/ Piz Badile
The traditional valley base is the camp site in Vicosoprano...Good facilities. There are others, but they involve a slightly longer drive to get to Bondo and Laret (Start point for routes on the N side).
For routes on the N Face of the Badille, either stay in the Sasc Fura Hut, or use one of the many bivvy sites above...personal choice really.
The AC guide suggests that for routes on the Cengalo, you should stay in the Sciora hut, but last year (July 2005) it was not possible to approach up the left side of the Glacier (looking uphill). You had to cross under the glacier, under the Col Viale, under the Badille N Face, then cross the glacier high up. For this reason we thought it would be better to stay in the Sasc Fura.
There is a new edition of the Chris Mellor guide to the area due out soon, which should (hopefully) have up to date logistics info.
Regarding the foot of the route, a lot of people do use the hut (the one due north of the north ridge, not the Schiora) but the foot of the route is reachable in about 5-6 hours from the car parking spot.
We bivied about an hour form the col at the foot of the north ridge due to us running out of daylight (it took 4 hrs to get there). The official bivi is on the east side of the col but there are lots of big ledges about.
Bear in mind, you are supposed to have a permit to drive to the parking area. We didn't realise this until we got down but thankfully didn't get fined/clamped. You buy the permit from the townhall in Bondo. It would take about 1-2hrs to walk up to the parking area from Bondo.
The Cassin was an awesome route - no harder than HVS 5a and most of it at soft-touch VS but long.
There's a vending machine at the bottom of the single-track approach road where you can buy the permit, and there is a car park by the machine. You can't miss it if you know to expect it. I think the machine takes Euros and Swiss francs.
It's not the first car park you get to just before the archway into the village; it's a further car park after you have gone through the village just at the foot of the approach track.
We took a small tent and camped about twenty minutes walk away from the col. Staying at the Sasc Fura hut would only have saved about 45 minutes, and it was a pain having to go back to get the tent afterwards. But that's because we stayed in the Italian hut after the route and trekked back the next day. If you ab down the North Ridge it's not an issue.
It was actually rather embarrassing. We'd parked at the lower car park and walked into the town to look for Dino's Bar and Grill, or whatever bizarre and unlikely place it says in the AC guidebook. Instead we found a notice that we translated as saying something about a machine in the car park, so we went back to the car to look for this. At about that time a minibus full of people disembarked, and I accosted one and tried to ask about the machine in pidgeon Italian. He lurched towards me alarmingly and gesticulated in unfamiliar body language that I found both confusing and disturbing. I couldn't understand a word he was saying.
"He's mentally handicapped Alison; they all are!" called Natasha, giggling. I had blundered into a group of patients on an outing, and I hastily extricated myself apologising profusely.
Luckily another car drew up shortly afterwards and the driver gave us directions.
Now, now, Al!
You know I love your stories.
The campsite in Bondo is very nice - not only are you allowed to have a fire, they give you chopped firewood for free!
Alison your raconteurial skills are more than a match for mine I am sure, or maybe we could co-operate on a joint project. :-)
Yes indeed (assuming you are in descent)
And go left 100 metres up from the bottom of the N Ridge in ascent. We nearly made that mistake. Guidebook ambiguity.
Haha! Did you have something in mind?
Does anyone know if you can get the guide book out their? Perhaps in St Moritz? If so where and which guide book (AC or other?) is best?
We had the AC guidebook, but other people had the Topo, which looked better. I don't know where you'd get it.
Chiavenna the place you were thinking of? seem to remember people going shopping there.
that's right looking out as you descend - i wish i'd known this before i did the route - it would have saved an unplanned bivi in the rain.
We bivvied on the col itself at the foot of the N ridge. Plenty of flat spaces.
Get up early to be first on route, descend, traverse, climb route, up to summit and ab back down N ridge directly to gear.
We lost the big shiny ab rings at one point and ended up on a mess of old tat, but then found them again.
Like this, it's a long day cragging.
If you are going to do it like this, be sure of good weather.
Thats where we went wrong!
Same happened to us. We ended up rapping over a roof on the Left side looking down onto a slab and doing the next shortish rap from tat. In then remember down climbing (slabs) on the left side of the ridge (looking down) for about 300m before arriving at the point where we went right looking down, as mentioned above.
Also how long are the pitches on the Cassin Route in general?
Need to get myself a guidebook I think.
You really need double ropes for the abseil down the North Ridge. It's an awful lot of abseiling to do.
You could get down the Italian side with a single rope OK though; but doubles would be better.
The Bondo campsite is ace and super friendly and at the bottom of the access track. Highly recommended.
Similar experience to many others. By biviing at the foot of the North Ridge, we did the route in rock boots and abseiled back to our sacks.The descent took as long at the ascent as our ropes jammed several times. We also lost the ring bolts once. Is one missing?
The snow field at the bottom of the North Ridge was amusing with approach shoes and a nut key (we'd come from the Dolomites).
> Similar experience to many others. By biviing at the foot of the North Ridge, we did the route in rock boots and abseiled back to our sacks.The descent took as long at the ascent as our ropes jammed several times. We also lost the ring bolts once. Is one missing?
> The snow field at the bottom of the North Ridge was amusing with approach shoes and a nut key (we'd come from the Dolomites).
What ring bolts? I dont think the snow field was there when we did it John, or at least I dont remember it, how long ago was this.
There wasn't a snow field eleven months ago.
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