Ascent of Monte Togano on 2013-09-09

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Andrew Tibbetts
Lee Newton -- Trip Report or GPS Track
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Monday, September 9, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Monte Togano
    Elevation:7543 ft / 2299 m

Ascent Trip Report

Climbed the day after our Piz Calderas ascent. Very nice day hike.
Trailhead 0930, summit 1400-1500, trailhead 1730 (8 hour round trip). YDS 1 if you manage to stay on trail, otherwise some YDS 2.

Unable to find details of the ridge traverse between the two main summits, we choose a route which goes directly to the highest i.e. west summit, although as far as we can tell from our own ascent, the ridge traverse is straightforward, with about 250m re-ascent between the west and east tops.

For the NW trailhead (we were following Lee's TomTom SatNav; my Garmin didn't cover the full route), turn S off the main road (SS337) at N46.13328 E8.32828; keep L at N46.13182 E8.32981; turn L at N46.12233 E8.33301; R at N46.12227 E8.33413; L at N46.12111 E8.33600; R at N46.12130 E8.33767. Above the last houses, the road becomes dirt (N46.12033 E8.33640 570m), then alternates between tarmac and dirt. The dirt sections are negotiable with care in an ordinary car although there are a few rocks, and crossing the drainage channels has to be done with care. There is a gate at N46.11730 E8.34076 (723m), open when we arrived and when we left, presumably usually or always open as the trailhead seems well used. The road stops at the trailhead N46.11337 E8.34361, 931m, with space for about six cars, plus overflow parking immediately downhill - evidently a well known trailhead.

The route described didn't entirely match the Swiss 1:50,000 mapping, but essentially, need to follow signs for Rifugio Parpinasca / Passo Basagrana / Togano. From the trailhead, trail climbs SE past signboard, soon turn L onto a dirt road (N46.10922 E8.34678, be sure to turn R here on the way back down), then in 100m at N46.10812 E8.34726 take a small trail L (slightly downhill, signed Rif. Parpinasca), which passes through nice beech wood then pasture. At N46.10577 E8.34951, 1119m, we turn L, signed Passo Basagrana, In 400m we reach Rifugio Parpinasca (closed on this September Monday), and immediately after it, at N46.10485 E8.35349, 1212m, we turn L (signed Passo Basagrana), cross pasture and ascend steeply through trees to cross the ridge ahead. The crossing point is Costa Dei Bagnoli, N46.09491 E8.37030, 1734m. Here we have our first view of our target peak. Behind us (west) is a tangle of big peaks, most obvious being Monte Leone and to its L the 4000er Weissmies (clear earlier on our approach drive but now in cloud). There follows a 30 minute traverse, fairly level but with a few minor ups and downs, quite bouldery in places. A stream is crossed at N46.091 E8.376 then we ascend to N46.08690 E8.38761, 2016m where the path bends R and climbs steeply. It is quickest to go straight ahead here and follow a poorly defined path through bushes to hit the skyline at a small saddle (N46.08640 E8.38867, 2069m). However we miss this rather obscure turn and follow the main path, reaching the main ridge at Passo Basagrana, 2070m, N46.08596 E8.38655, a nice spot with fine views along the ridge and south to the extremely steep, rather tropical looking forested peaks of the large remote national park area to the SE.

Here we turn L, crossing a minor grassy summit then descending to the col (2069m, mentioned above) immediately before the main summit. Directly ahead is a big crag and the path traverses R of this (beware some of the rock slabs are slippery, especially when damp). The path descends approx 20m to cross a stream (a good summit path climbs up the L bank of this stream as we later discover) then makes a short ascent to a minor saddle N46.08721 E8.39273, 2080m. Here we climb L (N) following a path up a grassy rib. It is possible to follow the main traverse path further, across the next stream then climb L up a slightly less steep slope; it may be that the main path itself zigzags up to the summit. Following our grassy rib path, we climb L to gain a good path ascending the main ridge line to the summit. We stay on the crest enjoying easy scrambling on good rock, although the path stays L on grass.

The summit is marked with a cairn (N46.08981 E8.39466, 2303m). We arrive at 3pm and stay for 30 mins, enjoying the fine views and warm sunshine, quite a contrast with yesterday's Piz Crateras summit experience.

Andrew and Lee head down while I make the easy 10 minute ridge traverse to the next top (N46.09225 E8.39756, 2297m), 2 small comms masts), mapped as just 2 metres lower than the main (west) summit. The traverse onward to the (11m lower) east summit is straightforward from what I can see, although I don't go there: instead I return to the main summit, retrieve my backpack and follow Lee and Andrew down. I soon reach a T-junction where the direct route goes R to follow the ridge then the stream. However out of curiosity I turn L. The path is very well worn but takes quite an indirect route so I descend more directly down easy grass to rejoin the traverse path lower down, following it to the first saddle (2069m detailed above).

From the saddle the shortcut descent path is a little faint but the main path is soon reached. I eventually catch Lee and Andrew just before crossing the lower ridge at Costa Dei Bagnoli, then after a short rest we descend together, in warm evening sunshine. Before the Rifugio Parpinasca we somehow miss a turning and take a slightly different way to the refugio, but no problems.

We are back at the trailhead at 17:30 and carefully drive back down the dirt road then find a restaurant. Then Lee heads home to Basel while Andrew and I head east for the Gridone trailhead ready for tomorrow's ascent.

Monte Togano photo album
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4489 ft / 1368 m
    Round-Trip Distance:8.1 mi / 13 km
    Route:Parpinasca / Passo Basagrana
    Trailhead:3054 ft / 930 m
    Grade/Class:YDS 1/2
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:4 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 30 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.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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