North Face

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 45.48481°N / 7.23570°E
Additional Information Route Type: Mixed
Seasons Season: Spring
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: AD
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: 5.3 (YDS)
Additional Information Number of Pitches: 350
Additional Information Grade: III
Sign the Climber's Log


This is an interesting route on the Becca Of Monciair (3544 Meters) in the Gran Paradiso Group,not very traveled (most people climb the nearby north face of Ciasforon).
The route(total length 350 meters from the starting of the difficulties), is pleasant and varied (snow, rock and sometimes some ice).
The longest part of the route is the snow face (40-45 degrees), with the upper part being rock climbing on easy terrain.
The most "difficult" part is the descent, there are no fixed anchors for rappelling and you need to navigate choosing the right couloir for the descent.These couloirs need to be down-climbed and they are as steep as the face if not more.

Getting There

From the Vittorio Emanuele Hut follow the trail past the small lake.
Follow cairns up to a moraine and up to a ridge, follow cairns on the ridge until you will see the north face in front of you at the point where you need to drop on the glacier, there are two big cairns.
Descend on the glacier and follow it pointing at the north face.
There few crevasses which can be avoided easily.
1:30-2:00 hours from the Hut.

Route Description

Ascent Route:
Start climbing the snow face passing the small bershrund closed for most of its length.
Climb the face (40 degrees, 45 degrees at the top) up to a wall which blocks you to the left, and exit to the right, climbing around a spur.
From this point climb some snow up to the rocky part of the North-West ridge.
Here climb easy rock (some moves of 5.3, depending on the way you go up), paying attention to loose blocks.
The summit has a big cairn on its top. (2:00 hours from the starting of the difficulties if simul-climbing)

Descent Route:
From the summit descend South until to meet the North-East ridge (loose blocks and broken terrain) until you meet a large wall blocking the way, instead down-climb a steep couloir which you leave to follow another couloir just below the gendarme clearly visible from the summit. Down-climb this couloir down to the glacier from where you can go back to the hut following the approach path.

Essential Gear

I am listing the gear that you would use if simul-climb the route and not in pitches. We simul-climbed the whole route without putting any gear and we felt ok.

Gear for the snow face:
-30 meters rope
-4 ice screw if you are not comfortable climbing steep snow otherwise you do not need them

Rock gear for the summit ridge:
- 2 cams mid size
-3 or 4 medium stoppers

External Links

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