Classic Piemonte Ice

​If you enjoy icefall climbing, and are looking for somewhere a little different, then our 'Classic Piemonte Ice' offers a truely authentic icefall climbing experience deep in the heart of the Italian Alps, but away from the crowds.

Level 2 Guiding & Coaching

5 days

Ratio: 2:1

Price From: £1745*

* Fully inclusive price

 Course Dates

The quiet Varaita Valley stretches up into the Piemonte mountain’s to an altitude of over 2700m, making this a real gem of an icefall climbing venue giving consistently well-formed ice each year, but well away from any crowds.

The valley represents one of the most precious heritages of the Italian Alps. Enclosed by Val Maira to the south, from the Po Valley to the north and from the Valle del Guil to the west, it is dominated by the imposing Monviso group which gives an amazing backdrop to the climbing here. The Alpine stone villages and slate roofs, such as Chianale and Bellino, are quiet reminders of the great history this area has witnessed.

Il Monviso (3841m) is the stand out high summit of the area and it was from Casteldelfino that the first absolute ascent to the summit started in 1861.

The icefalls in this area are plentiful, forming each year, due to the option of climbing at a higher altitude with a similar easy access as you’d find at lower altitudes, but without the crowds!

There is also an option during the week to experience climbing one of the alpine style ice couloirs that form on some of the higher peak. This would give a very adventurous day to the week and develop another aspect of your overall ice climbing experience.

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Is The Course For Me?

The course is designed primarily for people with some ice climbing experience who want to improve technique and climbing grade, in order to be able to tackle more ambitious ice climbs with confidence (either as leader or second).

Technical roped climbing experience is important as well as some previous experience with ice axe and crampons. General fitness and upper body excercise such as indoor or outdoor rock climbing will be found beneficial.

Sample Programme


The course convenes at the Hotel Ponte Sassi in Torino, with introductions at around 18.45


After breakfast we'll drive to Val Varaita in the SW of Piemonte. A short walk over the Castello dam, leads us to a single pitch climbing area, which is a great place to refresh the skills you have and to develop both your own personal climbing technique and also the skills around ropework and placing ice screws etc. After a day climbing in Val Varaita, we drive further up the valley to where we'll base ourselves for the rest of the week. We'll stay in a small family run pension called Delfin Dal Pianhol, which is a very friendly face after a day out ice climbing.


We drive up to the head of the valley, where a short walk leads us to a couple of classic multi-pitch icefalls called 'Il Salto dei Pachidermi' and 'Valeria'. We'll spend the day here enjoying the remote ambience of this quiet area, as well as some great ice climbing. We then head back to Delfin Dal Pianhol for the night.


We head to the beautiful Martinet Canyon area, where we can choose several different ice climbing options at a grade and level to suit both clients. There is anything from single pitch to longer multi-pitch climbing in the canyon and even though this is more of a guided climbing week, we could also focus on some lead climbing techniques, ropework and also the chance to get on a slightly harder line to improve your own personal climbing technique. After a day in the Martinet Canyon area we head back again to the Delfin Dal Pianhol.


If the weather and conditions allow, you could have the option of trying an alpine style ice couloir climb for something a little different. This would mean a longer approach but the area boasts some classic alpine lines that if in conditions could be a great experience and fun. If not, there are many other options of climbing some of the other classic icefalls in the Vallone di Bellino continuing to develop the skills and techniques you have and enjoying the icefalls in the fantastic area.


As it's the last day, it'd be great to pull everything we've done throughout the week and head for the classic 'Bonvin' as our last climb. It's a long and beautiful multi-pitch climb, at a waterfall ice grade of WI4/4+ climbing some fantastic ice.


Breakfast and away

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Course Dates

Week Start Finish Price  
3 12 Jan 2020 18 Jan 2020 £1745 Full
5 26 Jan 2020 1 Feb 2020 £1745 Full
8 16 Feb 2020 22 Feb 2020 £1745 Full