from 01/07 to 30/09
Departure:Chaté (1682 m)
Arrival:Punta Tsan (3320 m)
Difference in level:1220 m. + 420 m.
How to get there
Châtillon motorway toll booth, then carry on towards Valtournenche. At Antey-Saint-André turn left for Torgnon. After passing the Mongnod capital, head right for Chaté.
The Punta Tsan stands like the shape of a characteristic bold pinnacle above Torgnon and is a mountain that can easily be spotted even from the bottom of the valley: above a very pretty meadow area, one of the most attractive Alpine places in the Valle d’Aosta.
The gneiss of the Tsan’s eastern ridge is very solid and also offers a safe climb and is of average difficulty. The route described here – climbed in 1896 by Guido Rey – is the most popular one and fully equipped.
Description of the route
Between the hamlets of Pecou and Chaté, take the mule track on the left that heads up the north side and passes next to a chapel, located in an important position. Flank a characteristic hump at 1845m then head up the Châtelard (1891 m) pasture where you will come to the unsurfaced road coming from Septumian. Follow the trail that extends through the forest to come to the Loditor pond on the flat (1900 m). Here, to the left, a path branches out that heads above the hump at 2107 m and that, after a flat stretch, heads close to the remains of an old Chateau hospice. Here you will again find yourself on an unsurfaced road that should be followed to the end, where you will come to a pathway that heads up the Grand Drayère pasture (2350 m). Then turn right to climb back up the grassy slope. Once you reach the plain, you will leave it pretty quickly to head up a steep, open slope; above it, you should head left to face the stony slope that comes out onto the basin before the Rivolta bivouac, that you should reach in no time.
From the bivouac you will come onto the Fort Pass (2906m) where, the Punta Tsan ridge starts. After the first steps, you will come to a face that can easily be climbed to carry on without too much difficulty as far as the end of the first projection. The next flat stretch leads to the foot of the second step, that can be overcome to the left by climbing a sloping face towards the right and leads to the ridge edge. Move obliquely towards the right and you will come to the northern slope at the bottom of the beautiful compact faces. Climb up to the left using two long ropes, until you come to the base of the camino Maquignaz, an essential passage to reach the top of the second projection. Yet another flat stretch leads to the bottom of the third projection: climb up along a large dihedron that ends just a few metres from the peak.
Descent: come back down the third projection to the bottom with a descent. From here, look for a series of stone figures that allow you to take a diagonal channel on the southern side. Come down it, still following the stone figures, until you come to the bottom of the second projection. Then carry on along the stone path until you reach the basin downstream from the Rivolta bivouac. Here you will pick up the upward itinerary again.
This itinerary requires experience of high mountains and it is recommended that you get a mountain guide to accompany you.