Pizzo Groppera

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 46.41372°N / 9.40550°E
Additional Information County: Lombardia
Activities Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Skiing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 9672 ft / 2948 m
Sign the Climber's Log


This wide and not small pyramid, made of bad rocks and mostly covered by grass and debris, is the S limit of the Pizzo d'Emet ridge in Vallespluga.
It grows up between Passo Groppera (2677m) to the N and Passo d'Angeloga (2370m) to the S.

Its western slopes, going down to Madesimo and Alpe Motta, are the widest area of the big ski resort of Madesimo, the other one, on the eastern side is the wide slopes going down toward NE into the Val di Lei.

A cablecar allows, in winter, to arrive near the summit: the upper station is at 2880m.

Very popular in summer among the people spending their holidays in Campodolcino, Madesimo or Motta for the easy routes and the wonderful pano from the summit.

Pizzo Groppera

when I was 16 and for 3 years, I used to spend 2 weeks in the "Casa Alpina di Motta" (a wonderful resort for happy boys and girls) - when weather was not fine enough for the "mountains" we used to make an afternoon hike to this summit ...

Getting There

starting from Milan (Italy) by car :
- route 36 to Colico, then Chiavenna, Campodolcino, Madesimo

starting from Chur (CH)
- autoroute of S.Bernardino till Splügen then, on the left to Spluga pass, Montespluga, Pianazzo, Madesimo

in wintertime and early spring (till ski area is "on") you can use the many chairlifts and the cablecar to gain height.

in summertime or when chairlifts are "off" the better starting point is Alpe Motta Bassa (1725m - road from Madesimo)

Routes overview

  • the best : western ridge from Alpe Motta :
    follow marks for "Lago Azzurro" and "Alpe Groppera", along a wide path; once there you must point toward the cablecar station of Cima del Sole (walking along the ski track).
    Once there follow the wide ridge of the Colmenetta to get the W ridge (big cairn ~2500m).
    Now along the ridge, made of big boulders, up to the summit
    Difficulty = Easy
    Time required : 3,5 - 4 hours from Motta

  • the easiest : northern side from Alpe Motta :
    ditto to the Alpe Groppera, now along the debris of Canalone up to the Passo Groppera.
    Straight to the summit along debris slopes
    Difficulty = for hikers - better if with good snow
    Time required : 3,5 - 4 hours from Motta

  • the wildest : SE and E side from Angeloga
    get the passo di Angeloga and follow to the N till you get the ridge, on along near it, avoiding the slabs on the edge
    Difficulty = Easy
    Time required : 3 - 3,5 hours from Rifugio Angeloga

  • the dangerous ones : channels of the SE, S and SW sides : easy (some passes of rock climb) but dangerous for falling stones - starting point is Rifugio Angeloga

    BEST hike : ascent along the W ridge -descent along the E ridge to Angeloga and back to Alpe Motta along the (well marked and equipped) path that runs on the SW side of Groppera.

    Sky routes ...

    the slopes of Pizzo Groppera look done for ski and freeride
    the most famous descent is the Canalone that starts little above the Passo Groppera
    Pizzo Groppera
    on the NW side of Groppera
    All the descents are for good skiers, only the Canalone can be done also by beginners but only if driven by expert ones.
  • Canalone - the less steep, very frequented both by skiers and snowboarders - the steepness is almost never over the 35° but the big quantity of moguls make it a little tiring for the not trained (and over 60) people.
    Some danger of avalanche from the walls on the right part.
  • Camosci - little steeper but with less moguls than Canalone, it's, for my feeling, the best "classic" descent from Groppera - some narrow channels near the end require to be a little careful when iced ...

  • Groppera freerides
    on the W side of Groppera :
  • Cavi - freeride - starting point is just under the cables of the cablecar - after the first steep channel you can turn to the right to get back to Camosci or to the left to join the Fiammifero
  • Fiammifero - freeride - starting point is the summit of Pizzo Groppera (easy and fast to be got on foot) - after the first step you enter a narrow and straight channel - at the end of it there is the joint with the Cavi then the descent goes down in the walley between the Groppera and the Cima del Sole joining in the lower part the skiruns
  • Cavallina - freeride - starting point is the summit of Pizzo Groppera - the descent is along a very steep channel left (descending) of the previous one - to get it you must pass over the rocky spur that borders, on its left side, the Fiammifero

    these are only some small info, the rides are normally "tracked" by the numerous ski runners that have made this area famous (for the insiders of course)

  • Accomodations

    Madesimo and Alpe Motta hotels
    Rifugio Angeloga

    Links to some ski and freeride videos

    MADESIMO video page
    Freeride Streghe e Diavoli - 27 febbraio 2010
    Neve fresca nei Camosci 10 gennaio 2010
    Neve fresca in Val di Lei 10 gennaio 2010
    Fuoripista Alpe Motta 9 gennaio 2010
    Powder Day - 8 gennaio 2010
    Speed-riding Camosci Diavoli Streghe - 1 gennaio 2010 by Dario Frigerio
    Speed-riding Camosci Diavoli Streghe by Dario Frigerio
    Free-ride e Speed-riding Val di Lei - 1 gennaio 2010
    4 dicembre 2009 - Apertura Skiarea Valchiavenna
    Powder dreams Madesimo 2009
    Blossom Experience - Heliski Madesimo
    Salice Open Freeride Canalone 08
    8848 Altitude Photoshoot 09

  • Parents 


    Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.

    Valle SplugaMountains & Rocks