BIANCOGRAT – Piz Bianco 3995m
WORDS AND PICS BY MAX ZIPSER
As this winter seems to be never-ending, why should we stop riding?
Conditions for high alpine peaks turned to be good later than normal this year, meaning we still found great snow in the past hiking missions. Since I have seen the famous “Biancograt” the first time from Pontresina I wanted to get up there and ride this insane spine all the way down.
and me drove to Pontresina, the starting point of the tour. We hiked up to the Tschierva hut, which was still closed because of the unusual snow level and slept in the “winterraum”. Early in the morning we started hiking – 2 houres we skinned up to Fuorcla Prievlusa where the real climb starts. Soon we noticed that it`s gonna be super hard to make it to the summit in time, as conditions in this mixed terrain were more difficult than expected. I`ve done quite a lot alpine stuff already, but most of the time we didn`t use a rope, as the goal always is to ride down as well. The idea is that as long as we feel comfortable hiking, it should be possible to ride! Easy, isn`t it?
Finally Dani and I had to make the desicion to turn round. That`s never easy, but necessary if you wanna stay safe.
A week later conditions seemed to be better, so I gave it another try. This time together with Alex
we started in direction to Switzerland. Already knowing the path and what we gonna need considering “climbing hardware” we reached the Tschierva hut and could enjoy an epic sunset up there.
2:30 a.m the next day we woke up and skinned again up to the ridge close to where Dani and I had to turn round the last time. The snow in this mixed terrain was much better settled and we climbed fast with some “Tibloc” fixations through the rocks. On the top we had to rappel to finally reach the Biancograt, which leads for another 500 vertical metres to the summit of Piz Bianco (3995m). This hike on that spine is for sure something special and quite exposed all the way. About 1000m + drop to both sides - rocky and steep.
Exhausted but knowing the reason for our hike just starts now, I droped into the sunny side of the spine. All the snow below my edge went down to the glacier and we could hear it like an avalanche passing the serac. Attention was required, but as soon I got used to the riding it turned to be super fun riding that insane spine…
Further down we had to climb up again a few metres in order to reach the north side of the ridge, where we had again to rappel for like 4x40m. Back there we could ride till the hut and finally hiked down to our bicycles.
A great adventure, a wunderfull mountain and positive vibes will stay in my mind!
MORE ON MAX HERE: http://maxzipser.blogspot.com/