OverviewGeographical classification: Alps - Eastern part > Rhaetian Alps > Adamello Group > Carè Alto
Carè Alto 3462 m
Carè Alto is a great mountain, complex and varied, belonging to the Adamello and situated on the Southern edge of Vedretta (meaning "glacier") di Lares. It's a secluded and imposing peak, the highest one of Adamello Southern Sector, so that it's easy to recognize and identified its shape from a lot of kilometers of distance. Carè Alto is a peak highly coveted by mountaineers in reason of its remarkable importance, the great historical value and the spectacular views overlooking the Val di Fumo (South) and Lares glacier (North).
The rock is a particular kind of granite called Tonalite and the mountain terrain is highly complex: Carè Alto presents five major ridges, heading NE, E, SE, SW and NW. Amongst these five ridges the only one to originate from the summit is the NW ridge, while the remaining four branch from the Northern fore-summit (N and E ridges) and the point 3361 or South fore-summit (SE and SW ridges). East and North ridges enclose the Vedretta di Niscli and Vedretta di Lares, identifying in the icy Northern wall, a short but steep wall, one of the classic routes on Carè Alto, currently inadvisable due to the retreat of the ice. The conditions of its sides can change from year to year depending from snow. Also the Normal route on NW ridge shows a significant withdrawal of the snow, in fact the route in summer presents short stretches of rock climbing.
There are several routes to get the summit on the peak, but amongst these there are few routes still currently climbed, being the most popular the ones departing from Rifugio Carè Alto.
Getting ThereRoad access to Val Rendena
Coming from Autobrennero exit Trento and take the road to Riva del Garda, reaching the village Le Sarche. Here continue straight toward Tione di Trento.
Road approach to Rifugio Carè Alto - In Tione turn to right and take the SS 239 Val Rendena route towards Pinzolo and Madonna di Campiglio, reaching Villa Rendena, Vigo Rendena, Pelugo and Borzago. In Borzago leave the main road 239 and take on the left the road entering Val di Borzago (signposts Rifugio Carè Alto), reaching the small hamlet of Case di Fe 1087 m, then Pian della Sega (7 km. from Borzago), where you must park the car (wide parking lot). A gravel road continues up for a few kilometers, but it’s close to private cars.
A bit of historyThe first summiters of Carè Alto were H.F. Montgomery and S. Taylor starting from Valle di Borzago, through Sella di Niscli and North-West Ridge, the same route of the current Normal route. The two British climbers were successful in the year 1865, August,8th, after they had attempted the climb to the summit starting from the Val di Fumo some days before the first ascent.
As known, Adamello group was one of the main alpine groups to be strongly affected by the WWI between the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Kingdom of Italy, as the border between the two states was running right along this chain at that time.
Although the summit of Carè Alto was not directly affected by the fighting - as the nearby Corno di Cavento - it was garrisoned by the Austro-Hungarians and served with a cable car. On Carè Alto east ridge, between the Refuge Carè Alto and the summit, the current Bocchetta del Cannone, was installed a cannon Skoda, now restored on its original location.
The whole Carè Alto area had a great strategic importance for the Austrians, who guarded also the ridge Monte Fumo - Lobbia Alta and the ridge Corno di Cavento - Crozzon di Folgarida. The Carè Alto hut was equipped as a military citadel.
The remains of these war-works are still visible throughout the area.
Carè Alto main routes- Normal Route on NW ridge
Summit altitude: m 3462
Difficulty: Alpine PD
Difference in level: 1000 m from Rif. Carè Alto
Hut: Rifugio Carè Alto m 2459
Starting point: Valle di Borzago (Val Rendena)
The ascent from this side (route of the first summiters), doesn't oppose particularly difficult, but it requires glacier good practice and knowledge of rope work (possible downhill rappelling).
From Rifugio Carè Alto - Dante Ongari take the path n. 215 starting just behind the building, descending the rock staircase of “Bus del Gat”, then starting to cross the basin below Vedretta di Niscli. Soon cross a stream (Rio Bedù) along a cable bridge and continue to rise up the valley along the moraine reaching Sasso Bagnato, where there is a junction. The main trail goes right to Passo Altar, we keep the left and continue up a moraine ridge reaching Pozzoni rocky band overlooking the small lakes and the saddle named Sella di Niscli 2912 m. (signposts) to the right of Sass de la Stria.
From the saddle cross uphill the Vedretta di Lares, at first in the West direction, then in the South direction, heading towards the North side of Carè Alto. Once getting the base of the mountain there are two possibilities:
- climb directly a brief steep icy or snowy slope located immediately to the left of the North West ridge and reach the NW ridge in its central section, if the ice conditions are good
- in full summer the ice condition is often bad, so it's better to climb the ridge on the right, alternating snowy ridges and rock steps, cross the North fore-summit and after a ridge and a notch reach the summit cross.
Getting (marked) to the foot of the NW ridge (marks) the itinerary rises slightly diagonally along the ramps up to an anchor just below the ridge (an anchor is also present in the lower part of the initial ramp, visible depending on snow). Continuing along as much as possible the edge of the ridge (marked) to the summit.
The descent follows the same route. In the lower part it's possibile to do one or two abseils from the two fixed anchors to get to the Vedretta di Lares.
- East Ridge aka Cerana Ridge AD-, UIAA II-III, 350 m
From Rifugio Carè Alto reach Bocchetta del Cannone 2830 m; continue along moraines and snow-fields in the direction of Conca glacier. Head towards the ridge and climb a short rock wall engraved by a slanting crack (UIAA III, 30 m) that allows you to gain the summit of the ridge. Now follow the ridge, alternating rock steps (UIAA II) and snow or icy stretch, reaching the WWI remains and heading left reaching the summit cross.
There is shown in correspondence to the crest of a wall crossed by an oblique slit (30 m, grade III) that leads to the crest; then follows this long (passages of II degree, ice) up to the summit cross.
No fees no permits needed and no particular restriction in climbing and hiking. Carè Alto is situated within Adamello-Brenta Natural Park, the largest protected area in Trentino, established in 1967. It's located in Western Trentino and with its 620.51 square kilometers includes the mountain groups of Adamello, Presanella and Brenta Dolomites, separated by Val Rendena.
Camping is not allowed and fires are strictly forbidden.
The parking lot in the two Valleys (Fumo and Borzago) is free. In winter time the roads entering Val di Fumo and Val di Borzago may be closed due to snow cover.
Huts-Rifugio Carè Alto-Dante Ongari 2459 m
Situation: East ridge of Carè Alto, on the side of Val Conca (Val di Borzago)
Open: from June 20th to September 20th
Size: 82 persons
Winter-shelter: 8 persons
Owner: SAT Trento
Guardian: Marco Bosetti and family
Refuge's phone: +39 348 4359097 - +39 340 2943731
Walking approach - From the parking lot Pian della Sega in Val di Borzago (m 1250) take the old mule track through the woods and follow it until the alp Coel di Pelugo 1440 m. (30 minutes) from where it starts the cable car to the refuge. Take the path SAT 213 rising along steep turns, reach a tibetan bridge on a stream (rio Bedù di Pelugo), cross it and rise to the plateau above, traverse left and walk up the large rocky step, getting to the refuge (3,30 hours from Pian della Sega, difference in level 1200 m).
Rifugio Val di Fumo
When To ClimbThe best period is the beginning of Summer, not too late (so only June), but it depends on snow condition.
To climb the south side is better wait the complete melting of the snow (August).
For the normal route (also by skis) there aren’t particular snow requirements.
Guidebooks and maps
"Adamello Vol. I - Pericle Sacchi Collana Guide dei Monti d'Italia CAI-TCI
"Adamello - Presanella" - Tabacco scala 1:25000 "Adamello, Val di Fumo, Val di Genova" - Kompass n. 638 "Adamello - Presanella" - 4LAND Alpine Cartography n. 138 1:25.000