Crossings to other refuges:
- To the Soria Ellena refuge (1840 m), tel. 0171 97 83 82, via the Colle di Fenestrelle (2463 m), difficulty E, 3 hrs.
- To the Morelli Buzzi refuge (2430 m), tel.0171 97 394, via the Colle del Chiapuos pass (2526 m), difficulty E, 3hrs30.
- To the Remondino refuge (2430 m), tel. 0171 97 327, over the Brocan pass (2892 m), difficulty E, 4 hrs.
- To the Cougourde refuge (2090 m), tel. 0033 493 03 26 00, via the Colle della Rovina pass (2724 m), difficulty EE, 4hrs30.
Alta Via dei Re (The Kings' High Route)
The Alta Via dei Re is a challenging seven-stage route that allows you to
see the whole of the Maritime Alps Park. The stages are often on excellent, well signposted paths, but it is not without some more challenging stretches, such as the Colle di Brocan and the Passaggio dei Ghiacciai.
An interesting variant of the Alta Via dei Re, which is more spectacular and stays higher for longer, abandons the official route shortly after the Colle di Valmiana (halfway through the second stage) and then rejoins the main route at Colletto del Valasco (third stage), after staying at the Rifugio Questa. The suggested variant in this section follows the route of the Alta Via Alpi Mare (see below description).
Alta Via Alpi Mare (Alps to Sea High Route)
The Alta Via Alpi Mare is a long trek in 16 stages that starts in
Sant' Anna di Valdieri and reaches Menton after crossing the Alps and four Nature parks.
The first three stages of the trek form a beautiful crossing from Sant' Anna di Valdieri to Terme di Valdieri, with overnight stays at the Livio Bianco Refuge and at the Questa Refuge.
You can return to Sant'Anna from Terme by public transport or with the on-demand-shuttle service.
Main accessible peaks
- South peak of Argentera (3297 m): the main peak of the massif, marvellous views, 5 hrs, difficulty PD-, exposed stretch after the Detriti pass.
- North peak of Argentera (3286 m): access from the Baus plateau, 5hrs, a majestic environment, difficulty F.
- Agnel (2927 m): via the Agnel pass, 3hrs30, a pretty summit on the Italy-France border, there may be snow on the route early in the season.
- Brocan (3054 m): via the south-east gully or the north ridge according to the snow conditions, 4hrs, difficulty PD.
- Il Baus (3067 m): from the Baus plateau, 4 hrs, another magnificent view point over the valley.
- Punta Ciamberline (2792 m): 3hrs, an enjoyable excursion to a not too difficult peak.
- Valletta Scura Peak (2862 m): via the Rovina pass, 4 hrs, not too difficult, panoramic.
Climbs on classic routes
There are a number, however recent trends in climbing mean they are repeated less often. We will highlight a few, refering you to the bibliography for a full list and descriptions.
- Cima del Baus, Torre Patrizia, Sperone della solitudine, 700 m, D+: very nice route, one of the most interesting in the Maritime Alps, opened in 1979, partially protected.
- Cima del Baus, Sperone Silvia, 400 m, difficulty TD: very elegant, more difficult than the route above, in the upper part it joins with the easier Sperone Bruna
- Argentera North Peak, east spur, 350 m, difficulty D: opened by S. Savio in 1977 an interesting climbing alternative to the North Peak.
You will walk beneath some of the crag routes on the path to Genova Refuge. They are single or two belay climbs ranging from 5+ to 6b.
Genova training walls
A few minutes up from the refuge, a slab equipped by Cesare Ravaschietto, an excellent safe training area and a good place for kids to try their hand.
There are some excellent boulders in the grass around the refuge suitable for this growing sport.
- Agnel (2927 m), west gully, difficulty AD-: a lovely climb usually best in May and June, according to snow conditions and the access to the refuge, very popular with skiers recently.
- Brocan (3054 m), east gully, difficulty AD-: interesting, ask for information on the snow conditions if you are planning to do this route.
Bibliography and maps
- A. Parodi, R. Pockaj, A. Costa, Sentieri e meraviglie delle Alpi Marittime, Parodi Editore, Cogoleto, 2010.
- AA.VV., La guida del Parco Alpi Marittime, Blu Edizioni, Peveragno 2000.
- E. Montagna, L. Montaldo, F. Salesi, Alpi Marittime, Volume II, CAI-TCI, Milano 1990.
- A. Gogna, La Valle Gesso, Tamari Editori, Bologna 1975.
- Michel Dufranc, Massif de l’Argentera, CAF Alpes-Maritimes, Nice 1970.
- Fraternali editore, carta 1:25.000, n.15 Valle Gesso Parco Naturale delle Alpi Marittime.
- Blu edizioni, carta 1:25.000, n.1 Parco Naturale Alpi Marittime.
- Alpi senza Frontiere (IGN, IGM, CAI, CAF), carta 1:25.000, n.5 Mercantour - Valle Gesso.
- IGN, carte topographique 1:25.000, n.3741OT Vallée de la Vesubie / Pn du Mercantour
- IGC, carta 1:25.000, n.113 Parco Naturale Alpi Marittime, Entracque, Valdieri, Mercantour, Gelas.
- IGC, carta 1:50.000, n.8 Alpi Marittime e Liguri.
- Didier et Richard, carte 1:50.000, Haut Pays Nicois.