Torre d’Émmele 1795 m
Torre d’Émmele in the fall afternoon light
Torre d’Émmele is a limestone powerful tower rising 250 meters towards the sky inside the Sengio Alto Subgroup, the central one of the pre-alpine group named Piccole Dolomiti (Little Dolomites), a beautiful range showing slender pinnacles, towers, very steep vegetated slopes and deep gullies named “Vaj”. This group is the ideal ground for the scramblers, often involving some easy climbing’s steps, rather than for hikers. Little Dolomites main boundary ridge separates the Trento province on the North-East side from the Vicenza province on the South-West side. Torre d’Émmele lies between Sella dell’Émmele on NE and Forcella del Dente Rotto (Broken Tooth) on W, overlooking Boale degli Onari and Émmele Path with its very steep faces. The evocative name “Émmele”, a Cimbric place-name meaning “little plain”, is identifiable with the homonymous “Émmele Saddle”; afterwards this place-name was transposed to the beautiful tower overlooking this saddle. Today we can count several fine climbing routes on very good quality “dolomia” on this tower; in addition to the pre-existent old routes, some superb new ones were climbed in last ten-years period. Even if some modern routes equipped with bolts was realized in last year in Little Dolomites, climbing way is strictly trad here on Torre d’Émmele.
The tower first summiters: L. Bellieni with Clelia Lanaro in 1927 from Sella dell’Émmele along the ENE Ridge
There are three different possibilities:
1 - NW side: from A22 Autobrennero Motoway exit Rovereto and follow the road SS46 rising inside Vallarsa, crossing numberless small villages like Valmorbia, Anghebeni and Raoxi and reaching at least the pass named Pian delle Fugazze mt. 1162 (km. 26 from Rovereto). From the pass, situated on the border between Trento and Vicenza provinces, follow for 50 meters the road towards Vicenza and sudden leave it and turn to right to follow the King’s Road (Strada del Re, an old road suitable for vehicles only for some kilometers) leading to Malga Cornetto; at the fork with the road to Pasubio Military Sanctuary carry on along the main road and where the road is closed by a bar park the car in a little pull-out. You also can put the car at Malga Cornetto.
2 - SE side via “Pian delle Fugazze”: from A4 “Serenissima” Motorway exit Vicenza West and follow the road SS46 crossing the town of Schio and rising along Val Leogra towards Valli del Pasubio, Ponte Verde and Pian delle Fugazze. 50 meters before getting to the pass turn to left following the King’s Road which leads to Malga Cornetto; at the fork with the road to Pasubio Military Sanctuary carry on along the main road and park the car in a little pull-out where it’s closed by a bar.
3 - SE side via “Malga Campogrosso”: from A4 “Serenissima” Motorway exit Montecchio Maggiore and follow the road to Valdagno, Recoaro and Passo di Campogrosso; some hundred meters before getting to Campogrosso Pass follow the King’s Road on the right and park the car near the bar closing the road.
Walking access 1-2 From the little pull-out near the bar which closes the road, follow the King’s road by walking, reaching a good trail named “Émmele Path” on the right-hand side of the road. Follow it (marks to Monte Cornetto and Sella dell’Émmele) and when you’re getting to the 10th hairpin, leave it and go towards left, crossing a vegetated gully and getting to the bottom of the tower. 3 – From Malga Campogrosso follow the King’s Road by walking as far as the first hairpin. Here leave the road on the left-hand side and follow the new “Loffa Path” (signpost “Bruno Peruffo”).
All the routes on Torre d’Émmele from left to right (UIAA Scale):
- A Pozzo-Padovan Route V+ - B Prime foglie d’autunno (Fall’s first leaves) VI, 190 m. - C Daniele-Scorzato Ridge V+, 190 m. - D Ultime foglie d’autunno (Fall’s last leaves) VI+, 200 m. - E Soldà Route VI, 200 m. - F Via della Loffa VI, 200 m. - G Via Attaverso l’Émmele (Route accross the Émmele), VII-, 330 m. - H Supermario VI, 330 m. - I JFK Route VI, 150 m. - J East Face V, 150 m. - K ENE Ridge II, 120 m. Today the routes usually climbed are: B-C-D-F-G-H
Descent: from the summit cairn scramble down easy rocks and grassy slope heading towards North (red marks) reaching the Arroccamento trail. Turn to right and follow it to Sella dell'Emmele, where the Emmele path is starting and coming down to the King's road and to Malga Cornetto (1 hour from the top).
Today the Normal route usually climbed to get to the tower’s summit doesn’t follow the first climbers’route along ENE ridge; it rises along the Émmele Path to the Émmele Saddle and then follows the Arroccamento trail, an old and extraordinary military trail, winding between Sengio Alto high summits an crossing all the Sengio Subgroup from Malga Cornetto m. 1220 to Toni Giuriolo Hut at Campogrosso Pass m. 1456. Following this uncommon Patrol’s Trail towards Dente Rotto and Cornetto saddles (towards South), between Émmele Saddle and Dente Rotto saddle you must find an uncertain track (red marks) on the left, leading with very easy scramble on the very satisfactory summit of the tower.
Cars are not allowed on the North side road from Pian delle Fugazze to Passo di Campogrosso.
A historical meeeting had been organized by Club Alpino Accademico Italiano (C.A.A.I.) at Torre d'Émmele in june 2011. Numerous mountaineers - between them there were some first climbers of Torre d'Emmele routes - had climbed various routes and met all together on the summit to build a big cairn in memory of the great dolomitist Lorenzo Massarotto, injured by a thunderbolt just on this summit in 2005.
This is an old and extraordinary military trail, winding between Sengio Alto high summits and crossing all the Sengio Subgroup from Malga Cornetto m. 1220 to Toni Giuriolo Hut at Campogrosso Pass m. 1456, realized by the Italian Military Engineers Corp during the WWI (First Mondial War), after Austrian Strafexpedition in 1916. Following this uncommon Patrol’s Trail is really a satisfactory experience.
Little Dolomites shows a local micro-climate due to the high contrast between NW side, colder and dry, and SE side, warmer and wet: this situation is the cause, especially in summer time, of some frequent fogs along the South-East sides.
Rifugio Toni Giuriolo - Passo di Campogrosso 1456 m.
Rifugio Balasso 983 m. - Pian delle Fugazze
New climbing guidebook "Piccole Dolomiti e dintorni - Arrampicate scelte" by Guido Casarotto - Cierre Ed. 2015
"A un passo dal cielo" by Arturo Castagna
“Arrampicate nelle Piccole Dolomiti” by Guido Casarotto
“Piccole Dolomiti – Pasubio” by Gianni Pieropan - Collana Guide dei Monti d’Italia, CAI TCI