Vincent Pyramide
  - Traverse

Vincent Pyramide - Signalkuppe


Last update: April 15th, 2002
   © Copyright by
Rahel Maria Liu


Type: Basic Snow/Glacier Climb (little bit rock climb)
Difficulty:   PD-, 43°, I (Dumler)
Time Required: A long day

The route starts directly at the Capanna Gnifetti. For the approach to the hut, read the main page (GETTING THERE).
Route Description

Books: I. VAUCHER:
  • 945 hm ascent, 321 hm descent; WS, mostly firn tour, with direction from the Signalkuppe to the Cap. Gnifetti: 5-6 h

  • II. WAEBER :
  • Punta Giordani (from Cap. Gnifetti): 2 h, G2, 430 hm
  • Pyramide Vincent (from Punta Giordani): II, 1 h, G 3
  • Balmenhorn (from Cap. Gnifetti): 2 h
  • Schwarzhorn (from Cap. Gnifetti via Zurbriggenjoch (N)): 2 h , [Schwarzhorn from the S (via Vincentjoch): I, 45 min, G 3]
  • Ludwigshöhe (from Cap. Gnifetti): 2 1/4 h, a few minutes from the Zurbriggenjoch (S), [Lisjoch (NW), Piodejoch (NE)], easy, also as skitour
  • Parrotspitze (from Piodejoch): 30 min, G2, 160 hm (2,5 - 3 h from Cap. Gnifetti), also as skitour
  • Zumsteinspitze: 30 min. from the Colle Gnifetti, easy, but pay attention to the cornices to the E! 110 hm
  • Signalkuppe (from Seserjoch): II (short passages), 45 min. G 3, 260 hm

  • Vincent-Pyramide SW-flank (normal route): I (passages), till 35°, PD-, 2 h from the Cap. Gnifetti, 605 hm
  • Balmenhorn (normal route): 1 1/2 h from the Cap. Gnifetti, easy glacier tour, 560 hm, also as skitour
  • Schwarzhorn NW-flank: I (passages), till 43°, 2,5 - 3 h from the Cap. Gnifetti, 720 hm, mostly glacier-tour, in the summit region rock, also as skitour, depot at the beginning of the steep couloir
    [Schwarzhon SW-flank: I+ (passages), till 40°, 2,5 h from the Cap. Gnifetti, 720hm, also as skitour, depot at Colle Vincent]
  • Ludwigshöhe NW-ridge: till 40°, 2,5 - 3h from the Cap. Gnifetti, 730 hm, glaciertour
  • Parrotspitze normal route/W-ridge: till 40°, 3 h from the Cap. Gnifetti, 790 hm, glacier tour, also as skitour
  • Signalkuppe W-flank/SW-ridge: I (passages), F, also as skitour, depot at the beginning of the W-ridge

  • IV. Biner :
  • Punta Giordani - Parrotspitze: WS, II, 6 h
  • Parrotspitze - Signalkuppe: L, 1,5 h
  • First Ascents:
  • Punta Giordani: Pietro Giordani (solo) on 23rd July 1801
  • Vincent-Pyramide: J. N. Vincent with 3 companions on 5th August 1819
  • Balmenhorn: probably Marco Maglioni, Albert de Rotschild with the guides Peter and Niklaus Knubel and Edouard Cupelin who climbed the Schwarzhorn first on 18th August 1873
  • Ludwigshöhe: Franz Ludwig von Welden with companions on 25th August 1822
  • Parrotspitze: R. S. Macdonald, F. C. Grave and M. Woodmass with the guides Peter Perren and Melchior Anderegg on 16th August 1863
  • Signalkuppe: Giuseppe Farinetti, Cristoforo Ferrari, Giacomo and Giovanni Giordani, Giovanni Gnifetti, Cristoforo Grober with 2 porters on 9th August 1842
  • Zumsteinspitze: Johann Niklaus and Joseph Vincent, Josef Zumstein, Molinatti with porters and the guides Joseph Beck, Moritz Zumstein and others on 1st August 1820.
  • Overview: The traverse of all summits is very worthwhile because of the beautiful landscape. Except the Punta Giordani the descent from each summit is the same like the ascent. Therefore you can choose which summit you really want to climb or whether you want to skip one of them.
    From the Capanna Giovanni Gnifetti (3611m) or the Rif. Città di Mantova (3440m), you traverse the Ghiacciaio d'Indren and follow it to the Punta Giordani (4046m, 2-2,5 h). The WNW-ridge of the Punta Giordani goes to the Vincent Pyramide (4215m, 1 h). You climb down to the North to the Col Vincent and climb Balmenhorn 84167m, 1/2 h), Schwarzhorn (Corno Nero, 4321 m, 1h), Ludwigshöhe (4341m, 1/2 h) and Parrotspitze (4432m, 1 h).
    Ascent: From the Cap. Gnifetti or from the Rif. Città die Mantova, you climb over the Ghiacciaio die Garstelet up to about 3800m where you reach the rock SSW-rib of the Vincent Pyramide. You climb over the rib up till you turn right on a debris band to the Ghiacciaio d'Indren. Following this band, you reach the Punta Giordani (2 h from Cap. Gnifetti, 2,5 h from Rif. Mantova). Now you follow the snow ridge to the WNW with direction to the Vincent Pyramide till the ridge goes up as rock ridge. You turn around this steep rock passage on the right and reach the ridge again over crumbling rocks. Now you follow the rock ridge (II) to the Vincent-Pyramide (1 h).

    From the Vincent Pyramide, you climb down to the Vincentjoch (4087m). If you want to skip the Punta Giordani, you climb from the huts directly over the Ghiacciaio del Lis to this rigde. You reach the Balmenhorn from this ridge (Vincentjoch) in 1/2 h. From the Balmenhorn, you reach the Zurbriggenjoch (4279m) with a left curve. From here, you climb up a short, steep snow hang and a few rocks to the Schwarzhorn (1 h). You go down again to the Zurbriggenjoch and reach the Ludwigshöhe via a firn hang (1/2 h).

    From the Ludwigshöhe, a firnhang goes down to the Piodejoch (4283m) and a firn ridge up to the Parrotspitze (1 h). You can traverse it to the Seserjoch (4296 m). In order to reach the Signalkuppe (4554m) with the Rif. Margherita (the highest serviced hut of the Alps) in additional 1,5 h, you go in a wide curve to the North and reach the Colle Gnifetti (4452m). From Colle Gnifetti, a ridge - at the beginning firn, then rock - goes easily up to the Zumsteinspitze (4563m) in 1/2 h or on the opposite side over the saddle and the firnhang to the Signalkuppe (1/2 h).
    Descent: Either the same way down to the Cap. Gnifetti or to the Monte-Rosa-Hütte (compare the route description on the following page: Dufourspitze
    Reports: poneill and cosleyhouston

    Essential Gear

    Crampons, 1 ice axe, rope.