Pizzo Mirabella Summit Block
The route along Vallone Procura is almost as demanding as the one across Vuscagghierra Saddle but a quarter of it runs across dirt roads instead of overgrown paths. The rest, however, can be terrible if you loose the regular path. Don’t take too much heed of signposts – they may have been turned or fallen. This route shows Pizzo Mirabella from its most beautiful – in other words south-western and western sides and it sure is worth trying. Moreover – if you are as fascinated with recent ruins as I am – this is the way to go. There are two let up farms along the way and one which certainly barely makes ends meet. In all – a fascinating climb. The route can be readily combined with te Vuscagghierra Route to form a loop around (and climbing) Pizzo Mirabella. The loop takes very long and be warned – it draws blood!
See the getting there information on the main page. There’s nothing to add here.
- Start altitude: 510m
- Summit altitude: 1165m
- Prevailing exposure: N
- Type: 2h over overgrown paths 2h along dirt roads
- Protection: marked, but barely – use your own judgement!
Effort: 600m elevation gain
Power: 1 - easy
Psyche: 1 - exposed around the summit block
Orientation: 2 - tricky – often the overgrown paths all but vanish
The first part of the route follows the dirt road which passes the Masseria la Chiusa to the north and heads along beneath the south face of Pizzo Mirabella. It touches various farms but then reaches the abandoned ruins of Masseria Procura (high above on a rock). A sign shows north-west but if you follow this you’ll have to cross the macchia. Rather head along the south slopes of the rock on which the ruins of Masseria Procura stand. It is a detour but a short one since after about 800m you reach a fence after the crossing of which the trail (road) to Masseria Procura is reached.
Turn right onto it and pass the Masseria on its western side. The trail narrows as it heads deeper into Vallone Procura and climbs ever more steeply. Always stay on the left (western) side of the valley and follow the path, which loses itself among gorse bushes. There is another farm ruin up ahead,m which has to be reached by the trail. Take this as a landmark if you lost your way.
From this second ruin a trail passes to the north-east or north. Follow it; it will guide you to Masseria Cannavera – also ruined though it consists of several buildings. Here a trail starts which soon turns into a dirt road which heads up the mountain, with the Mirabella summit always at the right hand. It reaches the Masseria Brivatura, a still operating farm. Pass it, but soon afterwards turn right (south) across a field and head directly up and southwards. You’ll reach a road which comes out of Vallone Procura and steeply climbs in switchbacks towards Cresta di Mirabella. Lookout for a path to the right, some 30m beneath the crest, which heads along the north slopes towards the Mirabella summit.
This path slowly, but steadily climbs towards the summit following the whole remaining crest to the northern side. It finally, in a steep scramble, reaches a saddle just beneath the Mirabella summit block from where the final ascent starts. My guidebook recommends staying on the left side of the summit ridge but I found that advice impractical. You’d need real climbing gear on that route. Instead head along a very steep meadow to the right of the ridge which will lead you to a point to the north of the summit. From there you’ll have to scramble up the remaining steps to the summit via an exposed UIAA II climb.
Essential GearHiking gear and lots of water. You might bring harness and rope for the summit block but it is not strictly necessary