La Masino Direct

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 41.80097°N / 9.21384°E
Additional Information Route Type: Sport Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: TD, French 6a
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: 5.10a (YDS)
Additional Information Number of Pitches: 6
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Geographical classification: Corsica - Corse > Bavella Massif > Punta di l'Acellu > La Masino Direct


La Masino Direct

Punta di l'Acellu – meaning Bird's Peak – is a fine tower belonging to Bavella Massif and rising above the Bavella Col, quite visible from the pass and also named First Tower; it's the Southernmost tower amongst the Aiguilles de Bavella and frequently climbed, in reason of its closeness to the pass and the quality of the granite. Its name derives from an ancient popular saying, in accordance of which “only a bird could reach the summit”. La Masino Direct is a sustained classic route on superb “Bavella” granite with some strenuous movements running on the South-East Face and getting to this beautiful summit. The climbing way is mainly inner, along chimneys and cracks. The route is equipped with spaced 8 mm. bolts.



Acellu and Aiguilles de Bavella

Getting There

Getting to Corsica The superb island of Corsica, l'Ile de Beauté (the Island of Beauty) belonging to France but much closer to Italy, can be easily approached by plane (airports both in Bastia on the Eastern coast and Ajaccio on the Western coast)and by ferry-boat from Livorno and Savona italian ports. The most convenient destination in Corsica to visit the Bavella area, one of the wildest region of the island, is the airport of Bastia if you’re getting there by plane; the same Bastia port if you’re getting there by ferry-boat.

The starting point to Punta di l'Acellu is the Col de Bavella m. 1211.

Bavella forest
Bavella forest


Road approach to Col de Bavella

- From Bastia (Corsica Eastern coast) follow the road RN 198 towards Solenzara; a few kilometers before getting there, turn to right following the road D268 to Col de Bavella (km. 130 from Bastia).

- From Aiaccio (Corsica Western coast) follow the road RN 196 to Petreto, then the road N852 to Aullene, Quenza and Zonza (km. 90 from Aiaccio). From Zonza follow the road D268 to Col de Bavella.







Asphodels - Bavella
Asphodels - Bavella
Pino Laricio tormented by the wind - Bavella
Pino Laricio tormented by the wind


Walking approach

From Bavella Pass mt. 1211 – parking – take the GR20 trail towards North West and leave it after 300 mt., heading towards right to rise along the GR20 ”Alpine Variant” (yellow marks). The trail rises steeply towards Acellu Pass. Just a few meters before the pass leave the main trail and descent left along a rocky slope skirting the SE face of Acellu (45 minutes from Bavella Pass).

Route Description

La Masino slabs, Acellu
La Masino slabs, Acellu
Punta di l'Acellu La Masino Direct
Punta di l'Acellu La Masino Direct



La Masino Direct Route report F6a obbl. - French Scale

Summit altitude: m 1838
Difficulty: TD, 6a max
Climbing length: 150 m
Equipment: equipped (some bolts along the pitches, equipped belays)
Time required: 3 hours
Exposure: SE Starting point: Col de Bavella



A demanding superb climb, short but intense, mainly along chimneys and a great classic route on excellent quality granite with a somewhat rough climbing style that will be a little difficult for climbers not used to off-width climbing. Characteristic are in fact the off-width cracks. The spacing of the protections, up to 8 meters during our 2009 repeat, was a bit mitigated by the recent bolting.  The starting point is located on the right-hand side of the face, below a smooth slab (visible bolts) situated on the right of a chimney. After the short starting slab, the route climb immediately an obvious dihedral. In the middle part it is easy to make mistakes and come across some variations.

Punta di l'Acellu, La Masino - Chimney Crack
Often a rough climb - Chimney Crack on la Masino


La Masino first pitch - The slab
La Masino first pitch - The slab


L1 - Climb the slab, then a shallow corner leading to a stance below some “tafoni”. 6a.
L2 - Towards right with a move below a roof to enter another shallow corner leading to easier rocks. Climb it towards left to a very good stance below a smooth chimney. 5c
L3 - Up along the smooth chimney, ending into a narrowing. Climb it with an hard move; a dihedral crack and a slab lead to a stance below another chimney. 6a.

The smooth chimney on La Masino, Acellu
The smooth chimney on La Masino, Acellu
Abseiling Punta di L'Acellu
Abseiling Punta di L'Acellu

L4 - Climb the chimney, then some tafoni to a clear and smooth crack-chimney. Climb it with some hard moves and belay inside the crack. 6a, A0.
L5 - Go on into the crack-chimney, then towards right climb some thin cracks, a little overhang and another thin crack reaching a belay. 6a
L6 – After some easy slabs climb a little wall with “tafoni” leading to the summit. 4a. Cairns.



Descent - From the summit head to North towards Second Tower (Punta di l’Ariettu), finding some abseils anchors. Stop the abseil after 25 mt., when you’re getting on the first ledge. Walking along the ledge towards right – facing out – reach a narrow gully which goes down at the bottom of the cliff.

Essential gear

Rope 2 x 50, helmet, friends, ten express.


Historic route realized in 1962 by M. Controux and G. Vuilliez, who left the route nameless. At present the route rises along the straight variants realized during an ENSA stage by the Chamonix guide and teacher Yvon Masino; he died at Pic du Midi d’Ossau and the route has his name in memory.

Climate and nature

Nature is wild and peculiar; in Corsica we can find more than 5% of authoctonous kinds of flower and plants, in addition to authoctonous fauna. On the contrary, several kinds of animal current inside Mediterranean countries are away from Corsica, like squirrels and vipers.

Climate is the typical one of the mediterranean middle-mountain areas situated at these latitudes: often very hot in summer and with cold and snowy winters; early and middle Spring and early Fall are the better seasons to climb. Due to Bavella closeness to the sea, winds are often stronger how much they are at the same height in the Alps. Rainfall sometimes are important and dangerous when joined with strong winds. On the contrary, sometimes we can find some long periods of drought.

Col de Bavella
Col de Bavella

Digitalis purpurea (Foxglove) - Bavella
Digitalis purpurea (Foxglove) - Bavella

Red Tape

Bavella is really a fantastic world, a preserved milieu situated inside the Parc Naturel Régional de Corse - Parcu di Corsica. Free camping and bivouac are not allowed. Fires are strictly forbidden. Maximum care is required to keep for the future this extraordinary environment.

When to climb

Best period goes from last April to middle October.

Where to stay


-Auberge and Gite d'Etape du Col de Bavella AUBERGE DU COL DE BAVELLA

-Hotel and Gite d’Etape Les Aiguilles de Bavella – Gite d’Etape GITE D'ETAPE LES AIGUILLES DE BAVELLA



– Hotel L’Aiglon, Hotel de la Terrasse - Municipal Camping of Zonza, Camping La Riviere (Zonza)



Guidebooks and maps


Punta di l Acellu map, Bavella, Corsica




Bavedda (Corsica) Climbing, hiking and Canyoning Guidebook


- Guidebooks “Bavedda – Aiguilles entre ciel et torrents: Escalade, Rando, Canyon” by Jean Louis Fenouil-Jean Paul Quilici - FFME

“Guide d’escalade en Corse” Vol. I Massif de Bavella by Jean Paul Quilici – Bernard Vaucher

“Rocca è Sole” Massif de Bavedda by Jean Paul Quilici – Francis Thibaudeau

- Maps

IGN 4253 ET “Aiguilles de Bavella – Solenzara”




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