I‌ce Climbing in Cogne and the Aosta Valley

Cogne and Aosta Valley | Italy
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to go ice climbing in Cogne

  • Trip Highlight

    Discover the marvelous Aosta Valley and experience Italy in a new way

  • Trip Highlight

    A multitude of reliable single and multi-pitch ice climbing routes for all skill levels

  • Trip Highlight

    Conquer Cogne’s breathtaking steep-sided icy valleys and frozen waterfalls

Tucked away in the Aosta Valley and Gran Paradiso National Park in north-western Italy, the village of Cogne and its unspoiled surrounding valleys offer an abundance of opportunities for the most hardcore adventurers. Come wintertime, this area turns into a veritable ice climbing haven. With jaw-dropping ice structures and almost 150 stunning frozen waterfalls along steep valley walls, this European icy paradise is an absolute no-brainer for any adrenaline junkie! The area abounds with a range of ice cragging routes and grades for all skill levels, from single-pitch to renowned multi-pitch climbs. Pair that with excellent conditions and easy access, and you get one of the most spectacular ice climbing destinations Europe has to offer. Join an expert guide who’ll provide the optimal learning environment on your electrifying ice climbing adventure. Find out why Aosta Valley is Italy’s best kept climbing secret from Rob Coppolillo, certified AMGA/IFMGA rock, alpine and ski guide.

Season

January and February

Nearest city

Turin, IT, is about a 2 hour drive from Cogne

Duration

2 days

Skill level

Beginner to advanced

Itineraries

Book this adventure

A Customized Day of Ice Climbing With a Guide

2 days

Spend two days ice climbing the glorious icy structures, steep-sided valleys and captivating frozen waterfalls in the irresistible Aosta Valley. Your knowledgeable guide will make sure you experience this thrilling winter adventure the right way by showing you all the necessary techniques to become a competent ice climber and to improve your ice climbing skills regardless of your skill level. Get out of your comfort zone, fast-track your ice climbing skills and have tons of fun in the process!

Trip Highlights

Itinerary

Day 1: Core skills day

Meet up with your guide in the morning for an equipment check and a briefing. They will lay out the plan for the day after an assessment of weather, conditions and avalanche risk. Your guide will show you how to develop efficient climbing techniques and there is no better way of doing that than at a single-pitch venue, where participants can work on their technique and build confidence for future undertakings. The skills you’ll work on are:

    • Ice climbing movement skills (using the ice axe and crampons safely and effectively)
    • Efficient movement, strategies and tactics on steep ice (climbing steeper routes)
    • Strategies for dealing with the mental side of climbing
    • Understanding ice conditions
    • Understanding avalanche and other hazards
    • Planning and equipment
    • Footwork and body position
An ice climber climbing in Lillaz, Italy

Day 2: Development, consolidation, and lots of climbing

On the second day, you’ll get to do lots of amazing climbing and a chance to climb many various single and multi-pitch routes. This is a sure-fire way for participants to build confidence and cement the fundamental techniques learnt on Day 1. The skills that the guide will show you today are:

    • Fundamental rope work skills
    • Assessing risk for ice climbing
    • Safe abseiling
    • Multi-pitch abseiling
    • Creating and using abseil anchors (v threads)
    • Placing ice screws and building judgment on the quality of placements
    • Route selection
An ice climber climbing on a frozen waterfall in the Aosta Valley
Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in Cogne, the Aosta Valley

57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Cogne, the Aosta Valley please refer to the The Official Tourism Website for the Aosta Valley.

Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

What’s included?

What you get on this adventure:

    • An experienced, local ice climbing guide with extensive knowledge of the area
    • Two full days of ice climbing
    • All fuel and transport during the course starting and finishing in Chamonix
    • Technical ice climbing equipment

What’s not included:

    • Transportation to and from the start of the course
    • Accommodations (required for the clients in or around Cogne)
    • Uplift
    • Meals and snacks
    • Helmet

How fit do I need to be?

No previous ice climbing experience is necessary, but some rock climbing experience is beneficial. Reasonable level of strength and fitness is required. It is also beneficial to have some indoor wall climbing experience. Ice climbing is all about using good movement technique rather than muscling up a wall using brute strength. To ensure you have a fun day, your guide will choose routes that best suit your skill and fitness level.

What if I’ve never climbed before?

No previous ice climbing experience is necessary. Cogne and the Aosta Valley have plenty of options for beginner climbers. Whether you’ve never climbed before or are transitioning from the gym to outdoor climbing, your guide will customize the day to suit your skill level and objectives. With a guide by your side, you’ll learn something new, stay safe on the ice, and most importantly, have fun!

For intermediate to advanced climbers, Cogne and the Aosta Valley have loads of routes to spend the day on. Your guide will discuss your objectives and customize the day to your goals. Let your guide plan the day so you can focus on developing your skills while climbing the classic routes or best hidden gems the area has to offer.

What about required equipment?

All technical climbing equipment will be provided by your guiding service. However, if you have your own gear, feel free to bring it. You’ll need:

    • Harness
    • Crampons
    • Technical ice axes
    • Belay plate
    • Sling
    • Carabiners
    • Prussic loops

Here’s a list of the equipment you should bring:

    • Helmet
    • Ski goggles
    • Sunglasses
    • Insulated parka
    • Warm hat and sun hat
    • Heavy and medium weight gloves
    • Neck gaiter or balaclava — optional
    • Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore-Tex recommended)
    • Ski pants (Gore-Tex recommended)
    • Down or synthetic jacket or vest
    • Synthetic or wool zip shirt
    • Synthetic or wool base layers, underwear and socks
    • Repair kit and Leatherman for your equipment (can be shared between several people)
    • Water bottle and 1L of water
    • Thermos with a warm beverage — optional
    • Food you can eat on-the-go
    • Toiletries
    • First aid kit
    • Sunscreen and lip balm
    • Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 30-40L backpack)
    • Camera — optional

Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.

Group sizes and age requirements

Group sizes and prices:

    • These courses are not private. For the group courses, the guest to guide ratio is 2:1.
    • It takes 2 people for this tour to run. If the 2 clients come together, the course is totally flexible and any level of experience or ambition can be catered for.
    • Cost is per person and it doesn’t decrease as the group grows.

Ice climbing days in Cogne and the Aosta Valley can be arranged for bigger groups. Contact us prior to booking.

Min. age requirements:

    • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
    • Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to climb on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

If your group has climbers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to Cogne and the Aosta Valley, most people fly into Turin Airport about 2 hours away from Cogne. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service. Another option to get there is to travel to Chamonix. In that case, fly into Geneva Airport about an hour away from Chamonix. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service.

Clients can meet in Cogne or in Chamonix and drive over with the guide. All fuel and transport from and back to Chamonix is included in the price. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.

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1% of our sales goes to environmental non-profits
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