Roccabiasca 1727 m
An important branch South-North oriented starts from the main boundary ridge between Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany nearby Monte Brusà, taking the aspect of a rocky ridge-line, showing towers and cliffs beyond the Brusà Col. This ridge becomes more and more steep, giving origin to Monte Roccabiasca South ridge, separating Badignana Valley on the Eastern side from Guadine Valley on the West side. Belonging to Appennino Parmense, Roccabiasca is the highest peak lying entirely in Parma province; the Eastern and Western sides are rocky and steep, while the wooden North side gently descends towards the Forest Road running between Cancelli and Lagoni. West face - overlooking the Pradaccio Reserve - shows some interesting and often climbed ice-gullies.
Roccabiasca is quite a frequently climbed peak in reason of its central position, allowing a wide view over several other peaks surrounding it, and also in reason of its interesting climbing routes, making it a popular mountaineering, ski-mountaineering and hiking destination all round year.
Parma is the nearest town to the area; it’s a nice 200.000 inhabitants town with a small airport offering some domestic flies and only a few international ones. A good choice of international flies is provided by Milan and Bologna International Airports, both situated at a reasonable distance (Milan 110 km., Bologna 90 km.).
Parma is linked to Milan and Bologna by A1 motorway and to Tuscany by A15 motorway, so logistic is not a problem.
Approach from A15 (Autocisa Motorway)
If you’re driving on A15 towards North exit Pontremoli and follow the road to Passo del Cirone and Bosco di Corniglio. From here follow the road towards the locality named Cancelli. If you’re driving on A15 towards South the best is exiting Borgo Val di Taro and follow the road towards Passo del Sillara and Bosco di Corniglio.
- Approach from A1 (Autostrada del Sole)
If you’re getting there from A1, coming from Bologna or from Milan, take Parma main exit.
- Approach from Parma
Follow the SP 665 (Massese) towards Langhirano and Capoponte; in Capoponte turn to right, reaching Corniglio, Bosco di Corniglio and the locality named Cancelli; at a road fork turn to left, following the shady road running inside the beautiful Forest Road towards Lagoni (Twin Great Lakes). 65 km. from Parma
Walking approach to Capanne di Badignana
Leave the car along the Cancelli-Lagoni Forest Road nearby the road fork to Capanne di Badignana (m. 1320, 4,1 km. from Cancelli). Follow the pleasant trail marked 719 towards the Capanne di Badignana m. 1478, an unguarded shelter. See here how to book an overnight stay: Bivacco Capanne di Badignana
Walking approach to West face
Quite a long approach is required to get the interesting ice-gullies lying on the West face of Roccabiasca; mountaineers and sky-mountaineers are not allowed to follow the shorter approach via the Pradaccio Lake, lying inside an Integral Reserve. The only possible approach is via Lago Santo and the saddle named Sella Brusà, by downclimb the easy snowy gully starting from the saddle and getting to the bottom of W face.
From Capanne di Badignana m. 1478 follow the right marks (quite visible also in winter), entering the beech-wood. Cross a stream and climb a steep snow-slope, then turn to left, climb another snow-slope. Head to left, doing a brief downclimb, after which the stunning East pyramid of Roccabiasca is appearing. A short climb is leading below the left edge of the rocky East face; skirt all the face toward right on a steep snow-slope, then turn to right and climb the gently snow slope quite in view of the summit cross. Get to the summit straight or heading to the right ridge.
***Normal route from Cancelli-Lagoni Forest Road
Alpine F, 500 m. Difference in level from Cancelli
This route is an easier and shorter way to get the summit, but less interesting and panoramic that the previous route. This route is starting on the Cancelli - Lagoni Forest Road close to the Eastern borders of Guadine-Pradaccio Reserve and it's just adviced as a shorter and different route to downclimb the peak.
Alpine PD+, III UIAA, 100 m. difference in level from Sella del Brusà m. 1645, but the route has quite a longer develop
From Capanne di Badignana rise straightly toward the boundary ridge (don’t follow the right marks, leading to Roccabiasca by its Normal route), getting to Brusà Saddle, separating Monte Roccabiasca (on the right) from Monte Brusà (on the left). Once getting to the Brusà Saddle (about 30 minutes from Badignana), leave the main path heading towards the main boundary ridge, turn to right and head towards the obvious rocky ridge.
Alpine PD+, only in wintertime, bring rope, ice axe and crampons
As told in the previous chapter the only possible approach is via Lago Santo and the saddle named Sella Brusà, by downclimb the easy snowy gully starting from the saddle and getting to the bottom of W face.
Descent - Two possibilities: along the panoramic East side normal route to Badignana or along the other normal route getting directly to the Cancelli-Lagoni Forest Road (shorter but less interesting).
- Rifugio Lagoni at Great Twin Lakes m.1507 – 5 km. by car from Cancelli – always open in the week-ends, all the day from june to september
- Capanne di Badignana m. 1478 – 45 minutes from Cancelli-Lagoni Forest Road - The hut is an old shepherds’ alp which had been restored and offers a few places, unguarded. See here how to book an overnight stay: Bivacco Capanne di Badignana
-Rifugio Lagdei m. 1250 – 1 km. by car from Cancelli
When to climbIt’s possible to climb all year round on Monte Roccabiasca; winter ascents require the essential gear as rope, helmet, crampons, ice-axe, ice-anchors.
ArrampicaParma - climbing, bouldering & mountaineering
Alberto Rampini - Silvia Mazzani
Rock climbing, ice climbing and winter mountaineering in Appennino Parmense guidebook - II updated edition
Pareti Edizioni 2011
Appennino Ligure e Tosco-Emiliano
M. Salvo - D. Canossini
Guida dei Monti d'Italia
Club Alpino Italiano - Touring Club Italiano 2002
“Le valli del Cedra e del Parma (The Cedra and Parma Valleys)” Map 1:25.000 (CAI-Regione Emilia-Romagna)
“Alto Appennino Parmense Est” Map 1:50.000 (CAI-Regione Emilia-Romagna)