Punta di l’Ariettu is a perfect pyramidal tower located above Bavella Col, the admittance to the wild Bavella Massif; it is well visible from the road D268 rising from Zonza to Bavella Col and shows a close resemblance with the neighbouring Punta di l’Acellu: the height, the shape, the location and the granite's quality. Ariettu - in the local dialect - or Mouflon - in French - is the original Corsican place name, but the peak is also called Austrians Tower, in homage to the first summiters, and Second Tower of Bavella. As this latter name says, Punta di l’Ariettu is the second one amongst the Aiguilles de Bavella and frequently climbed in reason of its closeness to Bavella Pass and its high class rock. The most interesting routes are the lines running on the South face and the classic and beautiful West Ridge, called Arête de Quenza.
Access to the Island of Corsica
The magnificent island of Corsica-Corse, l'Ile de Beauté (the Island of Beauty) belonging to France but much closer to Italy, can be easily approached by plane (airports both in Bastia on the Eastern coast and Ajaccio on the Western coast) and by ferry-boat from Livorno and Savona italian ports. The most convenient destination in Corsica to visit the Bavella area, one of the wildest region of the island, is the airport of Bastia if you’re getting there by plane; the same Bastia port if you’re getting there by ferry-boat.
- From Bastia (Corsica Eastern coast) follow the road RN 198 to Solenzara; a few kilometers before getting to in Solenzara turn to left, taking the road D268 to Bavella Pass (km. 130 from Bastia).
- From Aiaccio (Corsica Western coast) follow the road RN 196 to Petreto, then the road N852 to Aullene, Quenza and Zonza (km. 90 from Aiaccio).
The starting point to reach Punta di l'Ariettu is Bavella Pass m 1211. Parking. It's possible to spend the night in the huts on the col or getting there directly from Zonza, a small typical corsican village located in the South-West side of Bavella Pass (9 km. from the pass).
From Bavella Pass take the GR20 “Alpin Variant” (yellow marks) rising steeply to Bocca di l'Acellu. Reach the col, then descend and follow again the "Alpin Variant", traversing right to reach the bottom of the peak.
Punta di l'Ariettu routes overview from left to right (French Scale)
“Arête de Quenza” D+, 5c max, 5c obbl. 250 m. "Voie Italienne" TD, 6b max., 6a obbl., 180 m "Voie Calendini" D+, 5c max, 5c obbl. 180 m
South and South-East Faces
“Ballade pour un Tafone” TD+, 6b, 6a obbl. 120 m. “Fratillanza” D+, 5c max, 150 m. “Alpinmuppets” TD-, 6a max, 5c obbl. 200 m. “Caniveau Vertical” TD+, 6b 150 mt.
Punta di l'Ariettu Normal Route
Punta di l'Ariettu Normal Route
Difficulty: Alpine PD+, 3c (a short move)
Difference in level: 380 m from Col de Bavella
First ascent: Kraftner and Obersteiner 1927, June 9th
Starting point: Col de Bavella
It's the route of the first summiters of Ariettu. A pleasant and easy scramble to reach the summit of this beautiful and panoramic tower, offering wide views over the Bavella rangeFrom Bavella Col follow the GR20 “Alpin Variant” (yellow marks) rising steeply to Bocca di l'Acellu. Reach the col, then descend and follow again the "Alpin Variant", traversing right to reach the bottom of Ariettu.
Skirt the walls (a short step equipped with chains) and reach the Bocca d'a Vacca, located between Ariettu on the left and Punta d'a Vacca on the right. Climb a system of ledges on the NE side, then a gully on the North side, leading to a steep wall. A chimney (3c) allows to climb this steep section. After another chimney, gain the fine summit on easier ground. A short abseil along the chimney is recommended, when coming down.
Nature and climate
Nature is wild and peculiar; in Corsica we can find more than the 5% of authoctonous kinds of flower and plants, in addition to authoctonous fauna. On the contrary, several kinds of animal current inside Mediterranean countries are away from Corsica, like squirrels and vipers.
Climate is the typical one of the mediterranean middle-mountain areas situated at these latitudes: often very hot in summer and with cold and snowy winters; early and middle Spring and early Fall are the better seasons to climb. Due to Bavella closeness to the sea, winds are often stronger how much they are at the same height in the Alps. Rainfall sometimes are important and dangerous when joined with strong winds. On the contrary, sometimes we can find some long periods of drought.
Bavella is really a fantastic world, a preserved milieu situated inside the Parc Naturel Régional de Corse - Parcu di Corsica. Free camping and bivouac are not allowed. Fires are strictly forbidden. Maximum care is required to keep for the future this extraordinary environment.
– Hotel L’Aiglon, Hotel de la Terrasse, Hotel Incudine
- Residence Le Mouflon d'Or
- Municipal Camping of Zonza, Camping La Riviere (Road to Quenza), Camping Bavella Vista (Road to Quenza)
There are also two equipped campsites along the road D 268 between Solenzara and Bocca di Larone: Camping U Ponte Grossu and Camping U Rosmarinu.
When to Climb
Best season to climb in Aiguilles de Bavella Group goes from late April to middle October
Guidebooks and maps
“Bavedda – Aiguilles entre ciel et torrents: Escalade, Rando, Canyon” by Jean Louis Fenouil and Jean Paul Quilici - Ed. FFME
"Guide d’escalade en Corse” Vol. I Massif de Bavella by Jean Paul Quilici – Bernard Vaucher “Rocca è Sole” Massif de Bavedda by Jean Paul Quilici – Francis Thibaudeau
Map;IGN 4253 ET “Aiguilles de Bavella – Solenzara”