OverviewWARNING - this route description has been written since no other is available on SP, and it is written by heart, by what is left in my memory 9 years after climbing it. Everone who detects serious faults is invited to correct me.
For that reason this description is also somewhat personalized and shows a few traits of a trip report.
The route uses Punta Sertori's marked south ridge, often directly on the ridge, sometimes keeping in the wall left or right of the ridge.
At its footing the ridge is no longer a ridge but a broad quite featureless wall, which can cause route finding problems there.
The route offers splendid granite climbing you will still dream about long afterwards. Varied never boring terrain. Enthralling from the 1st to the last grip, albeit a few walking passages are also present. Great views. Some rate its beauty above Badile's N ridge.
When I did it in 1998 bolts were present in some places, in others one had to look for oneself.
Just walk up from Gianetti hut (see Punta Sertori
page) to the well visible ridge (when foggy, don't confuse with Badile's S ridge), about 45 min.
The approximate route and the approximate abseil piste are marked in red resp. blue in the primary image of this page.
The 1st problem to be overcome is/was for us to find the starting point. In fact, we were equipped with 2 guides (Känel's "Plaisirführer" and, I think, the standard German alpine club guide of the region), we asked people inside and outside Gianetti hut, and still were not able to clearly pin down the point when we made a reconnaissance trip to the footing of the ridge the evening before the climb. Finally we made a decision for this chimney on the left side of the footing wall
Chosen starting point of the route
which seemed right because another party just used the same before us, one sees the 2 guys at the 1st belay. After the 2nd pitch one arrives at a comfortable ledge, where we faced the same problem again (the 2 guys had disappeared in the mean time): a slanted rather featureless wall and a very cursory description in the guide. We reached the ridge, after zigzagging 3 pitches of very fine grade III rock through the wall, at a point were it is more or less horizontal and becomes a real ridge. At one belay it was very difficult and time consuming to construct halfway reliable anchoring points. It should, however, also be possible to climb directly up with only 2 pitches - the nice thing here is that it seems possible to climb nearly everywhere in this wall at about grade III.
Follow 2 very stimulating grade IV pitches along the now very pronounced ridge. After that again a more or less horizontal ledge, leading to a shallow chimney (1 pitch) of grade IV. After the chimney, you are at the 3 outstanding gendarmes, 2 of which (or all 3???) are climbed over directly.
The last gendarme behind me
Then several grade II and III pitches mostly to the right of the ridge, this section ends by a IV- pitch leading back to the ridge at an extremely exposed point. There were no bolts, and I found no possibility for self-laid safety anchors in this pitch, and a fall of the one climbing ahead could be fatal because it is steep but not vertical and the terrain beneath is very rugged.
Now one has to tackle the last 2 pitches (or the last very long pitch) of sustained grade III+ - IV- in an impressively compact and steep wall. Seems very hard from afar, but amazingly you find a good grip whenever you look for it - fantastic! This continues almost to the top - one doesn't recognize it until one is almost there.
The top is very small - a very exposed cornice with terrific, hard to describe views to all sides, in particular into the north faces of Pizzo Badile and Cengalo. There is a madonna statue on it.
Pizzo Cengalo from top of Punta Sertori
Most recommendable is to continue over the sharp west ridge (up to III) to Pizzo Badile.
Punta Sertori and crest to Pizzo Badile from Cengalo
For us it was too late for that so we took the
over the S face, which must be more or less also the normal route. One descends about 30m from the summit, below the ridge but in the direction of Badile, to the 1st of 3 anchor points. This is not difficult (partly grade II as far as I remember) but very steep, and if there is poor sight resp. foggy you may get lost in this wall. The anchor points in 1998 were so-so, and I think to remember that a 2x60m rope was useful.
Abseiling from Punta Sertori
S face - the wall of the abseil piste seen directly from below
One ends on broad slanted ledges which lead finally down to the scree.
Rock climbing gear (in summer there's no ice to be crossed): 60m double rope useful, a handful of carabiners, rope slings, bolts and/or friends (unless the route has been equipped with cemented bolts in the meantime).