Piz Chapisun – ZS or not that’s the question

Published by 360 Pro , 26 July 2008, 12h40.

Region: World » Switzerland » Grisons » Basse Engadine
Date of the hike:23 July 2008
Hiking grading: T4 - High-level Alpine hike
Geo-Tags: Fliana-Gruppe   CH-GR 
Access to start point:cff logo Lavin
Access to end point:cff logo Lavin

In her report Piz Chapisun (Versuch) über den S-Grat Anna wrote: Dann, haben wir entscheiden dass es wird besser noch einmal den Gipfel zu versuchen, vielleicht mit der Begleitung von 360,  um endlich antworten an die Frage: „Ist der Piz Chapisun ein ZS oder nicht?“
Stani wrote in an email to me:
…Or maybe there is another way. Probably a person with more experience like you will see how… So, if you are interested, that can be an interesting goal when you come next time.

I took this invitation and challenge and went together with Anna, Stani and Zina to Piz Chapisun. As you can see in Anna’s report the short answer to her question is: The easiest path up to Piz Chapisun is only a T4 and definitely not a ZS as we understand it today.

Here’s how it all went…
We all met at 9 AM at the train station Lavin. First we followed the hiking path into the Val Lavinuoz. At P. 1662 we then turned right up towards Charnadüras along the gravel road. At P. 1747 we turned left and at the next clearing the hiking path starts going up towards Dors. The path is quite steep and interesting and is well marked all the way up to P. 2180, the tree line. Form here on there are path traces, but it is not always clear if it’s a path for hikers or sheep. However, the direction was quite clear towards Muott’ Auta via P. 2405 and then northeast wards to P. 2670, the Muott’ Auta. (The direct ascend from P. 2180 to Piz Chapisun via south ridge would be possible too, but it is definitely worth taking the detour via Muott' Auta since it offers a very nice view down the Unterengadin)

At Muott' Auta we only took a very short break since the wind was rather cold. From here Piz Chapisun actually looks quite difficult (“like a ZS”) and even I had some doubts we would make it all the way up to the summit. These doubts vanished into thin air shortly after P. 2796, which is bypassed on the southwest leading to a little saddle. (Anna decided to make a little detour and climb P. 2796 for an “unknown” reason :-)

From here it now was rather clear to me that there was a relatively easy way to the summit in southeast flank of Piz Chapisun. First we followed a channel east of the south ridge (I called it a stone desert) to the point where the south ridge makes a turn towards northeast. On the south side of the foresummit there is a distinct reddish brown rock formation. Right below this rock there is an easy way to cross to the saddle between foresummit and summit and from this saddle to the actual summit see picture for the route.  All in all the difficulty is not more than T4.

There is no summit log hidden anywhere (at least we couldn’t find one) and it seems like this peak is not visited very often by hikers. Besides the Steinmannli, one cigarette butt and a stone with red paint were the only traces of visitors.
Down in the valley there are the landmarked ruins of a little village called Gonda which was completely destroyed in the 16th century (one doesn’t know for sure but maybe by an avalanche). These days there are 3 masts along the SE ridge of Piz Chapisun, which serve the purpose of artificially triggering avalanches (there is a presentation about this on the websites of Schweizerische InteressenGemeinschft Lawinenwarnsysteme, SILS).

We also inspected the SE and N ridges from the summit. The SE ridge actually looks pretty easy as well, but the N ridge rather difficult. For our way down we first went back to the saddle between the summit and foresummit, where I saw a little mushroom. While Anna and I took some pictures, Stani checked out the ridge of the foresummit which we bypassed on the south side on the way up. Stani came back and said it looks easier from here than expected. So we decided to give it a try. To my surprise it was actually not difficult at all because the drop of about 5m has an easy bypass on the northern side (T5-). Coming from above it is logical and easy to find, but if you look at it from below it is not so obvious (usually it’s the other way around). Even Zina made it; she had to whine quite a bit, but once we showed her the way, she successfully passed the section without a problem. Anna’s pants didn’t make it without getting damaged (see here).

The rest of our way down was the same us the way up. We made an extended break again at Muott' Auta (which really offers an excellent view down to Lavin and parts of the Unterengadin). We celebrated our successful conquest of Piz Chapisun with some fermented grape juice and then walked down to Lavin again. At around 6:30 PM we started realizing that it might get tight to catch our trains in Lavin, so we started walking faster and a few minutes before 7 we started running and successfully caught our trains home.

Lavin – Charnadüras – Dors – P. 2180 – P. 2405 - Muott’ Auta – Piz Chapisun and back

Hike partners: Anna, Stani™, Zina, 360


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