If coming from the south take the A22 motorway and exit at Bolzano. Continue along the SS 42 through the Val di Sole following signs for Malé and Passo del Tonale to Stavel. Turn off onto a bumpy forest track less than a kilometer after a restaurant on the right (signposted Rifugio Denza). Park where the track widens at Pozzi Alti, 1850m. From here follow the path that initially coasts beneath the NE face of Croz di Stavel before leading into Val Presanella and gently up to the Denza refuge at 2298m (1 3/4 hours).
Denza refuge - 0463/758187
Trentino weather forecast - 0461/238939.
All routes are reached via the glaciated valley, the Grande Vedretta della Presanella. This is reached by following the path from behind the refuge to the glacier and then on to the base of the routes. Allow 2 1/2 hours for the walk-in to Via Grandi-Crugnola (the "North Face" of Presanella) and Via Anna e Mario on the Vermiglio. All the others can be reached in less than 2 hours.
The following guidebooks appear in Italian but are nevertheless a useful point of reference: Pareti di Cristallo, by R. Quagliotto, Edizioni Euroalpi 1993; Presanella, Guida dei Monti dItalia produced by CAI-TCI by D. Ongari, 1978; Cento Pareti di ghiaccio nelle Alpi, by E. Vanis and A. Gogna, Zanichelli 1984.
The map Gruppo dellAdamello-Presanella, Edizioni Multigraphic, 1:25000, is indispensable.
|In view of the hot summers weve had recently, the best time of year must be the beginning of summer, in June. July is often too late already because the snow melts and transforms into a repulsive blackish wall of ice. Routes such as those on the Muraccia (the rocky face between Cima Presanella and Cima Vermiglio) and Via Anna e Mario require freezing cold conditions and plenty of snow for the narrow gully and are therefore best climbed in spring.
Another important point concerns the walk-in and return on this extremely crevassed glacier: always walk roped together, especially when walking back since the snow becomes slushy and the snow bridges less safe. Pay particular attention to the well-beaten normal route on the Presanella which is followed on the return as there are some hidden crevasses beneath the Freschfield saddle. This may seem an obvious piece of advice, but the accidents that occur every year show that this message needs to be repeated.
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