Torricella m. 1728
Monte Torricella is a twice summit belonging to the Appennino Parmense Orientale and located on a secondary branch starting from the main boundary ridge between Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany. The peak overlooks with rocky and steep sides both the basin of Lago Verde towards West and the sky station of Pratospilla towards East.
It’s an interesting summit, entirely located in Parma province, frequently climbed all round year; an outing is particularly advisable in winter time, in reason to climb the various ice-gullies lying on the Western side of the peak. This face overlooks the Lago Verde basin m. 1484 with some rocky spurs, originating some different gullies, rising from the indistinct basal slopes and becoming steeper in their upper part.
The most interesting sector of Western face is located on the right and it's situated between two gullies: a wide slope-gully named Canalone dei Ghiri on the left hand side, rising to a wide saddle, and a direct narrow gully, named Canale dei Merli, on the right hand side.
In the middle of the summit ridge a wide obvious saddle separates the true summit, the Southern one, which is the highest and lies on the right, from the easier conventional summit, the Northern one, on the left, where it's located the summit cross.
The starting point is Pratospilla m. 1351, a sky station located nearby the great lake named Lagastrello and the village of Rigoso in the Eastern Appennino Parmense.
The nearest town is Parma, a 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 Milano and Bologna International Airports, both situated at a reasonable distance (Milano 110 km., Bologna 90 km.). Parma is well linked to Milano and Bologna by the A1 motorway (Autostrada del Sole) and to Tuscany by the A15 motorway (Autocisa).
- Access from A1 Motorway (Autostrada del Sole) If you’re getting there from A1, coming from Bologna or from Milano, take the main Parma exit.
- Access from Parma to Pratospilla: follow the road SP 665 (Massese) towards Langhirano and Pastorello; getting the Pastorello roundabout carry on straightly to Ranzano, Palanzano and Monchio delle Corti, getting to Pratospilla, a sky station nearby the village of Rigoso.
Walking approach to South ridge normal route and West face
From Pratospilla m. 1351 follow the trail n. 707 to Lago Ballano; after 10 minutes leave it and take on the left the variant n. 707a, which skirts the Northern slopes of Monte Torricella, getting the Lago Verde. Don't reach the lake, but stay high over the left shore of the lake (summer mark n. 707), traversing under the West slopes of Torricella (1 hour from Pratospilla)
Torricella is climbed all year round, but especially in wintertime. The main winter routes are the following ones:
- South ridge (Normal route from Lago Verde)
Diffculty: Alpine PD
Vertical gain: 400 m. from Pratospilla, longer develop
The most interesting amongst the two normal routes, but not the easiest. The starting point is located on a saddle on the right hand of West face. The ridge, involving some short easy sections of rock climb, reachs the Southern summit.
- North ridge (Normal route from Pratospilla)
Diffculty: Alpine F
Vertical gain: 400 m. from Pratospilla
This route has a shorter approach that the previous one and it's an easier climb to the Northern summit (the conventional one); anyhow it's much less interesting that the previous route. This route is starting along the trail 707a, without reaching Lago Verde.
West Face winter gullies
- Canalone dei Ghiri
Difficulty: Alpine PD, 45°
Climbing length: m. 200
A wide slope rather than a gully, the easiest amongst the Western winter routes, located on the left hand side of the face. There is not a compulsive itinerary and it's a good route for beginners. Last meters are a bit steeper. The route leads on a wide saddle between the two summits.