The Tsanteleina (aka Tsanteleynaz) is the main summit of the high part of the Val di Rhèmes (Val d'Aosta).
From the valley it can't be seen, hidden by the high rocky wall of the Granta Parei.
Very well known only for its normal/ski-mountaneering route on its N side, that can be a very fine approach to the classic mountaineering and is a "must" for ski-mountaneers
: the slopes of the N side, more than 400m high, are steep enough (40°-43°) to offer a wonderful (but dangerous for not skilled skiers) descent in the late spring.
The approach is not short and the climb requires to be fit and trained.
On other walls and ridges some routes have been tracked, neglected for the bad quality of the rock in the high part.
The Tsanteleina is its N side
Starting point is the Rifugio Benevolo
(+39.0165.936143) in Val di Rhemes.
Usually open and guarded in spring weekends and from july to september, out of these times one can spend the night in the winter (unguarded) shelter with few beds.
From Torino - Milano.
Motorway A5, exit Cogne.
Follow on the State road (toward Courmayeur) till Villeneuve.
Enter the valley and, at the fork between Valsavarenche and Val di Rhemes turn to the right (Rhemes).
Cross all the villages to arrive to Rhèmes Notre Dame and follow to Thumel (car parking), herefrom, following the dirt road on the right side (ascending) of the valley, or, better with snow, a track on the left that passing throught some fine woods leads you to the Rifugio Benevolo (2285m)
the Eastern side of the valley belongs to Gran Paradiso National park, the Western one is out of the boundaries of the Park ... but nature must be respected.
When to climb
Ski-mountaineering: normally from april to june (depending on snow quality and quantity).
Mountaneering: from late June to early September (better avoid to get there when the high part is iced)
From Rifugio Benevolo, cross the Dora river (bridge) and on toward the ruins of Montagna di Soches.
On the left to a fork and, passing under the rocky wall of the Granta Parei, get the Tsanteleina glacier.
Now you can pass near the wall of Granta Parei (shorter but with some crevasses and not comfortable) or point toward the Punta Calabre making a wide semicircle on an easier glacier to arrive to the bad rocks that are the base of the Tsanteleina pass.
animated gif of the routes
Climb those rocks (easier in spring, with much snow) to get the Pass.
Now follow the left side (NE) of the wall, avoiding to cross too much toward the center of the wall (2 steep bumps), to get the last meters where you can have to scramble on easy rocks.
- ski-mountaneering - same route - very steep : caution !
- don't cross to the west
- mountaneering - once at the Tsanteleina pass you can follow the slopes ascending to the ridge of the Colle della Goletta (W of the Granta Parei) and following the Goletta glacier down to Goletta lake and to the marked path.
Better come here when snow is still good.
Time required : 6-8 hours.