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). Its height is 3050 metres with a prominence height of 1878 metres and a saddle of 1172 metres. A post-glacial valley exists near a point called "ometto in sassi" (literally "little man in rock") at 2,400 meters.
Geology And Orogeny:
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.As with its parent Alpine belt, Pizzo Coca is composed of "dark-coloured"sedimentary mountain rock with "huge rocky spurs"known as a pyramid type peak.Pizzo Coca, along with the other Bergamo crystalline peaks, exist parallel to the Valtellina Valley.Narrow and vertical chimney clefts stretch towards Pizzo Coca's summit, which has rock debris, before it levels off.The mountain rises to 2,924 meters by "Dente di Coca" (literally Tooth of Coca") before settling out by Pico Coca's summit.
Pizzo Coca can be reached from the south starting from Valbondione. From here the path leads to Rifugio Coca, a "hut"managed by Club Alpino Italiano based in Bergamo, then continues towards Lago di Coca.From here, before reaching the lake, climbers must crawl up the scree to the east. After this, the trail climbs quickly, approaching a radio column installed for emergency calls, then follows a semicircle along the natural amphitheatre at the foot of the Bocchetta dei Camosci.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, Corona di 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.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.Based upon exposure to falling and increased YDS 3+in some hard rock climb areas, climbing equipment like rope, climbing harness,boots, crampons, ice axes, snowshoes and skis is recommended.
Elevation: 3,050 m (10,007 ft)