East of Gran San Bernardo pass, the big main ridge of Pennine Alps from Mont Velan to Dent d'Herens has a series of very fine summits.
From west to east: Mont Avril
- Mont Gelè
- Becca Rayette
(Bec d'Epicoun) - Grand Becca Blanchen - Mont Braoulè - Tète Blanche.
Its italian boundary is the Valpelline while on swiss side 3 main valleys come down : Val d'Entremont, Val de Bagnes and Val d'Herens.
This summit is the southern limit of the Val de Bagnes.
What to say about this summit ?
It looks very fine from north : someone says its northern ridge is like Biancograt to Bernina
From south valley (Valpelline) can't be distinguished unless you get the highest slopes of the chain that closes Valpelline at south.
It is the highest summit of the Rayette subgroup so, from its summit you can amuse one of the finest panoramas of Alpi Pennine staring at the Mont Velan, the Gran Combin, Dent d'Herens and Matterhorn and the big glaciers of Valais
Two different ways to get it :
from Switzerland (north), along the route from Martigny reach Sembrancher where a route follows the Val de Bagnes till Mauvoisin (1840 m) near a big dike.
By a white narrow route (some danger, not always open) you can reach the cabane Chanrion
2460 m near the end of Otemma glacier
from Italy (south), along the route Aosta-Gran San Bernardo till Variney, then, along the new Valpelline route till Dzovenno and to Ruz (1696m), the starting point to rifugio Crete Seche
and Bivacco Spataro.
Few routes to this rarely climbed mountain ... (most climbers spend amusing days on Aroletta rock routes)
Getting it is not difficult, not for hikers, good for medium alpinists or the ones that want to spend a fine good weather day.
Very fine as ski-mountaneering from Italy even if coming back requires to re-ascend to Col Chardoney .... hard if tired :)
Rope and Ice axe required
- South west slopes - long but very fine - PD
From Rifugio Crete Seche to Chardoney glacier then, toward the ridge between Rauyette and Monte Cervo, a fine, not difficult ridge till the top
- from Chamen along the SE side and SSW ridge ... dangerous for rolling stones :)
(can be done also in summer :)
North ridge - long but very fine and complete - PD
From Rifugio Crete Seche to Col Chardoney, down to Epicoun glacier, cross it till you reach the slopes that bring to the ridge (this is the steeper pass) then, along the snow ridge till the last rocks (II°)
the old route along the NO wall and SSW ridge is to be forgotten for danger and ugly situation
so, the one way is to get the north ridge along the Epicoun glacier till a saddle between Becca Rayette and Pointe du Jarden des Chamois and then, on the right along steep slopes of snow and rock.
When To Climb
early summer for hiking and climbing (snow makes easier and not hard going up and down) - late spring for ski-mountaneering
Questions and AnswersQuestion
After visiting that page i have a question. Is it possible and safe to climb this mountain alone from the italy side? So i can't use a rope..
When yes: wich route is most save: via col de chardoney or via the glacier
between la rayette and M. cervo?
This mountain is easy but requires to be experienced in climbing in the western alps
Can be climbed in solo without any problem along all its routes but, in case of problems, the rescue can be not fast ...
So better go there with some partners and climb it along the finest route : the N ridge (we didn't have to use the rope)