It is difficult to talk about the Lanzo Valleys mountaineering in a few words. We could begin by saying that the scouting of these mountains coincided with the Turin mountaineering history and, in 1863, with a newborn Club Alpino Italiano taking hold. We could tell you about legendary mountain guides such as Antonio Castagneri of Balme’s Touni, of Giuseppe Cibrario Rocchietti Vulpot and of Pietro Re Fiorentin from Usseglio, or of Michele Ricchiardi from Groscavallo. Their career tells out the most important milestones of southern Alpi Graie’s mountaineering golden age. In the postwar period, we could also mention Giuseppe Dionisi, the Rosenkrantz brothers, champions such as Franco Ribetti, Andrea Mella and Ugo Manera. Furthermore, we could talk about Gian Piero Motti and of Gian Carlo Grassi, daydreamers of new ideas and techniques, testers of new conceived daring rock and ice climbing routes, in the sixties, seventies and eighties imprinted an epic seal on the Lanzo Valleys Mountains. Nowadays, the mighty terminal bastion of the Lanzo Valleys, from Rocciamelone to Eastern Levanna, seems to hold no more secrets even if a few local mountaineers still show that new ordeals and first climbs are still possible. History delivered to the enthusiastic mountaineer a unique arena, far away from chaos and mass frequentation of the better-known alpine ranges. A classical mountaineering made of satisfying routes in environmental settings among the Alps best. Climbs such as the Murari Spur, the Ciamarella North Wall or the Ovarda Central Summit will bring back to life the originally known by pioneers dimension. The most demanding and solitude loving climber will find in the Gura-Martellot bastion a combination of difficulties and hazards without equal in this part of the Alps. People keen about winter and ice climbing will for sure visit the difficult amphitheater of the Arnas valley, of the Naressa at Pian della Mussa and the difficult Lanzo Val Grande goulottes. Rocciamelone, Croce Rossa, Bessanese, Ciamarella, eastern Levanna “regular routes” are, for a climber, the easiest itineraries to approach the Lanzo Valleys “great mountains”, to enjoy the altitude refuges hospitality and to have the opportunity of being accompanied in complete safety by a mountain guide.
Text and photos by Marco Blatto ©