Piz Mitgel (Senda Verticale)


Publiziert von Stijn , 3. Juli 2015 um 22:50.

Region: Welt » Schweiz » Graubünden » Oberhalbstein
Tour Datum: 1 Juli 2015
Wandern Schwierigkeit: T4 - Alpinwandern
Klettersteig Schwierigkeit: S+
Wegpunkte:
Geo-Tags: CH-GR 
Zeitbedarf: 7:45
Aufstieg: 1350 m
Abstieg: 1350 m

Taking a day off to escape the heat wave, the goal had to be somewhere high up in order to find cooler temperatures. The Piz Mitgel via ferrata had been opened last week, with the Savognin website recommending ice axe and crampons for the summit ascent. Fully equipped, we drove to the Plang la Curvanera car park at 1844m. The access road is in much better condition than it apparently used to be, the car park is free and there's even a "portaloo" toilet with a fancy wooden cabin built around it!

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There is almost 600m of ascent to be done before the start of the via ferrata. There is a nice stream with fresh water just after the paths to the Senda Verticale and Senda Diagonala split. It would be an advantage to start light for the approach and fill up on water here, though I can't guarantee that the stream doesn't dry out later in summer.

The Senda Verticale is the more challenging via ferrata route on the Piz Mitgel. It's also possible, but not particularly recommended, to ascend via the Senda Diagonale. The abundance of loose rock on the approach makes you fear that it will be the same on the Senda Verticale. Luckily, those fears are soon gone as there is plenty of good rock for scrambling. Especially in the first half of the route, you get loads of contact with the rock. In the second half, there are more artificial holds. The "verticality" of the route doesn't really refer to the line, but more to the impressive vertical drop below you in the higher parts of the route. The excellent protection of the via ferrata goes a long way to make this exposure enjoyable rather than scary.

Before the final (and hardest) part, there is a brand new log book, which is in fact a 2014 diary. We were a little in doubt if we were supposed to put our entry on the actual 1st of July page, or just start writing on the first available page. Considering that the former option would be a rather inefficient use of space, we went for the latter.

The crux at the end of the Senda Verticale is a K5, otherwise the route is at most K4. The via ferrata is on a south-west face and hence in the shadow until about 11am.

From the exit of the Senda Verticale, there is still some 400m in altitude to be gained over lots of loose rock to the summit of the Piz Mitgel. The north ridge is still interrupted by some snow fields where an ice axe is helpful. The final approach to the summit (Senda Finale) is secured by cables again. These prove to be really helpful as numerous patches of rock are still iced over. We manage to cope without putting on our crampons, but only because we are able to hold on to and secure ourselves onto the cables. We manage to free the cables from snow and ice in all but one place, a 2m tall dune of snow, which again requires an ice axe to be crossed safely.

We are alone on the mountain all day - what an privilege to be here during the week and early in the season! The 360° panorama on the Piz Mitgel summit is absolutely splendid. It's almost heartbreaking to start the descent and leave the panorama behind, though the views are still enjoyable all the way down.

The descent route of the Senda Diagonala is a diagonal band across the south-west face which is secured by cables almost all the way. Considering that this is in the same face as the Senda Verticale, there is astonishingly little exposure on the Senda Diagonala, and experienced mountaineers won't need a via ferrata set. A helmet is still obligatory, as there are copious amounts of scree rolling around. At one point, the cables have been interrupted by an avalanche of rocks. Here it is essential to keep going straight ahead, until the cables start again. There seems to be a trail going directly down, but this is dangerous due to scree and stones flying around everywhere. The descent of the Senda Diagonala ends with some 30m of ascent, before reaching a normal hiking path. The remaining descent to Plang la Cuvanera is quick and easy.

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The Piz Mitgel is more than just a via ferrata. It's a proper mountaineering trip that requires some endurance, which is amply rewarded with superb summit panorama. The choice to come here on a weekday and early in the season has really paid off, as we had the mountain all to ourselves all day.

Tourengänger: Stijn


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