The Sorcerer, Ghost Valley

The Sorcerer, Ghost Valley

Thursday 16 December 2010

Cogne, Northern Italy.

High up the steep mountain side from Aosta, is the beautiful village of Cogne which is home to a high concentration of some of the best icefalls in  the world.

It's a lovely, very friendly village and it's high altitude guarantees, that many of the icefalls form each year without fail. 

The local stone and history is a real feature in the village depicted here on a roundabout entering the main street.

The village and surrounding valley's are all in the Parco Nationale Gran Paradiso.
It's a beautiful place both summer and winter with Val Saveranche accessing Italy's highest peak the Gran Paradiso which is a great summit both summer and winter and Cogne itself accessing Valeille and Valnontey for the ice climbing. Coupled with  that, Cogne is the home of ski de Fonde, with over 40km of amazing trails linking all the valley's with the village itself.

The village has worked closely with the National Park over the years and has taken great care in developing the trails & marking pistes whilst being sympathetic to nature and the environment, making it a real treat climbing there.

I always love staying in Hotel La Barme, when I'm climbing in Cogne. Andrea, Stefano, along with their families give you such a warm welcome when you arrive and I feel as relaxed there as I do when I'm at home, not to mention the huge drying room, hot tub and great food!
The other plus is that the hotel's situated in Valnontey, so for much of the climbing you can walk straight from the front door.

So a few classic's in Valnontey -

Repentance Super

Repentance Super from Monday Money

Me heading up the first pitch of Repentence Super

Left - Repentance Super & right - Monday Money

A climber high up on Monday Money

Climbers on Patri de droite & the rarely formed directissime

Gia enjoying the final pitch of Patri de gauche

Leif enjoying the upper pitches of L'Acheronte

And a few classic's in Valeille -

Left - Candelabro del Coyotte & right - Tuborg

Heading up the first pitch of Tuborg

Leading the first pitch of Candelabro del Coyote

Heading up the second pitch of Candelabro del Coyote

Chandelle Levure

Enjoying the final pillar of Chandelle Levure

Cold Couloir

Stella Artice

A view up the second pitch of Stella Artice

Heading up the final pitches on Stella Artice

Pattinaggio Artistico

Adrian leading up the first pitch of Pattinaggio Artistico

Adrian enjoying the top pitches of Pattinaggio Artistico

Patinaggio Artistico Direct

Cogne's an awesome place, it just comes alive in winter and If you haven't climbed there then ask Santa this Christmas!


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