North Wall

Page Type
Lombardia, Italy, Europe
Route Type:
Classic Ice Climb
Time Required:
One to two days
D+, 60º

Route Quality: 3 Votes

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North Wall
Created On: Nov 30, 2005
Last Edited On: Dec 1, 2005


the approach is in common with the one of the Corda Molla as the target of the first day is the Oggioni hutte. Starting from Chiareggio (1600 m) you follow the trail to Porro and Ventina refuges (2000 m) and from here you continue towards the Ventina Glacier; the glacier has to be followed towards South until you take the right arm that leads towards the Kennedy peak; you pass through the Taveggia hutte (2845 m) and then continue on the Vergine glacier until you finally reach the Oggioni hutte (3150 m). Consider from 4 to 5 hours from Chiareggio.

Route Description

Starting altitude : 3151 m.
Ascent difference : 600 m.
Difficulty height : 500 m.
Configuration : face
orientation : N
Max. slope : 60°
Total difficulty : D+

starting from the hutte you follow the ENE ridge until a col leaning over the Disgrazia north wall. Get down to other side towards the north wall for about 100 meters (slopes at 45 degrees). Depending on the conditions of the slopes you may need to do a rappel (belay in place but to be found). Once on the glacier you climb it up to the base of the wall. The best place to pass the schrund is generally near the rocks just under the big serac; climb the icy slope on the right until you find the rocks at right-center wall; you can pass directly following a goulotte (three pitches of about 60 degrees). On the higher part of the wall, stay on the right until you reach the col on the Western ridge (normal route) that you follow until the summit.

There are three main options for descending. Each of them requires a lot of time so do not underestimate it!

1- the easiest one is to follow the normal route (WNW ridge - PD). But in this way you end in another valley (Val Masino) which is not the one where you left the car (Val Malenco)

2- to get back to Porro refuge, there are some rappels (20 meters each) which start near the Rauzi bivy, just few meters under the summit. The last rappel lets you pass the schrund. From here walk down on the glacier towards South-West until you reach the lower part of Ventina glacier and thus the refuge. This route is pretty difficult if you don't have a trace to follow: there are crevasses and seracs to avoid, plus a very short rappel on a rock island at a certain point. So PAY ATTENTION.

3- if you want to get back to Porro refuge passing by the Oggioni hutte, you can do the rappels, continue towards South-West on the glacier and climbing on the Corda Molla slopes at the easiest and least steep point. From here you will see the Oggioni hutte that can be easily reached. This option is less complicated than the previous one, but also longer!

Essential Gear

two ice tools, 5 or 6 ice screws, a couple of cams

Miscellaneous Info

Pictures and comments of the climb on July 2005 here on Climberland