Piz Palü is a mountain in the Bernina Range of the Alps, located between Switzerland and Italy. It is a large glaciated massif composed of three main summits, on a ridge running from west to east. The main summit is 3,900 metres high and is located within the Swiss canton of Graubünden, although the border with the Italian region of Lombardy runs about 100 metres west of it at almost the same height . The western summit is named Piz Spinas and is the only one not covered by ice. The eastern summit is named Piz Palü Orientale. The name Palü derives from the Latin palus, meaning a swamp, and the mountain is said to be named after the Alpe Palü, a high alpine pasture some 4 km to its east.
As early as 12 August 1835, the 3,882 m east peak was climbed by Oswald Heer, and Peter and M. Flury, with guides Johann Madutz and Gian Marchet Colani , who were under the impression that this was the highest summit of the mountain. This is still the normal route from Switzerland, be it followed by an easy traverse to the central peak. A second ascent of the east summit was made on 24 July 1864 by Edward N. Buxton, W.F. Digby, William Edward Hall, J. Johnston, and Montagu Woodmass with the Pontresina guides Peter Jenny, Alexander Flury, and J. B. Walther. This group was unaware of the ascent almost 30 years earlier and also believed to have reached the highest summit . Approaching from the Italian side, four weeks later D. W. Freshfield, J. D. Walker and R. M. Beachcroft with the guide François Devouassoud climbed the pass between the central and east summits, but chose to climb the latter peak again.
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