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Cresta Gastaldi

Cresta Gastaldi

Cresta Gastaldi

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Aosta Valley - Piemonte, Italy, Europe

Lat/Lon: 45.51510°N / 7.27338°E

Object Title: Cresta Gastaldi

Activities: Mountaineering

Elevation: 12775 ft / 3894 m


Page By: Antonio Giani

Created/Edited: Jan 25, 2006 / Nov 24, 2014

Object ID: 155340

Hits: 7576 

Page Score: 93.35%  - 42 Votes 

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- Cresta Gastaldi - 3.894 m -

Cresta Gastaldi (Gastaldi Ridge) is a beautiful, imposing peak shaped like a gigantic triangle. It is the fifth highest summit in the Gran Paradiso Group, and would certainly draw more attention if it were not surpassed by the nearby main summit of Gran Paradiso (4.061m).

Cresta Gastaldi is flanked by Colle Chamonin (3.698m) and Punta di Ceresole (3.777m) to the east and by Colle dell'Abeille (3.873m) and by the Roc (4.026m) to the west. The south face almost overhanging, rises over the Noaschetta Glacier, while the northern aspect is almost entirely covered by the huge Tribolazione Glacier. The mountain is clearly recognizable from Gimillan (1.787m), near Cogne, but it is hardly visible from downtown Cogne (1.534m), on the valley floor.

The name of the peak was proposed by geologist Martino Baretti to honor Bartolomeo Gastaldi (Torino, 1818-1879), a valiant alpinist, who was founder and president of C.A.I. (the Italian Alpine Club). Baretti proposal was supported by the first ascent party, composed of W.Coolidge, G. Yeld, Christian Junior and R. Almer (1888).

First Ascents

  • W Ridge: G.Yeld, W. Coolidge, Christian Junior and R. Almer, (Aug 12th, 1888).
  • E-SE Ridge: C. Cookson, F. Truffer and L. Jantet, (Aug 22th, 1894).
  • S Wall: T. Somervel, H. Symons and O. Thornycroft, (Jul 21th, 1921).

Getting There

  • From Torino, Milano, etc: Motorway A5. Exit at Aosta Ovest. Drive to the near Aymavilles. Follow the directions for Valle di Cogne.
  • From Switzerland: through the Grand Saint Bernard Tunnel or the namesake pass. Drive to Aosta, then follow the direction for Courmayeur on SS.26. Just after Sarre, turn to the left, in the direction of Valle di Cogne.
  • From France: through Mont Blanc Tunnel or Petit Saint Bernard Pass. It isn't necessary to take Motorway A5: you can drive on SS.26, in the direction of Aosta. Before arriving at the Village of Sarre, turn right following the sign for Valle di Cogne. After Aymavilles, the Regional Road n° 47 crosses the Villages of Vieyes, Epinel and Cretaz and after about 25 Km arrives at Cogne (1.534m). From Cogne you can get the Village of Valnontey (1.666m).
  • Aeroporto Internazionale "Corrado Gex" Saint Christophe (Aosta).


Map of the Valnontey head...
Map of the Valnontey head including the routes to the many bivouacs and to Cresta Gastaldi (3894m)

  • First day: From Cogne (1.534m) by bus or car to Valnontey (1.666m). Cars can be parked in the large square near the center of the village. Start the ascent of the Valnontey Valley on its orographic right side (climber's left). Go past the pleasant Pastures of Valmiana (1.728m) and reach the Erfaulet Bridge (1.830m); cross it and continue along the trail to a fork (2.040m, 1h'15/1h'30), where you take the left branch. Follow the right bank of the stream and head for the moraine called "Barma des Bouquetins" (2.698m). Climb the morain's ridge in its entirety reaching a hump. Follow this relief to a large snowfield, at the end of which you can discern a ledge going left. Climb on a faint, exposed trail for the entire length of the ledge; turn right and reach a small hanging valley. Head for the opposite side, and climb to a glacial dell between two spurs, cross it in the direction of a distinct rock gully. Climb the gully with circumspection, for the rocks are often covered with verglas and gravel. Past the gully, you'll get to the top of the spur where two fixed bivouacs are located: C. Pol (3.183m, sleeps 6) and M. Gérard - E. Grappein (3.200m, sleeps 9) (5h'30/6h'30 from Valnontey).

  • Second day: Go toward the cliff directly behind the two bivouacs for about one hundred meters, then turn left (beware of crevasses) aiming for Colle della Luna. (On the left one can admire the great seracs coming down from Testa della Tribolazione.) Skirt the large crevasses and continue past Punta di Ceresole, cross a large glacial valley and aiming for the large east face of Gran Paradiso. Turn left when you are almost under the face and start climbing the glacier on the northwest side of Cresta Gastaldi (watch out for the crevasses). Keep at a safe distance from the east face of the Roc, thus avoiding possible rock and ice fall. Once at Colle dell'Abeille (Ape), continue along the ridge for about 150m to reach the summit and enjoy the breathtaking view of the peaks in the Gran Paradiso Group.

    Descend by the same route.

    The route is rated from PD (a little difficult) to AD (rather difficult), depending on the mountain conditions.
  • Gear

    Mountaineering equipment, including rope, ice axe, and crampons.


    From Cogne: Bivacchi Carlo Pol (3.183m) and M. Gérard - E. Grappein (3.200m), located on the spur that divides the northern and southern branches of the Tribolazione glacier. Difficulty: PD. Reachable from Valnontey (see above).

    Red Tape

    Within the borders of the P.N.G.P. (Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso), at the moment (summer 2004), dogs generally are not allowed, except on a couple of trails, and camping is forbidden (except for climbers from sunset till dawn).

    No fees are due.


    Mountain Condition

    • 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 della Regione Autonoma Valle d'Aosta", di Mario Aldrovandi; Ed. S.P.E. di Carlo Fanton, Torino 1964.
    • "Rifugi e bivacchi in Valle d'Aosta", di Cosimo Zappelli aggiornata da Pietro Giglio, Musumeci Editore, Luglio 2002.
    • "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. 1980.
    • "Diari Alpinistici" di Osvaldo Cardellina e Indice Generale accompagnato da Schedario Relazioni Ascensioni 1964-2014 (inediti).
    • "Il Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso (Valli di Champorcher-Clavalitè-Saint Marcel-Laures-Cogne-Valsavarenche-Conca di Pila", di Giulio Berruto 3/volume 2°, IGC Torino; prima Ed. 1981; seconda Ed. 2000 (in Italian).
    • "Gran Paradiso", A. Gegenfurtner, G. Klotz, F. Müller, Ed. Bergverlag Rudolf Rother, Monaco 1980 (in tedesco).
    • "Gran Paradiso", G. Klotz, Ed. Bergverlag GmbH Rother, Monaco 2005 (in tedesco).
    • "Gran Paradiso", di Pierandrea Mantovani e Renato Misischi, Ed. Rassegna Alpina, 1974.
    • "Gran Paradiso-Itinerari Alpinistici e Sci Alpinistici", di Franco Brevini, Ed. Musumeci, Giugno 1982.
    • Kompass "Gran Paradiso Valle d'Aosta Sentieri e Rifugi" Carta Turistica 1:50.000.
    • SIRIO Blue Vision "Cogne Valnontey" Carte fotografiche.
    • A.I.A.T. Cogne "Gran Paradiso-Cogne Aymavilles" Walking Map 1:25.000.
    • I.G.C. Istituto Geografico Centrale Torino "Gran Paradiso-La Grivola-Cogne" 1:25.000.
    • Studio F.M.B. Bologna "Gran Paradiso" 1:50.000.
    • 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.
    • Enrico Editore Ivrea-Aosta "Gruppo del Gran Paradiso" 1:50.000.

    Important Information

    Useful Numbers

    • Soccorso Alpino Cogne (SAR) Tel. 3482685406.
    • 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.


    I want to thank Fabio (Brenta) for the translation of the text from Italian and also Livioz who provided the coordinates of the summit and helped with the edit.