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Piano di Cistella Alto
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Piano di Cistella Alto

 
Piano di Cistella Alto

Page Type: Album

Object Title: Piano di Cistella Alto

Image Type(s): Alpine Climbing, Hiking, Informational, Scenery, Panorama

 

Page By: rgg

Created/Edited: Jan 20, 2014 / Apr 3, 2014

Object ID: 883992

Hits: 679 

Page Score: 74.01% - 4 Votes 

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The green paddle points at Bivacco Giovanni Leoni.
Zoom in for a closer view, or click here to view a larger map
Rifugio Pietro Crosta
Rifugio Pietro Crosta
To get ready for the 4000-ers in the Monte Rosa group, I needed to acclimatize. I choose Domodossola as a base, and explored the surrounding mountains a few days at a time. Since it was still early in the season, most of the refuges were still closed. But by asking around, I learned that Rifugio Pietro Crosta was open, and, even better, there was a permanently open shelter high up on the slopes of Monte Cistella, at around 2800m. Perfect for acclimatization!

Having a late start, on the first day I only hiked for a few hours, from the village of San Domenico to Rifugio Pietro Crosta (1751m). At the refuge, I asked about the shelter, and Enrico, the warden, confirmed that it was indeed open. Normally, there was a trail up there. That is, I'm sure that it still existed - but Enrico warned me to be prepared for snow as low as 2000m! The next day I found that there was indeed snow that low in the center of the Vallone di Solcio, the steep-walled valley which was my route, but the trail stayed a bit above it, on the western slopes, and was free of snow until around 2300m. But from there on, it was no longer a hike, it now was an alpine climb.

Bivacco Giovanni Leoni
Bivacco Giovanni Leoni
Going up, the snow was soft enough not to need crampons. As I couldn't see the trail anymore, I just made my own way up. As I approached the Piano di Cistella Alto, I'm sure I was off the normal route. The terrain didn't have enough features to orientate accurately, but I knew where I was, and I had a pretty good idea about the direction I should go to get to the shelter, so I simply scrambled up the steep mixed terrain right below the edge of the high plains. The relatively soft snow made it easy and safe.

Eventually I got to my destination. The weather was deteriorating, so I left my gear and quickly made my way up Monte Cistella. It was too late though. On the summit I had no visibility at all.

Back at the shelter, I couldn't see far, so I settled in. As luck would have it, a few hours later the weather started to improve. Good! I can make it up to Pizzo Diei today after all!

Skies clearing over Monte Cistella
By the time I got back from Pizzo Diei, the skies over Monte Cistella were clearing. If you look closely, you can see the shelter where I'm heading. It's a good thing that visibility has improved - in a whiteout, finding the shelter could take some time!

Images


A lot of snow in Vallone di Solcio

A lot of snow in Vallone di Solcio

Monte Leone from the east

Monte Leone from the east

Monte Cistella (2880m)

Monte Cistella (2880m)

Monte Leone from Pizzo Diei

Monte Leone from Pizzo Diei

Skies clearing over Monte Cistella

Skies clearing over Monte Cistella

The sheer walls NE of Rifugio Pietro Crosta

The sheer walls NE of Rifugio Pietro Crosta

Bivacco Giovanni Leoni

Bivacco Giovanni Leoni

Pizzo Diei is hiding from me

Pizzo Diei is hiding from me

Pizzo Diei from the broad saddle

Pizzo Diei from the broad saddle

Marina and Enrico preparing dinner at Rifugio Pietro Crosta

Marina and Enrico preparing dinner at Rifugio Pietro Crosta

First course of dinner at Rifugio Pietro Crosta

First course of dinner at Rifugio Pietro Crosta

Main course of dinner at Rifugio Pietro Crosta

Main course of dinner at Rifugio Pietro Crosta

Pizzo del Dosso and Pizzo del Balso from the south

Pizzo del Dosso and Pizzo del Balso from the south

Rifugio Pietro Crosta

Rifugio Pietro Crosta

Looking up Vallone di Solcio

Looking up Vallone di Solcio


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