After acclimatising on Weißkugel, we wanted to make the most of the short weather window in Switzerland and head for Piz Palü. With bad weather, we walked up to the hut and, with clear blue skies the next day, we aimed for the summit.

How to get there
From Austria you can get to Pontresina via Landeck (train) and some buses, and from there either by bus or the famous Bernina train to the Bernina Pass/Diavolezza cable car station.
If you come by car, it is best to park as well at the cable car station and return later with the train as parking is free.

Top: Looking back, you can see the Diavolezza cable car and an ice stupa.
Below: The ascent in foggy weather along the slope starts.

Ascent to the hut
You can either take the cable car (you'll get a discount if you mention it in your booking) or walk up the slope on skis. The ascend takes about 3 hours, as always depending on your speed.

The hut
It is a mixture of cable car station, restaurant and cabin. Famous for its view of the Palü Pillars and the Biancograt. It also has an outdoor jacuzzi, you can book in advance for this amazing view.
I had higher expectations for the food. Dinner was salad, lentil soup, lasagne and chestnut cake, sufficient and good. Breakfast was a bit on the low side, you tell them what you want the day before and they prepare it for you. This way it doesn't matter what time you want to leave.

Piz Palü
The day starts with a descent to the Pers glacier. Then it goes straight along the glacier, always going up, through the Cambrena Icefall (how often does one have an ascent over an ice fall?). We were roped up, in the end it was not necessary, some groups used it, some did not, in these conditions it was not necessary.

Top: In the center the three Palü summits and the northern pillars. To the right in the sun: Piz Bernina and Biancograt. The ascent is via the left/Eastern summit. After leaving the hut you ski down the slope a little bit and then just down to the Pers glacier, the higher, the better.
Below: Looking back to the short descend and to hut.

Towards the saddle it gets steeper and the air thinner. At the saddle, there's a very large area for storing skis and resting, and from here you have to continue with crampons and crampons. First a bit uphill and then along a snow ridge. Some exposure, some caution is needed, but the snow was pretty perfect to walk on (with crampons). First there's the east summit and from here another ridge leads in a similar way to the central summit, which is 18m higher. As one of our group was waiting at the ski depot, we just went for the east summit.
Top: the plateau at the saddle and the continuation to the Eastern summit.
Below: the summit walk/climb. If you want to continue to the main summit, it just continues like that.

There are several options.
-The most interesting and difficult is to cross the Palü peaks and go straight down to the Morteratsch glacier via an ice fall; if you're not a local, it's probably only sensible to follow the tracks of some mountain guides.
-The same route back to the Diavolezza hut is possible, but stupid.
-The regular and extremely cool thing to do is to ski all the way down to Morteratsch, first over the Pers glacier and then over the Morteratsch glacier. The "slope" is also used by regular skiers, it's marked with sticks to find a safe way through the labyrinth of crevasses, and is therefore perfectly safe to ski down with alpine skis. The scenery is simply beautiful, with views across vast glaciers and back to Palü and the Bernina. For anyone who is here with skis, it's an opportunity not to be missed.
The last metres back to the train station are on a cross-country ski run, at the end of March 2024 we skied all the way back, later you would probably have to carry the skis for a while.
At the end there's a restaurant with a nice terrace and the train station. Trains back to the Bernina Pass leave every hour, take 15 minutes and cost around 6 euros. Views of the glaciers, of the Biancograt, which do not happen very often during a train journey.

Duration: 2 Days
Overnight Stay: Night at hut
Others: Public transport, 3000 peak, Peak
Roundtrip: Bus will make it a roundtrip
Difficulty: Black (+multi-pitch, glacier, exposed free climbing)
Region: abroad
Country: Switzerland

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