Range: Silvretta Alps Mountain: Piz Buin (3312m) Route: Voie Normale (from the Wiesbadner hut) Length: 800m of skinning and 150m of climbing Grade: MSA and PD Guidebook: Ski Mountaineering Volume 2 by Bill O'Connor published by Cicerone UKC Logbook Link: Piz Buin
In a bizarre twist, a sun cream manufacturer thought it'd be a good idea to name their product after a relatively unknown mountain, and the rest is history. The product is still around and the mountain is still a great choice for a trip in a range of mountains ideal for introductory and intermediate ski mountaineering.
Best tactics for an ascent
Most people incorporate an ascent of Piz Buin as part of the classic Silvretta circuit starting in Ischgl and passing through the Heidelberger and Jamtal huts to the Wiesbadner hut. The hill is much more imposing when viewed from the Tuoi hut to the south, and depending on whether powder or spring snow is flavour of the month, you can tackle it from either side. Assuming it's from the north, then a traverse leads to a reasonably straightforward skin bypassing the icefall of the Ochsentaler glacier. A steady ascent across a snowy but relatively crevasse free plateau leads to a ski cache at or just above the Buinlucke col. Some easy scrambling which usually requires use of crampons and an axe leads to the upper slope and a great panorama from the summit.
What makes it so special
Whichever direction it's viewed from, the Piz Buin is a shapely dome of rock and snow. The scrambling is just challenging enough, the view from the top feels central and grand, and on several descents the ski down has given me some of the best snow I've ever had the pleasure of laying down turns on.
Andy Perkins - BMG
Lise Tonelli attacks a steeper variant with the summit of Piz Buin behind.
A British Mountain Guide is an International Federation of Mountain Guide Associations (IFMGA) Guide, which put simply, means an internationally qualified guide with the knowledge and skills to lead parties in the world's most challenging mountain environments.
From first steps to the biggest objectives, a British Mountain Guide is an expert in techniques and safety, and a reliable companion for your adventures.
Andy Perkins is a BMG and IFMGA mountain guide living in Chamonix. Although he has a reputation as a big wall specialist and mixed climber, most of his winter work is on skis. He guides as far afield as the Vanoise at one end of the Alps and the Hochtirol at the other.
In his spare time Andy climbs rock and eats cakes.