Ritorno al Sole couloir (Back to the Sun couloir) is a short but beautiful route, placed on the orographic right (E) of Canalone Majori gully, leading on the top of Sperone di Mezzo.
It’s an easy route: the couloir, quite tight, leads to a tiny saddle; from there, with a short traverse and a last slope you can reach the aerial Selletta del Lupo saddle, splitting Cima Sud from Spalla Sud Ovest. From there, following the narrow ridge, you can reach the Selletta del Majori saddle (from where you can go down) and then the Monte Sirente main summit.
The difficulty is PD+: it has a continuous inclination of about 45°/50°, with maybe some spot over.
Best season for climb: generally late winter to early of may, but due to the north exposure, you have to wait for good conditions, especially in the early winter. Also the approaching by Majori gully could be risky for avalanche danger: be careful!
The start is from Fonte dell’Acqua (1150m), placed along the route S.p.” Delle Rocche”. Here there’s a parking : you can reach it by car, following the road from Rovere or Secinaro.
From there, follow the path nr 15, towards Canalone Majori (S):the path is well marked (with letter “M”) and passes through a beautiful beech wood. After you have walked 1h/1h 30min from the parking, you reach the start of Majori gully (1550m), in a area with many trees crushed by the frequent avalanches falling down from this big couloir.
Climb up the gully, until it becomes less steep, at an altitude of about 2000m/2050m: there, on the left (E) you can see Canale del Sole couloir.
The couloir starts steep (about 45°-50°), and narrow.
It raises up, without possibility of mistake, to a little col (about 100/150m). From there, you have to traverse briefly on the opposite side, then climb a less steep slope (40°) to the aerial Selletta del Lupo saddle, on the main ridge of Sperone di Mezzo. From there, follow the beautiful ridge that, in few minutes, leads to the Spalla Sud Ovest summit (2310m, the highest summit of Sperone di Mezzo): a stick setted in a crain shows the highest point. Proceeding through the ridge, in few minutes you reach the Selletta del Majure saddle, from which you can descend in the Majori gully.
If you want, you can reach the Monte Sirente main summit keeping to walking the ridge (about 30/45min)
Helmet, axes, crampons. Rope, slings and cordelettes can be useful depending on the conditions (hard or iced snow)
Weather current conditions:
Rocca di Mezzo
Metemont bulletin for Central Apennines
Monte Sirente south side