can be recommended.
Return to the hut on the same route.
Cheap and good boarding houses and hotels in Realp, its also a very good idea to stay at the Rotondo hut. Its managed on request and in the high seasons of ski tours and in the summer time.
The official Rotondo Hut page : http://www.jo-sac.ch/rotondo/en/rotondo.html
The Piansecco hut: http://geo7.begasoft.ch/afp2/ContentHuette.aspx?hu=204
Maps and Infos
1:50000 Ski Route Map
1:25000 Schweizer Landeskarten 1231 Urseren,1251 Val Bedretto
Desi gave me a good advice:
Every 2 years there a spectacular skimountainering competition around pizzo Rotondo touching 3 summit... for 2008 is on 9. march. It's simply fantastic!