Piz Badile is one of the greatest North Face of the Alps. It is a sea of rock, 800 meters high above glaciers which have retreated a lot! It lies in the east end of the Alps, on the Swiss Italian
Border. You can see Piz Bernina and Lake Como from the summit
The objective is the Cassin route (TD, 6a). Its first ascent was done in 1937 and ended tragically as one of the two parties who did it died of exhaustion while descending after having spent two nights in the face
With Louis, who guides me, we left Chamonix on Monday to get in time to the Furä hut (1900m) for a nice dinner and where we enjoy an awesome sunset .
On Tuesday, we leave the hut before dawn at 4 45am. No time to loose as the objective is to be the first in a route where it is difficult to bypass. And here we are! Starting a route composed of more than twenty 50m pitches with quite a lot of route findings in some places, steep, rising high above the glacier.
We are soon over the first bivvy of Cassin and then the second. Even today many climbing parties are spending more than a day in this route....
After a massive chimney, we finally reached the North ridge which we followed up to the summit. We summited at 11 40, 5h30 after the start of the rock climb, 1500 m above the hut! Stunning landscape. So great to be there, on the summit.
Soon though, we need to think of going down. In light of the good weather and of our good shape, Louis decides to go down along the North ridge. It's a new technical route in itself. Down climbs and numerous abseils! We say hello to many climbing parties who are still far away from the summit, some of them might have to bivvy on the summit.... We also see a few late parties in the Cassin route. After more than 3 hours, we finally get out of the difficulties. Soon we stop for a drink at the hut before getting back to the car, ready for the long drive to Chamonix.
An amazing mountaineering experience. Many thanks to Louis