The itinerary allows you to reach the Bafile Shelter at an altitude of 2,669 m, a shelter built by the CAI L'Aquila section in 1966. The structure is located on the south-east ridge of the Central Peak of Corno Grande, it is always open and has 9 beds.
The starting point is Campo Imperatore in the province of L'Aquila in Abruzzo.
From Rome or Teramo: A24 motorway to the Assergi tollbooth, then Statale 17bis to Fonte Cerreto, then always with the 17bis state road arriving at the Campo Imperatore car park. In the town of Fonte Cerreto it is possible to leave the car and reach Campo Imperatore in about 7 minutes with the cable car open every day in summer and winter. Always inquire about opening and closing times and days, taking care to organize well with the times so as not to risk losing the last race.
From Pescara: highway A25 to Popoli, then state highway 17 to Bresciano and L'Aquila to Assergi. Then as above.
Directions for Google Maps available here.
dall 'Campo Imperatore astronomical observatory (altitude 2.130 m, coordinates UTM 33T 381.456E 4.699.932N) [photo 3] follow path 101 up to the Sella di Monte Aquila (2.335 m altitude, UTM coordinates 33T 381.510E 4.701.281N) and then path 104 passing through the Sella of Corno Grande (altitude 2,421 m, coordinates UTM 33T 381.956E 4.702.023N) and the Sassone (altitude 2,560 m). Continuing along the path 104 you meet the crossroads for the Bafile ferrata (1h 30 'from the car park - UTM coordinates 33T 381.948E 4.702.557E).
At the junction turn right towards the Bafile shelter and the Forcella the Calderone. The shod tract, recently renovated, does not present significant technical difficulties. The path is easy and relaxing. Plentiful and good holds on the rock that allow you to tackle the route without having to pull on the wire rope (extreme attention instead in the winter due to the presence of snow and ice).
During the first part of the ferrata we meet an exposed ladder of nine steps with an important overhang below [photo 6], later pronounced horizontal slits of the mountain where it is necessary to continue lowered and a beautiful passage on diagonal slab simple. Immediately after this passage you enter into a large basin of gravels on the southern slope of the Corno Grande where you can relax a little while walking obliquely slightly downhill. The path goes down a little to reach the rocks on top the shelter is located (2h from the end of the approach to the Sassone - 3h 30 'total - 2669 m). It's about facing a last stretch of easy rocks before ending the climb. Always follow the red-white CAI signals as for the coordinates 33T 382.492E 4.702.815N there is the start of a mountaineering path marked with red yellow CAI signals. Superb the view from the slabau where the shelter is located.
At this point, take the via ferrata backwards and then continue along the same path as the first leg until you reach Campo Imperatore (2h from the Bafile Shelter - 5h 30 'total).
Alternatively, arriving at the Sella di Monte Aquila, you could take the path 161 which leads to the hut Duca degli Abruzzi, managed by the CAI of Rome.
For the return, as an alternative to the classic route taken on the outward journey, one could follow the mountaineering path 4 (starting path 33T 382.492E 4.702.815N) which leads to the central peak of Corno Grande passing through Canale Gualerzi and Torrione Cambi.
A truly unique experience could be to walk the ferrata trail late in the afternoon and spend the night at the shelter in order to enjoy the magnificent panorama from sunset to sunrise.
Il Bivacco Bafile è intitolato a un nome importante legato sia all'Abruzzo che alle Vie Ferrate: Andrea Bafile. Esistono due Andrea Bafile, uno a cui è dedicato il bivacco obiettivo di questa via ferrata. Poi esiste un altro Andrea Bafile che merita tuttavia una citazione indiretta nonchè piena di valore.
Bafile era originario della provincia de L'Aquila e fu un militare italiano pluridecorato durante la Grande Guerra. Cadde in combattimento vicino Jesolo e fu insignito della medaglia d'oro al valore militare. Alla sua memoria è stato intitolato il bivacco nel Gran Sasso.
Esiste tuttavia un altro importante Andrea Bafile che inventò il heatsink, ovvero quel pezzo di attrezzatura proprio delle vie ferrate e che ne riduce significativamente i rischi. Bafile infatti era un alpinista originario dell'Abruzzo, trapiantato in Toscana che intuì il principio di funzionamento del dissipatore che poi trovò largo utilizzo nelle vie ferrate. Morì nel 2009 a 85 anni.
The Gran Sasso area is home to some really interesting and recently renovated aided paths. The Aided path Ventricini and the Ferrata Ricci they go up to the Eastern Horn and the Ferrata Danesi salt to the Western Horn. Our reports consider the mountain station from Prati di Tivo as a starting point but it is absolutely possible to combine the itineraries starting from Campo Imperatore. From the side of Campo Imperatore it is possible to walk along the historic Sentiero del Centenario which includes the Family Ferrata.
Review of Gianluca Salati.