Eine Gruppe von Skitourer eingebettet in einer Schneelandschaft

Winter sports

Two-day ski tour through the Leventina

  • #Ski tours
Portrait von Verkaufsberater Hansj
Sales Consultant, Transa store Europaallee Zurich
© Fotos

The ski tour to Pizzo Sassello in the Leventina takes you through a wild and secluded landscape with an adventurous overnight stay in a self-catering cabin.

Today we’re taking it easy: the Airolo-Pesciüm-Sasso della Boggia cable car takes us to Varozzei, our starting point. There we put sun cream on our faces, skins on our skis and off we go! The sun is shining on us as we ascend on slopes of varying steepness to the former smugglers’ crossing Passo Sassello. However, thick clouds of mist soon gather and an hour later we have to abandon our climb to the summit Pizzo Sassello (2,277m).

  • In the foreground a snow-covered signpost, behind it ski tourers.
    Photo © Jonas Jäggy
  • Eingeschneites Rifugio Garzonera, im Hintergrund Skitourer.

    Rifugio Garzonera.

    Photo © Jonas Jäggy
  • People cooking at Rifugio Garzonera.

    Cooking at Rifugio Garzonera.

    Photo © Jonas Jäggy
  • Bergführer sichert mit einem Seil am Felsen

    Sassello ascent

    Photo © Jonas Jäggy
  • Photo © Jonas Jäggy
  • Tourenskifahrer fährt einen Steilhang mit Pulverschnee hinunter

    Departure for Ambrì

Arrival at Rifugio Garzonera

Three and a half hours later, we reach our camp for the night: the Garzonera self-catering cabin, which is snowed in and deserted. The cabin has no running water in winter so we have to melt snow. And as soon as the wood-burning stove has heated up, it gets really snug. We enjoy a delicious porcini mushroom risotto – cooked in the cosy little kitchen.

Eingeschneites Rifugio Garzonera, im Hintergrund Skitourer.
Photo © Jonas Jäggy

Rifugio Garzonera

The former alpine cabin was remodelled in 1988, but still retains its original character. The large interior consists of a kitchen with a wood and gas cooker and a cosy lounge with a wood-burning stove. The mattress berths in the rear section sleep around 20 and all have blankets, pillows and covers. The Garzonera cabin is an ideal starting point for various hikes and tours all year round. Thanks to the favourable slope orientation, touring skiers will find good snow conditions until late spring.

Departure for Ambrì

On the second day, we wait in vain for the weather to improve. After an hour, we decide to continue the tour despite the thick fog. We climb over a prominent ridge towards Poncione Sambuco. Unfortunately, all we can do is visualise the mountain panorama in our mind’s eye, as we can’t actually see anything. A weather-related GPS devices safety descent leads us to the alpine cabins of Gioett. We make the last few turns on a forestry road that takes us directly to the ice rink in Ambrì.

Ski tour of Pizzo Sassello

Two-day tour with overnight stay in the cosy Rifugio Garzonera (SAT). 

Journey there/back: By public transport to Airolo. From there, take the Postauto bus to the valley station in the Airolo ski area. Take the cable car and chairlift up to Varozzei.

Route: Varozzei – Alpe di Ravina – Passo Sassello – Pizzo Sassello – Pian Taiöi – Rifugio Garzonera SAT – Passo Scheggia – Gioett – Ambrì ice rink.
Variants:You can also start the ski tour in Giof (taxi from Airolo).

Map/reading: Ski touring map 1:50,000, 266S Valle Leventina (art. no. 064908), Ski & Snowboard Tourenatlas Schweiz (Ski & Snowboard Touring Atlas Switzerland), Helvetic Backcountry (art. no. 085953).

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