Ascent of Gridone on 2013-09-10

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Andrew Tibbetts
Date:Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
    Elevation:7172 ft / 2186 m

Ascent Trip Report

Th 6.19 summit 8.30-45, th 10.01. 11 km round trip

Quick morning ascent the day after Monte Togano. Heading S on the A13, we turn R off the A13 just S of Brissago, at about N46.11810 E8.70925, keep L at N46.11570 E8.70627, turn R at N46.11339 E8.70461, keep R at N46.10856 E8.69878, keep L at N46.11214 E8.70022, then follow the many-hairpinned road uphill to the trailhead (N46.10932 E8.68288, 942m, P sign, turning on L). Room for about 10 cars but tonight we have it to ourselves.

Next morning we hike at 06.19, just before first light. The tarmac road ends in the village of Cortaccio (no parking available above trailhead). A yellow footpath sign points the way up what appears to be a private driveway but is indeed the hiking route. We follow a steep stone-flagged path up between houses. At N46.11267 E8.68074 is a left turn (signpost a bit off the path) which leads between houses, crosses a stream (footbridge) then zigzags uphill, turns R at N46.11529 E8.67696 then climbs to a signpost N46.11615 E8.67766, 1244m (L for Gridone). However we miss the L turn in the half light; at the end of the flagged path we take a gated path though someone's garden, then path leads straight uphill to pass some buildings then join the main path just below the signpost mentioned above. At this point we realise we've probably been off route and later on the way down we follow the correct route.

Above the signpost (N46.11615 E8.67766, mentioned above) the path zigzags steeply upwards with fine views of Lake Maggiore. On the far side the hills are covered in rain clouds and at one point we feel a few spots of rain, but it comes to nothing. We pass some buildings then the gradient eases a little as we climb to Aviasca (N46.11917 E8.66455, 1730m) with a rocky stream crossing immediately before it. At Aviasca a sign points L for Gridone. The path swings R and ascends some easy slabs then becomes predominantly grassy. A ridge is reached with an impressive drop R. There's a path R which descends that way, towards the valley, but the summit route keeps L along the ridge. The summit with its prominent cross can be seen on the R, and at N46.11942 E8.65636, (1997m) we take a traverse path R, well paint marked. The traverse is punctuated by two easy scrambles up gullies, then at N46.12133 E8.64982 the trail reaches the ridge and crosses to the L (S) side, with nice views west to the wild area behind Monte Togano. The path passes a couple of minor summits then an impressive gash in the ridge, then makes a final short steep ascent to the summit, now sadly in cloud.

The triangular metal trig pillar (N46.12336 E8.64805, 2187m) and nearby cairn apparently share the highpoint honours; the large red commemorative cross is a little lower. The summit has no less than 4 trig markers: in addition to the metal pillar is a bolt by the cairn N46.12338 E8.64797, a smaller bolt nearby N46.12334 E8.64798 and an old red-cross-marked stone N46.12335 E8.64806.

We're at the summit at 08.30 and descend after 15 mins, getting down in 1h 15 mins, 3h45 round trip. Clouds are now quite low and views minimal but it stays dry and the rapid descent is good fun, the rocky trail calling for total concentration.

After a second breakfast at the car we drive north, through some heavy rain, via the Gotthard tunnel towards Zurich, planning an ascent of Rigi Kulm on our way back to the airport.

Gridone photo album
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4081 ft / 1243 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6.8 mi / 11 km
    Route:Cortaccio, Aviasca
    Trailhead:3091 ft / 942 m
    Grade/Class:Yds 2 +
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 15 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 15 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rob Woodall
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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