This summit is a typical dolomite summit as most of the ones belonging to the Prealpi Bergamasche.
It is a horseshoe shaped mountain, not small, that grows up from the prairies to its West side and falls very steep and cragged on the Val del Riso
From its N side, from meadows and woods of Oltre il Colle and Zambla Alta, the real summit can't be seen, 3 rocky summits (the Cima della Croce
, the Cima della Spada and a minor unnamed one) hide it.
From the Val Serina it looks grand and similar to Grignetta : a big cone full of channels and steep rocky ridges.
Worth to be visited and climbed !
3 main starting points to get it : from Serina, Cornalba or Oltre il Colle
The first two require a very long walk (and a big difference in elevation) to approach the interesting ending rock part of the mountain so I can recommend the approach from Oltre il Colle
From Bergamo, where you can arrive along the highway A4 (Torino Venezia), follow for Val Seriana to Selvino, the along the Val Serina till Oltre il Colle and, a little further, to the Colle di Zambla where you can park the car or try to follow for the Passo della Crocetta (1267m)
|From Passo della Crocetta follow the steep path in the wood and at its end follow the (a little painful) path that goes along the big channel to the Col dei Brassomonti.|
|From this pass the path goes on for a little, flat, to a fork.|
Straight on you can get the Bivacco Nembrini (normally used as base by rock climbers who want to climb the difficult rock routes of the East side of the mountain)
Turning to the right, passing under a tower (Torrione dell'Alben) and following the steep path, you get the Passo della Forca (1848m)
(here you can arrive also following the path described on the page of Cima della Croce
|From this point you can see, on the left, the whole N ridge of Monte Alben: it looks much closer then it is ....|
|Follow the path (signs) getting the ridge that starts with some rocky steps and goes on (somewhere with little exposure) along some ledges on the Eastern side|
|A characteristc hole gives access to the final part of the path that, easy but not stupid, leads to the steep ending part of the climb.|
|Along a not always good path you can now get the summit big Cross.|
This summit is a typical one day shot for most of the people that climb it, only local climbers use to climb the (many) different rock routes on its sides
The ones that are going to spend a weekend of a short holiday here can find good accomodationd in the (small) hotels along the road or in Oltre il Colle
For the ones who need to be uncomfortable there's the Bivacco Nembrini