Via ferrata Mont Emilius on the western crest
from 01/07 to 30/09
Departure:Pila (1850 meters)
Arrival:Monte Emilius (3559 meters)
Difference in level:1800 m
The west ridge of Mont Emilius is a via ferrata, but at the same time a historic mountaineering ascent to the symbolic peak of Aosta, which overlooks the town from its 3500 metres.
The elevation gain of the via ferrata is 650 m and consists of 1450 metres of cables, over 500 steps, 5 handrails, a 30-metre-long Tibetan bridge with a height above ground of about 35 metres.
Since 2021, a new and shorter variant has been added to the historic via ferrata, which has been made safe through various repair works.
Due to its difficulty and high altitude, the ferrata is only suitable for experienced mountaineers with good physical stamina. For greater safety, it is advisable to be accompanied by a mountain guide.
Compulsory EC-certified equipment:: helmet, gloves, boots and harness with via ferrata set (self-belay device with K-type connectors and dissipators).
Appropriate high mountain clothing, rucksack with ice axe and crampons and a headlamp are required.
It is forbidden to climb the via ferrata in the event of a storm.
Description of the route
From the Aosta motorway exit, continue along the state road towards the town until the junction for Pila on the left. Proceed as far as the roundabout at Pollein then turn right for Charvensod. At Pont Suaz turn left and then immediately right. Continue uphill to the upper car park of Pila where the road ends and the hike begins.
Old ferrata (Col Carrel):
From the upper car park in Pila, head past the ski school and then the “Chalet du Soleil”. Proceed to the right and take path 19a which leads to the left to Alpe di Chamolé.
At the mountain cabins, near the fountain, continue left along a dirt track. You will soon reach a small path that branches off to the right (trail sign 20a). Proceed first uphill and then on the flat until you reach Plan Fenêtre, where you will see a cross. Continue left downhill towards Comboé.
Reach the little valley and, after the chalets, cross the stream to the left and continue to a crossroads.
Continue to the right towards Col Carrel (trail sign 16a). The path becomes a track among the scree and climbs up to the pass where the Federigo bivouac is located. Proceed to the right on the ridge behind the building. Go over the first debris, following some markers that lead to the start, slightly to the left. Continue along boulders to the top of the first rocky peak before the Tibetan bridge. The rather elevated equipped walkway connects to the next peak. The trail proceeds with slightly more tiring and vertical passages up to Mont Ros de Comboé (3285 m).
Once you have crossed the summit, continue on apparently flat ground, on easier terrain. There is a first exit, signposted to the right, which goes to Lago Gelato.
Proceed uphill to Petit Emilius (3342 m) and continue along the ridge, the edge of which is circumvented on the right, first on reddish terraces and then on a more vertical section of lighter, crumbly rock. The via ferrata ends at the last spur. Continue for about ten minutes on moraine to reach the summit.
The descent is along the south ridge to the right, following the itinerary that leads to the Tre Cappuccini pass and from there to the right down to Lago Gelato. The tracks lead to the Arbolle refuge and from there, along an uphill path to the Chamolé col, then downhill to the homonymous lake and to the left to the ski lifts for Pila (or to the right to the path that leads back to the starting point).
Time required: 5 hours for the via ferrata, plus 3 hours to reach the Federigo bivouac (start of the via ferrata) and a further 4 hours to return to the valley along the normal route.
New ferrata (Col Ros):
Circular route. The approach trail starts at the Arbolle refuge and heads to Lago dell’Echo. From here it climbs to Col Ros (3071 m asl) and then to Mont Ros (3250 m). At this point, the new via ferrata route joins the old one and leads to the summit of Mont Emilius. The descent is along the normal route.
Time required: 2½ hours to reach the Col and a further 4 hours to complete the via ferrata. Overall, the round trip takes nine hours.