Pinter right icefall
How to get there
Two access solutions, depending on the snow conditions. In the presence of snow, ascend Colle Sarezza with the ski facilities. From here, go about a hundred metres down the track towards the Crest, then leave it by going left off-track. Make a long diagonal descent under the western side of Testa Grigia until reaching a plateau at the mouth of the narrow gully where the summer trail to the Colle di Pinter passes. Using sealskins, in less than half an hour, you can reach the base of the visible ice climbs. 45 minutes from Colle Sarezza.
With no snow, take the cable car up to the Crest and then go down the trail to the Colle di Pinter on foot. Just before you reach the entrance of the narrow channel downstream from the Laghi di Pinter, leave the path and head right diagonally towards the visible ice climbs. 1 hour from the Crest.
Description of the route
The Pinter waterfalls (Right and Left), together with the Cascate dell’Alpe Cortoz, means you will be sure to find ice in Val d’Ayas. Altitude and exposure guarantee the enduring formations during the season. If there is snow, you can access it from above on skis with the possibility of making some great descents (although short), almost always on fresh snow up to the Crest. Between the two solutions, the one on the right is definitely more interesting and, after the first jump, it offers many climbing possibilities.
Three illustrious names made the first ascent: the indisputable protagonists of the “Nuovo Mattino”... (New Morning) ... who did not mind even ice waterfalls, every now and then.
Length: 120 m
First ascent: M. Bernardi, A. Gogna, A.L. Rochat 1981
Altitude: 2450 m
Coordinates: Lon.: 7,77555 Lat.: 45,817767 – UTM (ED50) – X: 404959,89 Y: 5074728,09
L1: initially vertical pillar, gradually inclining up to a large basin at the base of the higher jump. Belay on rock to the right (fix).
Transfer to the base of the wall, which can be tackled at several points.
L2: different possibilities. The easiest solution can be found on the far right — a large, very sloping gully. At the centre and on the left, there are two ridge sequences, interspersed with an easier connecting stretch. For all the variations, you should make a long pitch up to the end of the ice, where there is a belay. Belay on rock at the end of the centre solution (fix).
L3: easy to leave the difficulties, which are generally snow and some easy mixed trails up to the summit plateau; no belay in place (dead man anchor or efficient shoulder belay).
Descent: from the end of the difficulty, climb a few metres more and then take the snowy channel that runs alongside the waterfall on the left bank. On foot, you will quickly return to the base. If the said channel has a heavy and dangerous snow load, you can descend the waterfall with two abseils.
Text and photos taken from Effimeri barbagli (M. Giglio, 2014), the complete guide to ice climbs in Aosta Valley.