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Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Parma, Italy, Europe

Lat/Lon: 44.36031°N / 10.10279°E

Object Title: Torricella

County: Emilia-Romagna

Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Ice Climbing, Skiing

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 5669 ft / 1728 m


Page By: AlbertoRampini

Created/Edited: Dec 1, 2013 / Nov 8, 2015

Object ID: 878098

Hits: 1144 

Page Score: 89.01%  - 28 Votes 

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Geographical classification: Appennino Tosco-Emiliano e Tosco-Romagnolo > Appennino Parmense Orientale > Torricella

Torricella m. 1728

Monte Torricella is a twice summit belonging to Appennino Parmense Orientale and located on a secondary branch starting from the main boundary ridge between Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany. The peak overlooks with rocky and steep sides both the basin of Lago Verde towards West and the sky station of Pratospilla towards East. It’s a summit entirely located in Parma province, frequently climbed all round year; an outing is particularly advisable in winter time, in reason to climb the interesting ice-gullies lying on the Western side of the peak. This face overlooks the Lago Verde basin m. 1484 with some rocky spurs, originating some different gullies, rising from the indistinct basal slopes and becoming steeper in their upper part.

Torricella Western gullies
Torricella Western gullies

The most interesting sector of Western face is located on the right and runs between two gullies: a wide slope-gully named Canalone dei Ghiri on the left hand side, rising to a wide saddle, and a direct narrow gully, named Canale dei Merli, on the right hand side. In the middle of the summit ridge the wide obvious saddle separates the true summit, the Southern one, the highest, lying on the right, from the easier conventional summit, the Northern, on the left, where is located the summit cross.

The twin summits of Torricella
The twin summits of Torricella
The Southern summit in wintertime
The Southern summit in wintertime
Parties on Canale Bianco (White Gully)
Parties on Canale Bianco (White Gully)

Getting There

The starting point is Pratospilla m. 1351, a sky station located nearby the great lake named Lagastrello and the village of Rigoso in the Eastern Appennino Parmense.

The nearest town is Parma, a 200.000 inhabitants town, with a small airport offering some domestic flies and only a few international ones. A good choice of international flies is provided by Milano and Bologna International Airports, both situated at a reasonable distance (Milano 110 km., Bologna 90 km.).
Parma is well linked to Milano and Bologna by the A1 motorway (Autostrada del Sole) and to Tuscany by the A15 motorway (Autocisa).

- Access from A1 Motorway (Autostrada del Sole)
If you’re getting there from A1, coming from Bologna or from Milano, take the main Parma exit.

- Access from Parma to Pratospilla: follow the road SP 665 (Massese) towards Langhirano and Pastorello; getting the Pastorello roundabout carry on straightly to Ranzano, Palanzano and Monchio delle Corti, getting to Pratospilla, a sky station nearby the village of Rigoso.

Toward Monte Torricella
Approaching South ridge normal route

Detail of Torricella South summit
Detail of Torricella South summit

Walking approach to South ridge normal route and West face

From Pratospilla m. 1351 follow the trail n. 707 to Lago Ballano; after 10 minutes leave it and take on the left the variant n. 707a, which skirts the Northern slopes of Monte Torricella, getting the Lago Verde. Don't reach the lake, but stay high over the left shore of the lake (summer mark n. 707), traversing under the West slopes of Torricella (1 hour from Pratospilla)

Torricella, approach track
Approaching West side from Lago Verde
A winter storm coming on Torricella
Torricella in background seen from Rocca Pianaccia
Torricella Northern summit in fall
Torricella Northern summit

Routes overview

Torricella is climbed all year round, but especially in wintertime. The main winter routes are the following ones:

Standard routes

- South ridge (Normal route from Lago Verde)

Diffculty: Alpine PD
Vertical gain: 400 m. from Pratospilla, longer develop

The most interesting amongst the two normal routes, but not the easiest. The starting point is located on a saddle on the right hand of West face. The ridge, involving some short easy sections of rock climb, reachs the Southern summit.

Torricella main winter routes
A Canalone dei Ghiri - B Central Gully - C Canale Bianco (White Gully) - D Canale dei Merli - E South ridge

- North ridge (Normal route from Pratospilla)

Diffculty: Alpine F
Vertical gain: 400 m. from Pratospilla

This route has a shorter approach that the previous one and it's an easier climb to the Northern summit (the conventional one); anyhow it's much less interesting that the previous route. This route is starting along the trail 707a, without reaching Lago Verde.

West Face winter gullies

- Canalone dei Ghiri

Difficulty: Alpine PD, 45°
Climbing length: m. 200

A wide slope rather than a gully, the easiest amongst the Western winter routes, located on the left hand side of the face. There is not a compulsive itinerary and it's a good route for beginners. Last meters are a bit steeper. The route leads on a wide saddle between the two summits.

Exit of Torricella Central Gully
Exit of Torricella Central Gully
Torricella Central Gully
Central Gully
Torricella summit ridge and Northern summit cross
Summit ridge and Northern summit

- Central Gully

Diffculty: Alpine AD, 60°
Climbing length: m. 200, 4 pitches
First ascent: Pietro Bianchi, Alberto Rampini, Gianluca Pasquali, Federico Saccani 26-1-2008

An interesting ice-climb with some mixed sections running in the middle of West face. The most technical of the face

- Canale Bianco

Difficulty: Alpine AD-
Climbing length: m. 200

A good classic route, frequently climbed and entirely on ice or snow

- Canale dei Merli

Difficulty: Alpine PD+
Climbing length: m. 200

It's the shorter gully located on the right hand side of W face. Entirely on ice or snow.

Parties on Torricella summit ridge
A climber exiting from Canale Bianco
Parties climbing the White Gully (Canale Bianco) on Torricella
Parties climbing Canale Bianco
Torricella South ridge
South ridge standard route in poor snow condition

Descent: the South ridge is more difficult, but panoramic and if you have climbed one of the W gullies has the advantage to return to the same starting point of the climb
The descent on the North side is shorter and joins the trail n. 707a without returning to the starting point of West face ice-gullies.

Red Tape

There are not particular restrictions in hiking, climbing and mountaineering.
Anyhow, since 1995 the areas of Val Cedra and Val Parma are located under the rules of the Regional Park named Parco dei Cento Laghi (One Hundred Lakes Park).
In late years these areas had been included inside a largest national park, named Parco Nazionale dell’Appenino Tosco-Emiliano (Tosco-Emiliano National Park); wood fires are prohibited as well as free camping and other harmful activity. The whole fauna and flora are protected. Don’t disturb fauna and other mountaineering and hikers’ peacefulness.

When to Climb

On Monte Torricella it’s possible to climb all around the year. Winter ascents require the essential gear as rope, helmet, crampons, ice-axe, ice-anchors.

Ice-climbing schooling on Torricella West face
Ice-climbing schooling on Torricella West face
Coming storm on M. Torricella
A winter storm approaching Torricella
South ridge
South ridge

Climate and Meteo info

Climate is subcontinental, with cold and snowing winters and pleasant summers, dry but not too hot, because of the mitigating influence of the Tyrrenian Sea and the action of the winds.


Where to stay

Capanna Cagnin

Cagnin Shelter almost completely buried by the snow
Capanna Cagnin buried by snow

- Rifugio Pratospilla m. 1351 +390521890194

Rifugio Pratospilla

Capanna Cagnin is a little emergency shelter always open nearby Lago Verde

Guidebooks and maps

Torricella map

    "Arrampicaparma" by Silvia Mazzani - Alberto Rampini, New edition 2011, Pareti e Montagne Edizioni


    “Le valli del Cedra e del Parma (The Cedra and Parma Valleys)” Map 1:25.000 (CAI-Regione Emilia-Romagna)

    “Alto Appennino Parmense Est” Map 1:50.000 (CAI-Regione Emilia-Romagna)

    External Links

    Parco Nazionale Appennino Tosco-Emiliano

    Club Alpino Italiano Sez. di Parma