Bruce Goodlad shows us the classic North Ridge of the Piz Badile, Bregalia, Switzerland.
"The North ridge of the Piz Badile has to be one of the most compelling lines in the Alps; a perfect line of granite soaring into the sky. Combine that with a beautiful valley base a nice hut and brilliant rock and you have one of my favourite alpine routes..."
In reply to UKC Articles: Interesting, I have always heard that the North Ridge was the "normal" descent for the Cassin route. Does it mean that people downclimb it, then, or are they dealing with the stuck ropes and shitty diagonal abseils as Bruce describes?
Curious as Piz Badile is definitely on my list for this summer.
In reply to Alex Buisse: Only part of the ridge (low down) is the descend. On the right side facing in in the NW face is so called La Strada. Linkage of abseiling stations. I believe in one of the guide books is description (probably J. Von Kannel. It is possible to abseil and down scramble in 3 hours 2x50m ropes and 3 people team. I have done it twice about 1992-93. In thet time there even used to be decent bivi spot right next to the notch.
When I did the north ridge last summer the standard descent for most parties seemed to be descending the south side to the Gianetti hut (I think this is the descent referred to in the post above - it appears in the now outdated blue version of Plaisir Sud*). This means a long walk back the next day across two passes (or alternatively taxi from San Martino back to Bondo/Laret, EUR80 odd). Late in the season, though, there's no need for crampons or axe. The two guys we met on the descent who had done the Cassin did the whole three day trip with tiny sacks and running shoes.
The Badile N ridge is one of the few routes I'd consider doing again. Definitely will be getting the taxi back next time though...
*If I recall correctly, the latest Plaisir Sud has had the Badile routes withdrawn - I imagine a few people might have come a cropper approaching either the N Ridge or, worse, the Cassin, with their Plaisir hats on. On the other hand it's a shame as the topos are handy.
I don't understand what you are saying, could you be a bit clearer?
In reply to Alexandre Buisse:
You can descend the North Ridge to get off after the Cassin, it is as much of a pain as Bruce describes and took me longer than climbing the route. I'd descend the hut to the far side and walk round via the two passes if I was up there again. I met one party that managed the north ridge and two passes and back to the Saas Fura in one day (they continued down to car park too,) there may be a snowy descent as part of the walk round, so, as he says; poons and a pick may be needed.
There is a shortcut on the North Ridge abseil which is going down the line of Another Day in Paradise, but it is hard to find the top belay and not recommended as you may be abseiling on climbers.