The Traversata delle 13 Cime (“Traverse of the 13 Peaks”) is a demanding mountaineering and ski mountaineering route that winds its way along the line connecting the thirteen peaks extending from Cevedale to Tresero that act as a watershed between Lombardy, Trentino and Alto Adige within the Ortles-Cevedale group. The route crosses one of the largest glacial areas in the Italian Alps. The main glacier is the Forni Glacier, which lies in the amphitheatre created by this crown of mountains. These are places of unique historical significance, as they served as the theater of horrifying battles at the limits of the possible during the terrible “White War.” In the summer, when the snow thaws, many remains of encampments and artifacts are still visible. The full summer traverse follows the ridgeline quite faithfully, remaining consistently above 3,300 meters of elevation. The ski mountaineering traverse, whether you wish to include all the peaks or not, offers some variations. This is to give priority to the skiing aspect and not turn it into a long hike with your skis on your shoulder.
WHO IS IT FOR?
The partial traverse is suitable for any ski mountaineer with good skiing and mountaineering skills – certainly a respectable route that allows you to immerse yourself in a true alpine environment for two or three days. In good conditions and choosing the simplest lines for climbing and descending, you’ll find that the climbing sections are limited and the slopes of the descents briefly reach 35° in some points. If you want to complete the full route or if you choose more difficult variations, the slopes can reach 45° and the climbs present more difficulties.
Necessary equipment, in addition to standard avalanche safety gear (transceiver, shovel, probe), includes glacier equipment (30 m rope and longer, harness, cow’s tail, and carabiner). It is also advisable to have at least one ice screw and a couple of slings with screwgate carabiners as well as crampons and an ice axe (personally, in the spring I also find ski crampons very helpful, to be used in case of hard snow instead of boot crampons). Finally, a helmet and extra skins can always be useful.