From Cima d’Erbea East to Pizzo di Vogorno including all elevations in between

Published by 360 Pro , 26 June 2009, 11h12.

Region: World » Switzerland » Tessin » Bellinzonese
Date of the hike:24 June 2009
Hiking grading: T5 - Challenging High-level Alpine hike
Mountaineering grading: PD
Climbing grading: II (UIAA Grading System)
Geo-Tags: CH-TI   Gruppo Cima dell'Uomo 
Access to start point:cff logo Monte Carasso, Orenno
Monte Carasso - Mornera with the cable car
Access to end point:cff logo Vogorno, Paese

Coincidentally my plans for this day were almost identical to Bombo’s original plan in the tour described here. After reading his post, I had to chat with him and get some more details about the outrageous price of the cable car from Alpe Bardughè to S. Bartolomeo. After I heard that the cable car ride is 60 francs and that I should reserve it as early as possible, I knew that I wouldn’t take it but walk down to Vogorno instead. I wasn’t sure though if it would work out in the time which was mandated by using public transportation: a little less than 10 hours, but it all worked out.

I started the hike at the top station of the cable car from Monte Carrasso to Mornera. There are no one way tickets for just going up only, you have to buy a return ticket for 18 Fr. no matter what! I walked along the marked route to Alpe Albangno and then continued along the marked path towards the Cima dell’Uomo. At the Bocchetta d’Erbea I then left my backpack and visited the two peaks of Cima d’Erbea, first the east and the west summit. The east summit is rather easy to climb and can be reached for example from the Bocchetta d’Erbera along the SW ridge (T4-). Probably even easier is the access from SE (Brenna: See general remarks to Cima d’Erbea in the SAC guide). On the east summit there is a really old Gamelle (which has lots of holes) but the Gipfelbuch in it is missing at this point.

The peak of Cima d’Erbea West turned out to be the most difficult ascent of the day: (SAC, Brenna: route 1685, WS). From the Bocchetta d’Erbea one first climbs to the saddle west of it and then strictly climbs along the ridge up to the top (Brenna: “In vergnüglicher Kletterei über die Gratkante auf den Gipfel”). While climbing the ridge you’ll actually have quite some air underneath you and some parts are kind of pushing the limits of the second climbing degree in my opinion. I found one rusty hook.

Since I didn’t find any description in the SAC guide about an access of the west summit from west and didn’t know what would expect me, I left my backpack at the Bocchetta d’Erbea and climbed back down there. However, if you plan to continue towards Cima dell’Uomo, it shouldn’t be all that difficult (probably T4) to continue from here, by going down the south west flank and down a couloir filled with rubble which allows access to Bertadello and from there to Cima dell’Uomo.

In order to get to Cima dell’Uomo, I followed the marked path from Bocchetta d’Erbea to Cima dell’Uomo. It goes down  about 50m towards the Valle di Moleno and then left along the northern side of Erbera to the Bocchetta della Cima dell’Uomo. There was still a considerable amount of snow on the north facing slopes! Once on the southern side of the Bocchetta della Cima dell’Uomo again the path leads up to the top a little south of the south west ridge (T4,I).

I made a short lunch break here, but due to the fact that I still had a long way to go and because the wind was blowing very hard it wasn’t an extended break. I quickly consulted Brenna’s description for the West ridge route on Cima dell’Uomo. “WS- logische Routenführung über den Felsgrat” is what I thought was written for the Cima dell’Uomo west ridge and didn’t notice my misreading and that the description was actually for the Madone west ridge… “I can climb down such a logical a WS- ridge, and Brenna is always right”, I thought. The first 50 meters or so were rather easy indeed, but then all of a sudden there was a big drop and I didn’t really see a logical route along the ridge any more. I climbed down a little bit anyway, then went more to the northern side, which wasn’t really logical or an easy II either. "This ain’t no WS-, but more like a ZS!", I though and was already kind of mad at Brenna. So I climbed back up to the top and went down the marked route to Bocchetta Cazzane instead. Only when consulting the SAC guide again on the peak of Madone, I noticed my mishap and immediately “apologized” for being mad a Brenna :-)

From Bocchetta Cazzane up to the peak of Madone, I more or less followed the ESE ridge T4,I (SAC Brenna: route 1666). If you don’t feel like climbing a IV (like me), the last few meters up to the very top need to be bypassed in the south flank, first through a narrow couloir filled with big rocks, at its end it’s marked with a little “Steinmannli” and then up to the top in the south flank. I made another short break at the top and then consulted Brenna again for the West ridge of Madone (route 1668 in the guide). At this point I realized my earlier mishap about the alleged Uomo west ridge.

So for my way down from Madone, I chose to follow the west ridge, this time I was pretty sure“WS- logische Routenführung über den Felsgrat” was correct and feasible. And indeed it is, Brenna is right, like always… The very last drop of about 20 meters before Bocchetta di Rognoi I actually didn’t climb down but bypassed it in the south flank (T4), but looking at the drop later from Bocchetta di Rognoi, I think WS- seems like a good rating.

In order to get up to Pizzo di Vogorno from here I then followed the bottom of the walls of the East ridge of Pizzo di Vogorno, first along the marked path. Later the path went down southwards, but to not loose any altitude I didn’t follow it for a while but stayed more or less right below the east ridge walls (T4). South of P. 2291, I then got back onto the path again and followed it all the way up to saddle about 250m south of Pizzo Vogorno. Here I left my backpack and went up to the summit, where I took another break and enjoyed the magnificent view.

For my way down to Vogorno I chose the route via SSE (L, 1663 in the SAC guide, “Schöne Gratroute mit ausgesetzten Stellen”). The ridge from the saddle where I left my backpack to P. 2243 is rather exposed, but wonderful and doesn’t really pose any technical difficulties. From P. 2243 I then went down south for almost 1000m in altitude to the huts at Rienza. It was easiest to more or less follow the right side of the little river there, which begins at an altitude of about 1850 meters. Only shortly before Rienza I then crossed the river to get on the left side of it. The whole south flank is chuck full with knee high alpenroses and juniper bushes and doesn’t really make it easy to walk but very nice looking. From Rienza I then followed the marked path to Vogorno via Mosciöi and Colletta.

On my way home, I went and bought a beer at the Kiosk in Bellinzona when all of a sudden somebody asked me: "Aren’t you the hikr 360?" I, said yes and immediately recognized Omega3, who was on the way back home from a tour in the Valle Verzasca. Talking about mountains, tours, other hikr users and various other things on the way back north with him, made the trip go by in no time (even though the CIS Alpino was late once again…).

Mornera – Cap. Albagno UTOE – Alpe Albagno – Bocchetta d’Erbea – Cima d’Erbea E - Bocchetta d’Erbea – Cima d’Erbea W - Bocchetta d’Erbea – Bocchetta della Cima dell’Uomo – Cima dell’Uomo – Bocchetta di Medeè – Bocchetta di Cazzane – Madone – Bocchetta di Rognoi – Pizzo di Vogorno – P. 2243 – Rienza – Mosciöi – Colletta – cff logo Vogorno, Paese

Hike partners: 360

Click to draw, click on the last point to end drawing


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Comments (1)

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Seeger says: Uomo-Madone-Vogorno
Sent 26 June 2009, 19h39
Dear 360
Thank you for the fantastic comment. Really - that's life! You have passed all hooks I know ;-). The cable-car Montecarasso-Mornera has a single tax, indeed, but only return: Could be for medical reasons (knees!),

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