The Punta di Leppe (once named Becca di Leppy) or, as locally known, Punta del Piccolo Vallone (Small hanging-valley summit) is a truncated pyramid made of three small summits. It has four ridges delimiting four sides whose northern one is divided in two parts (N and NW) by a small and low prominent edge toward North. Another ridge, well sketched above the Alpe of Grande Chaux, rises between the hanging valleys named Petit (small - the N one), and Grand (big - the S one), making an hardly distinguishable division between the E and SE sides.
- First on the Summit: Giovanni Bobba and Eliseo Jeantet, (Aug 02th, 1893).
- In winter: Unknown.
- S-SE Arête: Giovanni Bobba and Eliseo Jeantet, (Aug 02th, 1893), in ascent.
- S Slope: Armando Bertucci and Giovanni Battista Bozzino, (Aug 18 th, 1910), in descent.
- W-SW Arête (from the Collar 3084/94m): Agostino Ferrari and B. Glarey, (Sep 15th, 1898), in ascent.
Leppe's Point (3306m) from the middle Walloon of the Laures with Northern view
- W-SW Arête (Integral from Laures Pass): Osvaldo Cardellina, (Jul 12th, 1988), in ascent.
- N-W Slope (Directly in right of N-NW Edge to Lussert's Collar): Giovanni Bobba and Eliseo Jeantet, (Aug 02th, 1893), in descent. * First Replay: Agostino Ferrari and B. Glarey, (Sep 15th, 1898), in descent.
- N-NW Edge (Rocky-snowy Rib between North and Northwest Faces): Arnaldo Bertucci and Giovanni Battista Bozzino, (Aug 18th, 1910), in ascent.
- N Slope (Directly to West Summit, in left of N-NW Edge and through S Couloir of Lussert's Collar): Osvaldo Cardellina, (Jul 12th,1988), in descent.
- N Slope (Directly to Central Summit, in left of N-NW Edge): Osvaldo Cardellina, (Sep 13th,1998), in descent.
- N Slope (Directly to East Summit, in left of N-NW Edge): Osvaldo Cardellina, (Sep 13th,1998), in ascent.
- N-E Arête (to Leppe's Hill): Agostino Ferrari and B. Glarey, (Sep 15th, 1898), in descent.
Routes of North Face between the Northeast (left) and Westsouthwest Crests
Getting ThereBY CAR:
- From Torino, Milano, etc: Motorway A5. Exit in Aosta Ovest. Drive to the near Aymavilles. Follow in the direction of Valle di Cogne. Exit Aosta est For Grand Brissogne and Saint Marcel.
- From Switzerland: through the Grand St. Bernard Tunnel or the homonym Pass). Drive to Aosta, then follow Courmayeur direction on SS.26. Just after Sarre, turn to the left, in the direction of Valle di Cogne. For Grand Brissogne and Saint Marcel, turn to the right.
- From France: through Mont Blanc Tunnel or Petit St. Bernard Pass). It isn't necessary to enter in Motorway A5, you can drive through SS.26 Aosta direction. Before arriving at the Village of Sarre, follow the sign and turn right towards Valle di Cogne.
After Aymavilles, the Regional Road n° 47 crosses the Villages of Vieyes, Epinel and Cretaz and after about 25 Km. arrives at Cogne (1534m).
Follow the road signs for Gimillan and Lillaz; arrived at a round-about, recently built in proximity of the St. Anthony Chapel, go left along the scenic route leading to the Village of Gimillan (1787m), 3 Km. after Cogne. Usually no parking problem. Exit Aosta est For Grand Brissogne and Saint Marcel.
- Aeroporto Internazionale "Corrado Gex" Saint Christophe (Aosta).
Routes with various respective Approaches
Leppe's Point (3306m): from left North-Northwest Edge and Northwest Slope, West Face, South Slope and South-Southeast Crest to Vallonet's Pass; in bottom centrally the Tsesère's Point with in left the rocky couloir to Lussert's Collar and the South Wall of the Lussert's Point
From Gimillan (1787m), along the S-SE Arête: go right starting from the car park of Gimillan: after few meters the indications for Lussert Lakes, St. Marcel Pass, etc. are found.
The pathway is indicated by the yellow circle 9A and by yellow strips marked on stones along the route. The path begins going immediately uphill, then the slope decreases as we go beyond a little Chapel dedicated to the Virgin (1836m).
Soon the path resumes to go up and splits in two, before it begins to penetrate into the Grauson Valley: it's possible to continue following the right one that goes down as far as the Ecloseur Bridge (1904m), but in such a case we must go up again; it's better to follow the left one that, in practice without losing height, arrives at the bridge under the Alpeggio Pila (2025m), cross it and, following the stepped pathway, overcome the rocky bastion beside a fine waterfall (at the left).
At this point the path turns right markedly, entering, high on the torrent, into a small valley; by an alternation of steep and slight slopes, it reaches a panoramic cross, on the edge of a pleasant plateau ( superb view of the far La Grivola!).
The path goes through the meadows, slightly descendind: after the Alpi di Grauson Vecchie (2271m), crosses the torrent on the Pikaciù Bridge and by a steep trail beside the stream, reach the wide upper part of the Grauson Valley.
At the junction before Alpeggio Pralognan (about 2400m), instead of going straight ahead along the pathway n°4 leading to the head of Vallone di Grauson, go left till to Alpeggio Grauson Nuove (2540m), where once there was the burned Tentori Bivouac.
Turning Eastward, pass over a small stream coming down from the small Lago delle Rane (aka known as Coronas Inferiore 2641m) and, on the above spit, remount to the Lago Corona (2702m); a little before it turn o NW on the path of Colle di Saint Marcel o Coronas till you easy get it (2916m). Now, toward NW, flanking some characteristic rocks get the easy Mont Vallonet (3101m) and, after descending to the following small saddle, go on along the easy S-SE ridge, at the beginning along steep terraces then slightly under the edge till the summit (on the edge I° e II°, poor rock quality).
From Saint Marcel, along the S-SE Arête: From Les Druges Alta, locality Pouria (1600m), starting from the small lay-by beyond the dump of the above (abandoned) copper mine, walk along the whole hanging Valley of Saint Marcel and, after passing a small gate, border of the Reserve "Turati", and a short descent, remount passing through Mulac (1937m), boarding on the right the abandoned manganese Mine of Praz Bornaz.
Cross the stream on a bridge (1995m) and walk up (little steeper) get Plan Ruè (2100m).
Once in Layet (2233m) (fine small lake) in a few time you get the hunting House "Turati", (once Casa Barone Peckoz) (2370m). From Grand Chaux, leave on the W side the route of the small valley for the Colle di Leppe and to SW the one of the big valley(leading to the Colle di Vallonet along tracks, more straight but steep and tiring) moving toward South along the Fenêtre Hanging Valley.
Once at the fork (2602m) move toward West (the other path goes to Colle Lavodilec) and crossing along the slopes you get the Colle di Saint Marcel (2916m).
From here follow the route coming from Gimillan.
| |Punta Tersiva
from Punta di Leppe
|Prato di Sant'Orso, Cogne
from Punta di Leppe
from Punta di Leppe
L'Avic a NE della Punta di Leppe (3306m)/Avic from Leppe's Point with Northeast direction
From Grand Brissogne, along the NE Arête: Starting from Grand Brissogne (894m), go along the road till the Alpe di Gremonenche (1000m). From here along the dirt road up to l'Arp (1310m) then, along a path that, bordering the stream (Des Laures), leads to La Vieille (1623m) and to Le Tramail (1951m) (good shelter when weather is bad).
Crossing some small bridges up to the altitude of 2200m, (starting from this point a steep but faster path goes, at right (W), toward the slopes of Becca di Seneva). Better go on toward E forwarding the Becca di Salè (Black Fountains) and climb the last 400 meters on wide slopes till the top of the terraces (2600m) (here a small chapel dedicated to brothers Charrey and Norat dead in 1929 on the East Wall of Monte Emilius).
A short descent leads to the Refuge Ernesto Menabreaz (2542m, private), the refuge has an open free part (with covers) usable as winter room (8 places), on the eastern bank of Lago Inferiore di Laures.
From here toward South getting, after a short step, the Lago Lungo di Laures (2630m), walk all along the western bank on the path that fastly becomes a track turning toward the lower part of the big ridge SW of Grande Roise.
First to S (toward the Punta di Lussert 3221m) then to E along snowfields, bordering on the right the remains of the old Laures Glacier, you can get easily to the Colle di Leppe (3110m).
Along the easy NE ridge (careful with fresh snow or ice) on debris and easy scramble up the secondary Eastern Summit, then the Eastern Summit and the highest Central one (3306m).
| |La Punta di Leppe from, Coronas Pass
| |Vallone di Saint Marcel
from Punta di Leppe
| |Vallone di Grauson
from Punta di Leppe
| |La Punta di Leppe, from Coronas Lake
EquipmentGear suitable for high mountain hiking.
La Punta di Leppe (3306m), versante sud-ovest
- normal route S and SE ridge: E-EE/PD-.
- N-E ridge: EE/F+.
North side of Punta di Leppe and Punta di Lussert
| | Rifugio Ernesto Menabreaz. Photo by Luigi Pegorotto
CampingsRemember that free camping is forbidden (except for emergency reasons, over 2500m, from darkness until dawn).
- Meteo: you can find all the needed informations at the official site of the Valle d'Aosta Region:
Valle d'Aosta Meteo
- WEBCAM on Aosta Valley:
Books and MapsBOOKS:
- "Guida delle Alpi Occidentali", di Giovanni Bobba e Luigi Vaccarone C.A.I. Sezione di Torino Volume II (parte II), 25 Maggio 1896.
- "80 itinerari di Escursionismo Alpinismo e Sci Alpinismo in Valle d'Aosta", di Osvaldo Cardellina, Ed. Musumeci, Giugno 1977 (in Italian); seconda Ed. Luglio 1981; terza Ed. Luglio 1984; (in French), prima Ed. Febbraio 1978; seconda Ed. Marzo 1980.
- "Guida del Monte Emilius", di Osvaldo Cardellina Editore in collaborazione con il Club Alpino Italiano Sezione di Aosta, Dicembre 1978 (in Italian).
- "Rifugi e bivacchi in Valle d'Aosta di Cosimo Zappelli", aggiornata da Pietro Giglio, Musumeci Editore, Luglio 2002.
- "Guida dei Monti d'Italia–Emilius Rosa dei Banchi Parco del Mont Avic", di Giulio Berutto e Lino Fornelli - Club Alpino Italiano/Touring Club Italiano, Marzo 2005 (in Italian).
- "Il Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso", G. Berruto III°, volume 2° Ed. I.G.C. Torino 1981, 2000.
- "Diari Alpinistici" di Osvaldo Cardellina e Indice Generale accompagnato da Schedario Relazioni Ascensioni 1964-2013 (unpublished).
- Kompass "Gran Paradiso Valle d'Aosta Sentieri e Rifugi" Carta Turistica 1:50.000.
- Hapax Luglio 2000 "Les Sentiers" Comunità Montana Monte Emilius 1:25.000.
- Enrico Editore Ivrea-Aosta "Gruppo del Gran Paradiso" 1:50.000.
- I.G.C. Istituto Geografico Centrale Torino "Carta delle Passeggiate ed Escursioni in V.D.A. Conca di Pila-Gressan" 1:20.000.
- L'Escursionista Ed. "La Valle di Cogne" 1:25.000.
- L'Escursionista Ed. "Tour de la Vallée de Cogne Grand Paradis" Carta dei sentieri 1:25.000.
The head of Saint Marcel valley from the shore of Layet lake
Starting Point - AccomodationRifugio Ernesto Menabreaz (2542m, privat), the refuge has an open free part (with covers) usable as winter room (8 places).
- Soccorso Alpino Cogne (SAR) Tel. 3482685406.
- Protezione Civile Valdostana località Aeroporto 7/A Saint Christophe (Ao) Tel. 0165-238222.
- Bollettino Meteo (weather info) Tel. 0165-44113.
- Unità Operativa di Soccorso Sanitario Tel. 118.
AcknowledgementsI am greatly indebted to my friend Osvaldo Cardellina for his fundamental support.