The crest traverse of Rocca Busambra is a deserving, though somewhat strenuous and exposed route to the summit of the mountain. It connects with the South slope traverse in Piano delle Tramontana, so that different combinations of the two routes are possible. The ascent to the east summit is very steep and runs along a slippery meadow so that it is not advisable to use it as a descent route. The crest traverse itself is unmarked and trail-less. Its exposure depends on the risk you want to take as several possible paths are available.
ApproachSee the Rocca Busambra Page for the information how to get to the trailhead at Rifugio Alpe Cucco. From there turn east on the access road and at the first intersection take the right hand dirt road. It slowly circles the mountain to get to the access point at its eastern end.
- Start altitude: 981m
- Summit altitude: 1613m
- Prevailing exposition: N
- Type: 1h on a forest road - 2h on overgrown and vanishing trails
- Protection: unprotected
First, follow the dirt road from Alpe Cusco towards the far eastern end of the mountain. It heads for a saddle which is visible from far off. Approximately 1km before you reach the saddle you can see a narrow path heading off through the forest towards Rocca Busambra in the west. Cross the cattle fence here and follow the path, which turns out to be marked with red dots. The path heads directly for the Rocca Busambra east face, which, however, is invisble through the trees.
Near the base of the east face the path turns southward to crisscross upwards towards Piano della Tramontana. Here the red marks vanish and you need to cross the wide pasture towards another cattle fence. Follow it as far right as possible and cross the fence there. Head trail-lessly up to the clearly visible foresummit and cross the small gully on top.
From the foresummit descend into the saddle close to the Busambra east face, cross a further cattle fence and immediately turn right, heading towards the vertical drop of the east face. A very steep scramble up a hanging meadow will take you to the east summit. From here simply follow the crest across various minor summits towards the main one. The best route often turns away from the crest to circumvent various vertical passages.