North Ridge Piz Badile

This ultra-classic alpine rock-route had eluded me for so many years that I had long since lost interest in it. Besides, I had decided to give up long alpine climbs after 2003, though had usually been tricked into a least one a season since then.

So during one of only two weather windows for such a route, I found myself as the fourth member of an itinerant Wayfarers’ group (part of the joint AC/FRCC/CC Brigaglia meet) at the Sasc Fura Hut, under the Piz Badile. There had been snow on the ridge that morning and aspirant parties had departed empty handed. We were trusting to luck that the one day good forecast would come true.

It did! Here is the ridge at 4am, our departure time.
Clear and warm.
Looking somewhat apprehensive, the team gears up after a 2 hour walk to the bottom of the ridge –
me with Ken Fyldes, Dave Connelly with Geoff Sudlow.
Here you see Terry not even a quarter of the way up.
It goes on forever, twenty-two pitches, mostly around 4a with a crux of F5a+

As with all Alpine climbs, but perhaps more so, when you’re up the game isn’t even half way over. A number of options exist for descent. The least unattractive seemed a descent to the Gianetti Hut on the Italian side, which is what we did. The other options are twenty rappels with jamming ropes back down the ridge or traverse back to the Sasc Fura Hut via the long and (this year icy) Trubinasca pass. Of course, it’s a long way home from the Gianetti Hut but our good friends drove around from Vicosoprano and met us at the Hut. 😀

9 thoughts on “North Ridge Piz Badile”

  1. Amazing route Terry! 😛

    I particularly like the picture of you climbing with the ridge snaking off for ever behind you. Where do you join the ridge – way down by the greenery, or a little higher from it’s flank near the snow as the previous picture implies? How long did the 22 pitches of climbing take you, did you move together much?

  2. Fantastic route.

    I’d have opted for the decent to the Gianetti hut as well, even if it meant getting a taxi. I hate the thought of jammed ropes.

    But of course, what we all really want to know is…. How many cakes were consumed afterward?

  3. Hey Tish, they don’t run a taxi from top of Badile to Gianetti hut – the phones don’t work and it’s awkward to get a taxi down the multiple rappels 😀

    As for cakes :yum: I was past wanting cakes and needed BEER :yum: :yum: and lots of it. Me and Ken were 2 hours behind the others. I walked into the hut and ordered two beers from the guardian. Ken put his hand out for one but I told him that they were BOTH for me 👿

  4. Cool! Great pics! Hope you enjoyed it- It’s probably my favourite route.

    I did it last year and we opted for the descent down the Italian side as well! Although we did manage to go slightly the wrong way, following a guide as well.

    We had to bivy at the base of the ridge as there wasn’t any space in the Sasc Fura hut.

  5. Yeah Elsie, it’s probably my favourite route now too :star: :star: :star:

    But I don’t understand your logistics ❓ You say the hut was full so you had to bivvi at the base of the ridge. Presumably you knew the hut was full before you set off, so were carrying bivvi gear ❓ But you descended the Italian side, so presumably carried all your bivvi gear on the route 😕 Or did you return via the Trubinasca to retrieve it ❓ An epic undertaking if you did ❗

    The descent on the Italian side is not straightforward and the best description is that given in ‘Plaisir Sud’. The one in the English guide is frankly inadequate. Even so, our descent was a story in itself :freeze:

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