OverviewPunta Esmeralda (2620 m), principal elevation of a solid rock band known as Bastionata della Rossa, which is natural extension of the west ridge descending from Pizzo Crampiolo (2750 m) one of the most characteristic elevations above Alpe Devero. Punta Esmeralda is characterized by an imposing wall S consists of a compact plate serpentine cut almost in the center of a large vertical crack.
The main routes of the wall are the historic VIA DEL CREPONE (III AD + 150m), inside to the large vertical crack, the SUPERESMERALDA (TD + VII (6b) 150m), which develops in the area west of the wall plate on the wonderful and demanding compact wall conclusive and the latest CIAO MARCO (D VI (5c+) 130m), which develops in the area immediately east side of Crepone, rock less compact and bit more discontinuous.
ApproachFrom the parking at Alpe Devero move nord to Canton (1638 m) at the end of the where the trail develops on right side of a small river, between meadows and woods until Alpe Campello (1718 m). Continuing to climb in direction north west that we reach Piani della Rossa (2043 m). At a large erratic boulder, take the path that bends to the right in a little detrital valley for slender path traces, leads a grassy terrace at the foot of Bastion, then follow it throughout its development in the direction E to the obvious crack in the wall S of Punta Esmeralda. The attack of the Ciao Marco, recognizable by the spit of the first length is approximately 15 meters east of Crepone.
Route CIAO MARCO - IntroductionThe route CIAO MARCO was opened in September 2008 by Mountaineering and Ski Mountaineering Instructors of the School "Moriggia–Combi e Lanza", in memory of Marco, an instructor tragically died during the ascent at Punta Nordend in June 2006.
The way develops and completes previous attempts to open up this area of the wall, and its relatively modest difficulty are offered to those climbers which are looking for a climbing plaisir in an always fascinating surrounding, the route can be combined with the historic routes of Pizzo Crampiolo both activities can be used for climbing Schools.
The path is equipped with bolts a set friend and stoppers can be used as liked to add on, chain belays double bolted, all on a comfortable terrace.
Route CIAO MARCO – Description1st Pitch – 25 m – 4b
Start on the right smooth edge with a plaque with couple of good athletic steps, enter a dihedral vertical split that goes to the first belay.
2nd Pitch – 30 m – 5a
Follow up the smooth plate in the direction of a characteristic protruding boulder, which you pass on the left with athletic small step taken (the boulder seems fixed, but it is advisable not to trust). then always follow the plate, on a scale and small cracks up to the second belay.
3nd Pitch – 30 m – 5b
Continue on the smooth plaque , similar to the previous length, but more continuous and homogeneous, with taken on small flakes and grooves, with a slight but continuous shift towards the E side of the wall.
4nd Pitch – 25 m – 5a
We return to climb the vertical wall plaque on athletics but still grasping to a clear roof that is exceeded with athletic transition, which leads to the fourth belay.
5nd Pitch – 15 m - 5C+
Follow the small plaque with fissures of rocks without difficulties until the base of the vertical wall, the crux move of the climb. Attaches directly to small and horizontal cracks, with very physical movements. The road does not end on the top of Punta Esmeralda but the culminating point of the wall S.
Route CIAO MARCO – DescentThe path is equipped with rings , and the descent can be done on double rope.
Walking descent is made to walk back to the summit block of Punta Esmeralda and walk across the west ridge to the Passo della rossa, with delicate steps (II-) on unstable rocks and snow. From Passo della Rossa a well-marked path leads to the Piani della Rossa, where he resumed the path of ascent. Advisable to concatenate the route Ciao Marco with some historic streets of Pizzo Crampiolo (Spigolo Ovest, Via delle Placce) starting from a gap of broken rocks between the West ridge of Pizzo Crampiolo and Bastionata (15 min). In this case you make the descent from the summit of Pizzo Crampiolo for using the normal road SSW, frequented route on easy rock (E).
Bibliography- Renato Armelloni, ALPI LEPONTINE. SEMPIONE-FORMAZZA-VIGEZZO, CAI-TCI, Milano, 1986
- Fabrizio Manoni, Paolo Crosa Lenz, ALPINISMO IN VALDOSSOLA, Edizioni Grossi, Domodossola, 2002