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Piz Palü traverse from W to E

A classic high alpine snowy ridge, from the Marco e Rosa Hut to Diavolezza

Alpine Climbing Moderate

10 km
658 m
1.3 km
Low Point
3 km
High Point
3.9 km
Piz Palü traverse from W to E Map

Piz Palü has been famed in the public eye since the production of a 1929 film called the While Hell of Piz Palü. It is a very beautiful mountain with an imposing and very wide N wall, as seen from Diavolezza. It can be traversed in either direction, with acclimatisation being an essential prerequisite, as you are very high for a long time. It makes a particularly fine enchainment with the Biancograt on Piz Bernina, either as one very long day, or, as described here, after a night in the Marco e Rosa Hut, which acts an an ideal high starting point.


The route begins from the front door of the hut, as you are traversing a very complicated crevassed glacier. This may be considerably easier early in the season, so it is worth seeking local advice. You are linking a series of glacial benches under Piz Zupo, Piz Argient and the Bellavista. The line as marked here is only a vague guide to the exact route taken and shouldn’t be followed too closely throughout its entire length - pick your exact route according to conditions.

Once you arrive at the high col of the Fuorcla Bellavista the route takes to the ridge and you stay on the crest. This is easy mixed scrambling to start with, but soon becomes a snowy crest, sensational in both beauty and exposure. Traverse the summits of Piz Spinas and both summits of Piz Palü. Finally make the long descent, on a very sharp snow crest in descent to begin with, then down the extremely crevassed Pers Glacier. Finally traverse off to the R and take the easy track to the Diavolezza lift station.



May involve slightly more complex glacier hikes, easy but possibly long rock ridges and steep snow up to 45 degrees. Equivalent to PD, PD+

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Much of the route is difficult to protect and a fall could be disastrous at certain points.


3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

between June and August

Equipment required

  • Ice axe
  • Crampons
  • Glacier kit

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area