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Il Roc

Il Roc

Il Roc

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Aosta Valley-Piemonte, Italy, Europe

Lat/Lon: 45.51528°N / 7.26887°E

Object Title: Il Roc

Activities: Mountaineering

Elevation: 13209 ft / 4026 m


Page By: Antonio Giani

Created/Edited: Feb 7, 2007 / Nov 24, 2014

Object ID: 267674

Hits: 8377 

Page Score: 94.63%  - 48 Votes 

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- Il Roc - 4.026 m -

Il Roc is an imposing tower rising from the ridge that comes from Gran Paradiso (4.061m), between Colle della Becca di Moncorvé (3.851m) and Finestra di Roc (Window of Roc, 3.998m). This long ridge, which separates Valsavarenche from Valle di Cogne extends to the north of Il Roc, which is the highest point of the Orco-Dora divide; it includes the Gran Paradiso Summit and other important peaks in its group all the way to la Grivola (3.969m). To the east of Il Roc are Cresta Gastaldi (3.894m) and Punta di Ceresole (3.777m); to the south-west is Becca di Moncorvé (3.875m) and to the north is Gran Paradiso. The south face of Il Roc descends steeply to the Noaschetta Glacier, while the north-east face overlooks the vast Tribolazione Glacier.

First Ascents

  • East-South-East Arête: C. Cookson, F. Truffer e L. Jantet, (Aug 22th, 1894).

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).

Route (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 (1830m); 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 moraine'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).

Ghiacciaio della Tribolazione, il Roc <i>(4026m)</i> and Gran Paradiso <i>(4061m)</i>
Ghiacciaio della Tribolazione, il Roc (4.026m) and Gran Paradiso (4.061m)

Route (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). In view of Cresta Gastaldi: in the background il Roc and the "Finestra del Roc". Skirt the large crevasses and continue past Punta di Ceresole, cross a large glacial valley and aim 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). From Colle dell'Ape (3.873m), start the ascent of Il Roc turning right along the east ridge. This stretch is not very difficult, but delicate, especially with plenty of snow or with verglass: Be extra careful. The last 150m are exposed to rock and ice fall and are rather airy. Climb up to a grey slab, which is the crux. (It is possible to avoid the slab to the south, on the Noaschetta side, by following a narrow gully that leads back to the ridge.) Past the slab, continue along the obvious gully that gradually narrows and turns into a chimney; the exit from the chimney is a few meters from the summit. (UIAA II-III, from 1 h to 1h'30 min depending on conditions and on how many parties are on the route. Large groups are not recommended.) There are two descent options. The first option goes back down the Cogne side. Rappel 40m from a small terrace 12 m below the summit to another terrace wide enough to hold about 10 people. From there, a second rappel of 20 to 25 m deposits you on easier terrain. Traverse then right (southeast) to return to the crest of the ridge and continue reversing the ascent route. The second option goes down the Valsavarenche side to Finestra del Roc (3.998m) on rocky steps that are often covered with ice and snow. Past a move of II+, one reaches the Gran Paradiso Glacier (very crevassed in this spot) and connects to the traces leading to Gran Paradiso (4.061m) or to Rifugio Vittorio Emanuele II 2.732m).

Cresta Gastaldi from...


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


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

August 1967: O. Cardellina and R. Faval above the Ghiacciaio della Tribolazione
Renato Faval with the alpine guides Adolfo Giulio Ourlaz  Dulo , Dino Fracasso ...


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).

From Valsavarenche: Rifugio Vittorio Emanuele II (2.730 m).

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.

 Frontal view of the heart <br>  of the Gran Paradiso group
Frontal view of the heart of the Gran Paradiso GROUP, including from left: Cresta Gastaldi, il Roc, Gran Paradiso, Piccolo Paradiso, Becca di Montandaynè. In the foreground the spectacular serouacs of the Ghiacciaio della Tribolazione as they appeared in the faraway August 1985


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 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.
  • "Guida delle Alpi Occidentali", di Giovanni Bobba e Luigi Vaccarone C.A.I. Sezione di Torino Volume II (parte II), 25 Maggio 1896.
  • "Il Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso" di G. Berruto, volume 2° Ed. I.G.C. Torino 1981, 2000.
  • "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.
  • "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).
  • "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 1964-2014 (inediti).
  • Kompass "Gran Paradiso Valle d'Aosta" Sentieri e rifugi-Carta turistica 1:50.000.
  • I.G.C. Istituto Geografico Centrale "Gran Paradiso La Grivola Cogne" Carta 1:25.000.
  • I.G.C. Istituto Geografico Centrale "Il Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso" 1:50.000.
  • I.G.M. Istituto Geografico Militare Foglio 41 "Gran Paradiso-Cogne" 1:25.000.
  • AIAT Cogne "Gran Paradiso" Cogne Aymavilles-Walking map 1:25.000.
  • Enrico Editore Ivrea "Gruppo del Gran Paradiso" 1:50.000.
  • 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.

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 am greatly indebted to my friend Osvaldo Cardellina for the detailed description of the route.
In addition I want to thank Fabio (Brenta) for the translation of the text from Italian and also livioz who helped with the edit of the page.