Torre Castello m. 2448
Probably the finest peak of Castello-Provenzale Group, Torre Castello is an elegant, slim and spectacular reddish and yellow obelisk rising between Forcella Castello and Forcella Provenzale; starting from North, this is the second one of the four towers which are lined up along N-S direction and run towards S for about 1400 mt. from Greguri Pass in upper Maira Valley. Nearly fastened to Rocca Castello, from which it’s divided by Forcella Castello (Castello Saddle) mt. 2420, Torre Castello is also separate from Punta Figari - the third peak - by Forcella Provenzale (Provenzale Saddle) mt. 2290, another narrow rocky saddle.
Torre Castello has a characteristic wide and cut off summit and shows superb shapes from everywhere one is looking at, but especially if seen from South side, for instance from Croce Provenzale summit; its South, East and West side are steep and compact faces of high-quality orange and grey quartzite – the same we can find on Rocca Castello - full of cracks suited for use natural protections. There are several classic and extreme routes in all faces; current routes are mainly trad climbing, while two French style routes had been realized on East Face (Traversèe de la Divine Providence and Brunilde Crack).
From Dronero mt. 622, a small town 20 km. from Cuneo, which is the main town in this area, follow SS 22 rising along Maira Valley - or Macra Valley - 45 km. long - where Maira Rivers runs, going down towards the plain and Po River. The road reachs San Damiano Macra 743 mt., Ponte Marmora mt. 944, Acceglio mt. 1220, Ponte Maira mt. 1404, Saretto mt. 1533 and Chiappera mt. 1614, the last inhabited place, a charming mountain village, typical of this Provencal valley, situated below Croce Provenzale.
Faces and Routes overview
A steep magnificent 230 mt. high face, overlooking upper Greguri Valley.
Approach: from Chiappera mt. 1614 follow the road to Soutan Bridge; at a cross-road turn to right following the road towards Maurin Valley. After the second hairpins you’re reaching a pull-out with a little source on the right-hand side of the road. Parking. From the parking follow the trail to Greguri Pass (GTA and T12 path), going inside Gregury Valley and leading first to Rocca Provenzale, then to Punta Figari and Torre Castello (1 hour from the parking).
EAST FACE ROUTES (from right to left):
- Genovesi East Route TD sup., V+, A3, 230 mt.
- Torinesi East Route TD sup., VI-, A2, 230 mt.
- Traversèe de la Divine Providence TD sup., 250 mt.
- Brunilde Crack D, IV, V, 100 mt.
Steep and regular rectangular face overhanging the great West middle ledge.
Approach: the same as for Rocca Castello West Face: from Chiappera follow the road to Soutan Bridge. At a cross-road turn to right and follow the road towards Maurin Valley, leading to Grange Collet mt. 2006. Parking. From here follow T14 path reaching Greguri Pass (1 hour from Grange Collet). From the pass go down, skirting below Rocca Castello North Ridge and reaching Rocca Castello West Face Left Route, the easier way to reach the ledge cutting West Face, where both Rocca Castello and Torre Castello Western climbing routes start.
WEST FACE ROUTES (from right to left)
- SW Ridge – Fornelli RouteTD inf., VI, 200 mt.
- Integral SW Ridge (Via il Menisco)TD, VI+, A0, 180 mt..
- Il Vecchio e il BambinoTD, VI+, A0, 180 mt.
- Castiglioni West D sup., V+, 180 mt.
- Direttissima RibaldoneTD, V+, 180 mt.
- FreezerTD sup., VII, 160 mt.
- NW RidgeD sup., V, 150 mt.
Another spectacular red and yellow steep wall engraved by some cracks and delimitated by two steep and sharp edges.
Approach: South Face routes are approached from Forcella Provenzale (see).
SOUTH FACE ROUTES (from right to left)
- SE Ridge – Castiglioni-Bramani RouteTD inf., V, 160 mt. + 70 mt.
- Mettete dei fiori nei vostri cannoniTD, VII, 200 mt. + 70 mt.
- Genovesi South Route TD, VII, 200 mt. + 70 mt.
- Il Sole del Tramonto ED inf., VII, 200 mt. + 70 mt.
- NE Ridge (Gedda Route) D inf., IV+, 28 mt. from Castello Saddle - First summiters route
***ROUTES TO FORCELLA PROVENZALE
Forcella Provenzale is a narrow rocky saddle between Torre Castello on the right and Punta Figari on the left.
- East side (Bonacossa-Gervasutti-Alberto I dei Belgi)AD, IV
- West Side PD
From the Northern edge of the summit a 25 mt. abseil leads to Forcella Castello, a notch between Torre and Rocca Castello. From here same descent as from Rocca Castello: climb up towards N to reach the upper Rocca Castello ledge and go along the ledge reaching its Northern edge. A short abseil leads to a rocky gully. From here a sequence of abseils leads to the bottom of the gully. Traverse towards left (North) – iron fixed rope. Last 50 m. abseil leads to the bottom.
First ascent: Casimir de Rahm and Rivier in 1913 by throwing the rope from the summit of Rocca Castello.
First trad ascent: Virgilio Gedda alone in 1930
When to climbBest season for climbing goes from May to middle October.
Camping and huts“Campo Base Hut” – Chiappera mail to firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +39 334 8416041
RIFUGIO CAMPO BASE
“Camping Senza Frontiere” – A short distance after the village of Chiappera Phone: +39 0171 99048 Mobil: +39 348 7391356
“Camping Lou Dahu” in Borgata Marmora
Agriturismo, Hotels and Huts in Acceglio, Saretto, Frere
Guidebooks and maps
“Monte Viso – Alpi Cozie Meridionali” by Michelangelo Bruno – Guide dei Monti d’Italia CAI-TCI
“Il Gruppo Castello-Provenzale” For sale at Campo Base Hut