North-West Wall

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 45.51960°N / 7.26810°E
Additional Information Route Type: Mountaineering, Ice Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: D
Sign the Climber's Log


Gran ParadisoGrand Paradiso North West face

Gran Paradiso is the highest summit of the whole group it gives the name to and it's entirely located in the Aosta Valley. On its majestic North-West wall run some of the best ice-climbs in Gran Paradiso group. The North-West wall is 600 m high and can offer a good difficulty. The good access and the easy descent are the winner cards of this route. The characteristic of the wall is two ice humps; the first is smaller than the second.

Getting there

Road access

- from the A5 Motorway (Torino-Morgex) exit Aosta West and follow the road to Saint- Pierre; turn to left taking the SS 26, pass Villeneuve and turn to right following the road SR23 to Valsavarenche, getting Introd and Pravieux m. 1834. Parking.

Walking approach to Rifugio Chabod

From the parking in Pruaviex m. 1874 cross the bridge on the stream (signposts Rif. Chabod) and pass a little settlement of alpine "baite". Continue to rise inside the wood along the path with several hairpins to the Alpe Lavassey m. 2194. Here there's a fork on the path, keep the right side (signposts), following the good path leading to Rif. Chabod (2 and a half hours from Pravieux).

From the winter shelter climb up to reach the track of the Normal route heading towards right, getting to the glacier. Follow the Normal route for about 100 meters, then leave it and climb up the glacier towards left - crevasses - heading towards the obvious North facer (2 hours and a half from Rif. Chabod).

Si supera la crepaccia terminale(genaralmente direttamente sotto la linea di salita o leggermente e sinistra)e si risale la bella parete compresa fra le rocce di sinistra e il bel seracco pensile in alto a destra.
Il pendio si presenta sempre uniforme con i primi metri a 45° per poi raddrizzarsi a 55° con qualche breve tratto a 60° nella vicinanza del seracco.
Sbucati sulla cresta la si percorre con un primo tratto su neve e poi con facili roccette fino ad una salto di 5-6m che può essere sceso arrampicando o con una breve corda doppia su cordoni in posto,.Ci sitrova sotto il torione della vetta con la grossa statua della Madonna,lo si aggira a sinistra e ci si ricollega alla via normale e per essa si raggiunge in breve la vetta.

First ascent

North-west wall and left rock ridge: L. Bon, R. Chabot and A. Cretier in 11 june 1930
Complete North-west wall: C. Bertolone, F. Cappa e G. Giorda in 6 luglio 1958

Gran paradiso NW Face
Gran paradiso NW Face
Tha chain of Gran Paradiso
The chain of Gran Paradiso
On Nort-West face
On North-West face

Route Description

Climb the terminal crevasse and go up on the beautiful snow slide. Exceed the first hump, and the second terminal crevasse. The Chabot route after have climb the first hump, go to the left to the rock ridge, climb it and go up to the north-north-east ridge and than to the summit. Gradient max 50°.
The Bertolone route, called Diemberger too (he climbs this route only in 1961, but he’s more famous to Bertolone…), after the first hump go to the second and turn this on the left, between the seracs. This pitch is the crux. After the slope is less incline and arrive to the summit easily. Gradient max 55-60°.

Essential Gear

Rope, a couple of ice-axe, helmet and crampons

Red Tape

P.N.G.P. - Gran Paradiso National Park logo

There are no fees or permits needed to climb Gran Paradiso NW face. The mountain is located inside Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso, established in 1922, one of most important National Parks in Italy. You should take care of nature as usual within the boundaries of all the natural parks. Free camping is not allowed and fires are strictly forbidden. The whole fauna and flora are protected. Don’t disturb fauna and other mountaineers’ peacefulness with every kind of noise.

Please respect the following rules in P.N.G.P. Gran Paradiso National Park:

Where to stay

il rifugio Federico Chabod...Rif. Federico Chabod
Gran Paradiso  - Vittorio Emanuele II hutRif. Vittorio Emanuele

- Rifugio Federico Chabod 85 places open in spring till middle may - in summer from middle june to middle september

Rifugio Chabod

- Rifugio Vittorio Emanuele m. 2732 - Club Alpino Italiano Sez. Torino 120 places - open from 7-6-2014 to Hut Phone: +39016595920 Guardian Phone: +39016595103 - +393356001921 - +393488120379

Rifugio Vittorio Emanuele

When to climb

Best season to climb is late Spring and early Summer


Meteo Regione Valle d'Aosta

Meteo Alpi

Guidebooks and maps


“Gran Paradiso” Guida dei Monti d’Italia by E. Andreis, R. Chabod and M.C. Santi – Club Alpino Italiano, Touring Club Italiano 1980

“Gran Paradiso e Valli di Lanzo - Le cento più belle ascensioni" Gian Carlo Grassi – Ed. Zanichelli 1982

“Gran Paradiso - La Grivola - Cogne” – IGC 101 1:25.000
"Il Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso" - IGC 3 1:50.000



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