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

Calotta is that beautiful, snowy peak which you can see as you look south while driving up the Alta Valle main road between Vezza d’Oglio eand Ponte di Legno. The mountain seems to be have been made specifically to ski down: isolated and not easily accessible, the summit is reached after significant elevation gain and after having skinned up three times. It has a authentic feel to it, of going back in time and as such it is an outing for real ski mountaineer experts. The itinerary crosses five different valleys: Valle del Mandrone, Vedretta del Pisganino, Vedretta del Pisgana, Valle del Salimmo and Val Seria all the way from the top to the bottom.

Calotta requires great fitness, good knowledge of the terrain and the snow cover as you'll be hard pressed to find tracks like on nearby Pisgana. Having said all this, if you have all the prerequisites then this outing is highly satisfying and will be cherished for many a year. From the summit of Calotta the view onto the entire Pian di Neve and the mountains in the Adamello chain is simply fantastic.


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). Take your skins off and descend down the Vedretta del Pisgana. Reach the point where you join the tracks coming from Passo Venezia and Valletta and continue traversing leftwards and, without losing height head to Bocchetta della Calotta (2958m), and the small bivy Bivacco Regosa. From the bivy descend a couple of meters and then continue ascending west, traversing the entire south face of Calotta. Now ascend the right-hand side (facing the mountain) by making numerous diagonal tracks to reach the summit (3211m). During the descent, after a couple of fantastic curves, head south at  Bocchetta Valbione (2813m) and try not to lose too much height. Put climbing skins on for the third and final time and ascend the circa 100m up to the col. From here enjoy the grandiose ski down the valley all the way to Rifugio Valbiona and then, on the piste, to Ponte di Legno. Take great care when crossing from right to left on the 100m drop after Conca di Pozzuolo, where there are numerous icefalls.


Beauty: ski 5/5 - snowboard 1/5


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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