Canale dei Carrubi (Pania della Croce SW side)
Though not the highest summit, Pania della Croce is a mighty mountain considered the queen of Alpi Apuane. It's the most famous and popular summit, with elegant lines and an almost conical shape, culminating with a flat ridge on which you can recognize: to the South the main summit with an altitude of 1859 m, a nearby Northern fore-summit, a Northern shoulder and below this a small saddle named Callare, after which the ridge continues towards its neighbor Pizzo delle Saette.
Pania della Croce SW side is engraved by a long gully, running with a pretty regular course, the Canale dei Carrubi. The ascent of this gully, deeply enclosed, is a great classic winter climb of Alpi Apuane inside an exceptional setting. Being exposed to the South-West, it must be climbed early in the morning or choosing a winter cold day. With little snow it gets harder a bit, especially in its lower part.
The starting point to climb is Foce di Mosceta, located between Pania della Croce and Monte Corchia.
Getting to Foce di Mosceta
From A12 Motorway exit Versilia, follow the signposts to Seravezza. Here take Via Provinciale direction Castelnuovo di Garfagnana to Levigliani. Once you reach Levigliani continue to the eastern end of the village, where to the right it starts a road that leads to Antro del Corchia (30 minutes on paved road). At the point where the road forks take the path n. 9 with several hairpins (the so-called "Voltoline") and reach Passo dell'Alpino. From here follow the ridge that continues almost flat through a fir forest up to Foce Mosceta.
Pania della Croce South-West side - Canale dei Carrubi
Difficulty: Alpine AD-, 50° max Length: 500 m. Exposure: mainly SW First winter ascent: S. and L. Borghese, E. Vangelisti 26-3-1896
A classic winter climb of Alpi Apuane inside a deeply enclosed gully; the most technical part is the upper one.
From Foce di Mosceta (signpost) take the path to Foce di Valli, which slightly uphill traverse the base of the wide South-West side of Pania della Croce. After the big rocky buttresses that characterize the left side of the slope, you reach starting point of the gully (at about 1350 m altitude). The climb, initially on some short rocky drop, which can be delicate with few snow, continues in the bottom of the gully, winding but regular, on a slope reaching max. 50°.
At about 1700 m of altitude on the right there is a large slope, sloping and very exposed. Following it (classic exit) you will reach the vicinity of the South ridge. Hence, rising slightly to the left of the crest, you reach the big summit cross.
Descent - Following the Normal route to Rifugio Del Freo
Take the conventional equipment for a climb of this kind: 50 m. rope, 2 ice axes, crampons, harness, helmet, carabiners, 2 or 3 slings, ice screws
No particular restrictions in climbing and hiking, even if all Alpi Apuane range is situated inside a natural park – "Alpi Apuane Natural Park" – established in 1985 to protected the milieu.
Rifugio Giuseppe Del Freo - Pietrapana 1180 m, Club Alpino Italiano Sez. Viareggio
Situation: Foce di Mosceta, at the foot of Pania della Croce and Pizzo delle Saette Open: from June to Setpember and week-ends Size: 57 persons Getting There: from Levigliani or from Fociomboli Hut's phone : 0039-0584-778007
In wintertime during cold periods
“Alpi Apuane” by E. Montagna – A. Nerli – A. Sabbadini Collana Guide dei Monti d’Italia - CAI - TCI