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Monte Ventasuso, Colle della Maddalena, Argentera

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The ascent of Monte Ventasuso (or l'Enclause) on the Italian side gradually climbs up a pretty, open, north-west-facing valley to reach the summit ridge just before the summit via a slightly steeper northern section. You're now on the Franco-Italian border, with the Tête de l'Enchastraye and the Rocher des Trois Évêques dominating the Lauzanier valley in your sights to the south. A medium-difficulty outing, easily accessible and offering beautiful panoramic views of the northern Mercantour.

Dans le vallon qui mène au Monte Ventasuso

Technical summary


Ski touring. Elevation gain 680m, ascent distance approx. 4.5 kms. Maximum altitude of 2712m at the summit of Monte Ventasuso.

Geographical situation

Departure from Colle della Maddalena (Col de Larche), on the border between Barcelonnette (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence) and Cuni (Piedmont), at an altitude of 1996m.

Technical difficulties

The last section north to the northwest ridge is steeper (25/30°). Rated R, 2.2, E1 on Skitour.


North-West then North on the final section.

Gear and equipments

Knives for the final section (if hard).

General review

A medium-difficulty outing, easily accessible and offering beautiful panoramic views of the northern Mercantour.

Access to the place

From Barcelonnette, take the D900 up to Col de Larche and Cunéo. Pass through Jausiers, La Condamine-Chatelard, Meyronnes and Larche. At the Col, cross the border slightly and park in the large parking lot opposite the della Pace refuge.

Itinerary description



From the Colle delle Maddalena parking lot, cross the road and walk straight on. Cross over the small pond and climb a little, then walk due south with little difference in altitude. After this long crossing, the wide valley appears on the right. Climb it in successive steps. Once in the upper basin, below the final section, continue along the left-hand couloir, which becomes steeper and narrower. This finally leads to the north-west ridge. Climb the pu ridge on the north side to the rounded summit of Monte Ventasuso at 2712m.

We ski the same route as before. Steeper section at the top (max 30°). You can shift to the right to get under the bars and take more slope to finish in the upper bowl. Then slide down, staying high on the left, to have a chance of finding the pass without pushing too hard on the poles.

Map & topo

The route of the ascent is an approximation, drawn up after the outing. Voir en plein écran



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