Pizzo Badile (3308m) - “Via Cassin” - 6a+ - 800m

Bergell is one of the most beautiful and famous places in the Alps for big granite adventures. The “Cassin” had been on my list for a long time! Driving into the valley of Bergell is stunning: lovely 400 year old houses shaded by 3000m high wild granite mountains. The road from the village Bondo up to the parking is quite narrow, wild and costs 10 €. Welcome to Switzerland. It got dark while packing our stuff so we hiked to Cappana Sass Furä in the bright light of our headlamps. After a bit more than one hour on a short and steep trail the hut appeared just behind the rim! Next morning at 4 o’clock 14 multinational Piz Badile candidates ran out of the hut towards the rock. We had muesli outdoors and followed the impressive speed performance. Formula 1 like! We followed the lights and at 5:30 we started to sramble up the first meters of the “Cassin” route. Four teams climbed parallel, above and below each other. We overtook two parties…however at a ledge 1/3 way up we all met again as the crux pitch above stopped the flow. We found all the “hard” pitches to be way easier and more pleasant than the chimney- pitches higher up on the route. V-shaped, narrow and really uncomfortable! Finally we reached the North Ridge a couple of pitches below the summit. We abseiled down the Italian side; accompanied by two Dutch and two French climbers. At Rifugio Gianetti we were lucky (or unlucky!) to see the weather forecast: heavy rain starting at 11am the next day! And a long way back waiting! Oh no! So we decided to fill up our water bottles and hike to Bivacco Pedroni. A horrible hike over Passo Porcellizzo and down a couloir filled with loose rock! The little red hut gave us shelter for the night. Early next morning we hiked up Passo Trubinasca and back down to the car via Sass Furä. Right after we reached the car rain poured down… Next day, Pizzo Badile was covered in snow and we were happy to climb “Cassin” maybe on its last possible day 2012!
Summary: Wild adventure, awesome climbing but more hiking though. (hiking : climbing= 11h : 6h) Facts: Rifugio Sass Furä (1904m) – Start of Via Cassin 2590m – Pizzo Badile (3308m) – down to Rifugio Gianetti- up to Passo Porcellizzo (2950m)-Bivacco Pedroni (2577m) - Passo Trubinasca (2703m) – Back to Rifugio Sass Furä Material: DMM Wallnuts, 15 DMM Shadow Quickdraws, Dragon Cams size 00 to 2 Topo: „Topoguide“, Kletterführer Alpen V bis VIII, Nicole Luzar, Volker Roth. „Nichts als Granit“, Mario Sertori, Guido Lisignoli, Versante Sud. Tip: Drinking water can be found at Rifugio Sass Furä as well as Gianetti! Difficult route finding down Passo Porcellizzo across the glacier (which does almost not exist anymore!) to Bivacco Pedroni. We crossed the valley left but we were told afterwards that on the right side would be a better way.

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