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Adamello Tour

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

I'm often asked which is the best way to explore the Adamello mountain chain, whether on foot or with skis. Without a shadow of doubt skis enable you to traverse across this gigantic glacier more easily, both while ascending and descending. As the glacier has been melting rapidly over the last decade travelling on skis is far easier than on foot, and there are also various other reasons that speak in favour of this form of travel: the snow covered mountains and Pian di Neve in its white vest are quite simply spectacular and there are innumerable descents. Yes, far better to ski than to walk! Furthermore, there are no loose rocks on the steep descents as these are located beneath various meters of snow.

The mountain huts Caduti dell’Adamello (Lobbia Alta) and Città di Trento (Mandrone) are open from mid March to the start of May. Booking in advance is obligatory and the wardens Romano at Rifugio Lobbia Alta, and Carlo and Flavia at Rifugio Mandrone have become synonymous with great tradition in a profession which is by no means easy. They all offer perfect hospitality, excellent cuisine, a warm smile and professionalism. You'll be hard pushed to find wardens as good as these nowadays.

The Adamello Tour is a magnificent journey into the very heart of the Adamello mountain chain and its imposing glacier system (at 13 square km the largest in Italy). The tour begins at Passo del Tonale which gave the name to the magma rock which constitutes the backbone of this massif: tonalite.


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.


Day 1: from Passo Tonale reach the Presena glacier via the lifts. After Passo Presena descend to Rfugio Mandrone. After a stop for refreshments ascend to Cresta Croce and the nearby Cannone 149G with its exceptional panorama. Sleep at Rifugio Caduti dell’Adamello.
Day 2: from Passo della Lobbia Alta ascend the panoramic Monte Adamello by crossing the entire Pian di Neve. Descend the south face and return to the hut via the same route; possibility to ascend Corno Bianco.
Day 3:  cross Pian di Neve once again, this time west to reach the col Passo Venezia and summit. From here all that is left to do is “dive” down the incredible descent onto the Pisgana glacier: more than 2000m of elevation drop, spread out over 10km, all the way to Ponte di Legno!


Beauty: ski 5/5 - snowboard 1/5
Elevation day 1: +1000m, - 900m
Elevation day 2:  +600m, - 600m
Elevation day 3:  +350m, -2100m


- 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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