OverviewPizzo d'Intermesoli is the second highest summit of the Gran Sasso group that can be toured on skis. It has two classic ski-mountaineering descents, one each on the west and east sides. Approaches and returns are long, but you will be rewarded by the beautiful slopes, the wilderness, and the isolation you will find in this part of the group.
The cableway from Fonte Cerreto to Campo Imperatore runs regularly during in the skiing season, the first run in the morning is at 8:30 Mon-Fri, or 8:00 Sat-Sun. For information check www.ilgransasso.it.
Ascent RoutesThe South summit of Pizzo d'Intermesoli (2635m) is usually climbed from Sella dei Grilli (2220m) and the south side of the moutain. Sella dei Grilli is the lower point on the ridge connecting Pizzo d'Intermesoli and Pizzo Cefalone and can be reached from Prati di Tivo (north) or from Campo Imperatore (south).
From the north side, via Val Maone, 1250m:
From Prati di Tivo take the dirt road at the west end of the parking area. Follow this road west into the beech wood and, after a clearing, reach a saddle overlooking Val Maone. Descend into Val Maone traversing steep slopes at the base of Corno Piccolo. This section or the road is exposed to avalanches, and is usually covered with their debris. In general the whole of Val Maone is under avalanches threat from slopes invisible from the valley floor, do not use this route before the slopes have released their load. Once at the bottom of Val Maone follow the road (S) until it ends at about 1600m (Sorgenti di Rio Arno). Ascend the valley until it widens at about 1900m, the gentle slopes of Campo Pericoli open to your left, and a small secondary valley to your right leads to Sella dei Grilli. Turn right (W) and zig-zag your way up to reach the saddle (3h30min). The slope leading to Sella dei Grilli should be travelled only with safe and stable snow conditions. From the saddle climb the south side of Pizzo d'Intermesoli directly, skinning up with tight turns until it is practical, then on foot. Pass a band of rocks by a narrow and steep gully and reach the summit 2635m by a final easy slope (1h from Sella dei Grilli). 4h30min from Prati di Tivo.
From the south side, via Campo Pericoli, 1000m:
From Fonte Cerreto take the cableway to Campo Imperatore 2130m (the road to Campo Imperatore is always closed in the skiing season). Climb the slope behind the arrival station (NW) to Rifugio Duca degli Abruzzi 2388m. From the hut there are several options to descend into Campo Pericoli:
Descend the slopes of Campo Pericoli toward Val Maone (W). At about 1900m you reach a flat area and the small valley leading to Sella dei Grilli should be just in front of you. Zig-zag your way up to reach the saddle (2h30min-3h). The slope leading to Sella dei Grilli should be travelled only with safe and stable snow conditions. From the saddle climb the south side of Pizzo d'Intermesoli directly, skinning up with tight turns until it is practical, then on foot. Pass a band of rocks by a narrow and steep gully and reach the summit 2635m by a final easy slope (1h from Sella dei Grilli). 4h from Campo Imperatore.
Descent RoutesFrom the summit there are two possible descents, one on the west side and one on the east side.
West side (BSA):
This face is often scoured by slab avalanches funneled by the final couloir, descend it only with stable snow. Due to its long and sustained slope this descent can be dangerous if iced.
East side, Conca del Sambuco (BSA):
North summit TraverseThe North summit of Pizzo d'Intermesoli has two fine couloirs on its north side that can be skied (OSA).
From Pietracamela find your way to the top of the village. Follow the dirt road leading into Val Maone, take the first branch right, cross the stream and follow a marked trail toward Prati Cantiere, a wide clearing between Val Maone and Valle Venaquaro. Now go S and stay close to the small hill to your left (Colle dell`Asino) until your reach a small clearing at about 1450m. Stay to the left side of this clearing (toward the wide ridge-line) and exit the wood at about 1550m. Climb the small valley W of Picco dei Caprai and, when the slope eases, turn W toward the NE ridge of Pizzo d'Intermesoli. Gain the ridge by the easiest slope and follow the ridge to the North summit. Before the summit you reach a saddle, overlooking (right) the couloir to follow for the descent.
From the North summit return shortly following the NE ridge and descend into the couloir as soon as you see a skiable slope to your left (steep), or follow the ridge to the saddle and enter the couloir from here (easier). Follow the wide couloir (about 30o) ending on wide open slopes (Brecciarone). In late spring the snow usually ends before you reach the forest. Enter the forest and reach the dirt road leading to Intermesoli. The road is in bad condition and can be driven only on four-wheel drive, furthermore a permission from the Park is required. To avoid a long walk it is a good idea to arrange a pick-up. Shuttle service is provided by Ristoro Venaquaro +39-0861-95518, offering also rooms and restaurant in Intermesoli.
Books & Maps
Essential GearSki-mountaneering gear, ice axe and crampons.
External LinksSnow and Avalanche bulletin
Meteo Campo Imperatore