Great route, incredibly still unclimbed, hence the name "Unexpected surprise". This icefall is destined to become an instant classic. 60m ropes are needed (unless you want to split the second pitch and make an akward ice belay). It is worth pointing out that the icefall sits below a large gully and is therefore exposed to potential avalanche danger.
Reach Bardonecchia (Turin) via the Frejus motorway, then continue to Melezet, Pian del Colle (IGC 1 map, scale 1:50.000). Park your car at the top of Pian del Colle, close to the campsite, where the road ends in winter (access to this point is guaranteed by snow ploughs).
Snowshoes or skis are recommended to reach the waterfall. Set off in a SE direction (the other side of the road from the campsite), coasting the slope and forest. Quickly reach the edge of the cross-country skiing piste and follow this for a few meters to reach the obvious small road which leads off rightwards into the forest. Continue along this it ends, then continue up the hydrographic left of the river, past two cement water bridle on the left to reach the end of riverbed. At the end of this narrowing the valley widens and splits into two: head right, towards Canale della Grotta, past some yellow pinnacles (clearly visible from Pian del Colle). The slope now becomes significantly steeper here and the first drip appears on the right of the gully.
P1: 25m, 80/85°, with three vertical metres right at the end. This is followed by a slanting, 10m ledge. Belay on the rocks to the left (threads).
P2: 60m, nice 85° groove with some 90° sections. Belay on the right (two pegs and thread). The difficulties end here.
P3: 30m. Easily enter the rocky amphitheatre which at first sight seems closed off; continue left up a short 10m ice section 60/70° which leads to the gully above. Tree belay on the right.
Abseil down the route
Full ice climbing rack
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