Tonale new ski descent by Miori and Mascaro down Punta Castellaccio
On 9 February 2019 Alessio Miori and Vincenzo Mascaro skied a possible new line down Punta Castellaccio above the Tonale Pass in the Adamello - Presanella group of the Italian Alps.
While working as a guide at aPasso del Tonale I notice a line that descends from the summit of Punta Castellaccio, immediately to the left of the famous couloir Canale del Dito. I look at it through my binoculars and it seems to be complete, linking a white line all the way down. There’s just one problem though, the final narrowing…
I tell myself that until I go and check it out for myself, I’ll never know. There’s too much snow though and the danger of triggering an avalanche is too high, so I decide to wait for a week. Obviously my partner in crime Vincenzo Mascaro decides to join me. Great!
Every time I’ve ascended to the Canale del Dito col I’ve always been intrigued by the ridge that starts from the right, so this time we decide to find out for ourselves. We start up the ridge and this proves to be great fun and by no means straightforward. We gradually gain height and check the stability of the snow cover.
The summit is windswept, many rocks poke out from the snow, which is a shame because had it been sufficiently covered in snow, we would have been able to ski right from the top. After a short abseil we are immediately enter a very steep scenario, with zero chance of making mistakes. We start skiing down transformed but beautiful snow... super!
We reach the narrow passage towards the end, try to ski down it with ice axe in hand, but no go. A further two short abseils are needed, there’s simply too little snow. We drive in some pegs and rappel for about fifty meters. This leads to the final gully, an amazing ride with a great partner!
by Alessio Miori
Gear: 3 small & medium friends, nuts. 40 meter rope, ice ax crampons. Insitu a sling, a nut and a peg.
The slope we believe is steeper than 55°, along the entire descent a mistake is out of the question. With the right snow never the entire line could be skied.
When in condition the is not fairly straightforward, with difficulties never exceeding grade III/IV on rock.
Links: FB Alessio Miori, Vincenzo Mascaro, www.sunnyclimb.com