This summit is so called in honour of the abbot Carestia of Riva Valdobbia, an eminent botanist and honorary member of CAI. The exposed summit is at a height of 2979m and not frequented much, but it has a particular appeal. The surrounding environment is wild and solitary, the panorama vast and expansive and ranges over the Alpe Cozie from Monte Bianco to the Alpine Pennines and Mont Rosa from where you can savour a view of all the peaks over 4000m and it extends until Cervinia (Mountbatten).
The first day of the hike crosses Val Vogna from the hamlet Ca d’Janzo following a comfortable mule track over the historical bridge built by Napoleon’s soldiers in 1800. This is a long trail that leads directly to Colle Valdobbia, the division between Valsesia and Valle d’Aosta, and the refuge Ospizio Sottile.(about 4 hours).
Ospizio Sottileis a refuge at 2480m and was built on the request of the Presbyterian Nicolao Sottile in the early 1800’s as a shelter for the numerous wayfarers and emigrants on their way to Switzerland and Savoia. After spending a pleasant evening at the refuge you head directly towards Punta Carestia. The first peak to crossover is Punta Plaida and then the other more evident reliefs until the last part of the crest which is fairly exposed with climbing routes up to grade 3 on fairly compact gneiss rock. (4 hours) Once you’ve reached the top and have admired the fantastic panorama, you start your descent on the south east slope across a long crest of about 2.5km (uphill and downhill) crossing the Corni del Pallone which takes you to the Camino pass (2472 m). This involves only a few delicate routes on easy rock and then across some stony areas and grassy hills. Taking the trail from the Passo del Camino you’ll reach Alpe Maccagno (2188 m) in no time. It is a magnificent clearing surrounded by a few little lakes where you can sleepover. Descending on the easy trail along Val Vogna, you’ll reach Ca di Janzo in about 1h30 min. This itinerary requires some experience of classic rock climbing and you must be in good physical condition.
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