What's New On This Page?
October 18th, 2005 - Initial set up of the page.
Monte Sernio is to Paularo, like Matterhorn is to Zermatt. Well, I know I'm exaggerating, but you'll know what I mean. Even if hardly anyone knows where Paularo lies, this nice town in its sunny Carnic cauldron has his beloved mountain, rising as a picturesque rocky structure south of the town.
Seen from any side, Monte Sernio looks steep and unreachable. If I'm allowed to compare again, it reminds me also on Monte Pelmo. But it does allow normal ascents from two sides, not only from the eastern one. But enough comparaisons. The hard fact is that Monte Sernio is the highest summit in its mountain group, belonging to the central range of Carnic Alps. Standing on the very north of the group, together with Creta Grauzaria, Monte Sernio forms a fascinating range of walls and towers and is so an attractive alpine region. From these two summits strong crests of wild but lower summits go towards south, finally culminating with the beautiful Monte Amariana, above Tolmezzo.
Seen from any side, except perhaps from the south, Monte Sernio has a form of a nice horn. While the NE face is very steep and can be ascended only by a hard climb, the E and W face allow two steep routes, both marked but luckilly unprotected, which don't exceed the UIAA degree II. So the mountain doesn't have an ordinary hiking ascent, it must be climbed.
Towards the East two sharp towers (Torre Nuviernulis, 1881m and Cima dai Gjai, 1916m) connect Monte Sernio with the group of Creta Grauzaria, being itself composed of a bunch of wild rocky towers. This is the world of climbers, but, interestingly, from this northern side through gorges and ravines also the most popular ascents to both summits go. Towards the West Monte Sernio would be falling deep down into the Incarojo valley if just before its summit structure there would not stand a long wall of minor but sharp summits, being on top already covered with pine bush and larches. The most outstanding and also a great viewpoint is the summit of Creta di Mezzodi, 18??m. So if we look on Monte Sernio from the west, we can admire a sharp white horn, rising from behind a chain of picturesque minor summits. The Eastern face of Monte Sernio is also steep and high, on its left side steep rocks and a wild gorge are falling down in the valley between Sernio and Grauzaria. But on the right side of this face, near the edge of the NE wall there can be found the easiest passages to the very summit. The southern side of the mountain is the least known - a steep rocky ridge where no popular ascent goes and no path is crossing them. All ascents from that side sooner or later join the western or eastern variant.
The summit of Monte Sernio was first ascended in 1879 by two young sisters - Minetta and Annina Grassi.
The panorama from Monte Sernio deserves a special chapter. It's not just because we were standing just recently on top of it in a most beautiful day, but because I believe this panorama is great in any ordinary day too. Carnic Alps are spread in groups over a large territory, so standing on a major mountain like Monte Sernio means that views can fly far on all sides. On Monte Sernio we are a bit closer to Julian Alps than to Dolomites. But as the latter are higher, views on both these famous groups are equally attractive. Towards the south and south-west endless peaks of Carnic Alps can be seen. We are just close enough to distinguish them all and remote enough not to have the view obscured by some peak. And on the whole northern horizon the long Carnic Main Range is stretching, showing clearly all summits from Monte Peralba and Hohe Warte / Monte Coglians towards the east, while the western part of the range is much hidden behind the highest part. And to add attractiveness to the northern panorama, above the summits of the Carnic Main Range with glaciers and snow covered main summits of Hohe Tauern are rising. All in all, hundreds of peaks you have climbed are greeting you and hundreds of those you haven't climbed yet, are inviting you to visit them.
Getting ThereFor the broader overview see the main Carnic Alps page and the Southern Carnic Alps GROUP page!
Gangolf Haub's hand-made map of Monte Sernio Group.
Monte Sernio is a bit remote to the touristically developed world. Western approaches start in Incarojo valley, at the end of which Paularo lies. Trailheads are listed in the Routes Overview chapter. The Incarojo valley can be reached from Tolmezzo, the heart of Carnia. The town lies close to the highway Udine - Tarvisio or can be reached from the west over Passo Mauria and by the Tagliamento river valley. In Tolmezzo turn north and after 16 km in Cedarchis deter right into the Incarojo valley.
Eastern approaches start in Val Aupa. The majority of visitors ascend from there Rif. Grauzaria (hut), continue over Foran de la Gjaline saddle and reach the summit of Monte Sernio by the normal east face ascent. From the south you enter Val Aupa at Moggio Udinese, lying close to the highway Udine - Tarvisio. From the north you reach Val Aupa from Pontebba (again by the highway Udine - Tarvisio), from where you drive towards south over the Sella di Cereschiatis (saddle), 1066m.
Two normal routes are ascending the summit, one from the eastern, the other one from the western side. As summit routes actually only final parts can be considered. They both start on two saddles/notches, which can be reached by paths from various directions. For approach paths, see also the huts section.
East Route. It starts on Forca Nuviernulis (notch) and follows the right edge of the eastern face. Marked, but not protected, easy climb, not exceeding UIAA II- difficulty (one detail). 1h 30min.
Approach. The Nuviernulis notch can be approached from Rif. Grauzaria - No. 437, 419 (1h 30min), from Casera del Mestri - No. 419 (1h), or from the south through the valley between Sernio and Grauzaria - No. 419 (4h).
West Route. It starts on Sella della Creta di Mezzodi (saddle) and ascends over the western face. Marked, but not protected, easy climb. Difficulty not known to me, should be around UIAA II. 1h.
Approach. The Sella della Creta di Mezzodi (saddle) can be approached from Casera del Mestri - No. 416 (1h), or from Lovea via Rif. M. Sernio - No. 416, 419 (2h 30min).
So far I couldn't find any data about harder climbing routes in Sernio's N face. Please add information!
When To ClimbMonte Sernio can be climbed any time of the year, but as normal ascents require some rock climbing, dry seasons are most recommended. In winter and early spring also the normal ascent would require a complete winter equipment - ice pick and crampons.
Mountain Huts and CampingRif. Grauzaria, 1250m. Stands in the valley north of Creta Grauzaria. CAI sez. di Moggio Udiense, P.le G. Nais, 33015 Moggio Udinese, tel. 0433-51649. 20 beds. Tel.: 0433-51361. Access: From above Val Aupa (parking place on 727m) by path No. 437 (1h 15min).
Rif. Monte Sernio, 1419m (ex Casera Palasecca). Stands in the side valley, west of the Sernio massif. CAI Tolmezzo, Via C. Battisti 4, 33028 Tolmezzo (UD), tel. 0433/41410. 12 beds. Access: From Lovea by path No. 416 (1h 30min).
Casera del Mestri, 1512m (in 2004 completely renewed). Stands in the valley north of Monte Sernio. Access from Paularo.