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Monte Viso

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Title: Monte Viso  
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Subject: Grande Traversata delle Alpi, Northern Italy, Province of Cuneo, First ascent of the Matterhorn, Piedmont
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Monte Viso

Monte Viso
Monviso seen from the Col de Chamoussiere (FR).
Elevation 3,841 m (12,602 ft)
Prominence 2,062 m (6,765 ft)
Ranked 10th in the Alps
Listing Ultra
Monte Viso is located in Alps
Monte Viso
Monte Viso
Location Piedmont, Italy
Range Cottian Alps
First ascent August 30, 1861 by William Mathews and Frederic Jacomb with guide Michel Croz
Easiest route South Face scramble

Monte Viso or Monviso (Occitan: Vísol; Piedmontese: Brich Monviso or Viso), is the highest mountain of the Cottian Alps. It's located in Italy close to the French border. Monte Viso is well known for its pyramid-like shape, and because it is higher than all its neighbouring peaks by about 500 m it can be seen from some distance, from the Piedmontese plateau and the Langhe. On a very clear day it can be seen from the spires of the Milan Cathedral. It has been suggested that Monte Viso could be one of the mountains which inspired the Paramount logo. In Italy is also known as Il Re di Pietra (The Stone King) because of his prominence within western Italian Alps landscape.


On the northern slopes of Monte Viso are the headwaters of the Po, the longest Italian river, the so-called Pian del Re (2,020 m). The Monviso group is surrounded by the Valle Po, Valle Varaita and, on the French side, the Guil valley. The northern sector of the group, from the Punta Gastaldi to the Colle delle Traversette, is located on the French border.

SOIUSA classification

According to the SOIUSA (International Standardized Mountain Subdivision of the Alps) the mountain can be classified in the following way:[1]

  • main part = Western Alps
  • major sector = South Western Alps
  • section = Cottian Alps
  • subsection = southern Cottian Alps
  • supergroup = catena Aiguillette-Monviso-Granero
  • group = gruppo del Monviso isa
  • subgroup = nodo del Monviso
  • code = I/A-4.I-C.8.a
Panoramic view of Monviso with the main peaks


Monte Viso is the location of a neolithic jadeite quarry, at an elevation of 2000 to 2400 metres. Its productivity peaked around 5000 BC. The jadeite was used to make cult axes, which are found all over western Europe.

In ancient times the mountain was known as Vesulus.[2]

Monte Viso was climbed for the first time on August 30, 1861 by William Mathews, Frederick Jacomb, Jean-Baptiste Croz and Michel Croz.

See also


  1. ^ Marazzi, Sergio (2005). Atlante Orografico delle Alpi. SOIUSA (in Italian). Priuli & Verlucca.  
  2. ^ Lewis C. T. and Short C., 1879, Latin Dictionary, p 1982, citing Virgil Aen. X 708 and Pliny 3. 16. 20 §117.


  • McLewin, Will (1991). In Monte Viso’s Horizon: Climbing All the Alpine 4000m Peaks. Ernest Press.  

External links

  • Monte Viso on SummitPost
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