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Penne Blanche
Mountain/Rock

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 / Nov 29, 2014

Object ID: 395135

Hits: 5464 

Page Score: 88.19%  - 26 Votes 

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Overview

- Penne Blanche - 3.254 m -

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 Punta Tersiva.



Sommità ampia e quasi piatta, risulta il punto più elevato della cresta che divide il Vallone del Grauson da quello dell'Urtier Valli, nella parte superiore della Valle di Cogne.
Bella vista panoramica sul Gruppo del Gran Paradiso, sul Monte Emilius e sulla vicina Punta Tersiva.

"Topographically Crossing"

This long watershed is a natural continuation of the Ridge West-southwest from the Punta Tersiva (3.515m) down first toward the Serra Madou or Madù (3.220m) and then to the Pass of Invergneux, also called des Hevergnes (2.902m). From this ridge rises again forming a small Subgroup, called the Penne Blanche, act to divide Urtier Walloon in the South than the Grauson-Doreire-Tessonet in the North. At first, proceeding Westward, the partition reaches a Unnamed Quote (3.080m) and insignificant; this ridge, flexing most at Northwest, reach the small rocky turrit Testa (Head) of Vallonet (3.152m) and immediately below the highest elevation of the entire coastal or Penne Blanche Eastern, exactly 100 meters higher. This part of the ridge, if with on wire path, may propose some challenging step, however the rock is definitely not good; but several workarounds are possible, generally on the North side. From the Top ridge falls easily to a small saddle (3.148m) and then reach the jagged Summit of Western Penne Blanche (3.205m); this stretch of the via is simple and requires only the climbing of some blocks of rock to reach this latest Vertex, with the possibility of support to the South. In this area to the North there is a steep walloon-basin that contained the ancient Glacier Penne Blanche, of which there is still a sign of life at the top, below the North Slope of Western Summit. A small snowfield with traces of ice and small sources report it. From this last Summit crest, just bending to the West-southwest, comes to a slightly less wide but more pronounced second saddle (3.130m) and the next with the same name or Punta Coupée (3.211m; Cut Point). To the north there is a small walloon that contains the tiny Lake Tzte or Testa (2.753m) and is limited to the West by a spur that descends from Punta Coupée. Even this stretch is not particularly difficult and some short step can be avoided, this time in the North; also continuing on the other side, after a short initial step, continues with the same features first reaching a fairly narrow notch (3.105m) and soon after, zigzagging in a few block, the Testa (Head) of Money (3.130m). Here the ridge turned decidedly to the Northwest and, increasingly becoming "the possibilities on walking", reaches a small and insignificant altitude (3.022m), the next large saddle (2.971m) and with quiet walk Mont Creya (3.015m). This part of the terminal, between the Testa Money and Mount Creya, dominates to the North a small basin that contains the beautiful Lake of Money (2.550m), just above the Alp of Grauson Vieux (2.273m). Then the ridge declines significantly in the Northwest towards the Torrent de Lussert, marked by large stone cairns. Instead, all the Southern Slope of this small chain is even more "unfriendly" than the Northern. Formed by steep rock groins burned and ground, interspersed with grassy and detrital gullies, falls above the Pastures of Gueula, Seutse or Suches and Taveronna (2.369m) connected to each other by a private farms dirt road that goes from the lower middle of the Walloon Urtier towards Northwest. All routes, except to the Pas d'Invergneux initial and the final from Colonna Mines at Mount Creya, are definitely inadvisable and more suitable for Hunters chamois than for Hikers.




Questo lungo spartiacque costituisce la naturale continuazione della Cresta ovest-sudovest che dalla Punta Tersiva (3.515 m) scende dapprima verso la Serra Madou o Madù (3.220 m) per poi raggiungere il Passo di Invergneux, detto anche des Hevergnes (2.902 m). Da questo la cresta si rialza formando un piccolo Sottogruppo, chiamato dei Penne Blanche, atto a dividere il Vallone dell'Urtier a Mezzogiorno da quello del Grauson-Doreire-Tessonet a Settentrione. Dapprima, procedendo verso Ovest, il divisorio raggiunge una Quota Innominata (3.080 m) e poco significativa; da questa la cresta, flettendo maggiormente a Nordovest, raggiunge il castelletto roccioso della Testa di Vallonet (3.152 m) e subito appresso la massima elevazione dell'intera costiera o Penne Blanche Orientale, esattamente di 100 metri più elevata. Questo tratto di cresta, se percorso sul filo, può proporre qualche passaggio impegnativo peraltro su roccia decisamente non buona; però sono possibili diversi aggiramenti, generalmente sul lato Nord. Dalla Sommità la cresta scende facilmente ad una selletta (3.148 m) per poi raggiungere la frastagliata Sommità del Penne Blanche Occidentale (3.205 m); questo tratto di percorso é semplice e richiede solo lo scavalcamento di alcuni blocchi rocciosi per raggiungere quest'ultima Sommità, con possibilità di appoggiare a Sud. In questo settore a Settentrione esiste una ripida conca-vallone che conteneva anticamente il Ghiacciaio di Penne Blanche, del quale si riscontra ancora un segno di vita nella parte alta, al di sotto del Versante Settentrionale della Sommità Ovest. Un piccolo nevaio con tracce di ghiaccio e sorgentelle lo segnala. Da quest'ultima Cima la cresta, piegando appena ad Ovest-sudovest, arriva ad una di poco meno larga ma più marcata seconda sella (3.130 m) ed alla successiva ed omonima Punta o Punta Coupèe (3.211 m). Verso Nord esiste una piccola conca che contiene il minuscolo Lago di Tzte o di Testa (2.753 m) ed é limitata ad Ovest da uno sperone discendente dalla Punta Coupée. Anche questo tratto non presenta particolari difficoltà e qualche breve passaggio può essere evitato, questa volta a Settentrione; pure la continuazione sul lato opposto, dopo un breve passaggio iniziale, prosegue con le medesime caratteristiche raggiungendo dapprima un abbastanza stretto intaglio (3.105 m) e subito dopo, zigzagando tra qualche blocco, la Testa di Money (3.130 m). Qui la cresta volge decisamente a Nordovest e, diventando sempre di più "camminabile", raggiunge una piccola ed insignificante quota (3.022 m), la successiva larga sella (2.971 m) e con tranquilla passeggiata il Monte Creya (3.015 m). Questa parte terminale, tra la Testa di Money ed il Monte Creya, domina verso Nord un piccolo bacino che contiene il bel Lago di Money (2.550 m), appena al di sopra dell'Alpe di Grauson Vieux (2.273 m). Poi la cresta declina decisamente a Nordovest verso il Torrent de Lussert, contrassegnata da grandi ometti in pietra. Invece, tutto il Versante Meridionale di questa piccola catena si presenta ancora più "inospitale" di quello Settentrionale. Formato da ripidi costoloni di roccia arsa e frantumata, alternati ad erbosi e detritici canaloni, scende sopra gli Alpeggi di Gueula, Seutse o Suches e Taveronna (2.369 m) collegati tra di loro da una strada poderale risalente dal medio-basso Vallone dell'Urtier verso Nordovest. Tutti i percorsi, tranne quello iniziale verso il Pas d'Invergneux ed il finale dalle Miniere di Colonna al Monte Creya, sono decisamente sconsigliabili e maggiormente indicati a Cacciatori di camosci piuttosto che agli Escursionisti.




On ridge in Integral Traverse from Mont Creya towards Punta di Money, Punta Coupée, Penne Blanche

First Ascents

  • First on the summit: Unknown.
  • N Slope: Giovanni Bobba and Friends, (Jul 28th, 1886), in ascent.
  • S Slope: Giovanni Bobba & Friends, (Jul 28th, 1886), in descent. This route has been traveled, always downhill, even by Osvaldo Cardellina and Companions, mid Eighties.
  • N Slope of Western Summit: Osvaldo Cardellina, Nicola Colajanni, Davide Fioretti, Francesco Fioretti and Gianfranco Vicentini, (Aug 14th, 2003), in ascent from Gimillan.
  • N-NE Edge (Eastern Summit): Osvaldo Cardellina, Nicola Colajanni, Davide Fioretti, Francesco Fioretti and Gianfranco Vicentini, (Aug 14th, 2003), in descent to Ervillères.
  • Integral Traverse: Osvaldo Cardellina and Giuseppe Lamazzi (Jul 21th, 1985), in crossing from Quota 2943 meters of Mont Creya to Invergneux Pass.


Eastern Penne Blanche. Left: E Ridge, NE Face, N-NE Edge and N Face

Getting There

BY CAR:
  • 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 Valley of Cogne.

  • After Aymavilles, the Regional Road n° 47 crosses the Villages of Vieyes, Epinel and Crétaz and after about 25 Km. arrives at Cogne (1.534m).


    Dzimillan Hamlet above Cogne Commune, by livioz

    Follow the road signs for Gimillan and Lillaz (1.607m), 2 Kilometers after Cogne Center; 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 (1.787m), 2,1 Kilometers after Cogne-Resort. Usually for both no parking problem.


    Lillaz Tourist Fraction in East of Cogne Municipality, by Silvia Mazzani
BY PLANE:
  • Aeroporto Internazionale "Corrado Gex" Saint Christophe (Aosta).

Approaches




From snowy Invergneux Pass or des Hevergnes (2.905m) to Bec Costazza, Cima Peradzà & (in background) Rosa dei Banchi

Approach A (through Grauson-Doreire Walloon)-: 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 (1.836m). 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 (1.904m), 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 (2.025m), 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 descending: after the Alpi di Grauson Vecchie (2.271m), 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 or Madou, WSW Ridge of the Tersiva. Shortly afterwards one meets the signs indicating the ways on the left to Laures Pass (3.035m) and St. Marcel or coronas Hill (2.916m). On the contrary go straight ahead along the pathway n° 8/TVC, few meters later you can see on the left the Alpeggio Pralognan (2.418m). Continue as far as the semi ruins of the Alpage Ervillières (2.519m). After the pastures follow toward East along the path leading to Doreire Lower Lake (2.731m), board it on the right side and, on tracks, get the Upper Lake (2.844m). On toward South and in about 20' tyou get the Invergneux Pass (2.905m).

"Western" Variant:
wanting to make the full crossing departing from Mont Creya to Penne Blanche Eastern arriving at the Pass of Invergneux, should follow the approach below. As for the crossing itself, however, makes reference to "Topographically Crossing", which is described with the same meticulous detail is against the topographic exposure in the technical report of the route. From Grauson Vieux, or rather, from the junction immediately after entering the grassy plateau (2.298m), turn right (Southeast) and via the route 8C, passing under some benches of rock, and reach over across the torrent which descends from Lake of Money (2.550m), at his emissary to the South of that. Rounding to the right (West) to come up with the lake heading Southwest via a small path not numbered, and the same, gradually turns into a track between steep grassy slopes. Follow it up to about 2.910/20 meters, where it disappears just below the Crest Northwest near the 2.968