The day’s plan was to climb to the summit of Diavolezza and return to the valley by cable car. As we saw later the Swiss do it the other way round; walking downhill in their hundreds on this beautiful day. We took the train up to Bernina Hospizio at 2234m and then followed the path down to the dam at the north end of the Laggo Bianco to the small lake, Lej Nair at 2223m.  

From the path by the side of lago Bianco with Piz Cambrena in the background.

Lej Nair

Looking back to Laggo Bianca (the white lake)

Looking across the valley to Piz Lagalb

  The path then started to climb over grass and then into Val d’Arlas steadily gaining height to the small lake of Lej d’Arlas (2343m). This lies at the foot of the glacier Vadret d’Arlas. 

Piz d'Arlas and its glacier

The path is less than a kilometre from the snout of the glacier which towers above. The path then crosses boulders and zigzags up a saddle (2605m) to meet the path from Bernina Diavolezza lower cable car station near a lake in a corrie. Stephen spoke to some walkers about the path; they were not encouraging saying how steep it was: too right!  

The lake in corrie where the path starts to climb up to the left of picture.

Path climbing ridge to Diavolezza.

The path them climbs quite steeply up a rocky ridge until you look down on the lake several hundred metres below. The path then levels off before coming to an extremely steep section up a ladder staircase and then a very exposed section of zigzags near the edge of a scree slope that falls down to the lake. 

The path across the scree slopes

We decided we would not have liked to walk down this section, although hundreds of people had done so that day and we saw no corpses! After this section the path winds gently uphill towards a small glacier just below the summit and cable car station.  

The Firnfeld with the Diavolezza Cablecar station and hotel on ridge to right

A notice here said it was unsafe to walk directly across the “Firnfeld” – permament snowfield. The diversion was across an appalling boulder field to higher ground where the snow could be crossed safely. We saw some walkers ignoring the instructions including some with children and ropes.  

\ Walking across the Firnfeld

  The view from Diavolezza (2978) was truly stunning and all the better for having climbed up to it. From the top could be seen the glaciers of the Vadret da Morteratsch and the Vadret Pers. Together with a semi circle of major peaks; Piz d’Arlas (3325m), Piz Cambrena (3604m), Piz Paulu (3905m), Piz Zupo (3996m), Piz Bernina (4049m) and Piz Morteratsch (3751m).  

The view across Vadret Pers glacier from the summit.

  If we had had more time we could have walked on along an easy path to Munt Piers (3207m) but the return walk is about 2 hours. From Bernina Hospizio the walking time is 3h 30min but stops for lunch/drinks/photos and above all waiting for other walkers to come downhill added another hour.

  On returning to the valley cable car station (a ten minute ride dropping 885m) we just missed a train so walked down hill to the next station at Bernina Suot in about 25min. Here we had to press a button to request the train to stop