|Piz Badile, Northeast Face Cassin Route|
For us, the most enjoyable kind of climbing is on sun-warmed rock, in rock shoes, high above a broken glacier in a wild, mountain setting. Fortunately for us, there are many places in the Alps, not to mention the rest of the world, to find this combination. But one of the best places to encounter this kind of climber's heaven is on the clean granite walls of The Piz Badile and its neighbors.
This is a rock climbers route. For those who enjoy the pleasure of moving over stone, the feel of the rock, and the sensation of fine balance high in the air, this is a great climb. The Cassin Route on the Northeast Face, is the easiest of the Great North Faces of the Alps, a long route of sustained rock climbing with the hardest pitches being at 5.10a-b in difficulty. While most of the pitches are easier, it is still a big undertaking, requiring a long day with a long descent.
Other, more modern routes on the Northeast face provide many alternatives to the Cassin Route. This is altogether a very rewarding mountain, in an isolated and very quiet part of the Alps. There are a number of other fine climbs in the immediate vicinity, making this an excellent place to spend several day in a row, climbing on the fine alpine granite.
The Sasc Furä hut, under the North Ridge of the Badile is the starting point fro this climb. The route starts with a traverse of ledges leading off the North Ridge and onto the Northeast Face. Once on the face several pitches lead up and left, enter the middle of the giant slab which defines this entire side of the Badile. The route cleverly connects several lines of weakness in the face, ending in a long chimney system which eventually leads back to the North Ridge, not far from the summit.
There are other very good climbs in the area too. The North Ridge is also a classic, one which we describe on this site. From the nearby Sciora hut the Gemelli flatirons a classic as is the Piodakante on Punta Pioda. Punta Innominata also has several superb rock routes. All of this suggest a stay of at least a week!
|NE Face of the Piz Badile|
The Cassin Route is a long and hard route. There are over 25 pitches to a maximum difficulty of 5.10a-b. Add to this a very long descent, either by rappeling these 25 plus pitches or an equal number on the North Ridge, and you have a very taxing day. There is no significant snow or ice.
Climbers need to be comfortable following 5.10 and be quick on easier 5.8 ground. Endurance and an ability to stay focused on a 14 hour plus day are required.
Most of the other routes in the area are better accessed from the nearby Sciora hut. But moving from one hut to the other is a matter of a couple hours walk.
|Soglio and the Bergell Alps|
Kathy Cosley & Mark Houston
AMGA Certified • SNGM members
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