Altitude 798m a.s.l
View from top of Corma di Machaby © machars
Passing along the Val d'Aosta we often could give a fast look to the walls on its N (right going toward Aosta from Milan) side and the big pinkish wall after Pont San Martin had undoubtful attractives ... but we had to go fast to get the Mont Blanc area or other important ski-mountaneering valleys in the high part of the Vallée ...
At about the half of the '70s the sport climbing grew more and more and the result was the hard research of bottom valley structures where to train and/or amuse all year long, without problems related to snow or ice.
Some climbers, most coming from Torino and surroundings, started a campaigne to find structures alternative to the usual ones (Rocca Sbarua, Cristalliera, Parete dei Militi) and the names of Traversella and Machaby became known in rock climbing environments.
For us, traditional rock and high mountain climbers, this was a real innovation and, forgetting at home the traditional high mountain boots and wearing the new EB shoes (Super Gratton) we started to climb on these "lying" but smooth walls ...
The Corma di Machaby is a strange big slab requiring a grip climbing somewhere helped by small holes and small holds on a crystalline metamorphic rock (can't define it better) well carved by the old glacier that dig the Val d'Aosta.
The difference in elevation from the base of the rocks to the summit is 250-300 m and the lenght of the routes is between the 300 and the 400 m.
NO EASY route on it, apart the descending path that sometimes is used by some (rare) hikers that want to have a different vision of the valley and get the summit to have a pic-nic.
The access to the wall is on the old SS26 of Val d'Aosta, between Donnas and Arnad.
To get there, if you use the M.Blanc highway you must
# exit at Verres (if coming from Aosta) and follow for Arnad, leaving the road after some hundreds meters to get, using a narrow road the Restaurant
# exit at Pont S.Martin (if coming from Torino or Milan), follow for Donnas and after the Forte di Bard, few km get the same point as above
Just under the wall a restaurant (normally very crowded on sundays) and a big parking area for the cars.
From the parking in 3-5 minutes you get the starting point of the routes
The wall can be divided in 2 main sectors :
# the left one (W), steeper but shorter, where the rock is cracked in dihedrals and pillars
# the right one (E), lying but longer, where the climb is mostly grip
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