La Sengla/ Gran Becca Blanchen

La Sengla/ Gran Becca Blanchen

Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Lat/Lon: 45.94566°N / 7.47186°E
County: Italy-Swiss border
Elevation: 12185 ft / 3714 m


Placed on the border between Swiss and Italy and rising above the glacier d'Otemma and the comba d'Oren. It's the higest and most important subgroup along the chain enclosed by Dent d'Herens and Grand Combin.

All the massif is mostly composed by gneiss rocks, not very good in the southern part. The ridge culminates with four peaks; the southern is considered as outstanding mountain and called Gran Becca di Blanchen. It's quite isolated and rarely clinbed for the pourpose of the singular peaks.

Photo taken from Ref. Nacamuli.

The massif from the refuge Nacamuli

La Sengla (3714m)

"La Sengla" is a name may be derived from latin or the local patois lenguage. The sense could be "La Sega" (the saw) or "La Cengia" (the ledge).

It's an enormous rocky ridge long more or less 1 Km with a north-south direction. It's composed by 3 main peaks and many more pinnacles, that give it the shape of a saw (that gives the sense of the name).

The massif start from Col d'Oren (3262m), and it's delimitated by the huge Otemma glacier (Swiss side) on north, and the Blanchen glacier on west. The east side has a shape of a big rocky wall that rise above the Comba d'Oren.

The most and typical route is the traverse of the 3 peaks for the entire length of the ridge. On the west side, a cozy shelter permits a shorten approach from swiss side. It's called "bivouac de la Sengla".

La Sengla

La Sengla from bivouac de la Sengla

Gran Becca Blanchen (3680m)

"Gran Becca di Blanchen" is the fourth summit situated on the southern part of the massif. It's not the highest, but topografically very important; and signed on the maps as indipendent mountain. The name "Blanchen", derived from the local patois lenguage and it means "white firm ground".

It's divides the major structure (La Sengla), in two ridges. One on the border extended to south-west with the groups "Tseuque-Rayette-Chardonney", and the other that separates Comba d'Oren from Comba de la Sasse.

The summit is easily climbed from the Bivouac de la Sasse. Also for skimountaineering.

Gran Becca di Blanchen

Gran Becca di Blanchen and locals ibex

Getting there

From Italy:

Location Alta Valpelline. From Milan motorway A4 and from Turin
motorway A5 to Aosta.
Take the direction to Pass.Gran S.Bernardo, and turn right at the village of Valpelline direction Diga Place Moulin.

From Swiss:

Along the route from Martigny reach Sembrancher where a route follows
the Val de Bagnes till Mauvoisin (1840 m) near a big dike.
By a white narrow route (some danger, not always open) you can reach the Cabane Chanrion 2460 m and Bivouac de la Sengla near the end of Otemma glacier.

Routes and history


South summit (3690m)
-East spur - Ettore Canzio, Felice Mondini 18/08/1898
-South ridge - Alexander Jenkins 30/07/1913
-West flank - Alessio Alvazzi, Umberto Balestrieri 16/08/1919

Central summit (3704m)
-East flank - Maurice Gilbert 28/09/1924

North summit (3714m)
-West flank - Carl Shroeder, Seraphine Bessard 22/07/1867
-North ridge - Alexander Jenkins 27/06/1911 - normal route for the main summit
-East spur - Gino Costa, Bruno Martinazzi, Leopoldo Saletti 22/07/1922

-Total length 2000m from Col d'Oren and Col Blanchen. 30 pinnacles.Difficulties IV°/V° max.
From 8 to 12 hours. Very long travesre and not often climbed


-Southwest ridge - Normal route. Nice and funny climb (PD/PD+) 2/3 hours from Biv. de la Sasse
-North ridge - Stuart Jenkins, Jean Gaudin 30/07/1913
-Southeast ridge - Mario Santi, Pompeo Viglino 06/08/1917

Refuges and Huts

Italian side:

The ref Nacamuli.

The ref Nacamuli.

60 places. At the head of Comba d'Oren, 3-4 hours from the dike of Place Moulin. Open summer and spring for ski-mauntaineering. Difficulty E


The bivouac De la Sasse.

The bivouac De la Sasse.

Bivouac DE LA SASSE (2973m)
12 places. At the head of Comba de la Sasse. 3 hours from Chamen.
Open any time.Difficulty E

Swiss side:

Bivouac de la Sengla

Bivouac de la Sengla

Bivouac De LA SENGLA (3199m)
12 places. Placed on the eagle nest called "l'Aiguillette" above the glacer Otemma. 2 hours from Cabane de Vignettes (F). 3 hours from Cabane du Charrion (F). 3 hours from Chamen across del Col d'Otemma (PD).

Other information and Links

1:25000 no. 1347 Matterhorn and 1346 Chanrion
1:50000 no. 283 Arolla
1.50000 Kompass no.87 Breuil Cervinia Zermatt

"Guida dei monti d'Italia" Gino Buscaini ALPI PENNINE vol 2

External links:
Rifugio Nacamuli
Meteo Wallis