Ascent of Monte Camicia on 2010-10-23

Climber: Rob Woodall

Date:Saturday, October 23, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Monte Camicia
    Elevation:8412 ft / 2563 m

Ascent Trip Report

Having arrived at the trailhead late after my Monte Amaro ascent, I slept a little later than intended and set out at 08:00. By moonlight Camicia's summit had appeared entirely snow-covered but daylight revealed the colour to be that of dazzling limestone; the impressive summit very obvious from the trailhead, N42 25 28.1 E13 44 35.3, 1610m (GPSr), a large car park a few metres below Rifugio Fonte Vetica.

The most direct route follows the obvious grassy trail uphill (WNW) from the trailhead, heading on a line a little L of the summit. 2 Italians who started just before me, soon turned off R towards the Rifugio, evidently taking the longer SE Ridge route (I planned to return this way). After a few hundred metres, the direct route bends R, follows a shallow dry stream bed then crosses to its W (L) side. It climbs steadily, generally obvious, marked by orange and yellow roundels, ascending a wide easy tongue between this small valley and a much larger one to the R (NW). Higher up the trail makes an ascending traverse L to reach a saddle where the SE ridge meets the main summit. During the ascent, the views forward to Camicia and back across the morning mists towards yesterday's Monte Amaro group are superb.

Arriving at the saddle, one is ambushed by Camicia's sheer N face, with the equally impressive Corno Grande (this afternoon's goal) towering beyond it. Of more immediate interest is the rather snowy steepish summit slope. As with Amaro, the snow is quite icy and I pull on the Kahtoola microspikes over my trail shoes before heading up. The trail disappears a few times (snow-covered now, but obvious in summer, I gather) but the summit is soon reached (09:15, 1h15 up). The cross is a surreal ice sculpture today; the view S to Amaro is captivating and the view N along the ridge to Corne Grande is most impressive - first class rock architecture. I follow the short NW ridge to admire the steep drop down to the connecting ridge, then descend direct to the trail, my steps attended by the musical tinkling of a thousand ice shards.

I was very taken by Camicia's SE ridge and decided to visit its 4 or 5 tops on the way down (the "official" ridge route skirts below them). The first 2 tops are particularly impressive, with a view down the sheer / overhanging N face and Corno Grande's towering bulk as a backstop. There is a little snow on the ridge and some morning mist dusting the plain to the E - all very nice. I see the 2 climbers from earlier this morning, passing just below me on the ridge path, then meet another team of two. The final (SE) top is broad and grassy, with a cairn more or less at the summit, and a neat metal cross (to Franco, 2010) nearby. The trail continues SE, descending on stony grass. Below to the R I see a trail descending to the car park, and head straight down the grass, having apparently missed the connecting path. It's easy ground - nothing more threatening than a few thistles! The trail skirts (NW side of) a rocky re-entrant then descends into woodland. I lose and find it a couple of times; it emerges by the Rifugio as expected. I'm down at 11:15, after a pretty leisurely descent.

After some food at the car, I make the short drive NW to Campo Imperatore, ready to climb Corne Grande this afternoon.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3458 ft / 1053 m
    Total Elevation Loss:3458 ft / 1053 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5.2 mi / 8.3 km
    Grade/Class:YDS 2
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3130 ft / 954 m
    Distance:2.4 mi / 3.8 km
    Route:South route
    Start Trailhead:Rifugio Fonte Vetica  5282 ft / 1609 m
    Time:1 Hours 15 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:3458 ft / 1053 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 3130 ft / 954 m; Extra: 328 ft / 99m
    Gain on way out:328 ft / 99 m
    Distance:2.8 mi / 4.5 km
    Route:SE ridge
    End Trailhead:Rifugio Fonte Veneta  5282 ft / 1609 m
    Time:2 Hours 

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