Pizzo Giezza is the highest mountain of the Pioltone-Giezza range.
This range is part of the most eastern dorsal of the Pennine Alps range, near the border line between Piedmont(Italy) and Wallis(Switzerland). The top ridge of these mountains is the watershed between the valley of Divedro and the valley of Bognanco.
From the top of Pizzo Giezza three ridges descend: the West ridge, that before sinking in Zwischbergen valley rises up forming the summits of Dosso and Pizzo Pioltone
, the East ridge, that continues with the summits of Pizzo del Rovale and Pizzo D’Albiona and the South ridge, entirely in the Territory of Bognanco, dividing the groove of Rio Rasiga from the one of Rio Variola.
Pizzo Giezza, like the other adjacent mountains, soars at north, above Divedro Valley, with steep flanks high more than 2000 meters, carved by long colouirs full of vegetation and tormented by repulsive rocky cliffs. At south instead, above Bognanco valley, the flanks of the mountains are more gently, covered by woods, pastures, and easy rocks.
The more interesting routes are therefore the ones starting at south. The trails from Divedro valley are long and the abundance of vegetation makes sometimes hard to find the way.
Pizzo Giezza remains a very solitary summit, offering some pleasant hiking/ski-mountaineering route and great views.
Pizzo Giezza(on the right) and Pizzo del Rovale seen from Divedro Valley
View from the summit
Getting thereFrom Italy.
Follow the highway Milano - Gravellona Toce- Sempione, than the SS33 till the exit of Domodossola. Follow then the signs for Bognanco valley. Once in the valley follow first the direction of Pizzanco then the one of San Bernardo.
San Bernardo(1600m) is the trailhead with a car park and a small hut.
From Brig follow the road of Simplon Pass till the Italian border, than continue on the SS33 road till Domodossola where you follow the same indications reported above.
HutsRifugio del dosso
, at 1750 meters, reachable from San Bernardo in 30 minutes following the paved road that crosses Rio Rasiga. It can be used as accomodation and trailhead for the ascent.
Pizzo Giezza doesn’t offer any route for skilled mountaineers but just long trails in a lovely alpine environment.
The trails are not completely signed, paths and painted signs usually disappear in proximity of higher passes or settlements. The direction to follow approaching the summit is indicated only by a few cairns. In case of low clouds or fog you should evaluate by yourself if it’s the case to proceed or not, because it's easy to get lost if the visibility is low.
The easiest route is also the longest one: from San Bernardo follow the paved road that crosses Rio Rasiga and then rises toward north, after the bridge on Rio Rasiga, at the second hairpin of the road, take the path that leaves the road on the right.
If you start from Rifugio del dosso you must descend along the paved road till you reach the hairpin mentioned above.
The trail quickly reaches Alpe Casariola where you find a crossroad for Paione lakes, go on following the direction of Alpe Dorca and then of Alpe and passo Variola. From Alpe Variola the summit is visible looking to the West.
Hike on the meadows in the direction of the summit passing by the small lakes of Variola and reaching at last a small cirque under the main summit and the southern one, remember that the highest summit is the one on the right(North).
To reach the summit from here you can both hike the easy East face(some unstable rocks) or reach and then follow the East ridge (I UIAA scale, exposed near the edge of the ridge).
The east ridge can be engaged also from Bocchetta del Rovale (2200m), the pass between Pizzo Giezza and Punta del rovale, easy reachable from Variola lakes.
Pizzo Giezza seen from Alpe Variola
An alternative to shorten this trail is to follow the Eastern dorsal of the South ridge from Alpe Dorca to the cirque under the summit, but due to the vegetation the trail is not easy to find and the summit is not visible from Alpe Dorca so you better have a map with you.
The mountain can be climbed also from west, from Paione lakes, passing by Alpe Casariola or directly from Rifugio del dosso.
Once that you have reached the highest lake scramble till the basis of the huge rock chimney that carves the west face. Enter the chimney but don't crimb it directly, after 50/70 meters climb the small wall on the left (20 meters, from I to II/II+ of UIAA scale) that form the basis of a big ledge that ascends diagonally toward left(North). Follow the ledge till its end, then go on along the slope covered by unstable debris till the summit.
From the highest lake you can also scramble to Paione pass(2400m, signed trail) and then climb the West ridge on the southern side of its edge, some passage of I and II(UIAA scale).
3D map of the routes from Bognanco
The only feasible trail from the side of Divedro Valley is the one that leads to Variola pass, at East of Pizzo del Rovale.
The trails start from the hydro power-plant near Varzo, a village located along the SS33 highway, only five kilometers at east of the state border.
The power-plant is located on the hydrographic right of Diveria river and the trail is well indicated, at least in its lower part. From Variola pass is then possible to get to the normal route from Bognanco and Alpe Variola without loosing altitude.
This trail is quite a challenge with more than 2000 meters of elevation to gain and a very savage environment to face.
The slopes of Pizzo Giezza offers good possibilities for ski-mountaineering, the route to Paione pass and the one that reaches the summit from Alpe Variola are secure and very pleasant.
Informations about the trails, the huts and the sleeping possibilities.