La sorgente del falco
Just before reaching the village of Valtournenche, locate the 180° detour on the right towards the hamlet of Servaz. Reach the homes and park the car in a small parking area. Walk through the houses and along an easy trail which heads into the woods. Through this pleasant, flat path, reach an isolated house in a clearing. Continue along the path which after becomes uphill, up to the vertical of the ice climb. 30 minutes.
It is one of the classic, medium difficulty ice climbs in the valley; fairly crowded as it features a simple approach and does not have any particular dangers. It consists of numerous steps, some vertical, interspersed by easy connecting stretches: level WI4 not much sustained.
Length: 200 m
First ascent: A. Cambiolo, R. Lale, T. Sergi 1993
Altitude: 1700 m
Coordinates: Lon.: 7,61756 Lat.: 45,855389 – UTM (ED50) – X: 392758,87 Y: 5079108,27
L1: ice ramp followed by a wall. Belay on ice next to the free-standing.
L2: vertical free-standing. Belay to the tree up on the right (ropes).
L3: easy cliffs, a little to the left. Belay to the tree (ropes).
Short 50-metre transfer to the left.
L4: ramp to the left (be careful of the fringes over your head!). Belay to the tree at the change of direction.
L5: nice articulated wall followed by a final ramp. Belay at the tip of the tree.
Descent: two solutions, abseiling or on foot. In the first case, abseil from a tree (ropes) located on the left side bank of the ice climb and rappel along the fringes that flank the last jump. Run the connecting stretch in the reverse direction on foot and abseil the second time from a sapling with ropes and maillon: go down onto another tree with ropes and maillon on the right bank at the side of the base of the free-standing of the second pitch. One last rappel allows returning to the base.
You can also walk down making a wide semi-circle on the left side bank of the slope (steep forest) until you intersect the continuation of the path being approached: through this, to the right, you will return back under the vertical of the ice climb.
Text and photos taken from Effimeri barbagli (M. Giglio, 2014), the complete guide to ice climbs in Aosta Valley.