Leave the car in the large square in front of the village of Lillaz, head towards the centre via the houses and by following the tourist signs for the Cascata di Lillaz. At the end of the road, you will find an easy flat trail that leads to the Cascata di Lillaz . Just before reaching it, turn right on the trail to the Lago delle Loye. Follow it uphill until you reach the waterfall’s same height, which can be seen in all its glory by looking toward the left. Leave the trail and walk across level ground up to the starting point. 45 minutes.
It is a beautiful ice structure that is clearly visible from the village of Lillaz. It features a rather fun climb, especially on the second pitch that runs diagonally to the right where you can choose whether to pass between rocks and ice (sometimes you have to break some edges to make a hole) or climb outside the edges (more delicate and exposed).
The following describes the most frequent climb, which is the one on the left. You can often start on the right by going up a fine free-standing followed by a long traverse to the left up to the belay of the classic route. In the latter case, be very careful of the overhanging edges as you will be climbing vertically!
First ascent: S. Mazza, E. Marlier 1990
Altitude: 2000 m
Coordinates: Lon.: 7,40326 Lat.: 45,590409- UTM (ED50) – X: 375533,93 Y: 5049979,18
L1: rather repetitive series of vertical walls, going from left to right. Belay on rock (fix and chain).
L2: diagonally toward the right searching for the best passage between stalactites and edges. Normally, you can go into a sort of tunnel between rocks and ice (easier), otherwise you have to cross outside on the ice stalactites which are always rather smooth (more difficult). When the ice ends, a fix protects a short mixed passage (M4) which allows you to reach the channel at the summit. Belay on the left on rock (fix and chain).
Descent: two solutions. With a long and rather exposed abseil (60 metres) from the S2 or exit onto the summit’s forest and fix a chain to a tree on the waterfall’s right bank; an abseil will take you back to where the backpacks were left, which is normally to the far left of the waterfall’s base.
Text and photos taken from Effimeri barbagli (M. Giglio, 2014), the complete guide to ice climbs in Aosta Valley.