OverviewFirst ascent: Giorgio Bertone and Danilo Saettone, first days of August, 1963
The summit (Punta) altitude m 2747 is a well defined rock tower on the South Ridge of Corno Piglimò; its East face is divided into two by an evident pillar. The route follows the edge or the flanks on vertical steps of good cracked rock; because the scarce repetitions there’s little gear in place, so it’s necessary to provide a good choice of protections.
The sequences opened with aid climbing may be freed with difficulty up to 6b.
Difference in level: about 300 meters.
Two guides for a summitThis tower is named in honour of Giacomo Chiara (1916-1945) a famous mountain guide in Alagna Valsesia.
Exponent of a family of climbers with his father and brother, during the ‘30s he joined “Scuola Militare Centrale di Alpinismo” in Aosta, where he started his military service as non-commissioned officer and military mountaineering instructor.
On 2nd and 3rd July, 1939, during a drilling camp in Valsavaranche, he opened a direct route on North Face of Ciarforon (Gran Paradiso) with his brother Enrico and Enrico Cattinelli. A very dangerous aid ice climbing to get over a serac wall: at the epoch was probably one of the most difficult ice routes on the Western Alps; nowadays with the climatical changes is a medium level ascent useful also for climbing courses!
At the beginning of 1941 he was enlisted in battalion “Alpini Monte Cervino” and sent to Greek front for an unnecessary military campaign; he returned home with a silver medal and the grade of aide-de-camp (“aiutante di Battaglia”).
Nevertheless the war he carried out another remarkable first ascent: the direct South-East Ridge on Matterhorn climbing the final 140 meters section of overhangs known as “Strapiombi di Furggen” on 22th September, 1942 with the famous Matterhorn’s mountain guide Luigi Carrel “il Piccolo” and his client Alfredo Perino.
After the armistice with Allied (8th September, 1943) he joined the Valsesian Resistance; thanks to his past good military experience he was promoted vice-commander in “Garibaldi” brigades founded by Cino Moscatelli.
As a fine connoisseur of Monte Rosa’s massif he was entrusted with his colleague Giovanni Antonioli to organize the expatriation across the border ridge to Switzerland of the former English and Australian war prisoners; in 1944 started to get in touch with the Allied Special Operations Executive Swiss sections as a referent of Italian Liberation Committee (“Comitato di Liberazione Nazionale, well known as C.L.N.); with a series of missions, quite often alone, he crossed the Lysjoch by Grenzgletscher to transfer secret documents in Lausanne.
During one of these missions, on 25th March 1945, he disappeared in a crevasse; his dead body was recovered by some Swiss mountain guides 18 years after nearby Cabane Betemps (actually Monte Rosa Hutte).
The circumstances of his death are still very mysterious, also after the following proceedings by Swiss judges and the autopsy: why he moved from Capanna Gnifetti in a foggy and snowy day when the glacier was very dangerous? Another mistery: his comrade wasn’t allowed to join to the mission….
In the same year when this event comed up again and arrived on newspapers, a 21 y.o. Valsesian aspirant-guide Giorgio Bertone and his friend Danilo Saettone discovered this lone wall with its spur.
Giorgio Bertone will become in a few years one of the most appreciated guides on Western Alps. He moved to Courmayeur and started an important climbing activity with his clients and particularly with the French climber René Desmaison, culminated in very difficult new routes like the Direct “Serge Gousseault” on the Grandes Jorasses’ North Face and the “Dihedral Route” (a.k.a. “Via dei Diedri”) on Aiguille Noire de Peuterey; both on Mont Blanc’s group.
Getting ThereYou can reach Rima, small village of Rima San Giuseppe, from the highway A26 “dei Trafori”; get out at Romagnano Sesia-Ghemme toll gate, then follow the National route SP299 through Romagnano Sesia, Borgosesia, Varallo Sesia. When you arrive in Balmuccia near by a little square (bus stop with a rock monument) turn right (direction “Boccioleto-Rimasco”) and follow the little provincial route, somewhere tortuous up to Rimasco. Leave on your right the junction for Carcoforo near the church, cross the village and continue for a straight route to Rima san Giuseppe and finally park near the centre of Rima (about 57 Km from the toll gate).
Huts & ApproachThe route is normally climbed on a day; but if you like there's a possible approach from a comfortable hut.
Rifugio (Hut) Vallé (m 2175); property of "Parco Naturale Alta Valsesia", 25 beds, guarded during summer season (end June-mid September; Tel. +39 328-4424913)
2-2,15 hours from Rima by track way marked (n° 91 and 91a).
From Rifugio (Hut) Vallé, return by a path up to the buildings of Alpe Brusiccia (m 1943); here continue with the track way marked (n° 91) for Colle del Piccolo Altare (“Little Altar Pass”). Near Alpe Lavazzey (m 1943) find a little path that get up the East pillar; at the end continue for grassy and scree slopes and reach the attack point on the lowest section of the spur nearby to two evident runnels that furrow the face (1,15-1,30 hours).
Direct approach to repeat the route in a day: from Rima follow directly the track marked (n° 92) up to Alpe Lavazzey (m 1943) where you can find the approach way from Rifugio Vallé (2,30 hours to attack point).
Route DescriptionGet over a rib under an overhanging step, climb it (IV+), then reach a belay across a slab (III). Continue on a difficult slab towards another overhang (IV), climb it directly (V- with a sequence in A1) then cross another slab up to a large terrace.
Follow the spur along some (obliqui) dihedrals (IV/IV+) and join a summit of a little gendarme. Climb directly a short step, and with a traverse to the right reach a good belay (IV+, III). After another little step go (obliquamente) on the right up to the rib and continue directly to join a little shoulder (IV+, III). Continue directly, then slightly on the left to get over a step up to the bottom of a large dihedral (inclinato) on the left of a (caratteristico) reddish tower (IV, IV+).
Get over on the right a first overhang, then a slab and a second overhang (V, A1), after that climb on its centre a step height 25 meters, up to the rib (IV+, rest point).
Follow the razor edge that ends at the top of the shoulder (III). Climb the final wall slightly on the left by a slab and an overhang (IV); traverse to the right towards another overhang and get directly over it (IV+). Continue for the upper step to join the top of the wall (IV, IV+) and an easy ridge that ends at the summit (3,30-4 hours).
Descent: you can join "double-way" the top of Corno Piglimò by its normal route (South Ridge) going down to the saddle on the North of Punta Giacomo Chiara (about 2 hours to Colle Piglimò).
Otherwise from Punta Giacomo Chiara continue towards Colle Piglimò along the first section of South Ridge on easy rocks (about 45 minutes).
Essential GearRecommended: 1 rope x 60 m, helmet, 1 aider, 5-6 pegs, a complete set of nuts (particularly medium and big size), 10 express clippers, 10 long tape slings to set up the belays.
External LinksComune di Rima San Giuseppe
Ente Gestione Aree protette della Valsesia (ex Parco Naturale Alta Valsesia)