From Capanna Campo Tencia CAS via Pizzo Campo Tencia to Prato Pizzo Campo Tencia 3072 m
- 2:30 h, 950 m
- 4 h, 2300 m
Un tremila tutto ticinese (an all Ticino threethousander)
The canton of Ticino counts 50 threethousanders, but most of them are shared with its neighbours The Grisons, Uri, Valais and Italy. But not so Pizzo Campo Tencia: it is the highest all Ticino summit. In old pictures you can see that it was a heavily glaciered summit with huge seracs, and the first ascent in 1867 required many complicated detours. The glaciers have shrunk considerably in the meantime, and easier routes were discovered. Therefore, Pizzo Campo Tencia has become a premium target for alpine hikers.
From Capanna Campo Tencia CAS follow a well-marked route southward on rubble to P. 2271. There you cross a creek, and through a wide chimney not visible from the cabin you overcome the rocky steps on the left. Now hike east across a narrow rocky ledge and up through schrofen until 2540 m, where the prominent north-east pillar of P. 2857 begins. Follow this pillar or rather its left edge across some unexposed, well-marked scrambling passages to aim at Bocchetta di Croslina further up. Before this breach turn left to the north-west ridge of the summit. Continue rather to the left of this ridge. Depending on the snow conditions you might need to leave the ridge altogether and traverse the névés of the north face. Continue to the roomy summit of Pizzo Campo Tencia (3072 m).
From the summit of Campo Tencia descend on the east ridge to the saddle at 2974 m. Following the sparse white-blue-white markings descend southward at first, then turn left to reach Gann da Pioda Rossa, where you traverse a plain interspersed with boulders. Now descend on a grassy ridge to Ganne di Pradòi and the stone buildings of Pradòi, which are hardly distinguishable from above. The path, now better visible, bypasses a rocky escarpment to the south and leads down the ridge of Corte Nuovo. Then it traverses to the right across some creeks to reach the valley floor, where you hike to Capanna Soveltra within minutes (no accommodation, as the cabin burned down in 2017).
On a good mountain hiking trail hike through a gorge with stone steps, called «Scalate». Slightly longer, but also rewarding is the detour via Cascina Nuova and Campala. From Monti di Predee hike on the small road (from Presa on there is a hiking trail running parallel to the road) down the valley to Prato (742 m). From there take the bus via Bignasco to Locarno.
- Departure point
Capanna Campo Tencia CAS – Pizzo Campo Tencia: 2 h 30 min.
(Pizzo Campo Tencia – Capanna Campo Tencia CAS: 1 h 45 min.)
Pizzo Campo Tencia – Solveltra – Prato: 4 h.
- Difficulty / Material
Right at the beginning you need to scramble up a tiered ramp (faint path, at the end slightly exposed, grade I). Then follows a long rocky rib with more grade I passages. The summit ridge is made of blocks, and in early summer it is often snow-covered. Then an ice axe might come in handy. On its most important passages the route is well marked.