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TouringTip | Diavolezza - Morteratsch

Great glacier descent: Diavolezza, via Vadret da la Fortezza (3,186 m) to Morteratsch

by German Wehinger 04/20/2011
The Upper Engadine is known for its sunny climate. The sun shines on average 322 days a year here. There is a lack of congestion, but when snow falls here, the fresh snow remains powdery for a long time thanks to the dry, cold climate and offers fantastic freeride runs in high alpine terrain.

The small Diavolezza ski resort is located near the Bernina Pass. From the highest point, you can admire the magnificent Bernina massif with the popular ski mountain Piz Palü (3,900 m) and the only 4,000 metre peak in the Eastern Alps, Piz Bernina (4,048 m) and its impressive Biancograt. This unique backdrop accompanies you throughout the entire descent over the Vadret da la Fortezza and Morteratsch glacier.

The tour starts at the Diavolezza mountain station (2,978 m) with a short descent down to Vadret Pers, where the skins and the equipment for the glacier crossing are put on. Now follows a moderately ascending route across the Vadret Pers to the other side and then a short steep passage up to the highest point of the Vadret da la Fortezza. Once at the top, you are overwhelmed by the magnificent glacier panorama of the Bernina massif with the legendary mountain giants Piz Palü and Piz Bernina.


The upper part of the descent runs along the Vadret da la Fortezza glacier. Here, depending on the conditions, you can make the most of the various steep downhill options. The middle section of the descent is no longer glaciated, as the Vadret da la Fortezza has clearly retreated from the Morteratsch glacier. The lower part of the descent follows the official glacier descent from the Diavolezza. Skating is the order of the day in the final section of the descent. Fortunately, as the descent is always gentle, this section is quickly mastered and you reach Morteratsch railway station (1,896 m). Here you can stop for refreshments or take the Rhaetian Railway back to the starting point, the Diavolezza valley station, from where you can repeat the loop or take the almost equally rewarding descent through the Val D'Arlas.


Difficulty of the tour: medium
Special dangers: crevasses, avalanche slopes at Vadret da la Fortezza
Slope gradient: average: 15° / maximum: 35°
Slope exposures: SW/NW
Start: Diavolezza mountain station
Destination: Morteratsch railway station
Altitude metres uphill/downhill: ? 430 m / ? 1,510 m
Time required: approx. 2.5-3 hours
Best time of year: February-April
Special equipment: Glacier equipment useful
Topographical maps: - Swiss Topo Ski Touring Map 268S Julierpass (1:50000) - Swiss Map: 8-Graubünden (1:25000) digital
Addresses:Mountain railway Diavolezza; timetable Rhaetian Railway

More pictures of the tour descent in the gallery

Photo gallery

This article has been automatically translated by DeepL with subsequent editing. If you notice any spelling or grammatical errors or if the translation has lost its meaning, please write an e-mail to the editors.

Show original (German)


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