Cascata della Ciampa
Climb up the Valle di Gressoney until you pass Gressoney-Saint-Jean. At the end of the great plateau, the road makes two long bends towards the junction to Noversch village. Follow it to the right and leave the car in the square before the town centre. Cross the Lys river over the bridge and go up on the right bank of the waterfall’s torrent up to the base. 15 minutes.
The super classic of the Gressoney Valley. It is the ice climb that best represents the transition from average to high difficulty. It lies between two mighty rocky bastions that host two great climbing cliffs. It forms nearly every year and is pretty crowded. The following describes the route most taken, on the right (facing uphill) but you can also climb it from the centre and the left with sustained difficulties.
Length: 140 m
First ascent: A. Jaccod, E. Tarchini 1983
Altitude: 1700 m
Coordinates: Lon.: 7,82992 Lat.: 45,812001 – UTM (ED50) – X: 409174,18 Y: 5074024,16
L1: icy ramp progressively steeper but never vertical. 60 metres. Belay on rock to the right (fix).
L2: it is the most sustained length with some interesting vertical sections. 50 metres. Belay on rock to the right (fix) or to tree (ropes). Most roped parties descend from here.
L3: easy length to leave the ice climb. Very rarely traversed. 30 metres. Belay on tree.
Descent: if you traverse the last easy length, it will be necessary to walk down the right bank up to S2, where you can abseil down along the waterfall.
Text and photos taken from Effimeri barbagli (M. Giglio, 2014), the complete guide to ice climbs in Aosta Valley.