How to get there
From the motorway exit at Châtillon, follow the main road towards Aosta up to the village of Chambave. Then turn left (bridge over Dora Baltea), following the signposts to Fénis and passing under the motorway. Continue briefly to the right as far as the village of Septumian. Leave the road and go along the dirt road that leads south towards the ice climb. Near a curve to the left, continue into the woods and go along the watercourse to the base. 15 minutes.
Description of the route
It is definitely one of the reference ice climbs in the central valley. This is a good iced jump, a hundred metres high, ending in an impressive free-standing, located in a sort of large rocky ravine visible from the motorway between the junctions of Châtillon and Nus.
Unfortunately the low altitude does not guarantee its forming every year; a long period of intense cold would be needed to allow a safe consolidation. It must be said that the conditions of the ice climb are easily monitored from the road.
Length: 150 m
First ascent: A. Cambiolo, P. Sartore 1985
Altitude: 650 m
Coordinates: Lon.: 7,53194 Lat.: 45,730872 – UTM (ED50) – X: 385857,46 Y: 5065392,77
L1: long pitch of about fifty metres facing an icy slide with inclination progressively increasing. Belay at the top left on rock (spit).
L2: climb a rather complex section (petals and cauliflower conditions) of about twenty metres that leads to the base of the final free-standing. Belay on ice.
L3: tackle the vertical column up to its summit and continue for about twenty metres until you find the abseiling anchorage on the left. Belay on rock to the upper left (spit).
From here, you can abseil down, otherwise you will have to continue with an easy pitch that allows you exit into the woods alongside the ice climb.
Descent: with two 60-metre long abseils on the right bank, using the spit anchors of the first and third belay, or, from the end of difficulties, climb a few more easy jumps and then leave to the left into the woods. With a wide bend turning east, find a trail that leads downhill, not far from the dirt road that passes near the ice climb.
Text and photos taken from Effimeri barbagli (M. Giglio, 2014), the complete guide to ice climbs in Aosta Valley.