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Piz Languard is a beautiful rock pyramid that rises above Pontresina, in the Engadine, and from which you can enjoy a spectacular view of the entire Bernina group. The normal route to reach it does not involve extreme difficulties, but is in any case reserved for hikers with a certain experience.

 

Trekking: Piz Languard, 3262 m, Engadin

 

The summit of Piz Languard is a rather popular destination in the programs of many hikers who stay or pass through the Engadin. Its peak can be seen clearly from Saint Moritz and then throughout the Pontresina Valley.

To climb to the summit, you can start from Pontresina, this beautiful village in the Engadine, or, as we did, reduce the difference in altitude by using the chairlift that leads to Alpe Languard, taking you to 2300 meters above sea level (and so you still have 900 meters left to climb). After some hesitation, I decided to get the ticket also including the return (CHF 28 - September 2023). And I was right, because the excursion is physically demanding, and I also decided to lengthen it, passing through the bottom of the Languard valley, in search of marmots and ibex (see my trail below).

Already when you get off the chairlift, you immediately see the destination and just below the Chamanna Georgy. And the view has a certain effect, because the peak appears far away, and much higher..... Don't be discouraged. Before leaving, you can't help but dedicate a few minutes to seeing the Bernina group and the Morteratsch glacier, which will then dominate the scene for the rest of the trip and from the mountain top.

 

Trekking Piz Languard Engadina 002

Trekking Piz Languard Engadina 001 

  

The path does not have orientation difficulties. The signs, already at the Alp Languard, indicate the direction (East) to take. A few hundred meters after the start, there is a first crossroads, where you have to take the track on the left, as the one on the right continues into the valley floor, from which you can then return if you wish. You will have other crossroads ahead, where you generally have to take the left branch. Follow my trail; anyway, the signs are clear. The path climbs with an average gradient for about 1.5 km, and then approaches the S/SE moutain side with a steeper first section, overcome thanks to some hairpin bends that take you to a sort of plateau (Plaun da l'Esen). You pass the crossroads for Fuorcla da Pischa and Lej da Languard (which I then took on the way back), and then climb up until you reach the southern ridge of Piz Languard. From here, the path is for ibexes..... At first, it uses some ledges and proceeds with some hairpin bends, then some sections begin where you have to climb on some simple boulders. Some stones have been cleverly positioned to create a sort of steps.

Technically, there are no significant difficulties, but still be careful, because some sections are a bit exposed, with a good void below. The southern exposure of the ridge means that it remains free of snow for a good part of the summer, and remains clean even after eventual small summer snowfalls.

The refuge flags appear above us, showing us that there isn't much left, and encouraging us.

The Chamanna Georgy (3175 metres, just 2 hours from departure) is placed in an aerial position, on a terrace just below the summit, and leads us to a short break to rest and refresh ourselves. It would almost be tempting, due to the beauty of the place, to chose this hut as destination. But there is only less than 100 meters of altitude difference left to the goal, and it would be a real shame not to reach the summit of Piz. The part that leads from the refuge to the summit involves some easy climbing stretches on boulders, sometimes equipped with a rope, which serves more to aid progression than to secure yourself. Some sections are exposed, but there are no particular difficulties. The signs (white-red arrows on the stones) are abundant, but always pay attention to follow the safest and easiest route.

 

Trekking Piz Languard Engadina 003

Trekking Piz Languard Engadina 004

Trekking Piz Languard Engadina 005

Trekking Piz Languard Engadina 006

Trekking Piz Languard Engadina 007

 

Another 15-20 minutes and you are finally on the top of Piz Languard (3262 metres), which is truly striking as a point in the sky, much higher than all the others surrounding it. And the panorama benefits from this. His majesty the Bernina and the beautiful Biancograt parades itself and dominates the view towards the south, accompanied, to the west, by Piz Roseg, and, to the east, by Piz Pal├╣. The glaciers of the group are blinding with their whiteness, and seem to be in somewhat better health than others I've seen this summer. The tongue of the Morteratsch glacier descends towards the valley, even if 100 years ago it reached as far as where the little Bernina Express train passes today...

Towards the East, you can admire the Bernina pass and Lake Bianco, and various other lakes below us (Lej da Pruna, and da la Pischa). After all, still towards the East you have the Ortles-Cevedale group. Towards the north, the panorama appears more rugged and rocky, dominated by the solvus of the upper Val Pruna, a lateral side of the Val Chamuera. Finally, below us the Pontresina valley, and, at the greater distance, Celerina, and Saint Moritz with its lake.

The descent can take place via the same itinerary as the ascent, or, as I did, taking one of the detours to the Lej da Languard (which I did not reach, feeling a bit tired), and then passing through the bottom of the val Languard. I was rewarded for this choice by the company of the marmots, whose powerful whistle I first heard, and which I was then able to spot, enjoying the nice and funny pose of the sentries of the group.

Before leaving you, I would like to highlight that another beautiful and easier excursion, in this area, leads through the Languard Valley up to Chamanna Paradis, from which you can enjoy an equally spectacular view of the Bernina.

Gruetzi Mitenand. Fabio Muriano

Click here for the complete slide gallery of the itinerary.

 

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