Review of Ferrata Guzzella to Monte Grappa. The Ferrata starts from Val San Liberale and, after a strenuous approach, climbs the ridges of the southern slopes of Grappa. Easy itinerary in the first section and difficult in the second with a couple of athletic steps. Attention to the low altitude that in summer can make the climb exhausting.
The starting point of the itinerary is Val San Liberale in the restaurant of the same name, which can be reached from Crespano del Grappa in the province of Treviso. Driving along the Provincial Road 26 that connects Romano d'Ezzelino with the Piave valley, when you reach Crespano del Grappa follow the signs to the north for Val San Liberale. Follow the paved road to the large parking lot near the restaurant. Directions for Google Maps available here.
From the parking area (600 m) we climb following one paved road up to a first junction where there are signs to the left for the Ferrata Guzzella while to the right you go up towards the Via Ferrata Sass Brusai. Keep the left at the saddle. We follow the forest until we soon meet a second saddle (680 m - 15 'from the parking lot) where we take to the right the steep climb in the woods. The path is steep and tiring and leads us to cross the CAI 102 path (1000 m - 45 'from the junction - 1 hour from the parking lot). We follow the sign to the north with clear indications for the via ferrata. The path climbs steeply up to the start of the Ferrata Guzzella (1170 m - 30 'junction with 102 - 1h 30' from the parking lot).
Part of the route that we are going to climb with the Ferrata Guzzella is already visible from the start. We will climb a ridge of the ridge that descends from Monte Grappa. The first section of the route starts on one very leaning wall supported which allows you to get on without using the cable except as a self-insurance. There rock is good and jagged offering excellent support for hands and feet. Let's go up this section without substantial difficulties and we reach a flat stretch. We cover a short ledge and climb a few jumps to finish the first section of the route.
We cover a section of connecting path on grass until we meet the equipment again. This part is characterized by leaps and rocks that we climb without particular difficulties separated with passages on the path. We continue now on a connecting stretch on a grassy and fairly wide ridge path. We reach some aided jumps and we continue on the path. We reach two easy diagonally-aided traverses where the rock is well attached and we climb diagonally to the left. We climb a well-formed rocky gully reaching one beautiful vertical wall. We climb the first leap and then we can continue along the wall in pleasant climbing exploiting the many handholds present and the subsequent brackets present along the wall.
Leaving the wall we climb a new section of path that leads us to the ridge. We meet again metal equipment with which we ascend some rocky jumps up to a panoramic balcony where there is an escape route that on the right breaks off and connects us with the provincial road from which it is possible to go down to the parking lot or go up to the Grappa avoiding the second, more demanding, section of the via ferrata.
The second section is to be considered difficult. The first step immediately shows a different character to the various very climbing passages that characterized the first section. We climb vertically and then to the left for a challenging traverse on a rather smooth slab with which we circumvent an edge. The passage is athletic and it is recommended to pass it without delaying excessively because it is overhanging and you risk to tire your arms. In particular the circumvention of the corner requires a good mix of agility and strength. Once around the edge we continue on a stretch of aided path where we climb a few leaps without difficulty.
Then we reach the second difficult passage of the route. We are under one beautiful wall of about twenty meters where do we start on a diagonal traverse to the left to reach a bracket and then climb vertically. We then bend to the left going to intercept other brackets to complete the climb and exit on the upper part of the wall which is definitely more climbing than the first meters. We continue the aided vertical section reaching a slab with good holds. We are in the final stretch of the aided road. We follow the path facing some easy rocky jumps and aided section where the bottom is more insidious reaching the top of the Napon where the equipment ends not before we have turned to see theroute uphill itinerary (1550 m - 1h 30 'from the start - 2h 45' total).
The quickest way down is to intercept the equipment shortly afterwards the path to the right reports to San Liberale. Continuing towards the top of Grappa we follow the path that leads us to the sacred area of the First World War where the great is present Shrine of Monte Grappa. We suggest strongly recommend a visit to this monument (30 'from the end of the via ferrata).
The return then takes place from Rifugio Bassano following i signpost 151 which take you back to San Liberale via Pian di Bala. It remains on the steep but marked path 151 going down to the junction meeting the outward near the parking lot (2h from Monte Grappa - 2h 30 'from the end of the ferrata - - 5h 30' total).
The Guzzella Ferrata can be divided into two distinct sections. The first section is very climbing and does not present technical difficulties. The second presents two challenging passages, of which the first traverse is also difficult physically. The approach is steep and tiring. The low altitude does not recommend this route during the hottest months of the year.
The Ferrata Guzzella shares with its neighbor Via Ferrata Sass Brusai the starting point. For experienced hikers it is possible to combine the two via ferratas along one downhill. In this case we would recommend to descend the Guzzella paying close attention to the two initial difficult passages (downhill). Possible to eventually follow the paved road to the escape route and complete the descent along the first section of the Guzzella.
If you want to follow other aided routes in the area, you can quickly reach the short Ferrata Santa Felicità or head towards the longest aided itinerary of the Aided path of Heroes.
Also in the province of Vicenza it is possible to go to the Small Dolomites where there are many aided itineraries of different types. There Via Ferrata of Vajo Scuro, the Via Ferrata Biasin or the Aided path Pojesi near the Carega. On the southern slope of the Little Dolomites we meet the pleasant ones Ferrata Viali and Ezio Ferrari.
Moving instead in the Val d'Astico you can go along the recent one Ferrata delle Anguane.