by Alan Ingram
August 15, 2001
From the hamlet of Pont at the end of the mountain road from Val d’Aosta it is a half day climb (2-3 hrs)to overnight in the Refugio de Vittoria Emanuele II of the Italian Alpine Club (CAI). (Advisable to book in advance).
An early morning alpine start by torchlight through a maze of large boulders gains extensive snowfields leading inexorably upwards.
A final traverse beneath the pinnacled crest crossing the bergschrund and a short scramble reaches the Madonna on the rocky summit for a spectacular panorama over the surrounding alpine landscape including the massif of Mont Blanc and the spike of the Matterhorn on the northern horizon.
The Gran Paradiso is one of the easiest (assuming good weather) 4,000 metre summits in the European Alps. It is the highest summit entirely within the borders of Italy.
Reference: "High Adventure around the World"
From journal Alpine Ventures