Piz Badile North Face Cassin Route

The weather has been fabulous! It has been hot, hot, hot. With a week free to go climbing with my friend and fellow guide Mike Powers, we chose the Cassin route on the Piz Badile. Temperatures in the valley were 30+ degrees, so this looked to be a perfect window to climb a north face. The route was beautiful! Though the hut seemed ridiculously expensive compared with camping in the Val de Mello on the other side, we enjoyed our afternoon on the terrace of the Sasc Furä, gazing at the north face and surfing the internet!!! There looked to be around 5 other groups heading up, plus a few others bivying above the hut. Most groups would be climbing the North Ridge.

We left the hut at 4:15 and arrived at the foot of the face at 6AM. I had a few good topos of the climb. Marcel Dettling had given me a pdf of a drawing he made. It proved to be quite accurate. Though we were quite surprised at the scramble up to the ridge. This would have slowed me down had I been roped up with a client. After down climbing, rappelling, then traversing to the base of the route, the first pitch started with good climbing right away. We opted for the Rebuffat Dihedral. A bit of layback on small foot holds got us to 2 pitches of cruisey climbing. Then some delicate climbing below Cassin’s first bivy got us off route. Some nice person had fixed a rope to get climbers back on route. I can’t imagine this will remain in place much longer though. It was looking a bit frayed. So stay left like the topo says. Duh!

Climbing to the “Noon Ledge” was again quite easy. But here starts some steep climbing with the hardest moves at 6a. The rock is marvelous and varied. It makes for sundry climbing , always asking for different movements and preparation. There were many opportunities to place friends and rocks.

A 70 meter pitch got us to 2 pitches of chimneys, the first of which I found super awkward!!! Lucky Mike got this lead. 🙂 We hit the ridge after a couple of fine pitches. 12:00 high noon. Then we moved together to reach the summit. 5 hours later found us back at our tent in the Val di Mello enjoying cold beer and pizza!

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About Hans Solmssen

I am a professional mountain guide living in Verbier, Switzerland. I grew up on the Big Island of Hawaii after my father moved to Hawaii to teach at Hawaii Preparatory Academy. He created a horse program at this high school, located in the middle of the largest, privately owned cattle ranch in the US. Horses were a major part of my life, even playing polo for a few years. I moved to northern Vermont to go to school, and discovered skiing. Little did I know, this would become my life's passion: guiding friends and clients over the mountains around the world on skis and foot. I moved to Verbier, Switzerland in 1982, and entered the Swiss guide's program in '88. I received my UIAGM "pin" 3 years later in 1991. I have two kids, Anya and Kevin.

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