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.