THE ICE CLIMBING ARENA DEL VALORZ
The Mas de la Bolp is located half an hour’s walk from the spectacular glacial step of the Valorz Falls, one of the first places in Italy where ice climbing has developed. Seven waterfalls, normally accessible from the beginning of December until mid-March, with lengths between 100 and 250 meters and inclinations from 60° to 90°, form one of the most interesting low-altitude ice climbing areas in the Alps. The variety of routes and difficulties combined with the ease of access along a track almost always beaten, are the factors for which they have become the classic.
The temperatures in the Valorz Valley (1,500 m above sea level) are particularly low in winter because of the general exposure to the north and the frequent phenomena of thermal inversion, so that the very cold air that descends from the mountains stagnates in the valley floor. It is also for this reason that here you can plan the activities of ice climbing with a high probability of finding the waterfalls in good condition.
Particular attention must always be paid to the danger of avalanches that characterizes especially the south-eastern slope (left orographic) of the basin of the Valorz Valley for which it is required an accurate ability to assess during recent snowfalls, wind at high altitude or thermal inversion. The waterfalls on the orographic right of the Valorz circus, Grand Hotel and Cascata Madre, are less exposed to the danger of avalanches due to the presence of some basins upstream, while the Cascata del Sentiero is by far the most dangerous for avalanches as it is located at the bottom of a steep gully often affected by accumulations of wind that, on sunny days, heat up quickly and become quickly unstable. It is therefore not recommended to repeat it in the presence of any amount of snow.
We recommend that you park your car in the large gravel car park near the Kneipp path south of St. Bernard and at the beginning of the road leading to the Masi di Valorz. The base of the waterfalls can be reached in about 45 minutes if the track is groomed.
|Cascata Grand Hotel||250||II||5||O||1550|
|Waterfall degli Angeli||150||II||5+||N||1550|
|Cascata del Salto Mortale||150||II||4-||N||1600|
|Colonna del Salto Mortale||60||II||6-||N||1650|
|Cascata della Grotta||100||II||3+||E||1550|
|Cascata del Sentiero||100||II||3||E||1750|
|Sputo di Rospo||60||III||4||E||2000|
Grand Hotel( 250 m | 5°| west )
The most beautiful waterfall in the Valorz Valley. Located to the left of the Mother, it is divided into two successive jumps connected by a slope inclined at 30°. All the necessary stops and numerous intermediate anchors were made with stainless steel bolts in 2016.
You pass the first jump, 50 m, with an inclination of 75/80 ° making a stop on the left.
Climb the 100 m long slope, often covered with snow, which leads to the base of the second jump.
With two lengths of 50 m rope, inclination 80°- 90°, you pass on the left (looking) the second jump with an intermediate stop spit on a steep rocky ledge.
Descent. By double rope on the left side (looking) of the waterfall or along the forest always on the left with short descents on the plants.
Cascata Madre (250 m |4°- |north)
It is the largest waterfall in the valley, 250 m high and 50 m wide, located in the middle of the valley basin of Valorz.
There are several possible itineraries, all of medium difficulty.
The easiest and most classic ascent line is on the right (looking) where there are some stops equipped with bolts. You climb for about 50 m with inclinations of around 70°, then you go towards the center until you reach the first prominence. Go right again, passing 10 m almost vertical until the exit always on the right (looking).
The line of ascent on the left (looking) is also equipped with a spit until the end of the first jump from which you can descend by double rope on stops equipped partly on the trees and partly on the rock.
Descent. By double rope on the right (looking) or crossing first slightly uphill and then flat towards the north-west for about 200 m until you cross path no. 121 that leads to the base of the waterfalls.
Cascata degli Angeli ( 150 m | 5°+ | north)
Splendid waterfall for its verticality, is among the most challenging of the entire amphitheater of the Valley of Valorz. It is located immediately on the right of the Mother Waterfall.
You climb along an easy ramp of about 50 m with an inclination of 60/70 °. The stop is under the actual jump that is faced directly in the center or just on the left with a length of 50 meters at 85 °. Stop on spit under the overhangs.
Continue to the exit with sustained and constant difficulty, 50 m with an inclination of 90°. Stop with a spit on the right.
Descent. For the path n. 121, as for the Mother Waterfall.
Cascata del Salto Mortale ( 150 m | 4th | north)
Waterfall of medium difficulty, despite the name, located on the right of the Salto degli Angeli. All the necessary stops and numerous intermediate anchors were made with stainless steel bolts in 2018.
The first section, about 20 m, is a fairly demanding ice sheet.
Continue to the right along an easier stretch of about 50 m with a gradient of 75/80 °.
The alternation of short jumps then characterizes this waterfall until the exit, 100 m with a slope of 70/75 °.
It is also possible to exit on the left (looking) for a short vertical wall.
Descent. For the path n° 121, as for the Madre.
Colonna del Salto Mortale ( 60 m | 6° north )
This is the most technically difficult ascent of all the waterfalls in the Valorz Valley.
It is a column of ice that is welded to the rock at about half its height, thus forming two separate jumps of about 30 m.
Its “stalactite” conformation does not always make it possible to climb with good protection. It is easier to find it in good condition in February and March.
Climb along the first column stopping in the niche that forms with the upper jump, 30 m with an inclination of about 90 °.
Leaving the niche on the left, continue along the next jump, another 30 m with an inclination of about 90° and then continue for the final stretch of the Cascata del Salto Mortale.
Cascata della Grotta ( 100 m | 3° + | east )
Short, suggestive and interesting waterfall, on the right of the waterfall of the path. It is equipped with stops and numerous intermediate anchorages with stainless steel bolts.
Climb up to the centre of the large initial casting, 50 m with an inclination to 75°, stopping in a cave of rock and ice from which the waterfall takes its name.
If formed, you exit on the left, for the so-called “candelotto”, 6-7 m vertical and then continue on the left (looking) of the channel for about 50 m to a larch.
Descent. In a double rope from the niche or on the way through the sparse shrub forest on the left (looking) of the waterfall until you reach path no. 121.
Cascata del Sentiero ( 100 m | 3° | est )
Not recommended in the presence of snow, although little.
Easy and fun waterfall, to the right of the Salto Mortale, ideal for ice climbing courses and beginners. It starts from path no. 121 that goes to the Soprasasso Lakes and ends on a hairpin bend of the same path from which the name “Waterfall of the Path”.
You climb along a slope until you reach the first jump, 20 m with a gradient of about 50°, then rest comfortably on the left.
Continue to the centre for easy swelling, 50 m with a gradient that goes from 75° to 60°.
Exit on the left near the tunnel. The stop is on a spit.
Return: evident for path n° 121.
Sputo di Rospo ( 110 m | 4th | east )
Unique waterfall of medium difficulty characterized by its yellowish color, on the far right (looking) of the amphitheater of Valorz, east of the hut where the forest road ends.
The first jump faces the centre, 50 m with a gradient of about 80° and then continues for about 60 m with an inclination of about 60°.
Descent. Along the forest on the right (looking) of the waterfall.
The Val Saent, in the upper part of the Val di Rabbi, in the Ortles-Cevedale Group, is a pearl of the Stelvio National Park. Along path no. 106 leading to the Dorigoni Refuge, on the right bank of the Pra di Saent, there are two spectacular vertical and almost parallel ice flows.
They can be reached in about two hours on foot from the Fonti di Rabbi (when the track is groomed).
|Gemella di sinistra||170||III||5||E||1950|
|Gemella di destra||120||III||5+||E||1950|
Gemella di Sinistra ( 170 m | 5° | east )
Challenging and satisfying waterfall. Climb up along the first jump and stop at the foot of the actual waterfall, 50 m with an inclination between 70 and 80 °.
You face the first vertical meters and then continue on constant slopes around 85 ° for another 50 m. Stop left on trees.
The next jump, 70 m with slopes between 50 and 60°, leads towards the top of the waterfall with a stop on the map.
Descent. By double rope on the right (looking) with anchors on trees or cross along the forest definitely on the right (looking) until you meet a channel that leads to the Pra di Saent.
The canal is not recommended in case of poor snowfall because it can be completely frozen.
Gemella di Destra ( 120 m | 5° | east ]
A beautiful waterfall to be counted among the most difficult of the Val di Rabbi and comparable, as a commitment, to the Jump of the Angels of the Valorz Valley. All the necessary stops have been made by bolts.
Climb up to the centre of the waterfall and then stop under a vertical jump, 45 m between 80 and 90° inclination.
Climb up the vertical jump and then continue on minor inclinations and finally end with another 45 m between 80° and 90°. A short jump then leads to the forest above.
Descent. By double rope over the waterfall along the uphill path or through the forest and the canal as for the left twin.
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