Rifugio Gastaldi Area

Rifugio Gastaldi Area

Ice Falls



First climb:  G.C. Grassi – P. Sobrà, 9th April 1982

Elevation gain:  250 m

Difficulty:  TD-

Exposure:  North-East

Altitude:  abt.2650 m

Climbing time:  3 – 5  hrs

ACCESS:  There are two possibilities according to where you wish to spend the night.   1) From Rifugio Città di Ciriè (1850 m) to Pian della Mussa.  If the conditions of Canalone delle Capre are good, completely ascend its snowy bed up to Pian Gias.  Go up the small slightly sloping glacier until you will locate, in the rocks to the left, the Gully-Waterfall (3 hrs).   2)  From Rifugio B. Gastaldi (2659 m) which you will have reached through the routes IXA and IXAA suggested by the Guida dei Monti d’Italia Alpi Graie Meridionali (C.A.I. – T.C.I.).  Go back to the mound where the arrival structure of the cableway stands, descend so as to go around its barrier of  Rocce delle Vigne.  Beyond a rocky spur you will reach the Pian Gias moraine.   Going up the moraine, you will find to the left the Goulotte Waterfall (1 ½ – 2 hrs).

ROUTE:  The Russelle Rocks form a ridge almost two and a half kilometers long.  It comes down from Denti del Collerin, initially East-South-East and then South-East bound, so as to divide the Bessanese Glacier to the South and the Pian Gias basin to the North.  The Couloir Waterfall originates from a hollow of the above ridge: Punta Adami (3166 m).  Parallel to a snowy gully, it plunges a 250 m elevation gain at the  beginning of Pian Gias.  The climb is divided in two sections: the initial 130 m waterfall and the higher snowy gully.  Once you have gone up the snow-covered cone from the end of Pian Gias,  climb at the center the first waterfall cliff, 40 m (70° – 75°) and reach the base of the next second swelling (50 m).  Directly overtake it (65° – 70°) the, with a diagonal route to the left, reach the rocky edge of the gully (40 m).  Reach the base of the final ice candle and climb it: at first through a steep gully in the left side and then directly (85°).  A narrow iced passage between the rocks allows reaching the higher snow-clad gully (50 m).  Follow it mainly on the right side for about 100 m (45°) and you will then exit in the hollow at 2920 m adjoining the Bessanese Glacier.

DESCENT:  Cross to the West, towards Punta Adami, so as to find the snowy gully parallel to the climbed waterfall.  Descend it (45°) and, toward the end, proceed to the right so as to avoid the initial rocky cliff that creates a barrier to Pian Gias.



First climb:  G. Comino – G.C. Grassi – M. Bernardi – A. Soncini, 12th January 1980

Elevation gain:  600 m

Difficulty:  D/D+

Exposure:  North-East

Altitude:  abt.2660 m

Climbing time:  5 – 6  hrs

ACCESS:  Reach Rifugio B. Gastaldi (2659 m) following at first the route IXA and then IXAA suggested by the Guida dei Monti d’Italia Alpi Graie Meridionali (C.A.I. – T.C.I.).  5 hrs from Balme.  From the hut descend in the hollow below called “Crot del Ciaussinè” and proceed South-Westwards through snow fields climbing toward the wall cut by two couloirs.  Looking at the wall, the Rosenkrantz Couloir is the one to your right (40’).

ROUTE:  Climb the first 150 m of easy couloir up to a marked 30 m high bottleneck.  Overtake it  (60° – 70°) and continue for 200 m on slopes of average hang (40° – 45°) up to where the couloir narrows again.  Go beyond the icy bottleneck (5°° – 55°).  After 50 m the gully becomes very narrow and ends up in the above overhangs.  Climb to your left a 50 m high mixed zone, cut by small ice gullies, so as to reach a snowy slope which curves to the left.  Follow it up for 150 m (50°) until you are below the final ridge.  The ridge may be reached both directly, through an overhanging yellow dihedral (5 pitons), or through a crossing on mixed soil to your left and climbing the next snowy small gully.

DESCENT:  Through a not too rugged edge, easily reach the North Pass of the Pareis Rocks (abt. 3200 m).  Descend along the West side so as to arrive, in a small valley, at the tiny Pareis Glacier.  Cross it Southwards, constantly keeping to the rocky wall which supports the edge.  Move, then, down a steep zone of snow fields and rubbles until reaching the Arnas Glacier.  Climb a slight slope toward the clear hollow of the Arnas Pass (3010 m).  Through a snow-clad gully, descend along the East side of it and then, through bumps and snow covered hollows, move beneath the Pareis Rocks North-East side and reach again Rifugio B. Gastaldi.  2 ½ – 3 hrs.



First climb:  G.C. Grassi – R. Luzi, 12th March 1980

Elevation gain:  550 m

Difficulty:  D/D+

Exposure:  North-East

Altitude:  abt.2750 m

Climbing time:  4  hrs

ACCESS:   The sameas for the previous climb.  The Dentina Couloir is the first to the left looking from Rifugio B. Gastaldi (50’ from the hut).

ROUTE:  Climb the snowy discharging cone towards the recessed very narrow gully originating from the groove/couloir between Punta Grober and Punta Dentina. Easily climb about 50 m up to a clear bottleneck 25 m high.  Overtake it (65° – 70°) and continue going up in the recessed and snowy couloir.  Further on you will go over another little bottleneck and leave to your left a snowy  branching off  leading to the main couloir.  Keep climbing it (45°) until it further narrows in the final part.  Overtake a first difficult bottleneck then 30 m of snowy gully and finally another narrow delicate/tricky passage (45 m).  Win over a big   stuck boulder surfacing from the snow and keep going on in the gully up to the base of a snow meringue (40 m).  Avoid the meringue on left side through a small and very tricky gully which becomes narrower and narrower.  When it finally opens up, proceed on unstable snowy slopes (30 m).  Another 50 m in the gully, with still a tricky move, allows you to reach the groove/couloir on the ridge.

DESCENT:  Reach the rocky small Punta Dentina and follow, without particular difficulties, the north ridge.  Overtake some gendarmes until reaching the tip of Punta Resenkrantz.  From here descend by the route indicated for the previous Waterfall.  3 – 3 ½  hrs.