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Cascata delle miniere

First ascent: Unknown, in-situ gear on belay 1. Repeated by Marco Appino & Umberto Bado 05/12/2010
By: Marco Appino
Area: Graian Alps, Group: Valle Orco, Height: 1865m, Country: Italy, Region: Piemonte

A route which rarely comes into condition. The ice is thin in places and this renders the climb demanding despite the fact that there are few vertical sections. The route faces south, takes a line up massive rock gradients and through long gullies and as such provides a fascinating insight into the wild surroundings. Severely exposed to avalanches, it should only be climbed with little snow cover and when this is safe.


From Turin take the main road towards Caselle and at exit No.3 turn off onto the SS460 to Ceresole Reale. After Ceresole Reale continue along the main road for  Colle del Nivoletm at Chiapili Inferiore park the car at the skilift (clearly visibile on the valley's hydrographic right).


From the car park cross the road and follow the path for the mines and reach the start of the icefall after circa 30 minutes, difficult to see from the road at 1865m and with the following GPS reading:  N 45°27’17’’ E 007°11’32’’ WGS 84.


P1) Start up the left-hand drip by ascending an easy ramp, after which ascend rightwards to reach a thin and narrow drip. Climb this with the help of the slab, then move left to reach the belay, pegs and threads, P1: 40m, some thin 80° ice.
P2) Climb the short wall to reach the characteristic niche. Climb past this and reach the base of the next wall, belay on the right, camming devices. P2: 30m.
P3) Climb the wall on the right and over the small overhang formed by a series of cauliflower ice. Now move left, where there is more ice, and climb the iced slab. Enter the gully to reach the belay on the boulder on the right P3, 45m, 90° start then easier up thin ice.
P4) Climb the next steep section without particular difficulty past some thin ice. BEWARE: Belay before reaching the top of the steep section, otherwise you reach a gully with no anchors for protection. Use a t-bloc. P4: 35m
P5) Continue up the slope above, moving leftwards, away from the gully for circa 100m to reach a nice steep section which seems to be vertical and which finishes with a small gully. Climb up this and then move right after the main difficulties. Belay on nuts and pegs. P5: 45m (10m 90° then easier angled terrain).
P6) Continue up the iced slab (plenty of ice) and a short gully to reach the base of the final gully (15m, 70° P6 60m)


Recommended descent west, reach the Videsot path and follow this down to Chiapili Superiore to then continue along the road to Chiapili Inferiore.


Full ice climbing rack, short ice screws useful. Take a set of camming devices from 0.4 - 1 BD, a rack of nuts and some pegs. Slings which can be left in-situ if the avalanches have swept the existing gear away.

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