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By: Cain Olsen, Adamello Mountain Guides
Area: Rhaetian Alps, Group: Adamello - Presanella, Country: Italy

A fairy tale ski mountaineering itinerary at altitude which can be carried out in a single day when properly acclimatised. The descent onto the Pisgana glacier can be accessed from various points and the following is the one with the shortest altitude gain, from Passo Pisgana. Apart from having to ascend less, this route also enables a descent from Pisganino if snow and/or weather conditions are poor. The other popular access routes are either from Passo Valletta and Passo Venezia, ideal if you spend the night at Rifugio Lobbia Alta. The descent can be split into 3 distinct sections: the first, to the new lake forming at the tip of the glacier, this usually has powder snow to late into the season. The second stage descends varied and fun terrain, often on transformed snow, via the river Narcanello icefalls. The third and final section follows the road from Plaz dell’Orto to the piste at Pegrà.


Reach Paso del Tonale (1883m), leave the car in the car park at Telecabina Paradiso. Take the lift up and reach Passo Paradiso (2585m) in a mere 8 minutes, then take the chairlift Paradiso - Presena (2729m). After a good coffee at the Capanna hut, take the T-bar to the top of the Presena piste.


From the top of the lift, cross the barrier which cordons off the piste and, with skis on your shoulders, ascend the 50m to reach Passo Presena. Enjoy the grandiose panorama onto the Vedrette della Lobbia and Mandrone. To the left you can make out the Crozzon di Folgarida chain, Crozzon di Lares, Corno di Cavento and Monte Carè Alto. In the center there are the three Lobbie, Cresta Croce, Dosson di Genova and Monte Fumo, while to the right lie Monte Mandrone and Corno Bianco. Descend diagonally right towards Lago Scuro. From here continue diagonally right or enjoy a second breakfast with a fantastic slice of cake made by Flavia at Rifugio Mandrone (2449m, mid-March beginning of May). Put the climbing skins on and ascend west to Passo Pisgana (2933m). From here traverse left towards Passo di Bedole (3150m) which finally marks the end of the ascent in this magical location. The descent awaits, down Vedretta del Pisgana into the bottom of Val Narcanello. Reach the Pegrà piste and ski down this to reach the lift which leads to Corna d'Aola piste. Ski this, down the legendary black piste, to reach the start of the cable car Ponte di Legno – Tonale.


Beauty: ski 5/5 - snowboard 2/5


Adamello volume I e II, Guida dei Monti d’Italia CAI – Touring Club (Pericle Sacchi)
Adamello Vol.1 (Piermario Soregaroli )
Adamello, il tempo dei Pionieri (Vittorio Martinelli)
Adamello, Meridiani Montagne (articolo di Umberto Isman)
Itinerari sci-alpinistici  dell’Adamello (Spinoni, Solina, Maestrini)
In montagna con gli sci (Franco Aliprandi - Tino Bini)
Carta Tabacco Adamello Presanella 1:25000
Carta Kompass Adamello Presanella 1:50000

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January - May




West & South


South, West & North






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