Difficulties:EE - Expert Excursionists
July - September
Departure:Pila (1814 m)
Arrival:Mont Emilius (3559 m)
Difference in level:330 m. + 1050 m.
How to get there
Aosta East motorway toll booth. Head towards Aosta. At the 3rd traffic light, turn left and head for Pollein. Pass through Pollein and after a few kilometres you will come to a roundabout, turn left in the direction of Pila. You can reach the excursion departure point by using the Aosta-Pila cable-car.
Mont Emilius stands above the Aosta valley and - together with the Becca di Nona - makes for some outstanding scenery. It has a regular shape: its rock faces and ridges appear as though they had been cut by a blade. The most striking slope is undoubtedly the northern one, that stands at more than 600 metres higher than the remains of the Arpisson glacier. The ascent to the top along the normal route of the southern ridge does not pose any mountaineering difficulties and represents an essential stop off for those intending to enjoy a breathtaking view over the entire western mountain range.
Description of the route
Leave your car in the square at the upper station of the Aosta-Pila cable-car and head up to Chamolé on foot following the chairlift track or - even better - by taking the chairlift.
From the upper chairlift station you can then take the easy path that heads across level ground eastwards and leads to the Chamolé Lake (2311m) in a short time. From here follow the right path that starts to head upwards along the grassy slope winding around numerous turns until you come onto the Chamolé Pass (2641 m). With a steep, short descent you will reach the plain below where the Arbolle Lake is to be found and, slightly to the side, the refuge of the same name at 2510 m.
From Arbolle follow the path that runs alongside the lake and river inlet. Then steer to the left, heading into a stony valley - but with the occasional snowfield at the start of the season - and head up the steps until you come to Lake Gelato (2956 m).
A steep climb up stony ground starts from the lake shores, aided by the presence of stone figures that indicate the route. Once you emerge on the plain, head to the left to avoid a ridge and face the stony slope that ends with the Tre Cappuccini Pass (3241 m). From here, heading northwards, there is an easy slope of blocks and debris that leads to the summit, where you will find a statue of the Madonna and a visitor’s book.
Descent: down the upward itinerary.
This itinerary requires experience of high mountains and it is recommended that you get a mountain guide to accompany you.