Orsacchiotta couloir (“orsacchiotta”, in italian, means “Teddy bear”) is a beautiful route, few known and rarely climbed. Among the easiest routes of the north-east side of Terminillo, Orsacchiotta is one of the beautiest couloirs, but the most of the people climb Chiaretti-Pietrostefani couloir, 1° Maggio couloir or the easier Canalone Centrale: in the good weather weekends, these couloirs are often overcrowded, while nobody is climbing Orsacchiotta...
Orsacchiotta couloir is the first couloir you meet after Canalone Centrale, coming from Sebastiani hut: it leads to a narrow pass through the rocks on the north ridge, about 50 meters from the Terminillo summit.
The difficulty is PD: it has an average inclination of 45°, with some spots over 50° and some short passages of mixed climb that can be steeper. In the seasons with many snow the couloir is easier and the rocks are covered. Best season for climb: from late december to early april Elevation gain: about 250m
The start is from Sebastiani Hut (1820m): usually you can reach it by car, following the road from Campoforogna; in winters with many snow (es. 2005/2006) the road is closed some Km before the hut: add 40 minutes of walking.
From Sebastiani hut follow the path towards Sella di Leonessa and Colle delle Scangive (N):after you have walked 30/40 minutes from the hut, you can see on your left the Canalone Centrale couloir, good for the descent. Keep walking through north, passing by the big rocky spur on the right of Canalone Centrale, and after few minutes you are at the start of Orsacchiotta couloir.
A short and amusing mixed passage
The couloir starts moderately steep (about 35°-40°), slightly going toward right. When you are at about 1/3 of the couloir, pay attention: don’t follow some easy snow slopes on the right, that leads to the summit-ridge of the rocky spurs delimiting the couloir on the right; you have instead to begin to going slightly on your left, searching the easier passages among the rocks, to reach the last snow-slopes leading to the tight passage between the rocks of the ridge. If you don’t move toward left, you’ll have to do a tricky traverse among the rocks to reach the exit-slopes.
The last 50 meters of the couloir are an amusing slope of good snow, steep about 55°: to reach the ridge, there’s often a cornice to passing by.
From the exit of the couloir on the north ridge, you can easily reach on your left (south) the summit of Terminillo (2216m) with 5 minutes of walking.
The shorter and faster descent is from Canalone Centrale, if you want to reach Sebastiani hut. Other routes for descent could be the easy couloirs on the left (south) of Canalone Centrale. You can find a short description of these easy couloirs there.
If the road to Sebastiani hut is closed and you left your car in Campoforogna, the better route is to follow the south ridge toward monte Terminilletto, then, when you reach Sella dei Cavalli pass (2083m), go on your left (east) through Valle del Sole valley until you reach the road to Campoforogna (1700m), about 1Km from the parking.
Luca near the exit of the couloir
Leo in the middle of the route
Lorenzo climbing a steep slope
Ice-axe, crampons, helmet; rope and pitons could be useful if you go with a beginner or there’are hard conditons (few hard snow, ice, many emerging rocks)