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Via Bonatti al Croz del Rifugio

First ascent: Walter Bonatti, 1951
By: Edoardo Falletta
Area: Cozie Alps, Group: Chaberton - Tabor - Galibier, Peak: Croz del Rifugio, Country: Italy, Region: Piemonte

The line climbs 200m up the grey and yellow limestone that characterises the impressive Croz amphitheater in Valle Stretta above Bardonecchia. The first and last pitches are splendid and are testament to Bonatti's route finding ability. On the whole the rock is very solid except for a section immediately below the top that requires particular care.

GETTING THERE

From Bardonecchia, head towards Colle della Scala, cross the dam and at the fork keep right and head into Valle Stretta. After a few hairpin bends you enter the Militi plateau (with its sector of single pitch climbs). Continue past this and reach a hut, park here.

ACCESS

Cross the river and follow the path uphill, once past the landslide turn right at a red arrow painted on a boulder, then follow the easy path to reach the base of the wall. Coast the wall leftwards to enter the typical amphitheater, the route starts 20 metres to the left of the right arete. 10 minutes.

DESCENT

From the grassy ledge reach the last bolt belay of the route "Re-Maggi"; abseil off this down right and enter the scree gully. Scramble up this to reach the obvious path (cairns), follow this to reach an exposed legge (bolts have been added here for safety). Walk along this to reach a chain, abseil off this to the single-pitch sector and the base of the face. 10 minutes.

GEAR

Set of camalot BD, twin mid size, #1 and # 2 for the belays. Pegs and hammer not needed.

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