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Penne Blanche

Penne Blanche

Penne Blanche

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Aosta Valley, Italy, Europe

Lat/Lon: 45.61890°N / 7.42556°E

Object Title: Penne Blanche

Activities: Mountaineering

Elevation: 10676 ft / 3254 m


Page By: Antonio Giani

Created/Edited: Apr 9, 2008 / Sep 5, 2014

Object ID: 395135

Hits: 3831 

Page Score: 88.19%  - 26 Votes 

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Wide and almost flat summit, this is the highest point of the ridge dividing the Grauson from Urtier Valleys in the high part of the Cogne Valley. Very good panoramic view on Gran Paradiso Group, on Monte Emilius and on the close Tersiva.

First Ascents

  • First on the summit: Unknown.
  • N Slope: Giovanni Bobba and friend, (Jul 28th, 1886).
  • N Slope of the West Summit: Osvaldo Cardellina, Nicola Colajanni, Davide Fioretti, Francesco Fioretti and Gianfranco Vicentini, (Aug 14th, 2003).

Getting There

  • From Torino, Milano, etc: Motorway A5. Exit in Aosta Ovest. Drive to the near Aymavilles. Follow in the direction of Valle di Cogne.
  • From Switzerland: through the Grand St. Bernard Tunnel or the homonym Pass). Drive to Aosta, then follow Courmayeur direction 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 St. Bernard Pass). It isn't necessary to enter in Motorway A5, you can drive through SS.26 Aosta direction. Before arriving at the Village of Sarre, follow the sign and turn right towards 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 (1534m).
    Follow the road signs for Gimillan and Lillaz; arrived at a round-about, recently built in proximity of the St. Anthony Chapel, go left along the scenic route leading to the Village of Gimillan (1787m), 3 Km. after Cogne. Usually no parking problem.
  • Aeroporto Internazionale "Corrado Gex" Saint Christophe (Aosta).

Il Monte Penne Blanche (3254 m)
il lago Doreire superiore...
Near the shore of Corona...


Go right starting from the car park of Gimillan: after few meters the indications for Lussert Lakes, St. Marcel Pass, etc. are found. The pathway is indicated by the yellow circle 9A and by yellow strips marked on stones along the route. The path begins going immediately uphill, then the slope decreases as we go beyond a little chapel dedicated to the Virgin (1836m). Soon the path resumes to go up and splits in two, before it begins to penetrate into the Grauson Valley: it's possible to continue following the right one that goes down as far as the Ecloseur Bridge (1904m), but in such a case we must go up again; it's better to follow the left one that, in practice without losing height, arrives at the bridge under the Alpeggio Pila (2025m), cross it and, following the stepped pathway, overcome the rocky bastion with a fine waterfall aside. At this point the path turns right markedly entering, high on the torrent, into a small valley; by an alternation of steep and slight slopes, it reaches a panoramic cross, on the edge of a pleasant plateau ( superb view of the far Grivola!). The path goes through the meadows, slightly descendind: after the Alpi di Grauson Vecchie (2271m), cross the torrent on the Pikaciù Bridge and begin again to go up, reaching the wide upper part of the Grauson Valley. For the first time the Tersiva put it in appearance, while, looking into the distance, the end of the valley appears, close by the Passo d'Invergneux (2905m) and the Serra Madù, WSW ridge of the Tersiva. Shortly afterwards one meets the signs indicating the ways on the left to Laures Pass (3035m) and St. Marcel Pass (2916m). On the contrary go straight ahead along the pathway n°4, few meters later you can see on the right the Alpeggio Pralognan (2418m). Continue as far as the ruins of the Alpeggio Ervillières (2519m). After the pastures follow toward East along the path leading to Doreire Lower Lake (2731m), board it on the right side and, on tracks, get the Upper Lake (2844m). On toward South and in about 20' tyou get the Invergneux Pass (2905m). Now along the ridge that, westward, leads to the Testa del Vallonet (3135m) keeping the Northern side of the aerial ridge where some walk ups are followed by some short rock easy climbing passages and in less than one hour you get the Summit East. Rope can be useful.


The route can be rated for Expert Hikers with some climbing experience EE/F+.


Hikers gear, a rope can be useful on the final ridge.


Remember that free camping is forbidden (except for emergency reasons, over 2500m, from darkness until dawn).

Mountain Condition

  • You can get meteo information at the official site of the Regione Valle d'Aosta:
    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 Emilius Rosa dei Banchi Parco del Mont Avic" di Giulio Berutto e Lino Fornelli - Club Alpino Italiano/Touring Club Italiano, Marzo 2005.
  • "Diari Alpinistici" di Osvaldo Cardellina e Indice Generale accompagnato da Schedario Relazioni Ascensioni 1964-2014 (unpublished).
    • 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 Torino "Gran Paradiso-La Grivola-Cogne" 1:25.000.
    • L'Escursionista "Tour de la Vallée de Cogne Grand Paradis" Carta dei sentieri 1:25.000.
    • I.G.C. Istituto Geografico Centrale Torino "Il Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso" (3) 1:50.000.
    • L'Escursionista "Valle di Cogne Carta dei Sentieri" (n°10) 1:25.000.

    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.


    The fundamental support given by my friend Osvaldo Cardellina.
    In addition I want to thank Gabriele Roth for the translation of the text from italian.