Croce Rossa

“Croce Rossa” is a prominent mountain with a quite well recognizable shape from Turin, it’s located in Viu’ Valley.

Date Park location Elevation Climb Total time Climbing speed
9.15.19 45°13’13.2″N 7°11’24.7″E 3566 m 2141 m 7:30 570 m/h

La punta

From Margone head north into the town, immediately coming across a dirt road serving the aqueduct. After about ten minutes, on the right, you will find the path that goes up to the Cibrario refuge. Go up through the pastures until you meet the tracks of the old Decauville. Continue on the steep side until you reach a small hill just west of Monte Bassa.
Continue westward almost flat for a long stretch until, upon reaching the Fontana della Lera, you come across the path coming from the Vallone d’Arnas.
After a traverse and a stream you enter the valley dominated by the “Prigioni della Lera”; you cross the steep ravine carved by the force of the water on a small bridge and with a long traverse and after some steep turns you reach the refuge in a vast plain, visible only to the last.
To the right of the refuge, continue along path 118 which, in a very steep traverse, touches Lake Peraciaval and then, on stony and debris, always well marked, reaches Colle della Valletta.
You pass on the French side and, crossing to the right along the stony ground, following the cairns you reach the base of the vast slope on the vertical of the summit (you can see the statue at the top).
You climb laboriously up the slope on rocks and debris, with the central section rather steep, but always following the rather evident traces and the cairns.
In view of the summit the terrain improves a little and you touch the panoramic top. With the snowy slope the progression is easier with an ice ax and crampons.
Lonely and long travel from my home to Margone, it takes about 1 h and half. Youtube and “CARTONI MORTI” keeps company.
The signal, after leaving Germagnano, is not at the top anyway…
I leave the car in a hairpin bend just after the town fraction and adjust the trekking sticks.
The first part of the climb is very easy, into the deciduous forest first and the alders then.
in 2:15 i’m at the Cibrario refuge, where i ask for a place: i’m lucky because it’s the last operating day before the winter shutdown.

I arrive at 17:15, dinner is at 19:30 so i have a lot of time to enjoy some reading. There are 7-8 persons taking care of the refuge, passing some time together before the final jobs of the next morning. Some of them just managed a refuge and are very proficient in alpine geography of that part of Italy.
Another couple is with me. It seems a kind of date, one of the first. They are quite young, and the kind of speech i can intercept are typical of the first times of dating: problems at work, people who are attracted by you…
The men seems very interested but de facto is saying nothing: dumb as a tomb. Good luck.
I go to sleep at 21:30. I’m alone into the dormitory. I place my sleeping bag on the top and start to dive into my thoughts.
The day after the alarm is set at 05:45, the sun will not go up before 06:30, so i decide to wait him.
The breakfast is very good with bread, butter and milk. I pay the bill (51 €, half board) and i start to climb.

The path is very steep and in 20′ i need to remove my down jacket. The lake Peraciaval at the dawn is beautiful but i cannot appreciate the reason why the red cross is so called: there should be a red cross made by nature on the mountainside. I’m not to lucky to notice.
In few minutes i reach the Valletta col and the sun is definitively out of the clouds. I leave here my backpack and start to climb with the only sticks. I think my path is wrong, because even if i try to keep my self on the left part of the south crest, i end my journey in a quite vertical wall where i need to climb and abandon so my stickes. Bad error.
Anyway after 1h 30 i’m at the top with a beautiful panorama.

I’m out of the cloud sea and my usual “scream of conquest” is echoed by the french mountains. What a beautiful sensation!
It’s possible to admire the Rocciamelone, Bessanese and Uja di Ciamarella, among the others (Monte Bianco and the massig of Monte Rosa on the background). The Lago della Rossa lake is at my feet, as well as the city of Turin, below the clouds.Madonnina

The return is nothing special, but the satisfation keeps the spirit high.
In the meanwhile a lot of ibex show up in front of me, just after the Valletta col. They escape in few time, only the leader stands in front of me (it’s giant).
An advice: do not leave your stuff on a difficult path! You’ll lose them. From the bottom is quite easy to find the way, but, going down, the view will be totally different, so the risk of mislay is quite high.
INDEED i lost my sticks in this way. If you find them, please bring them to the Cibrario refuge. They know my phone number.

At 12:00 i’m at the car parking, slowly, descending, i notice the temperature rising, and i start to have my thoughts about climate changes… it is present but.. is it caused by the mankind? or is it simply in the natural order of the things?

I simply conclude that it’s beyond us: if it cause by humans, well, the trivial emissions reduction will not stop the process.
Try to think: -20% of emissions will be “covered” in about 22 years of human increased population. So, in every moment, the benefits are canceled by the human emissions.
Actually the EU target are to reduce emissions by 26 % by 2020 and by 30 % by 2030 (compared with 1990 levels).
Here’s a graph of my climb. GPX file

Croce Rossa

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