/ Piz Badile

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Ed Booth - on 25 Jun 2006
If we are going to climb this mountain from the north (Staying in Switzerland) side where is best to use as a base camp at the bottom of the valley??? Also, if you go for the cassin route, is it worth staying in the hut or bivying at the start of the route??? Cheers, ED
Ewan - on 26 Jun 2006
In reply to boothy:
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.
Al Evans on 26 Jun 2006
In reply to Ewan: You used to be able to camp on the (wintertime) skating rink at Bondo, cheaper than Vicosoprano and a better shop, and you could still use the facilities at Vico if you were cheeky, this wasnt so long ago, we were camping next to Jim and Alison and family there when she did her 6 great north faces in a total climbing time of 24 hours solo jaunt.
BenTiffin - on 28 Jun 2006
In reply to boothy: The campsite is Bondo was there in 2003 but we choose the one up the valley.

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.

Ben
Al Evans on 28 Jun 2006
In reply to BenTiffin: Forgot about that, we also didnt know about the permit, its not well publicised to Brits, but to be fair they dont clamp you and if you just pissed off they wouldnt bother. As we were staying for a while we just went and payed the parking fee (it wasnt much) and they just waived the fine. A freindly town.
Alison Stockwell - on 28 Jun 2006
In reply to Al Evans:

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.
Alison Stockwell - on 28 Jun 2006
In reply to boothy:

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.
Al Evans on 28 Jun 2006
In reply to Alison Stockwell: Alison, I know now, it was pointed out to us, but we had no idea at the time, how did you suss it?
Al Evans on 28 Jun 2006
In reply to Alison Stockwell: I agree, unfortunately our ab down the N ridge was in a blizzard and the ropes kept icing up and jamming, I had to climb back up to free them time and time again. We then failed to find our bivvi gear and spent a freezing night hugging each other with no food or water, its another Al Evans boring story and I wont do it now. Also it was my girlfriends first Alpine route, she thought it was a great adventure and continued to climb with me, I was amazed.
Alison Stockwell - on 28 Jun 2006
In reply to Al Evans:

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.
Alison Stockwell - on 28 Jun 2006
In reply to Al Evans:
> its another Al Evans boring story and I wont do it now.

Now, now, Al!

You know I love your stories.
BenTiffin - on 28 Jun 2006
In reply to Al Evans: The north ridge now has ship-mooring anchors at the crucial points - most of them in fact. At the bottom, if unsure of the line (about 100m above the col), go right, NOT left.

Ben
tom.e - on 28 Jun 2006
In reply to boothy: We did the Cassin last year from the car park, which would have been fine had we not been stuck behind a slow pair of Italians. As it was, we ended up waiting for hours at top few belays and descending overnight.
The campsite in Bondo is very nice - not only are you allowed to have a fire, they give you chopped firewood for free!
Al Evans on 28 Jun 2006
In reply to tom.e: Yes thats how I remember it, the locals try to get you into their Petang (or however you spell it) tournament too (but you get stuffed,they are too good).

Alison your raconteurial skills are more than a match for mine I am sure, or maybe we could co-operate on a joint project. :-)
Alison Stockwell - on 28 Jun 2006
In reply to BenTiffin:
> At the bottom, if unsure of the line (about 100m above the col), go right, NOT left.
>

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.
Alison Stockwell - on 28 Jun 2006
In reply to Al Evans:
> maybe we could co-operate on a joint project. :-)

Haha! Did you have something in mind?


Al Evans on 29 Jun 2006
In reply to Alison Stockwell: I'm thinking!
j_duds - on 29 Jun 2006
In reply to boothy:

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?
Cheers John
Alison Stockwell - on 29 Jun 2006
In reply to j_duds:

We had the AC guidebook, but other people had the Topo, which looked better. I don't know where you'd get it.
Al Evans on 29 Jun 2006
In reply to j_duds: There is a climbing shop just over the border in the town of ????????? cant remember its name, it sells all the guides including local cragging guides.
sutty on 29 Jun 2006
In reply to Al Evans:

Chiavenna the place you were thinking of? seem to remember people going shopping there.
ian bryant - on 29 Jun 2006
In reply to BenTiffin:
> (In reply to Al Evans) The north ridge now has ship-mooring anchors at the crucial points - most of them in fact. At the bottom, if unsure of the line (about 100m above the col), go right, NOT left.
>
> Ben

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.
Al Evans on 29 Jun 2006
In reply to sutty: Yeh, thats it Sutty, Chiavenna.
Al Evans on 29 Jun 2006
In reply to Al Evans: In fact I think you can get them in the book shops in Chiavenna.
Carless - on 29 Jun 2006
In reply to boothy:

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.
Al Evans on 29 Jun 2006
In reply to Carless:
> (In reply to boothy)

> If you are going to do it like this, be sure of good weather.

Thats where we went wrong!
BenTiffin - on 29 Jun 2006
In reply to Carless: We lost the big shiny ab rings at one point and ended up on a mess of old tat, but then found them again.

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.

Ben
Greig on 03 Jul 2006 - c80-217-122-84.cm-upc.chello.se
Are double ropes needed for the abseil or will a single 50m do when abseiling the N ridge?
Also how long are the pitches on the Cassin Route in general?
Need to get myself a guidebook I think.

Cheers,
Greig
Alison Stockwell - on 03 Jul 2006
In reply to Greig:

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.
toby keep - on 03 Jul 2006
In reply to boothy:
The Bondo campsite is ace and super friendly and at the bottom of the access track. Highly recommended.
ads.ukclimbing.com
john alcock at home on 03 Jul 2006 - host86-136-126-28.range86-136.btcentralplus.com
In reply to toby keep:
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).
Al Evans on 04 Jul 2006
In reply to Greig: Nooooooooooo! We were held up by a team descending on a single 50, definitely not a good idea, it was the cause of our epic in the storm, eventually we managed to get past them but it cost us so much time we ended up with a forced bivi, I never saw them again, I'm sure they were ok, and we offered them a share of our ropes but they were eastern european and either didnt understand or were too proud.
Al Evans on 04 Jul 2006
In reply to john alcock at home:
> (In reply to toby keep)
> 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.
Al
BenTiffin - on 04 Jul 2006
In reply to Al Evans: There are 'ship anchor' style ring bolts about every 50m on the crucial bits of the north ridge. Cuts down on the tat.

Ben

Alison Stockwell - on 04 Jul 2006
In reply to Al Evans:

There wasn't a snow field eleven months ago.
Al Evans on 05 Jul 2006
In reply to Alison Stockwell: Si Alison!

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