Monte Porché as seen from Cima Vallelunga
Monte Porché is a summit of the north – south running Monti Sibillini
main ridge and one of the 2000 m ++ peaks. It is located between the Foce valley
to the east and the Piana Grande / Castelluccio plain
to the west. The neighbor summit to the south is Palazzo Borghese
, to the north Cima Vallelunga
Monte Porché is a broad meadow head and shows steep and somewhat rocky meadow slopes to the south west and east. To the north along ridge connects Monte Porché with Cima Vallelunga, offering a nice, easy and interesting traverse to the northern neighbour.
Monte Porché offers great views over nearly the whole Sibillini range and to the Abruzzi / Gran Sasso as well. To the east the green Marche hills are rolling towards the Adriatic see. To the west the Umbrian hills, plains and mountains are visible on clear days.
Monte Porché is easily accessible from the Foce valley and from Castelluccio. It is a year round outing and a common ski tour in winter/spring.
I summited Monte Porché coming from Foce and continuing the traverse to Cima Vallelunga and Monte Sibilla. This is one of the nicest ridge traverses of Monti Sibillini and requires about 8 hours and about 1.600 m of altitude difference.
Monte Porché (left), Cima Vallelunga, Monte Sibilla
Best main trailheads for Monte Porché are:
You reach Foce
The trailhead is about 300 m before you enter the small village of Foce. There is a information panel and a picknick area on the west side of the road; park your car there.
Foce Blue thistle Castelluccio / Piana Granda
You reach Castelluccio
Main Routes Overview
Most of the route is marked red-white-red with the trail number 154
The Foce route is a ski route
Pass by the picknick area and ascend steeply the trail which soon enters the valley of the Zappagenese creek
. The road – like trail ends near the creek (or is eroded there) and a small marked trail traverses the creek and ascends in some zigzags up the woods and meadows until it regains the road-like trail higher up the mountain. Follow the road up to the meadows of “I Campi
”. Pay attention there: the route branches off to the left (some cairns and marks) and ascends the meadows in western direction eventually passing through some patches of beech wood.
Foce Route: I Campi Foce Route I Campi Foce Route above Ramatico
Soon you arrive at the timber line; the trail levels out and arrives at “Ramatico
”, a partly meadow overgrown scree fan. Attention again
: the trail climbs shortly this scree fan and disappears … Cross the scree fan, on its south side the trail reappears and ascends some 100 m in western direction (marks). This is a crucial point; I lost about 20 minutes searching the route.
At Ramatico the traverse route Monte Porché – Monte Sibilla
branches off or joins again the Foce route. You see the mainly unmarked trail up to Monte Sibilla traversing the west slopes of Cima Vallelunga when you look back from the Ramatico scree fan to Monte Sibilla summit. You can easily cross the scree fan and look for the beginning of this trail if you want to summit Monte Sibilla and/or Cima Vallelunga first.
Foce Route, Sasso Borghese Foce Route, Sasso Borghese near the col Monte Porché south ridge
After the Ramatico ascent follow closely the marks up to a spring
with several troughs for cattle, located near some remarkable separate trees. The route passes below these trees and ascends to Pianeti
, a huge mountain meadow slope southeast of Monte Porche summit. Follow the trail in southwestern direction with the remarkable rock face of Palazzo Borghese
to your left, you soon arrive a cirque between Palazzo Borghese and Monte Porché and, after some more climbing the broad col between these two summits (point 2090 m
of the Monti Sibillini CAI map).
There you have to leave the marked trail; simply follow the south ridge
up to Monte Porché summit.
Castelluccio – Monte della Prata Route
Most of the route is marked red-white-red with the trail number 261
The Castelluccio – Monte della Prata route is a ski route
Leave the parking area at Rifugio la Baita
in eastern direction and circle round Monte della Prata on a gravel road. Leave the road east of Monte della Prata at the end of the long curve and follow the trail number 261
, the west ridge of Monte Porché.
Lower Monte della Prata Route Upper Monte della Prata Route Monte Porché summit
You can follow the trail up to the col
between Palazzo Borghese and Monte Porché (point 2090 m) and climb the south ridge
to the summit or alternatively you climb up to the north ridge
of Monte Porché and use this ridge up to the summit.
A short loop
south ridge – north ridge or vice versa is possible.
Monte Porché as seen from Castelluccio
Castelluccio - Capanna Ghezzi Route
From the trailhead follow the road to Capanna Ghezzi
(the mountain hut actually is closed) or follow a short cut trail, marked as trail number 553
At Capanna Ghezzi follow trail number 552
in eastern direction and ascend to the trail junction at Colle Abieri
(1800 m). Take trail 555
, the so called “Strada Imperiale
” to Passo di Sasso Borghese
, the summit of Palazzo Borghese can be climbed within 5 minutes. Follow shortly the trail to the col between Monte Porché and Palazzo Borghese and climb Monte Porché via its south ridge
North of Castelluccio is located Piana Perduta
a similar but much smaller version of Piano Grande, both being impressive karst structures. From Piana Perduta starts a ski route
which uses the west slopes
of Monte Porché and Palazzo Borghese as ascent and descent route.
Traverse Route Monte Porché – Monte Sibilla
Just follow the long and easy ridge from Monte Porché to Monte Sibilla, traversing the summit of Cima Vallelunga
, on a good and scarcely marked (blue dots and stripes) trail. Great traverse with great views.
Go back on the Monte Sibilla west ridge (some short rock scramble) until you can descend to the fire road
which come up from Montemonaco to Rifugio Sibilla and to the col between Cima Vallelunga and Rifugio Sibilla.
Follow this road down until you reach the second switchback
Ridge to Cima Vallelunga, Monte Sibilla Summit view to Monte Vettore
Leave the road there, you have to look for an unmarked foot track
which tends to disappear amidst meadows and scree but is always visible as there is a sort of oblique platform cut in the slope which goes down to a better but roughly marked trail (some old withered marks still visible).
Turn right on this trail and follow it down the east slopes of Cima Vallelunga until it reaches the huge, meadow overgrown scree fan of “Ramatico
”, where you join trail number 154
from Foce to Monte Porché / Palazzo Borghese.
The Foce route and the traverse route form a great loop and a long one day outing.
Traverse Route, part Monte Sibilla - Ramatico Traverse Route, part Monte Sibilla - Ramatico
Other routes in short:
Red Tape & AccommodationRed Tape
Monte Porché is part of the “Parco Nazionale dei Monti Sibillini
The summit area including all ridge areas are part of the strictly protected zone A
, the slopes down to the adjacent valleys have zone B protection
National Park core zone regulation National Park sign
The homepage of the National Park
shows many regulations, all in long and rather complicated articles in Italian language.
Admission to the National Park area is free.
Best stay on the trails whenever possible, do not bivouac within National park realms. No fire, no littering, no disturbance of animals and no damage to (protected) plants.
View from the ridge Monte Porché - Cima Vallelunga
You find accommodation of all kinds, including campgrounds in or around the National Park villages:
Gear & Mountain Condition
Monte Porché is a year round summit.
In winter and spring there are several ski routes, which are all not too difficult but have different length.
The north and east routes tend to be long and more demanding than the southwest and west routes.
You need full avalanche gear
for Monti Sibillini ski outings. The Regione Marche has an avalanche bulletin
to be consulted before starting you ski tour.
Don´t underestimate the avalanche danger within Monti Sibillini!
Late spring, summer and autumn is the time for hiking
. You need full hiking gear and rain protection and some warm clothes as the weather within Monti Sibillini can change rapidly and dramatically (summer thunderstorms).
Maps & Guide Books
View from the traverse route to the east
Club Alpino Italiano
– Sezione di Ascoli Piceno: Monti Sibillini, Carta dei Sentieri, scale 1 : 25.000, SER Societa Editrice Ricerche, 2011
: Italy's Sibillini National Park, Walking and Trekking Guide; Cicerone Press, 13 Jun 2013, ISBN 9781852845353
Guida al Parco nazionale dei monti Sibillini
; CARSA; 2nd edition 2009; ISBN: 978-8850101535
Available only in Italian
: Umbrien, Assisi – Perugia – Nationalpark Monti Sibillini; Die schönsten Tal- und Höhenwanderungen; Rother Verlag, 2nd edition 2013; ISBN 978-3-7633-4324-9;
Available only in German and only parts of it for Monti Sibillini
Ursula und Claus-Günter Frank
: Marken – Adriaküste; Ravenna – Rimini – Urbino – Ancona – Monti Sibillini; 50 Touren , Rother Verlag 2nd edition 2014 ISBN 978-3-7633-4342-3
Available only in German and only parts of it for Monti Sibillini