Pan di Zucchero 3208 m - called Pain de Sucre in French - is a mountain belonging to the Southern Alpi Cozie, Monviso group, and is located in the upper Val Varaita, along the border between Italy and France (Queyras region). It is one of the easiest and more accessible summit higher than 3000 m in the Alps. The mountain is situated very close to Colle Agnello 2744 m, one of the highest road pass in the Alps, accessible by car during summer. Pan di Zucchero is the one furthest to the left of the fine tryad Pan di Zucchero - Rocca Rossa - Pic d'Asti. Pain de Sucre ascent is a direct route on the pyramid. The view from the summit is wonderful, including the curious Crète de Taillante (m.3197), the nearby Rocca Rossa with the formidable Pic d'Asti and the majestic bulk of the Monviso and most of this sector of the Alpi Coziee Alps. The direct line distance from Pain de Sucre to Monviso is 8km.
The view from the summit is wonderful, including the curious Crète de Taillante (m.3197), the nearby Rocca Rossa with the formidable Pic d'Asti and the majestic bulk of the Monviso and most of this sector of the Alpi Coziee Alps. The direct line distance from Pain de Sucre to Monviso is 8km.
The Normal route to summit Pan di Zucchero starts from Colle dell'Agnello 2745 m, a high road pass between Italy (Valle Varaita) and France (Queyras).
From the A6 Torino-Savona motorway exit Bra-Marene and take the road to Savigliano, Saluzzo and Valle Varaita (road n. 8). Once you enter the Valle Varaita, drive to Sampeyre and Casteldelfino, overcoming different villages. At the junction in Casteldelfino ignore the left road to S. Anna di Bellino and take the road on the right to Pontechianale and Chianale, getting to Chianale, the last inhabited village in the valley. From Chianale we proceed driving along the road rising with many hairpin bends in the direction of Colle dell'Agnello. Reached Colle dell'Agnello, descend a couple of hundred meters on the French side, to the first parking lot on the right, near a blue road sign (“Département des Hautes-Alpes”).
Guillestre>Château Queyras>Villevieille>Molines> refuge Agnel (close to Agnel pass)>Agnel pass. Before getting the pass park the car in a parking lot on the left of the road.
Pan di Zucchero Normal Route from Colle dell'Agnello
Difference in level: 460 m from Colle dell'Agnello
Starting point: parking lot some hundred meters below Colle dell'Agnello 2748 m, on the French side
The standard route up to the summit climbs along the West side of the mountain in French territory and doesn't present particular difficulties, despite the difficult appearance when the peak is viewed from the starting point of the itinerary.
From the parking lot take a track heading North-East, staying on the French side, close to the border watershed. The mountain is in front of us, the one to the left of the beautiful triad Pan di Zucchero - Rocca Rossa - Pic d'Asti, and it appears very steep. The itinerary initially climbs up over meadows, shortly reaching the depression of the Colle dell'Agnello vecchio 2785 m. At a crossroads there are two possibilities: a track that branches off to the right and that rather steep and direct heads towards the summit of the Pan di Zucchero and a second more regular one that continues straight on reaching a grassy hill with a beautiful view of the Crete de la Taillante and the underlying Lac Foréant. From here it bends to the right going up slightly on debris up to a point where it crosses the previous track. At this point we continue to climb with numerous serpentines between debris and rocky outcrops, guided by cairns of stones and choosing the one that best suits us among the different tracks present. In the upper part of the itinerary we overcome an inclined slab of a few meters with easy climbing and we come out on a rounded crest with cairns, quickly giving access to the sharp summit ridge and finally to the highest point. There are three summits lined up the summit ridge.
Descent: reversing the same itinerary
No fees no permits required
Hiking: from middle June to the end of September
Ski touring: spring
There are different possibilities both on the italian and the french side: B&B, huts, apartments, camping, hotels.
Huts on the Italian side
Refuge Agnel 2580 m
“Monte Viso – Alpi Cozie Meridionali” by Michelangelo Bruno – Collana CAI-TCI Guide dei Monti d’Italia
"Monviso-Valle Varaita-Valle Po-Valle Pellice" -IGC sheet 106 1:25000
"Mont Viso" IGN 3637 OT