OverviewPizzo d'Intermesoli is a real little massif, placed on the west of Corno Grande and Corno Piccolo: it belongs to the Western Part of Gran Sasso d'Italia Range.
Maybe for the closeness to these two great mountains, the more spectacular and high of the whole Apenninic chain, Pizzo d'Intermesoli receives less attention than it deserves: but Pizzo d'Intermesoli is a great mountain, high and severe, where you can still find corner of wilderness.
Its wild bowls, lonely valleys, vertical rock walls, aerial ridges offer opportunities for hikers, rock climbers and skitourers; from its lonely summits you can see wonderful views of Corno Grande and Corno Piccolo massif and sight dozens of other summits of Gran Sasso range and of central Apennines, so a visit to its summits and ridges is adviced for hikers and mountaineers in every season, but don't forget that Pizzo d'Intermesoli isn't an "easy" mountain: the approaches are usually long, there aren't huts or lifts, but I believe that this relative solitude is an attractive of this mountain.
Sure, it's worth a little effort to visit this Apenninic Giant.
Geographical NotesPizzo d'Intermesoli could be considered as a little massif, delimited on west by Venacquaro valley and on east by Maone and Rio Arno valleys. It has two main summits: Vetta Meridionale/Southern summit (2635m), the third summit of Gran Sasso range and the seventh of Apennine Chain, and the Vetta Settentrionale/Northern summit (2483m).
These two summits belong to a long ridge, starting from Sella dei Grilli saddle (2220m) and ending above the little town of Intermèsoli.
Other summits are Picco Pio XI peak (2282m) and Picco dei Caprai peak (1947m), placed on east of Vetta Settentrionale and separated from it by the Conca del Sambuco bowl.
Vetta Meridionale, in addition to be the highest summit, is also the more interesting for mountaineers and rock climbers: in fact, on its eastern side, five pillars of excellent limestone rock offer dozens of routes, up to VIII UIAA grade
Getting ThereThe best accesses to Pizzo d'Intermesoli are:
- Campo Imperatore Hotel: you can reach it by car from L'Aquila or Teramo (easily accessible cities) taking A24 highway until the station of Assergi. Then exit from highway and take the route to Fonte Cerreto: from there you can reach Campo Imperatore Hotel by cable way or by car proceeding along the S.S. 17bis route following indications to "Albergo Campo Imperatore" (about 28km from highway station of Assergi)
- Pietracamela/Prati di Tivo: you can reach it by car from L’Aquila or Teramo (easily accessible cities) taking A24 highway until the station of S.Gabriele-Colledara. Then exit from highway and take the route ss491 to Montorio al Vomano. When you reach Montorio, take the route ss80 until you reach the crossing to Pietracamela and Prati di Tivo: follow the indication and you reach it (about 70 Km from L’Aquila, 30 from Teramo)
Fonte Cerreto, Pietracamela and Prati di Tivo are also linked to L'Aquila and Teramo with a bus service: ARPA
Routes OverviewHiking routes
Normal route to Vetta Meridionale (2635m):
- From Campo Imperatore Hotel - EE, 900m of elevation gain, 3h
- From Prati di Tivo - EE, 1430m of elevation gain, 4h 30min
Normal route to Vetta Settentrionale (2483m):
- From Pietracamela - E+, 1450m of elevation gain, 6h
There are more than 50 routes climbing the rock pillars on the eastern side of Vetta Meridionale: I propose a selection of four routes of different engagement (source: L. Grazzini, P. Abbate, Gran Sasso d'Italia, Cai-TCI)
- II Pillar east side: Via del lancio del martello, 360m, IV
- II Pillar north-east side: Worm's wall, 200m, V
- IV Pillar north-east side: Lòrien, 350m, VI
- II Pillar south face: Di Federico-De Luca, 400m, VII
Classic ski-touring routes are:
- the traverse from Campo Imperatore to Prati di Tivo passing by Pizzo Intermesoli west couloir (BSA, about 1400m of downhill)
- the tour by Prati di Tivo, Val Maone, Vetta Meridionale, Conca del Sambuco bowl (BSA, about 1400m of downhill)
- the tour by Valle Venacquaro, West face, Vetta meridionale (OSA, about 1600m of downhill)
More info there
When to ClimbThe best season is summer for hikers and climbers, but also autumn and spring can be good.
In winter and spring Pizzo Intermesoli offers nice ascents and traverses for skitourers
AccomodationsFree camping is not allowed in Gran Sasso National Park. To camping you need of a permit granted by the Park Office.
In Prati di Tivo there are many Hotels (quite expensive) and the cheaper hostel Rifugio delle Guide.
In Campo Imperatore there's an hostel and the Campo Imperatore Hotel (expensive)
Red TapePizzo d'Intermesoli is located within Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park: no fees are dued, no access permits are required, but free camping is not allowed (you need a special permit) and you have to respect the rules for environment protection in force in the Park..
360° Panorama from the summit
Detailed description of the view:
From the left, foreground: the low and wooded ridge is Cima Alta (1715m) and Arapietra (1896m); then Corno Piccolo (2655m) with its three Spalle (The Shoulders: 2110m, 2385m, 2585m) and the jagged South ridge; separated from it by Sella dei Due Corni saddle (2547m) you can see Corno Grande (90°): on the left, the sharper summit is Vetta Orientale (2903m), on the right, the higher, is Vetta Occidentale (2912m); from Vetta Occidentale comes down, with beautiful cliffs of rock, Primo Scrimone ridge (2415m); the little elevation on the right of Corno Grande is Monte Aquila (2495m); at the feet of Corno grande and Monte Aquila, there's the Campo Pericoli bowl; on the right of Monte Aquila, the ridge continues with Cresta della Portella (2385m); further the south ridge of Intermesoli (180°,in foreground, with the people), hiding Pizzo Cefalone, you can see the ridge of Malecoste and Cima Malecoste (2444m); at the feet of Malecoste, there's Venacquaro bowls; beyond Cima Malecoste, there are two ridges: along the farest, in shadow, there are Pizzo di Camarda (2332m), Monte Ienca (2208m), Monte San Franco (2132); the other ridge, sunny, keeps going with three saddles: Forchetta della Falasca (2187m), Sella venacquaro (2236m), Sella di Monte Corvo (2305m, 270°); on the right of Sella di Monte Corvo, the mighty eastern summit of Monte Corvo (2623m); on the right of Monte Corvo, the deep Venacquaro Valley, then the Pizzo d'Intermesoli Vetta Settentrionale/Northern summit (2483m, almost 360°).
From the left, background: Teramo hills and Adriatic sea; Majella range (Monte Amaro 2790m, 130°); Velino range (Monte Velino, 2486m, 185°); close to Velino range, but farer, Monti Carseolani range (?) (Monte Midia, 1803m); Monti del Cicolano range (Monte Nuria, 1888m); Monti Reatini range (Terminillo, 2216m, 270°); Campotosto lake; Monti della Laga range (Monte Gorzano, 2458m); merged with monti della Laga, but beyond them, there's Sibillini range (Monte Vettore, 2476m, almost 360°)
Books, guides, maps, external links
L. Grazzini, P. Abbate, “Gran Sasso d’Italia”, Cai-Tci, 1992
S. Ardito, “A piedi sul Gran Sasso”, Iter, 1992
S. Ardito, “A Piedi in Abruzzo” vol. 1, Iter, 1996
A. Alesi, M. Calibani, A. Palermi, “Gran Sasso – Le più belle escursioni”, SER, 1996
ALP monografie “Gran Sasso d’Italia”, n. 167, marzo 1999
Best map is “Gran Sasso d’Italia. La carta dei sentieri”, edited by Cai-L’Aquila.
The excellent site of Guillaume Dargaud (in english and french), with many useful informations for climbers and ski-tourers
Local Mountain Guides:
Collegio Regionale Guide alpine Abruzzo
Scuola di Montagna Mountain Guides
ILMETEO.IT - forescast for PIETRACAMELA
3B METEO - forecast for PRATI DI TIVO
Weather and snow condition in Central Appennines - Bollettino Meteonivologico Meteomont