Northern Normal Route (from Cirque de Trimbolaccio)

Northern Normal Route (from Cirque de Trimbolaccio)

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 42.37903°N / 8.91103°E
Additional Information Route Type: Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Summer
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: PD: 40-45 deg snow/ice, I-II rock (UIAA)
Additional Information Grade: II
Sign the Climber's Log


The route starts at Haute-Asco (1422m), see the main page.

Route Description

From the parkground a signpost "Punta Minuta / Capo Largia / Monte Cinto" indicates the start of the trail, contouring at about 1400m in S direction into the Cirque de Trimbolaccio, sure one of if not the most impressing Cirques of Corsica and frontpage of many guidebooks. You get the same view from the last kilometers of the road already.

The path is marked with lots of cairns and red dots. After half an hour a bridge comes into view. The red points direct to the other (eastern) side of the creek and lead up to Monte Cinto. Stick to the western (orographical left) side following cairns into the Cirque. Guideline may be the impressive pillar of Capu Larghia, i.e. southern direction.

At 1650m a rocky height is circumvented (see this picture). Watch out the alder sections, which can be quite nasty. In June I met the snowy couloir coming down from Capo Rosso at 1750m, otherwise keep to that direction until you are on it. There are several small rocky islands in the snow couloir which either can be climbed straight or circumvented either left or right. One has to judge by appearance. The steepest sections can reach up to 40-45 degree depending on conditions. As the couloir (as I met it) gains 600m of altitude one should be confident with crampons or going roped and with belay where necessary. This also holds for the descent, the popular sliding down is not advisable esp. in the upper part of the couloir!

Capo Rosso divides the couloir into two branches, the eastern one coming from Bocca di Pampanosa (2385m; next to Capo Larghia) and the western from Bocca Rossa (next to Punta Minuta). In contrast to the obvious take the eastern branch up to near the Bocca di Pampanosa. About 20m below the Bocca follow the snow / gravel band leading upwards on the western side of the couloir (i.e. right in the sense of ascent). Here you reach a shoulder of Capo Rosso and behind that the south flank of the crestline. Bocca Rossa is easily reached in some minutes descent and, sticking on the southern side, re-ascended to the facing Punta Minuta. Cairns guide you up the SE flank and within half or 3/4 hour from the Bocca Rossa to the summit.
The South summit is slightly higher than the northern, which (in 2006) carried the broken reminders of a wooden cross and looks down to Haute-Asco. In between a small block is to be circumvented offering airy views down into the Cirque de Solitude. Apart from this the summit ridge is easy terrain.

Overall ascending time is 4-5 hours with good conditions. Belaying sections in the couloir of course would add to this.

Essential Gear

Crampons and ice axs are advisable the whole year. Rope and ice screws may be necessary in late summer as well as a helmet. Above the beginning of the snow couloir one cannot count on finding water apart from molten snow.

External Links

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