After on Forcella di Riofreddo / Skrbina Mrzle vode the highest, narrow part of Jof Fuart / Vis group ends, a strong mountain crest continues towards the east. It first culminates on the beautiful summit of Cima del Vallone / Trbiska Krniska spica, 2368m, after which it lowers considerably. Vetta Bella / Lepa glava is in the eastern part of this ridge the highest elevation. It is a beautiful, strong peak, and a very valuable goal. Like all mountains above Rio Bianco /Beli potok valley and Valle di Riofreddo / Dolina Mrzle vode, also Vetta Bella / Lepa glava is not just easy for ascending, but nevertheless, the easiest of all of them. So no wonder that it is often visited. Actually it is the only summit above the upper part of these two valleys which can be reached by a marked path.
The summit was first ascended by locals far before the first climbers.
In the main crest, just west of Vetta Bella / Lepa glava, there's a sharp tower, named Pan di Zucchero, 1984m. Between the two summits there is the sharp notch, Forca di Riobianco, 1860 m, over which the marked and protected route Sentiero Carlo Puppis connects the valleys of Rio Bianco / Beli potok and Valle di Riofreddo / Dolina Mrzle vode. Towards the south a steep and soft scree field falls down towards Rio Bianco /Beli potok. Above this notch the western, south-western and southern wall of Vetta Bella / Lepa glava is steep and rocky. Here all the today used rock climbs go.
While the southern wall is only some 250 meters high, the northern wall has some 500 meters. But it is far less compact, so not appropriate for climbing. It is diagonally cut by a broad, slanted ramp, which the already mentioned Sentiero Carlo Puppis uses.
The eastern slope of Vetta Bella / Lepa glava is not so steep. It is mostly grassy and overgrown with dwarf pine bushes, but also on many places intermitted with rocky sections. Just before the notch between Vetta Bella / Lepa glava and its eastern neighbour Cima delle Cenge / Visoka polica, in the ridge of Vetta Bella two distinct rock towers stand (Ometti, Forcella d'Ometti). They are a valuable orientation landmark, as the normal approach over the eastern slope goes just left of them.
Summit PanoramaAs the summit rises in the middle of a very wild and beautiful mountain area, also views from it are splendid. Towards the west there's the wild main crest towards Jof Fuart / Vis, in which most of the main summits are seen. On the other side of Valle di Riobianco Cime delle Rondini / Prednje Lastovice are especially picturesque. More remote is Cima del Cacciatore / Kamniti Lovec, but we see it in its full size. Towards the east we can admire the wall of Cima delle Cenge / Visoka polica and its Torre, more towards the right there are Vette Scabre. And finally towards the south-west the sharp and high tower of Cima Alta di Riobianco / Visoka Bela spica rises. In the distance many other summits can of course be also distinguished.
For a broader overview see the pages of Vis and Montaz group and of Julian Alps!
Naturally, the majority of visitors come on top from Rio Bianco /Beli potok valley. The trailhead is on the road which connects Tarvisio/Trbiz with Sella Nevea / Nevejsko sedlo. Close to the bridge over Rio Bianco there are a few parking places and some 50 meters further there is a big ('endless') parking place on the screes of Rio del Lago, just below the road.
The other option is much longer. We can start the tour also in Riofreddo village (on the main road between Tarvisio/Trbiz and Cave del Predil / Rabelj) and hike up through the long Riofreddo valley, cross Forca di Riobianco notch and descend to Rif. Brunner (or ascend Vetta Bella / Lepa glava) by one of climbing routes which start below the notch.
Normal AscentWe can reach the top from Rif. Brunner in some 2 hours (617m). The path is marked (only red dots, but enough of them), but is steep and requires also some scrambling and on one place also easy climbing (UIAA I). Not the most pleasant path, but at the end worth of the reward. It is strange that on recent maps this route is not drawn. On a very old map of Western Julian Alps (1 : 50000) it's there.
Rock ClimbsThe south wall is characterised by several parallel ramps. The routes over it are not among the most beautiful, but as they are short and close to Rif. Brunner, they are still quite often ascended.
> Middle Ramp. (H. Klug, 1916, II, III+, 250m, 2h). The most direct route over the S wall.
> East Ramp. (J. Klauer, H. Stagl, 1916, II, III-, 250m, 1.30h). The easiest route in the S wall, rock not good. Still most often climbed.
> South Chimney. (H. Klug, H. Stagl, 1916, III, IV-, 150m, 2h). The most beautiful route in Vetta Bella / Lepa glava.
Other routes are less interesting. One goes by the open wall right of the South Chimney (III, IV), the route by the left (W) ramp has a very bad rock (IV-). The western wall is easier and offers several passages.
Red TapeNo limitations.
Huts and Camping
> Rif. Brunner, 1432 m. As Andrej says - 'the picturesque old hunting hut of the King Frederick of Saxony should be the best starting place, but it seems to be destined to destruction (we hope it wouldn't happen) and so barely usable for lodging'. In summer 2007 it was opened, free to use.
> In the upper part of Rio Bianco /Beli potok valley, on 1950m, there are the two bivouacs Gorizia. But they are too high for Vetta Bella / Lepa glava ascent.