Biellese Alps

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Alpi Biellesi
Prealpi Biellesi
The snow-clad Biellese Alps seen from Lessona.
Highest point
Peak Monte Mars
Elevation 2,600 m (8,500 ft)
Coordinates 45°38′04″N 7°54′52″E / 45.63444°N 7.91444°E / 45.63444; 7.91444Coordinates: 45°38′04″N 7°54′52″E / 45.63444°N 7.91444°E / 45.63444; 7.91444
Country Italy
Region Piedmont, Aosta Valley
Province Biella, Turin, Vercelli, Aosta Valley
Settlement Biella
Parent range Pennine Alps
Rivers Dora Baltea, Elvo, Cervo and Sesia
Orogeny Alpine orogeny

The Biellese Alps (Alpi Biellesi or Prealpi Biellesi in Italian) are a sub-range of the Pennine Alps located between Piemonte and Aosta Valley (Italy).


Alpi Biellesi literally means Alps of Biellese; Biellese is the geographical and historical area surrounding Biella, nowadays included in the province of Biella.


Administratively most part of the range belongs to the province of Biella, while its northern part falls in the province of Vercelli and the western one is divided between Province of Turin and Aosta Valley.

SOIUSA classification[edit]

According to SOIUSA (International Standardized Mountain Subdivision of the Alps) the mountain range is an Alpine supergroup classified in the following way:[1]

  • main part = Western Alps
  • major sector = North-Western Alps
  • section = Pennine Alps
  • subsection = Southern Valsesia Alps
  • supergroup =Alpi Biellesi
  • code = I/B-9.IV-A


Borders of the Alpi Biellesi are:


Catena Tre Vescovi - Mars
Catena Monte Bo - Barone

The Alpi Biellesi are divided into two alpine groups, one of them further subdivided in subgroups (in brackets is reported their SOIUSA code):

These two subgroups are connected by Bocchetta del Croso.


From the geological point of view the Alpi Biellesi are composed by an alpine zone in the strict sense of the word and a prealpine zone, divided by the Insubric line (locally named Linea del Canavese). This important geologic fault, which forms the border between the Adriatic plate and the European plate, crosses Biellese from SW to NE through Bocchetto di Sessera and Bocchetta della Boscarola passes. Thus hills and mountains (i.e. Monte Barone) located south-east of the line can be considered part of southern Apulian foreland while most part of the range, located NW of the line, geologically belongs to the crystalline zone of the Alps. [2]

Notable summits[edit]

Mount Mucrone
Name metres Name metres
Monte Mars 2,600 Mont de Pianeritz 2,584
Punta Loozoney 2,579 Monte Bo 2,556
Monte Cresto 2,548 Cima Tre Vescovi 2,501
Monte I Gemelli 2,476 Punta della Gragliasca 2,397
Monte Camino 2,388 Colma di Mombarone 2,371
Monte Mucrone 2,335 Monte Tovo 2,230
Bec di Nona 2,085 Monte Barone 2,044

Notable passes[edit]

Bocchetta della Boscarola from Bocchetto di Sessera
Name location type metres
Colle della Mologna Grande Gaby - Piedicavallo bridle path 2,364
Colle del Loo Gressoney-Saint-Jean - Rassa bridle path 2,452
Bocchetta del Croso Piedicavallo - Rassa bridle path 1,943
Colle della Mologna Piccola Gaby - Piedicavallo bridle path 2,208
Colle della Barma Oropa (Biella) - Fontainemore bridle path 2,257
Bocchetto di Sessera Campiglia Cervo - Trivero - Valle Sessera road 1,373
Bocchetta della Boscarola Scopello - Valle Sessera dirt road 1,423
Colle della Gragliasca Rosazza - Fontainemore foot path 2,208
Colle della Vecchia Piedicavallo - Gaby bridle path 2,185
Colle della Lace Sordevolo - Settimo Vittone - Lillianes foot path 2,121

Winter sports[edit]

Cross country skiing (Bocchetto Sessera)

In the Alpi Biellesi are located some ski resorts: Oropa (Biella) in the western part, with downhill skiing slopes ranging from 1,335 to 2,391 m;[3] Alpe di Mera (Scopello) and Bielmonte in the eastern part of the range. Near Bielmonte is also possible to practice cross country skiing with more than 30 km of maintained trails starting from Bocchetto Sessera (1,373 m).[4]

Hiking and climbing[edit]

Lots of climbing routes of different length and difficulty are described across the mountain range. Some of the most renowned ones are in the monte Mars area, like via Innominata[5] and cresta dei Carisey.[6] In the Alpi Biellesi there also are several vie ferratas, particularly around Oropa.[7]

The Alta Via delle Alpi Biellesi (literally high way of the Alpi Biellesi), a long-distance hiking trail which requires some climbing skills, covers the mountain range starting from Piedicavallo and ending in the village of Bagneri (Muzzano). The trekking is usually divided into five stretches and along it is possible to get food and accommodation in the following alpine huts: rifugio Rivetti, rifugio della Vecchia, capanna Renata al Monte Camino, rifugio Coda and rifugio Mombarone.[8]


  • Regis, Giancarlo; Renza Piana Regis (2001). Nuova Guida delle Alpi Biellesi. Biella: Vittorio Giovannacci. 
  • Castello, Alessandro; Sandro Zoia (2011). Alpi Biellesi e Valsesiane. Touring Club Italiano. 


See also[edit]

View of the Alpi Biellesi from Chiavazza, a quarter of Biella.


This article was originally translated from its counterpart on the Italian Wikipedia, specifically from this version.
  1. ^ a b Marazzi, Sergio (2005). Atlante Orografico delle Alpi. SOIUSA (in Italian). Priuli & Verlucca. p. 134. ISBN 978-88-8068-273-8. 
  2. ^ Falletti, Paolo; Chiara Girelli (2009). Itinerari geologici in Piemonte - La Valsesia (PDF). ARPA - Piemonte. p. 41. ISBN 978-88-7479-120-0. Retrieved 2012.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  3. ^ Oropa page on (accessed on March 2012)
  4. ^ Centro Sci di Fondo Bocchetto Sessera, trails map on (accessed on March 2012)
  5. ^ Alpinismo, web page on (accessed on September 2012)
  6. ^ Monte Mars - Cresta dei Carisey - 2600, description on (accessed on September 2012)
  7. ^ Vie ferrate e sentieri attrezzati, web page on (accessed on September 2012)
  8. ^ Alta Via delle Alpi Biellesi, web page on (accessed on September 2012)

External links[edit]