How we climbed the Crow (account of a climb of Monte Corvo)

Page Type
Trip Report
Abruzzo, Italy, Europe
Date Climbed/Hiked:
Jun 10, 2007
4352 Hits
86.37% Score
Log in
to vote
Page By:
How we climbed the Crow (account of a climb of Monte Corvo)
Created On: Jun 12, 2007
Last Edited On: Jun 14, 2007


Venacquaro BowlMonte Corvo dominates Venacquaro Bowl.

Monte Corvo, wich name means Mount Crow, is a mighty and severe mountain in Gran Sasso range. With an elevation of 2625, it’s one of the highest summit of Gran Sasso and of whole Appennines chain.
I had climbed all the most important summit of Gran Sasso, except Monte Corvo.
Last Sunday (10th of June 2007) I climbed it first time, and so I report it to you.

The climb

There are many routes to climb Monte Corvo, and all of them are long and hard. The longest one it’s probably the route wich starts from Campo Imperatore: it cross four saddles, touches three valleys, penetrating into the wild heart of the Gran Sasso range... We chose it!

We started in four (Leo, Linda, Clara and me), from the Campo Imperatore Hostel (2120 m). The weather was cloudy, with some spot of sun: the forecast said “probability of thunderstorms in the afternoon”...
Pizzo Cefalone, west sideSome snow fields cover the path crossing under Pizzo Cefalone.

We took the path towards Passo della Portella (2240 m); we reached it, then we took the ridge of Pizzo Cefalone, but we left it soon, to descend to the bowl under the Pizzo Cefalone East face: beautiful place, wild and suggestive...
Pizzo Intermesoli and Sella dei GrilliThe bowl under Pizzo Cefalone west side is a lonely and wild place...

We crossed the bowl and we met the first hard slope of the day: short but steep! After this quite hard climb, we reached Sella del Cefalone (2320 m) and the ridge joining Pizzo Cefalone with Pizzo Intermesoli. Walking on this green and scenic crest, we reached Sella dei Grilli (2250 m), under the Pizzo Intermesoli south side.
Climbing to Sella del CefaloneLinda is going up on a quite steep slope, towards Sella del Cefalone
Towards Sella dei GrilliTowards Sella Dei Grilli
Towards Sella dei Grilli 2A rocky ridge near Sella Dei Grilli

Standing in this wonderful place, we were lured to stay there, taking sun bath... But “when mountain is calling, we must go!”, and we can clearly see Monte Corvo, in front of us, that was daring us...
Sella dei Grilli 2Sella dei Grilli, an awesome place to relax!

We left the path and descended directly towards Valle Venacquaro. We reached Conca del Venacquaro (1910 m), a beautiful green bowl, where live many half-wild horses. These pastures were in bloom, and we could see thousands of blue, yellow, purple flowers... We drunk some drop at the Venacquaro spring, then we went up the steep meadows to Sella di Monte Corvo (2236 m).

When we arrived to the saddle, we was under the last stretch of the route: there was stilll only 400 m in elevation to the top. We can’t wait too much: after a short pause, we started.
We reached the rocky south ridge of monte Corvo; we walked on it, avoiding its big rocks, and with a last effort we finally reached the summit (2623 m)!

The descent

Monte Corvo, southeast ridge 2Clara descending in the clouds...

Unfortunately, the weather was overcast: big clouds covered panorama... After a fast meal and a summit photo, we started the descent (we took the same route we climbed up): when we were at Sella di Monte Corvo, the first drops of rain began to falls... We reached suddenly Valle del Venacquaro and, without stops, we began the climb-up to Sella dei Grilli. Meanwhile, we heard some thunders... Ok, no fear: we put our axes in the backpack and hurry up... Fortunately the thunderstorm moved away from us, but a light shower of rain continued to gently wash us...
Primo ScrimoneIt's raining... Primo Scrimone seen from Alta Val Maone

From Sella dei Grilli we didn’t take the way we did in the morning, but we descended the scree on the east side: with some jumps we were in Val Maone (1900 m). From there, we followed the path to Le Capanne (a pasture where there are some ruins of ancient shepard’s huts), meeting a chamois wich fled away...
From Le Capanne, we took the path to Passo della Portella, crossing Campo Pericoli always under a light shower of rain. The last uphill slope of the day was not so hard... When we arrived at Passo della Portella, the rain stopped to fall! We can had a little rest, made a snack and above all drink (I was thirsty like a man who crossed a desert!). From Passo della Portella there was only 40 minutes to the start... Well, suddenly the mountain gave us its goodbye with an heavy rainfall! We reached the Campo Imperatore Hostel completely wet: fortunately we can change our soaked dresses with the dry ones that we had carried with us. And after an hot cup of tea and an espresso coffee, we were ready to return to Rome, happy for the beautiful day spent across these wonderful and wild mountains.


Monte Corvo and Valle VenacquaroClara smelling flowers...
Monte Corvo it’s a great mountain.
The route from Campo Imperatore is long, but not so hard: I think it’s awesome because of the variety of different views (you can touch Val Maone, Valle Venacquaro, Val Chiarino,Campo Pericoli, changing so many sides of mountains) and for the wilderness of the places you cross.
I advise it to you, but if you dont’like rain... Take a shorter route when weather forecast predicts “Rain-showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon”!

Higher point: Monte Corvo summit, 2625 m
Lower point: Val Maone, 1900 m
Total distance: about 20 Km
Total elevation gain: about 1750 m
Time: it took to us about 8 hrs 20 min (4 hrs 20 min to go, 4 hrs to return) no counting stops.


Post a Comment
Viewing: 1-6 of 6
Augie Medina

Augie Medina - Jun 12, 2007 2:34 pm - Voted 10/10

Beautiful Report

The photos are beautiful as well (I liked "Clara smelling the flowers").


RenatoG - Jun 13, 2007 4:30 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Beautiful Report

I'm pleased you like them.
Thanks for the vote and the kind comment.



eric.degiuli - Jun 23, 2007 12:16 am - Hasn't voted

Great photos

A few years ago, I spent some weeks in Santo Stefano di Sessanio, just below Campo Imperatore; this brought memories of hiking there back!


RenatoG - Jun 23, 2007 3:50 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Great photos

Thanks, Eric.
Santo Stefano is a very fascinating place, worth to be visited.


Eleutheros - Jun 23, 2007 12:42 am - Hasn't voted

Thank you

Raw and beautiful images. Good report.


RenatoG - Jun 23, 2007 3:52 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Thank you

You're very kind.

Viewing: 1-6 of 6