OverviewCarnera belongs to the watershed between Val Sermenza and Val Grande, in the territory of Valsesia, the large area of Piedmont that from the wide rice fields of the Vercellese plane ascends toward north, till the massive south flank of Monte Rosa.
Over the villages of Alagna and Riva, in Val Grande, the steep SW flank of the mountain hangs over the valley for more than 1600 meters, with colouirs and walls entirely covered by lichens and vegetation.
On the side of Val Sermenza(East) its slopes descend instead more gently forming the green meadows of Nonaj valley.
A third flank facing at north Mount Tagliaferro, the highest summit of this ridge, rises up with a rocky wall that shapes the most elegant profile of the mountain.
Carnera doesn’t offer important climbing route or pleasant trails, its slopes can be attractive only for those who are looking for solitary and savage environments, here be sure you will stay alone.
Getting ThereThe trailheads for ascending to Carnera are San Giuseppe in Valsermenza and Alagna or Riva Valdobbia in Valgrande.
To get there the quickest route is to the the A26, the Milano-Genova highway.
Follow this highway till the exit of romagnano Sesia, then take the main road of Valsesia till the village of Balmuccia. From here you have to continue on the same road to reach Alagna or Riva or to take the secondary road of Valsermenza to reach San Giuseppe.
From San Giuseppe a private road, only partially paved, ascends to Alpe Nonaj(1400m) that is the trailhead for this side of the mountain. For the access to this private road ask for permission at the Nonaj hotel in San Giuseppe.
Red TapeThe routes for Carnera summit are hard to find, the only signed paths are those that lead to Moanda pass, between Carnera and Tagliaferro, and to Alpe Sattal.
The overgrown vegetation can give you some problem, especially if you approach the mountain from Val Nonaj(East).
The rocks are solid but always covered by lichens and vegetation and become very slippery when wet.
Sudden weather changes are frequent in this area due to the dampness that coming from the big planes and rice fields below impacts against the huge flanks of Monte Rosa.
HutsAlpe Sattal (2100m): this is not a real hut but it offers a bad and breakfast service and can be used to break in two days the hike along the long routes from Alagna, It's located under the West ridge and the trailhead is Pedemonte, a small locality at 5 kilometers at north of Alagna.
Alpe Sattal is also one of the more panoramic places of Val Sesia so it deserves a visit.
RoutesN-NE Ridge, I, II UIAA scale.
This ridge starts at Moanda pass(2405m) but it is usually engaged at a depression located at West of the pass, under the East shoulder(2611m).
The are no signs so you have to find the better route by your self, following almost entirely the ridge and avoiding, when it's possible, the steeper passages on the ridge moving on the East or North flank..
To reach Moanda from Val Grande you can start both from Alpe Sattal or from Pedemonte, if you hike from Val Sermenza the trailhead is instead Alpe Nonaj, the trails to the pass are easy and well signed.
N Wall. II, III and IV of UIAA scale.
The route follows the small pillar in the center of the wall. The pillar is 300 meters high and the rock is good but with some slippery lichens.
You can engage this route from the trail that from Alpe Sattal goes to Moanda pass.
W ridge, I, II UIAA scale.
This is the ridge that from Alpe Sattal ascends to the summit.
The route follows entirely the ridge, but the over grown vegetation can give you some serious problem, especially in the lower part till the west shoulder(2409m).
Follow the edge of the ridge tilll the shoulder. After the small short flattish part of the ridge you find the way blocked by a small pinnacle. Descend on the north side(left) to get in to the gully that climbs back to the ridge after the pinnacle.
Climb the gully and once that you are back on on the ridge you can reach the summit by following entirely the edge of the ridge or you can cross on the easier south face at right and scramble till the top on its steep meadows.
South face. Experienced hikers.
From the small village of Gabbio(1106m), a locality on the hydrographic left of the Sesia river, reachable by a short walk from Riva Valdobbia, follow the trail to Alpe Piana and then to Alpe Fournai(2111m).
From Alpe Fournai reach the small circle at South of the summit and then scramble over the south face to get on the ridge. The route here is not signed and the south flank is very steep. Take care if the grass is wet and choose the best direction by your own. Once on the ridge follow its edge till the summit.
SE ridge. Experienced hikers.
This ridge starts from the pass named Finestrolo di pian delle Rose ('Little window of the plane of the roses' in English), and form the massive South shoulder, usually called La Mezzana (2611m).
To reach the pass you follow the trail to Alpe Fournai, as for the S face, and then the trail that crosses to the pass at south. There is a trail for the pass also on the side of Val Sermenza, starting from Alpe Nonaj, but its almost entirely covered by the vegetation.
From the pass follow entirely the long ridge, not difficult and with great views.
This is probably the most secure and pleasant route, but it’s very long(more than 1600 meters of elevation to gain) and the trails are not always visible.
The environment is very remote and wild.
Informations about the trails and the accomodation.
Official site of Alpe Sattal.