Piz Bernina | Alpinism | Swiss Alpine Club SAC
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Piz Bernina 4047 m Alpinism

Piz Bernina with its northern subsidiary, Piz Alv or Pizzo Bianco, 3993 m, is the highest mountain in the Rhaetian Alps and the only four-thousand-meter peak in the Eastern Alps. The highest point is entirely on Swiss soil. The border runs over the shoulder known as La Spedla (Italian La Spalla), 4020 m, which is roughly 200 m south of the main summit. This imposing mountain has three distinctive ridges: The N ridge - the Biancograt, is one of the most famous route on a 4000er and is therefore also known as the "Himmelsleiter", or ladder to heaven. The S-SE Ridge from Rifugio Marco e Rosa, known as the La Spalla route, is the normal and therefore most frequently climbed approach to Piz Bernina. The E ridge (route of the first ascent) was regarded as the normal route until 1914, but is now rarely climbed.

The name Bernina is most likely derived from the personal name Bernini (a common family name in northern Italy). Bernini was the name of the owner of an alp (known today as Alp da Buond) which sits northwest of Passo del Bernina. In 1429 this alp was sold under the name "Barnyna" to the municipality of Bondo in Bergell.

First ascent by Johann Coaz with Joan and Lorenz Ragut Tscharner on September 13, 1850 in 12 hours from Bernina Suot.

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