Monte Emilius GROUP - Second Part

Monte Emilius GROUP - Second Part

Page Type Page Type: Area/Range
Location Lat/Lon: 45.67790°N / 7.40479°E
Activities Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Sign the Climber's Log


The Monte Emilius Group, located at the center of Valle d'Aosta, covers a vaguely trapezoidal area thus delimited:
  • From the north by the main valley, between the Villages of Saint Marcel and Aymavilles. The Dora Baltea River runs through the valley.
  • From the south and the west by Vallone dell'Urtier (vallone means hanging valley) and Valle di Cogne. The Grand Eyvia creek runs through the latter and, in Aymavilles, flows into Dora Baltea.
  • From the east by Vallone di Clavalitè, which also forms the western boundary of the group known as "Mont Glacier, Mont Avic e Rosa dei Banchi".
  • From the southeast, very briefly, by Vallone di Champorcher, in the stretch of the ridge between Col Pontonnet and Finestra di Champorcher.
The group includes important summits like Punta Tersiva (3.515m) and Punta Garin (3.451m), but its center is Monte Emilius (3.559m), from which several ranges depart to form the watersheds of hanging valleys, studded with incomparably beautiful lakes and inhabited by chamois, ibex, fox, eagles, and marmots. (This fauna often comes from the nearby Parks of Gran Paradiso and Mont Avic) The hanging valleys that go approximately from north to south along the sides of the Central Valley, and originate directly from Monte Emilius, are (from east to west):
  • Vallone di Laures (or Brissogne) under the East face of Monte Emilius.
  • Vallone di Arpisson, at whose head is the North face of Emilius.
  • Vallone di Comboè, which, after a cliff, suddenly changes direction (from north-south to east-west) and-going around the western spur that descends from the Emilius Summit to Petit Emilius and Mont Ross de Comboè--forms Comba di Arbolle (or Arbole).
This hanging valley provides the access to the standard route to Monte Emilius, which attains the summit running along the Tre Cappuccini ridge from the namesake col, which takes its name from three characteristic gendarmes. To the west of the aforementioned hanging valleys, the Monte Emilius Group includes the vast Conca di Pila (Pila Basin), a popular ski resort in winter, but less crowded in summer, while to the east, the last valley entirely belonging to the Emilius Group is Vallone di Saint Marcel, which also goes from north to south, and is connected by the namesake pass (also known as Colle Coronas) to Vallone di Grauson. Valle di Cogne, which makes up the long western and southern boundary of the group, terminates with Vallone dell'Urtier, where the namesake creek forms the magnificent Lillaz Falls-a great attraction for tourists in summer and ice climbers in winter. On the sides of Valle di Cogne, two hanging valleys reach deep into the group, merging at Punta Garin; they are:
  • Vallone di Arpisson (di Cogne) or Pian Bessey
  • The long and vast Vallone di Grauson, mostly above 2.400m of elevation.
Its branch, named Vallone di Lussert, extends northwards, that is towards the center of the group. At the eastern head of its main branch, more exactly named Vallone di Doreire, rises the unmistakeable outline of Tersiva.

Getting There

Moving the cursor one can see the overall scene
Panoramic view from the summit of Punta Tersiva 3.515 m (images by Gino Bolfo, realization by livioz)


  • From Torino, Milano, etc: Motorway A5. Exit at Aosta Ovest. Drive to the nearby Aymavilles. Follow the directions for Valle di Cogne.
  • From Switzerland: through the Grand Saint Bernard Tunnel or the namesake pass. Drive to Aosta, then follow the direction for Courmayeur on SS.26. Just after Sarre, turn left, in the direction of Valle di Cogne.
  • From France: through Mont Blanc Tunnel or Petit Saint Bernard Pass. It is not necessary to take Motorway A5: you can drive on SS.26, in the direction of Aosta. Before arriving at the Village of Sarre, turn right following the sign for Valle di Cogne. Starting from Cogne there are two possibilities: Follow the road signs for Gimillan and Lillaz; arrived at a roundabout, recently built in proximity of the St. Anthony Chapel, go left along the scenic route leading to the Village of Gimillan (1.787m), 3 Km. after Cogne. Usually no parking problem. From here you can get many spots of the Monte Emilius Group:the ridge between Valle di Cogne and Pila Basin, the Vallone di Pian Bessey, the ridge between Vallone di Pian Bessey and Vallone di Grauson, Vallone di Grauson-Lussert.
  • Going right at the roundabout, after 3 Km. the road arrives at the Village of Lillaz (1.615m), famous for his wonderful waterfalls. From Lillaz starts an unpaved and rough road, appropriately closed to the cars (except 2-3 days in August, on the occasion of San Besso and Madonna delle Nevi festivities). It follows all the long Urtier Valley as far as the recently built Sogno di Berdzè Hut (2.526m), at the foot of Finestra di Champorcher (2.828m), a pass connecting the Urtier and Champorcher Valleys. From the head of Urtier Valley, through Passo d'Invergneux you get directly the head of Grauson Valley, just at the foot of Punta Tersiva. If you want instead to get to Pila: starting from the City of Aosta, follow the sign for Pila: a long and winding road will lead you from Aosta (583m) to Pila (about 1.800m). Pila is the starting point nearest to the Emilius Summit.

    Cogne and Pila are reachable also by public transportation. In addition, there is a cableway connecting directly Aosta to Pila.


  • Aeroporto "Corrado Gex" Saint Christophe (Aosta).

Summits and Passes of the GROUP: Second Part

In the southern sector, consisting of Valle di Cogne and its secondary valleys:

The upper part of vallone dell Urtier, ending with Torre Ponton and Bec Costazza

Vallone dell'Urtier

The initial part of Vallone dell Urtier seen from the trail of Teppelunghe

Vallone dell'Urtier

  • Vallone dell'Urtier
    Looking back at the lower part of Vallone di Grauson

    Vallone di Grauson

     vallone di Grauson seen climbing punta Arpisson

    Vallone di Grauson

    Vallone di Grauson
    Overall view of  Vallone di Arpisson and the ridges containing it

    Vallone d'Arpisson (Cogne)


  • Vallone d'Arpisson (Cogne)


1) Ridge between Valle di Cogne and Conca di Pila

View from Punta Tsatseche <i>2824m</i> of the ridge between Valle di Cogne and Conca di Pila

The ridge between Valle di Cogne and Conca di Pila seen from Punta Tsasetze


  • Punta de la Pierre (2.653 m)




  • Punta Vadaille (2.339 m)
  • Col de la Pierre (2.600 m)




  • Punta del Drinc (2.663 m)
  • Colle del Drinc (2.555 m)




  • Punta del Couis (2.661 m)
  • Colle del Couis (2.637 m)



    La Piatta di Grevon...
    La Grivola subgroup in the background of the ridge including Piatta di Grevon <i>2756m</i>


  • Piatta di Grevon (2.756 m)


    The ridge between Valle di Cogne and Conca di Pila, starting from Punta di Mompers <i>2793m</i>


  • Punta di Mompers (2.793 m)
  • Colle di Mompers (2.750 m)




  • Pointe Tsasetze (2.826 m)




  • Colle Tsasetze (2.820 m)


    SW spur  (<i>3000m</i>)  of Punta  Valletta  (<i>3090m</i>)
    Punta della Valletta <i>3070m</i>, South side


  • Punta della Valletta (3.090 m)


    Entering in Vallone d Arpisson,  Punta Tzavanis <i>2815m</i> (on the left) and Punta della Valletta..
    Punta Tzavanis <i>2815m</i> from the trail descending from Pointe Tsasetze


  • Punta di Tzavanis (2.815 m)


    2) Ridge between Vallone di Arpisson (Cogne) and Vallone di Grauson

     The ridge  from Punta  Garin <i>3448m</i> (on the left) to Punta di Arpisson <i>3030m</i>

    The ridge from Punta Garin (3.451m) to Punta di Arpisson (3.030m)


  • Punta Tsaplana (2.678 m)



  • Punta di Arpisson (3.031 m)
  • Col di Pila S-W (3.028 m) and N-E (3.090 m)



  • Punta Coppi or Pointes Coupées d'Arpisson (SW 3.231 m, Centrale 3.220 m, NE 3.215 m)
  • Torre di Arpisson (3.231 m)
  • Col Fleurie (3.170 m)




  • Punta di Lavà (three summits: 3.214 m)




  • Punta Fleurie (3.258 m)




  • Punta Garin (3.451 m)




  • Notch of Punta Garin (3.245 m)




  • Mont Valaisan (3.296 m)


2b) Ridge connecting Punta Garin (3.245 m) and Mont Grauson (3.240 m)

from Grauson <i>3240 m</i> to punta Garin <i>3448 m</i>

The ridge from mont Grauson (3.240m) to punta Garin (3.451m)

  • Punta Garin (3.451 m)




  • Gendarme del Grauson (3.224 m)
  • Passo del Grauson (3.109 m)



  • Mont Grauson (3.240 m)


    3) Ridge between Vallone di Grauson-Doreire and Vallone dell'Urtier

    The upper part of Vallone di Grauson and the ridge separating it from Vallone dell Urtier

    The ridge between Vallone di Grauson and Vallone dell'Urtier

    The buildings of the disused Colonna Mine <i>2387m</i> on the slope of Montzalet <i>2759m</i>


  • Montzalet (2.759 m)


    Magnetite mining region of Cogne  seen from Montzeuc


  • Mont Creya (3.015 m)


    la testa del Money (3130 m.)
    Western side of...


  • Testa di Money (3.130 m)


    Ridge between Vallone di Grauson and Vallone dell Urtier
    Testa del Vallonet...


  • Punta Coupé (3.214 m)


    la testa di Vallonet (3135 m.)
    The ridge between Vallone dell Urtier and Vallone di Grauson from the trail of Loie lake


  • Penne Blanche (Punta E. 3.254 m, Punta W. 3.208 m)


    La Testa di Vallonnet...
    Ridge between Vallone di Grauson and Vallone dell Urtier


  • Testa di Vallonet (3.135 m)
  • Colle Vallonet (3.062 m)


    Southwards view from Col des Invergneux  of the  facing Gran Paradiso Group valleys
    Gran Paradiso GROUP:  the smallest of Miserino lakes


  • Passo d'Invergneux (2.902 m)


    La Tersiva (3515 m.) vista...
    West side of Tersiva (3515 m.)...


  • Punta Tersiva (3.515 m)


    4) Ridge between Vallone dell'Urtier and Vallone di Clavalitè

    View from Vittorio Sella Hut <i>2584 m</i> towards East-North-East

    The ridge going from Tersiva (left) to Finestra di Champorcher (right)


  • Punta Tersiva (3.515 m)




  • Torre Pontonnet (Punta S. 3.173 m, Punta N. 3.185 m)




  • Colle Pontonnet (2.897 m)




  • Torre Ponton (3.101 m)


    5) Ridge between Vallone dell'Urtier and Vallone di Champorcher

    The upper part of the long Vallone dell Urtier seen from Montzeuc

    The ridge between Vallone dell'Urtier and firstly Vallone di Clavalitè, then Vallone di Champorcher

    Torre Pontonnet, Torre Ponton and Bec Costazza at the head of the long Vallone dell Urtier


  • Torre Ponton (3.101 m)




  • Finestra di Champorcher (2.826 m)



    Finestra di Champorcher from the shore of a small lake, at the head of Vallone dell Urtier
    La Torre Ponton (3101 m) e il Bec di Costazza (3092 m)


  • Bec Costazza (3.092 m)
  • Sella (2.946 m)
  • Quota (2.978 m)
  • Cima di Peradzà (3.021 m)


    Inside Vallone di Grauson-Lussert-Doreire

    La Grivola <i>3969m</i>  subgroup  and Gran Nomenon <i>3488m</i> from Testa di Prà di Ler <i>2525m</i>


  • Testa di Prà di Ler (2.525 m)


     Coronas lake <i>2702m</i>, Testa Vareri <i>2638m</i> and  Mont Grauson <i>3240m</i>


  • Testa Vareri (2.638 m)
  • Punta di Tsesère (3.105 m)


    Punta Tersiva <i>3513m</i> and in front of it, on the left, Testa Doreire <i>2888m</i>


  • Testa Doreire (2.888 m)


    Puy Vardettaz <i>2579m</i> and in the background Penne Blanche ( E. <i>3254m</i>,  W. <i>3208m</i>)


  • Puy Vardettaz (2.579 m)

Punta di Ervillères (2.790 m)


Mountain Conditions

  • You can get meteo information at the official site of the Regione Valle d'Aosta
  • Valle d'Aosta Meteo


  • WEBCAM on Aosta Valley:
  • Webcam


Remember that free camping is forbidden (except for emergency reasons, over 2.500m, from darkness until dawn).

Books and Maps


  • "Guida delle Alpi Occidentali" di Giovanni Bobba e Luigi Vaccarone C.A.I. Sezione di Torino Volume II (parte II), 25 Maggio 1896.
  • "Guida della Valle di Champorcher" e "Guida della Valle di Cogne" di Mario Aldrovandi Ed. Lattes, Torino 1930-1932.
  • "Guida della Regione Autonoma Valle d'Aosta" di Mario Aldrovandi; Ed. S.P.E. di Carlo Fanton, Torino 1964.
  • "Ascensioni 1964-1969 Diario Alpinistico di Ilario Antonio Garzotto (unpublished).
  • "Guida del Monte Emilius" di Osvaldo Cardellina Editore in collaborazione con il Club Alpino Italiano Sezione di Aosta, Dicembre 1978 (in Italian).
  • "Guida dei Monti d'Italia–Emilius Rosa dei Banchi Parco del Mont Avic" di Giulio Berutto e Lino Fornelli-Club Alpino Italiano/Touring Club Italiano, Marzo 2005 (in Italian).
  • "Diari Alpinistici" di Osvaldo Cardellina e Indice Generale accompagnato da Schedario Relazioni Ascensioni 1964-2019 (inediti).
  • "80 itinerari di Escursionismo Alpinismo e Sci Alpinismo in Valle d’Aosta", di Osvaldo Cardellina, Ed. Musumeci, Giugno 1977 (in Italian); seconda Ed. Luglio 1981; terza Ed. Luglio 1984; (in French), prima Ed. Febbraio 1978; seconda Ed. Marzo 1980.
  • "Il Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso (Valli di Champorcher-Clavalitè-Saint Marcel-Laures-Cogne-Valsavarenche-Conca di Pila" di Giulio Berruto 3/volume 2°, IGC, Torino 1981, 2a Ed. 2000. (in Italian).
  • "Ascensioni in Valle d'Aosta 1921-1933" Diario Alpinistico di Amilcare Crétier; Edizione Sezione di Verres del C.A.I. e Biblioteca di Vèrres, stampa Arti Grafiche Tamari Bologna, Luglio 1993 (in Italian).


  • Kompass "Gran Paradiso Valle d'Aosta Sentieri e Rifugi" Carta Turistica 1:50.000.
  • Hapax Luglio 2000 "Les Sentiers Comunità Montana Monte Emilius" 1:25.000.
  • Enrico Editore Ivrea-Aosta "Gruppo del Gran Paradiso" 1:50.000.
  • I.G.C. Torino "Carta delle Passeggiate ed Escursioni in V.D.A. Conca di Pila-Gressan" 1:20.000.

Important Information

Useful Numbers

  • Soccorso Alpino Cogne (SAR) Tel. 3482685406.
  • Protezione Civile Valdostana località aeroporto n° 7/A Saint Christophe (Ao) Tel. 0165-238222.
  • Bollettino Meteo (weather info) Tel. 0165-44113.
  • Unità Operativa di Soccorso Sanitario Tel. 118.


The fundamental support given by my friend Osvaldo Cardellina, probably the best connoisseur of every feature of the Monte Emilius Group (of which he climbed nearly every summit,wall and ridge) has to be emphasized.
I want to thank also Fabio (Brenta) for the translation of the text from Italian and livioz for his contribution to the preparation and editing of the page.



Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.