ApproachFrom the RIF. GNIFETTI (3647 m):
You reach the hut from by the cable-lift of Punta Indren no longer exists to Salati pass with the new Funi-Four.Punta Indren, 3260 m, in 2 h via Rif. Città di Mantova (350 hm), 45 min. from Rif. Mantova, 7 h from Alagna (2420hm). In the lower part, it is a marked way (no. 5). You reach Punta Indern (old cable car station now closed) and then traverse the glacier slowly going up on the Indrenglacier till you reach the outstanding rock band above which the Mantova-hut is situated (yellow-red signs). You climb up the rock steps (fixed ropes). From the hut, you go up over the E-side of the Lysglacier to the N and at the end over rocks to the Gnifettihut.
You reach Punta Indren on the marked hiking way no. 5 from Alagna via Dosso (1357m). You go to the Alpe Oltu (1847m) and furth in the Valle d'Olen up. You go along the Sasso del Diavolo and reach almost Colle d'Olen, wher you turn right to the Vigevano-hut (3 h). You go further along Passo Salati (2936m) to the ridge-crest and traverse Stolemberg. Over the side of the Indrenglacier, you reach the station (1 1/4 h, totally 6 h).
You reach the Gnifetti hut also from Gressoney in 6-7 h (1800hm). The lower part is a marked way (no. 6). Lift to Alpe Gabiet (1270 hm, 4,5 h). In the upper part: easy glacier walk.
You reach Alagna Valsesia by car on the road no. E62 from Brig via Simplonpass. You turn off at Ornavasso (near the Lago Maggiore) and follow the small route to the S via Omegna. Here turn right and drive along the western side of the Lago d. Orta to Borgosésia. In Borgosésia you take the road to the N an reach Alagna via Varallo and Scopello.
Route DescriptionSleep in one of these two refuges (Mantova and Gnifetti) and early in the morning you start your climbing. Follow the glacier to the Lisjoch, Piramide Vincent on your right and Balmenhorn on your left. Don't miss a visit to Balmenhorn on the way. It's clearly visible with an oversized statue of Christ, erected in 1955, and a small hut, Capanna Balmenhorn, from WW1. From the pass keep to the right up to the Grenzgletscher, where the Swiss route joins.
Time request: five hours from ref. Gnifetti, five hours and half from ref. Mantova.
During the weekends there can be a lot of traffic here. Don't stumble on the badly acclimatized weekend climbers lying along the path. There are several routes to the top, depending on what steepness you want. Take your pick, or follow the traditional path. Make sure you start early in the morning, when you can stand on the points of your crampons, in the afternoon you will sink down to your hips at some places.