La Teratta (2208m) seen from Monte Argatone
Monte la Teratta
, or simply La Teratta
, is a 2000er in the heart of the Abruzzo Region
in central Italy. It is part of a north-to-south running high ridge which towers for more than 1000m above the broad valleys to its eastern and western sides. La Teratta
actually consists of two summits, the higher southern one and a two-bumped northern one. Both are almost equally high, the difference being less than 5m. Their distance lies a little below 1 km. Together with its neighbour, Monte Argatone
, La Teratta
is a popular destination, mostly climbed from the villages at their eastern base, Villagio
. The central location ensures that both Monte Argatone
and La Teratta
are famous for their far reaching views of the mountains of Appennino Centrale
. Indeed, on a clear day you can see both the Thyrhenean
and Adriatic Seas
from the summits.
The ridgeline forms the eastern border of Parco nazionale d'Abruzzo, Lazio e Molise
, so that the western slopes are protected by the national park. The eastern ones, however, server as ski runs for the two aforementioned villages and thus offer a stark contrast to the opposite side. At 2208m La Teratta
belongs to the higher mountains of the area and its round-topped summit is well above the timber line. It is home to a lot of flowers with large beds of the endemic Viola magellensis and Narcissus poeticus close to the summit.
In June 2015 we did the traverse during a long hike, which took us from Cocullo
. It was a huge undertaking with more than 30km distance and 2200m elevation gain. As we had to catch a bus in Scanno we were also under time constraints so that we couldn't linger on the mountains. Still - after our bodys forgot the suffering - we have fond memorys of this huge day tour.
Montagne del Morrone (2061m), Majella (2792m) and Monte Genzana (2170m)
There are two reasonable trailheads for the hike to La Teratta
and an utterly unreasonable one. The former are at Villalago
, two neighbouring villages on SR479
in l'Aquila province, the latter some dozen km to the north at Cocullo
- Take motorway E60 until you reach the exit Cocullo.
- For the first two trailheads turn south to Anversa degli Abruzzi and onwards onto SR479 to Villalago or Scanno
- For the third trailhead head north for a few hundred metres to Cocullo.
If you plan to do the traverse Cocullo
across Monte Argatone
and Monte La Terratta
you best park at the railway station at Sulmona
and take the morning train to Cocullo. From the main square at Scanno
a bus goes back to Sulmona station in the evening.
In Vallone del Carapale, the route from Scanno
You leave the village heading to the south for the cableway station of the Colle Rotondo chair lift
. Stay on the road which takes you to Vallone del Carpale
. First you can follow a dirt road but later on, when the trees have made way for pastures you can head up traillessly to the end of the valley. You head for a saddle to the south of Monte La Terratta
. Traverse the ridge to the summit. For Monte Argatone
head across the La Teratta secondary north summit, (also above 2200m), then down to a saddle and back up to Monte Argatone
. The ridge traverse is strenuous but easy, thanks to the very broad but somewhat steep ridges.
Head out southwards from the village, then turn to the south-west in the direction of Rifugio Stazzo Montagna Grande
. The route follows a valley to its end, negotiates a step and reaches the Rifugio.Stay on the trail (now in southerly direction) and you'll reach the ridge in the sadlle between Monte Argatone
and the La Terratta north summit
. Turn south to reach the summit.
This route is not really reasonable unless you love long outings with long distances and much elevation gain. In that case 30.7km and 2200m elevation gain might attract you. The "route" is a patchwork of dirt roads, trail-less terrain and narrow paths, often obstructed by low trees and large bushes. For the first 18km it is not really a ridge traverse but once you reach the base of Monte Argatone, you'll follow the ridgline across its summit and both of Monte La Terratta
. It is difficult to describe the route - my suggestion is to load the GPS track onto adevice and follow in our steps. You certainly can do better than that but after all we didn't take too many detours.
The summit ridge and the west slopes of the mountain belong to Parco nazionale d'Abruzzo, Lazio e Molise
, a national park. The usual restrictions apply here. Stay on the trails (see routes) and don't try to ascend or desend the west slopes
When to Climb
Since the mountain poses no difficulties and has very broad ridges which are not avalanche prone, it can be climbed at any time of the year. In winter, the ridge traverse from Cucullo
is much easier when done with tour skis.
There's ample accommodation'options in the area, however rather hard to find. Google searches often end up at the tripadvisor, casamundo or booking.com portals. There is a thriving community of British expatriates, many of whom offer apartments for rent. Maybe a good starting point is this site
Rock towers above the ascent route through Vallone del Carapale from Scanno
Maps & Books
- Digital Maps
- Regular Maps
I haven't been able to find a map for the area around scanno and had to rely on the maps for my GPS, which can be found here