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Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Aosta Valley, Italy, Europe

Lat/Lon: 45.49323°N / 7.24754°E

Object Title: Ciarforon

Activities: Mountaineering

Elevation: 11949 ft / 3642 m


Page By: Antonio Giani

Created/Edited: Aug 26, 2003 / Nov 16, 2014

Object ID: 151800

Hits: 15081 

Page Score: 96.81%  - 63 Votes 

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What's new

- Ciarforon - 3.642 m -
  • Dec 05, 2004
    Inherited the page from Gangolf
  • Dec 06, 2004
    Started to modify Overview and the other sections (with the help of livioz)
    Added "First ascents" section with the list of the different routes
  • Mar 08, 2005
    Linked a fine view of the North Wall from Gran Paradiso normal route.

First Ascents

  • SW ridge: F. Vallino, A. Blanchetti, (Aug 25th, 1871).
  • W wall: F. Gonella with G. Blanc and F. Daynè, (Jul 29th, 1885).
  • WNW ridge (Alternatives route): A. Lucchetti, M. Frassinelli, (Aug 08th, 1918).
  • NW ridge: D. Escoffier, O. De Falkner, (Aug 29th, 1894).
  • Alternatives routes:
    • G. Bobba with C. Therisod and G. Noro, (Sep 26th, 1894).
    • M. Corte, M. Costa, V. Ferrero, A. Viriglio, (Aug 19th, 1920).
  • N wall between icecap wall and NW ridge Probably done by Guarducci in July 1880.
    The first documented ascent was done here by E. Allegra, U. Sandrinelli and P. Daynè, (Jun 24th, 1902).
  • N wall, central route: Giacomo and Enrico Chiara, Enrico Cattinelli, (Jul 02-03th, 1939).
  • Alternatives routes:
    • A.Barberis et al. (Aug 07th, 1941).
    • V. Epis, L. Perin, E. Regazzi, (Sep 23th, 1966).
    • Angelo Bozzetti (Aug 08th, 1962).
  • NE ridge: W. A. B. Coolidge, C. Almer, R. Almer, (Aug 14th, 1888).
  • E wall : A. Bonacossa, A. Sarfatti (Jul 20th, 1923).
  • SE ridge: E. H. F. Bradby, C. Wilson with E. Rey, (Jul 10th, 1897).
  • S wall : G. Bertarelli, A. Bonacossa, C. Prochownik, (Aug 20th, 1920).

Data collected by livioz from:

  • E. Andreis, R. Chabod, M.C. Santis " Guida dei Monti d'Italia - Gran Paradiso Parco Nazionale Club Alpino italiano/Touring Club Italiano (1980).


Ciarforon  photo_id=61928

Ciarforon is an unmistakeable dome-shaped summit belonging to the Gran Paradiso Group. It is easily recognizable from everywhere in the distance. It lies south of the Gran Paradiso Summit, between La Tresenta (3.609m) and Becca di Monciair (3.544m), along the watershed between Valsavarenche and Valle dell'Orco. Its ice cap is unbelievably large and once accomodated a small lake (in summer, obviously!), like the Summit of the nearby Roccia Viva. In addition to the ice cap (3642m, but in the distant 1881 its height had been estimated to be (3.657m)) there is a second rocky summit, where a sign is placed, at an elevation of (3.642m).
Ciarforon is separated from La Tresenta by Colle di Moncorvè (3.294m) and from Becca di Monciair by Colle del Ciarforon (3.317m); near the last one there is also another saddle at (3.333m), lacking an official name, but called in some places Colle di Monciair. This saddle should not be confused with the southerner Colletto di Monciar (3.297m), between Becca di Monciair and Denti del Broglio (also called Cima di Breuil). Ciarforon is surrounded by four glaciers: Moncorvè (N),Ciamousseretto (E), Breuil (S), and Monciair (W). In the past it was almost completely covered by the upper part of the Moncorvé Glacier, but in recent years it has undergone a powerful diet and its aspect has dramatically changed.

On the S side (Vallone di Piantonetto) Ciarforon takes on a quite different aspect, showing a rocky wall up to 300 meters tall. The summit commands rather nice closeup views of many summits of the Gran Paradiso Group, including the impending main summit (4.061m), as well as background views of Rutor, La Grande Sassière and, of course, Mont Blanc.

Getting There

  • From France, through the Mont Blanc Tunnel or the Col du Petit Saint Bernard:
    you can drive on SS.26, following directions for Aosta and, before arriving in Villeneuve, turn right towards Introd.
    Alternatively, you can take Motorway A5 (at Courmayeur or Morgex) and exit at Aosta Ovest.

  • From all the other directions:
    get to the Aosta Ovest exit of Motorway A5. Then drive on SS.26 Aosta, in the direction of Courmayeur; just after Villeneuve turn left towards Introd.

Shortly after Introd, you arrive at a junction: turn left, entering Valsavarenche, and passing through many villages (Degioz, Eaux Rousses, etc.) you can arrive at Pont (1.960m) where the road ends.

The ascent to Ciarforon is usually done in two stages: on the first day you follow the normal route to Gran Paradiso and gain 770m of elevation from Pont (1.960m) to Rifugio Vittorio Emanuele (2.730m). The second day is spent on the climb to the summit.

Some details on the routes

Ciarforon  photo_id=140125
Elevation gain: 400m
Difficulty: AD+
glacier ascent with average angle of 45°-50°
the summit couloir reaches 65°

Time required: 4-5 hours (from Ref. Vittorio Emanuele II)

Red Tape

There are no fees or permits. Parking in Pont, at the start of the route to Vittorio Emanuele II Refuge, is free and there are no limitations for climbing and hiking.
Remember that free camping is forbidden (except for emergency reasons, over 2.500m, from darkness until dawn).
The whole region is part of the Parco Naturale del Gran Paradiso and thus you should take care of nature as usual within the boundaries of natural parks.

When To Climb

The best time is obviously July through September. Most ascent routes to the summit include glaciers so you need crampons anyway.


Accomodations can be found in all villages of Valsavarenche. You can use Rifugio Vittorio Emanuele as base for the ascents to both Gran Paradiso and Ciarforon. In addition there are several campgrounds in Valsavarenche, one of which just near the trailhead .


Mountain Conditions

  • Meteo: you can find all the needed informations at the official site of the Valle d'Aosta Region:
    Valle d'Aosta Meteo


  • WEBCAM on Aosta Valley:

Books and Maps


  • "Guida delle Alpi Occidentali" di Giovanni Bobba e Luigi Vaccarone C.A.I. Sezione di Torino Volume II (parte II), 25 Maggio 1896.
  • "Guida dei Monti d'Italia-Gran Paradiso Parco Nazionale" E. Andreis, R. Chabod, M. C. Santis, Club Alpino Italiano/Touring Club Italiano, prima Ed. 1939; seconda Ed. 1963; terza Ed.
  • "Guida della Regione Autonoma Valle d'Aosta" di Mario Aldrovandi, Ed. S.P.E. di Carlo Fanton, Torino 31 Dicembre 1964.
  • "Rifugi e bivacchi in Valle d'Aosta", di Cosimo Zappelli aggiornata da Pietro Giglio, Musumeci Editore, Luglio 2002.
  • "Diari Alpinistici" di Osvaldo Cardellina e Indice Generale accompagnato da Schedario Relazioni Ascensioni 1964-2013 (inediti).
  • "80 itinerari di Escursionismo Alpinismo e Sci Alpinismo in Valle d'Aosta", di Osvaldo Cardellina, Ed. Musumeci, Giugno 1977 (in Italian); seconda Ed. Luglio 1981; terza Ed. Luglio 1984; (in French), prima Ed. Febbraio 1978; seconda Ed. Marzo 1980.

  • Kompass "Gran Paradiso Valle d'Aosta" Sentieri e Rifugi Carta Turistica 1:50.000.
  • Enrico Editore Ivrea-Aosta "Gruppo del Gran Paradiso" 1:50.000.
  • I.G.C. Istituto Geografico Centrale "Carta dei sentieri e dei rifugi Valsavarenche-Val di Rhêmes-Valgrisenche" 1:25.000.
  • I.G.C. Istituto Geografico Centrale "Carta dei sentieri e dei rifugi Grivola-Gran Paradiso" 1:25.000.
  • L'Escursionista "Valle di Cogne Carta dei Sentieri" (n°10) 1:25.000.
  • L'Escursionista "Tour de la Vallée de Cogne Grand Paradis" Carta dei sentieri 1:25.000.

Important Information

Useful numbers

  • Protezione Civile Valdostana località Aeroporto 7/A Saint Christophe (Ao) Tel. 0165-238222.
  • Bollettino Meteo (weather info) Tel. 0165-44113.
  • Unità Operativa di Soccorso Sanitario Tel. 118.


Thanks are due both to Gangolf, which previous page is the backbone of the present one, and to Brenta, for the careful revision of the English translation.