Review of the climb to Monte Chaberton on the Italian-French border through the combination of three aided routes departing from Claviere: the Ferrata of the Low Battery, the High Battery one and the Ferrata Perona on the ridge. A long itinerary with a considerable difference in height and which extends over long stretches at high altitude. Attention to the weather conditions given the long return.
The starting point of the itinerary is the ticket office of the Tibetan bridge of Claviere, high Val di Susa, in the province of Turin. Coming from Cesana Torinese on the right we will see a large parking lot. This ticket office is a well-indicated wooden hut in Claviere.
Directions for Google Maps available here.
The route we are going to take requires going down to the bottom of the Piccola Dora river following the signs for the Ferrata della Batteria Bassa (here link). You reach the old state road and follow the signs also following a short tunnel. Torches are not necessary but better to have with them.
From the ticket office we follow the path that branches off from the Chapel of San Gervasio going down towards the stream. We come to the stream and we will have to ignore the bridge that would lead us to the right bank of the Piccola Dora. On that side it is possible to climb the beautiful Via Ferrata of Rocca Clarì. We stay on the orographic left of the stream and continue on the path until we reach the start of the via ferrata (about 30 'from the parking lot).
A note on the approach. It is also possible to skip the first section of Via Ferrata of the Bassa Batteria, or the stretch that develops from the stream to the viaduct of the old Monginevro highway. If you really wanted to avoid this first stretch, leave the car in the parking lot and walk about 200 meters along the new state road towards the tunnel. Just before the tunnel, at the junction, follow the old state road to the right and follow it downhill. Near a curve to the left we will notice one tunnel on the side left with some indications for the via ferrata. We walk along the tunnel (15 'from the car park - 1690 m - about 30 meters long) of which we see at the end the exit. One faces traverse to the right until we reach the complete route which comes from below. The report does not consider this option for timing.
For this via ferrata there is a separate report as it was available for a couple of years before its completion. At this link the complete and detailed description. In this report we will be intentionally brief.
The via ferrata will initially go up a gully which passes under the viaduct of the Monginevro state highway. The route is very beautiful and climbing with stretches where it is nice to climb the slab and others where the brackets will come to our aid. It is absolutely essential to use the abundant natural holds to save energy in view of the long development of the route. After the join of the "shortcut", we continue to climb leaving the bridge behind us quickly gaining altitude. Behind us visible the roundabout where we parked the car. The route now continues alternating easy traverses, ledges, rocky leaps, aided walls where it will be pleasant to progress by climbing the excellent rock. We will reach a couple of more enjoyable and technical points: a chimeny for climbing in split and one slot below which we will pass. We continue with a stretch of path and reach the military buildings for soldiers who composed the Low Battery (1910 m - 1h 30 'from the attack - approx. 2h total).
As will be the case for each section of the route, at its end there is an escape route. In this case, the escape route will be to the right and descend by steep path down to the old state road further downstream of 5 minutes away compared to the viaduct encountered along the climb.
Continuing along our ascent on trail no. 604, we follow the path until we meet on the left the beginning of the Via Ferrata of the High Battery with the sign to mark its start. The High Battery via ferrata is composed of two sections with a path in between that also serves as an escape route. Once the two sections have ended, continue on trail up to reach the military buildings.
The climb continues on difficulty and climb levels similar to the previous Low Battery one. The route is beautiful, it varies a lot and it turns out to be well climbable. At the end of the two via ferrata sections we reach the High Battery (2208 m - 1h from the end of the Low Battery - about 3h total) where the second section of the via ferrata ends up on the way to the Chaberton peak.
Before continuing, it is advisable to assess your strength taking into consideration that the route is still very long with almost 1000 meters of altitude gap before reaching the summit of the Chaberton. If you want to stop the route, a path to the left leads to Claviere in about an hour. From the High Battery (2208 m) we will have to point to the right going up a long detrital valley that will lead us through aobvious trace and after a series of switchbacks rather tiring and 400 meters in altitude gap to Saddle of the South-East Ridge (2670 m) where the ridge route begins, third and last section of the long climb to Chaberton (1h from the High Battery - 4h total).
The third section of the via ferrata follows a old mountaineering ridge route that will lead us to the military fort climbing ups and downs and exciting passages. We walk along the ridge and soon we meet the beginning of the Ferrata Perona with the metal equipment going up the edge. After about ten minutes of pleasant climbing we reach the real ridge and we will always continue just few meters below.
The route is a succession of slabs and ridge stretches where the Fort always seems to be near but the time needed to reach it is greater than what you would foresee. The route continues without substantial technical difficulties but with the fatigue that begins to be felt requires higher attention. After about 2 hours from the beginning we reach the abandoned Military Fort just below the summit of the Chaberton where the via ferrata ends (6h total).
The descent takes place via the normal route to the Chaberton. The route follows a clear track that initially continues north to then descend with a constant slope after a bend in a southerly direction towards Claviere. The descent is long and, although not difficult, requires attention. After between 2 and 3 hours, depending on the pass, you reach Claviere from where, crossing the village, you can return to the parking lot (about 3 hours from Chaberton - 9h total).
The trip as a whole is long and with a high gap so good preparation is needed. However, there are escape routes both at the end of the section leading to the Low Battery and to the High Battery. Once out of the woods and in the Petit Vallon section as well as on the ridge, attention must be paid to the high mountain conditions and possible snow-covered stretches even in late season as well as to the vetroglass.
A good route planning is needed and we advise you to follow it with stable time and timing that maintain a good safety margin for the long return.
La Ferrata dello Chaberton - come unione dei 3 itinerari indicati in relazione - è stata completata nel 2018. Questo itinerario di fatto si potrebbe definire la "Super-Ferrata" del nord-ovest, come la Costantini per le Dolomiti e la 50 del Clap per il Friuli. Col termine di super ferrata non vogliamo indicare particolari difficoltà tecniche bensì un impegno fisico e psicologico notevole.
La Batteria Alta e la Batteria Bassa del Petit Vallon sono due opere militari fortificate costruite a fine 1800 per prevenire un'eventuale invasione di truppe francesi. Erano composte da caserme e forti in muratura e rientravano nelle opere di supporto alla Batteria dello Chaberton e alle opere difensive che erano state costruite vicino Claviere. Rimasero operative fino al 1915, quando vennero disarmate e le artiglierie inviate al Fronte orientale. In seguito alla sconfitta dell'Italia nella seconda guerra mondiale tutte le Batterie del Petit Vallon, eccezion fatta per la Batteria Bassa, in seguito alle modifiche di confine pretese dalla Francia e contemplate nel Trattato di Pace, sono passate in territorio francese.
La parte di cresta dell'itinerario è intitolata a "Mario Perona", Guida Alpina di Cesana deceduto in un incidente in elicottero. Il percorso lungo la cresta percorre la via alpinistica aperta nel 2003 dagli Alpini di stanza a Busson. Già allora, la via alpinsitica fu dedicata Mario Perona.
In Claviere we meet different routes aided for all tastes. As mentioned in relation to this, this itinerary is the sum of 3 itineraries that can also be traveled separately: the Low Battery, the High Battery and the Ferrata along the ridge.