Pizzo Coca

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Pizzo Coca
Coca dal redorta.JPG
Pizzo Coca
Highest point
Elevation3,050 m (10,010 ft)
Prominence1,878 m (6,161 ft)
Isolation23.07 kilometres (14.34 mi)
Parent peakMont Blanc
Coordinates46°4′7″N 10°0′42″E / 46.06861°N 10.01167°E / 46.06861; 10.01167Coordinates: 46°4′7″N 10°0′42″E / 46.06861°N 10.01167°E / 46.06861; 10.01167
Pizzo Coca is located in Alps
Pizzo Coca
Pizzo Coca
Location in the Alps
LocationLombardy, Italy
Parent rangeBergamo Alps

Pizzo Coca is a mountain that straddles the Val Seriana and the Valtellina in Lombardy, Italy. It is the highest peak in the Bergamo Alps (also called the Orobie Alps).[1][2] Its height is 3,050 metres[1][3] with a prominence height of 1,878 metres[3] and a saddle of 1,172 metres.[3] A post-glacial valley exists near a point called "ometto in sassi" (literally "little man in rock") at 2,400 meters.[4][5]

Geology and orogeny[edit]

The Alps form a part of a tertiary orogenic belt of mountain chains, called the Alpide belt, that stretches through southern Europe and Asia from the Atlantic stretching eastward to the Himalayas. The Bergamo Alps have three prominent peaks named Pizzo Coca, Punta Scaiss and Pizzo Redorta.[2][6] As with its parent Alpine belt, Pizzo Coca is composed of "dark-coloured"[6] sedimentary mountain rock with "huge rocky spurs"[2] known as a pyramid type peak.[6] Pizzo Coca, along with the other Bergamo crystalline peaks, exist parallel to the Valtellina Valley.[7] Narrow and vertical chimney clefts stretch towards Pizzo Coca's summit, which has rock debris, before it levels off.[4][5] The mountain rises to 2,924 meters by "Dente di Coca" (literally Tooth of Coca") before settling out by Pico Coca's summit.[8][9][10][11]


The Alps are split into five climate zones, each with a different kind of environment. The climate, plant life and animal life vary on different sections or zones of the mountain such as Pizzo Coca. The initial altitude at Val Seriana, one of the recommended southern access points, is 1,100 meters and part of a valley.[2] The valley trail rises to 1,892 meters by Rifugio Coca which is a rest stop.[2][4][5]

Pizzo Coca's Subalpine regional climate ranges to 1,800 metres with the lower levels available for cultivation. The Alpine regional climate exists between 1,800 and 2,500 meters. The Glacial regional climate extends from 2,500 to Pico Coca's top at 3,050 metres with snow falling at the higher elevations.


Pizzo Coca can be reached from the south starting from Valbondione. From here the path leads to Rifugio Coca,[2] a "hut"[12] managed by Club Alpino Italiano based in Bergamo, then continues towards Lago di Coca.[13][14] From here, before reaching the lake, climbers must crawl up the scree to the east. After this, the trail climbs quickly, then follows a semicircle along the natural amphitheatre at the foot of the Bocchetta dei Camosci.[13][14] From here begins the steepest part of the path allowing climbers, after 300 to 400 meters uphill, the base of Pizzo Coca is reached.

From the peak, there is an unrestricted view to the east and the surrounding area. The Rhaetian Alps that connects to the north are visible, as is Lake Barbellino, Monte Torena, Pizzo Strinato, Monte Costone, Monte Trobio, Monte Gleno and Pizzo Recastello, Pizzo Redorta, the glacier of Marovin, and the Pizzo del Diavolo di Tenda in the west, Presolana and Pizzo Arera to the south as well as several other peaks, and beginning from the valley of the Serio River, the starting point of Valbondione.

The initial trail leads to a series of rifugios, which is Italian for refuges, like the first Rifugio Coca mountain hut.[12] This is a hike to this stage or refuge. Past Rifugio Coca, becomes a YDS 3 or a climbing route with scrambling uphill amongst boulders, creeks, cliffs and zig-zag markers.[12] Based upon exposure to falling and increased YDS 3+[10][11] in some hard rock climb areas, climbing equipment like rope, climbing harness,[13][14] boots, crampons, ice axes, snowshoes and skis is recommended.[10][11]

Nearest services[edit]

Pizzo Coca's nearest airport is Orio al Serio Airport in Bergamo, Italy.[1] The nearest "convenient center" is Valbondione.[1]

See also[edit]

Photo gallery[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d "Pizzo di Coca". Interactive Outdoors, Inc. (in Italian). peakware.com. 2010 [1998]. Retrieved 2010-05-11.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Pizzo di Coca-Punta Scaiss-Pizzo Redorta". summitpost.org. 2006. Retrieved 2010-05-11.
  3. ^ a b c Petter Bjørstad; Jonathan de Ferranti; Eberhard Jurgalski; Vasja Kavcic; Aaron Maizlish (2004). "Europe Ultra-Prominences". peaklist.org. Retrieved 2010-05-11.
  4. ^ a b c "Pizzo Coca: Cresta Est" (in Italian). camptocamp.org. October 19, 2008. Retrieved 2010-05-11.
  5. ^ a b c "Pizzo Coca: Cresta Est Google translation". camptocamp.org. October 19, 2008. Retrieved 2010-05-11.
  6. ^ a b c "The Orobie Park". turismo.provincia.bergamo.it. Retrieved 2010-05-11.
  7. ^ "Parco delle Orobie Bergamasche". Consorzio Parco delle Orobie Bergamasche. turismo.provincia.bergamo.it. 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-11.
  8. ^ Giada Beccarelli (April 20, 2010). "Rifugio Coca" (in Italian). valseriana.bg.it. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
  9. ^ Giada Beccarelli (April 20, 2010). "Rifugio Coca Google translation". valseriana.bg.it. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
  10. ^ a b c [undefined] error: {{lang-xx}}: no text (%5b%5b:Category:lang and lang-xx template errors|help%5d%5d)%5b%5bCategory:lang and lang-xx template errors%5d%5d "Pizzo Coca per il canalone NO (m 3050)" Check |url= value (help). lemontagnedivertenti.com. June 22, 2008. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
  11. ^ a b c "Pizzo Coca per il canalone NO (m 3050) Google translation". lemontagnedivertenti.com. June 22, 2008. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
  12. ^ a b c "Pizzo Coca". ii.uib.no. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
  13. ^ a b c "Pizzo Coca" (in Italian). webalice.it. Retrieved 2010-05-11.
  14. ^ a b c "Pizzo Coca Google translation". webalice.it. Retrieved 2010-05-11.

External links[edit]