A Winter Repetition of Cazzanelli’s Landmark Matterhorn Route

On Monday and Tuesday of this week, Jerome Perruquet and Stefano Stradelli bagged the first repetition — and in winter — of the Diretta allo Scudo on the Matterhorn. In this case, however, we should call it Cervino, since this latest remarkable climb in the winter Alps took place on the Italian side of the peak.

The highly difficult line goes right up a characteristic smooth slab leading to the Matterhorn’s Tyndall Peak. It involves 13 pitches up to  6c/7a+ to cover its 460m.

Tyndall Peak and Matterhorn’s main summit, as seen from the ski resort of Cervinia, on the peak’s south (Italian) side. Photo: Peakvisor


Night on top

The climbers took 13 hours to complete the route. They then proceeded all the way to the summit.

“We were very tired, so we spent a beautiful, comfortable night right on top under the stars and returned to the valley the following morning,” Stefano Stradelli wrote on Instagram.

Route map with the peak bare of snow, in summer conditions.

La Diretta allo Scudo on Tyndall Peak, Matterhorn. The ridge on the left is the Lion’s Ridge, considered the classical route up the Matterhorn from Italy. It is slightly longer and harder than the Hornli Ridge, the normal route from Switzerland. Map from Francois Cazzanelli’s blog


Stradelli and Perruquet had been fascinated with the Diretta allo Scudo since they climbed the Innocenzo Menabreaz route three years ago. This follows a line just to the left. “That day, I decided that someday I would return to climb the Diretta,” Stradelli said.

Stefano Stradelli’s summit selfie. Photo: Stefano Stradelli/Instagram


Cazzanelli delighted

The author of the line, Francois Cazzanelli, was as delighted as the climbers themselves. “I am so happy and proud that it was them who first repeated the Diretta allo Scudo, a route that changed my life,” Cazzanelli wrote.

The climbers on the south face of Cervino (the Matterhorn). Photo: Stefano Stradelli/Instagram


Indeed, Cervino is a central part of Cazzanelli’s life. And the Diretta allo Scudo is his masterpiece on a mountain that he has climbed nearly 100 times since he was 13 years old, by over a dozen routes. But the Diretta marked, in Cazzanelli’s words, his transition to maturity as an alpinist.

It didn’t come all at once. It took him seven attempts over six years, with different partners, until he completed the route in the fall of 2018 with Francesco Ratti. Now, Cazzanelli says that his friends have given him the best possible present by repeating his line in winter. Perruquet and Stradelli are good friends of Cazzanelli’s and regular climbing partners, from the Alps to the Himalaya.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.