North face

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 45.95879°N / 7.52529°E
Additional Information Route Type: Mountaineering, Ice Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: 450 meters. Ice up to 80 degrees (D-)
Sign the Climber's Log


The North face of the Punta Kurz is a very steep ice climb in the middle of the Pennine Alps. The north wall of the Mont Brule and Punta Kurz used to have several routes, but nowadays the route from Ugo Manera is the only one that is still interesting on climbing, while it is pretty safe from rock and ice fall. The route follows the steep glacier that leads to the summit of Punta Kurz.

First ascent: Ugo Manera and G.C.Ricompensa on 10/08/1962

Getting There

Reachable from Italy and Switzerland. I can recommend the ascent from Switzerland to the Bouquetins Hut. This way you'll have a very short ascent to the face (45 minutes). Besides, the Bouquetins hut is very nice to stay!

Route from ITALY: via Valpelline - Comba d'Oren - Rifugio Nacamuli.
From Turin, Milan. Leave motorway A5 in Aosta Est, then follow Grand Sant Bernard tunnel direction. Once passed Valpelline village,take the direction to lake of Place Moulin. From the dike of Place Moulin it is a 3-4 hours walk to the Rifugio Nacamuli.
Route from SWITZERLAND:via Arolla - Bouquetins hut.
From Geneva,Sion. Arolla is the topmost village of the uppermost valley of the Val d'Hérens. You reach Arolla by car from Sion via Evolène and Les Haudères. From Arolla it is a 3-4 hour walk to the Bouquetins hut.

Thanks to for this part.

Route Description

Descent from the Bouquetins Hut to the Glacier d'Arolla and cross it directly to the beginning of the face. The first pitches are crucial. Look for the best way to climb the steep serac. In order to avoid any ice or rock fall it is probably safest to go up on the right side of the Serac (1 pitch 80 degrees, august 2008). After about 150 meters you'll reach the middle part of the route which is less steep, but be aware of crevasses! Attack the last steep slope of the face on the left side of the summit (while looking up). Climb the part of the face for about 150 meters (45-50 degrees) and you'll reach the summit ridge.

Descent along the normal route of the Punta Kurz. Don't forget to climb to the summit of the Mont Brule from the Punta Kurz!

North face of the Punta Kurz (Manera's route): 4-5 hours from the Bouquetins Hut to the summit. Ice up to 80 degrees (D-).

North wall of the Punta KurzSelfdrawn map of the route through the face.

Essential Gear

Alpine ice climbing gear. With at least 6 ice screws for the first pitches on the serac. Two good ice axes can be very usefull.

External Links

Arolla tourist information:
Camping Arolla:
Weather forecast:
Bouquetins hut:



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