The Ferrata Caspai is a challenging via ferrata that extends above the town of Lodrino in the province of Brescia. The via ferrata is generally exposed, rich in traverses and should not be underestimated. The last part of the route presents a difficult option with some overhanging sections, chimneys and traverses that tend to tire a lot and raise the difficulty level in the overall trip to Extremely Difficult.
The starting point of the itinerary is the town of Pineta above the village of Lodrino in the province of Brescia. As soon as you arrive in Lodrino we will notice on the right a series of brown signs of which one indicates Pineta. We go up the steep road to the Ristorante Genzianella. You could park near the restaurant or continue for 100 meters keeping to the right at the next junction until you find a bend to the left with a picnic area. You can park in the open space.
Directions for Google Maps available here.
Parked the car, we will notice a series of white-green signs indicating the directions to follow for the Ferrata Caspai. Continue for a short while along the paved road until you notice a track on the right that goes up into the woods. We take it so to steeply cut above by entering the woods in the direction of the ferrata. We continue on the forest path for a few minutes until we meet an intersection (15' from the parking lot). On the left is the path that will lead us to the start of the via ferrata. We follow it and reach the start of the Ferrata Caspai (30' from the parking lot).
The Caspai Ferrata begins with a diagonal first and a horizontal crossbar which then lets you immediately taste some of the peculiarities of this via ferrata. You pass the traverse in adherence and then the cable continues for a short vertical stretch with which you then continue with another traverse again diagonally and then horizontally. This first stretch is quite physical. Go up a two-meter vertical section before facing a subsequent horizontal traverse with metal pegs for the feet. The traverse ends and we find ourselves on a grassy ledge that proceeds to the left which lasts a few minutes until a more delicate passage comes visible: we climb around an exposed edge beyond which we proceed in a downward traverse leading us to pass under a rocky roof that we will overcome quickly so to avoid stressing the arms too much. Beyond the roof the cable climbs vertically and comes out on an unmarked chimney with some pegs that support us on the climb. Attention in this stretch to the cable that could get in the way since it will pass from the left side to the right side of the chimney. The second part of the chimney is richer in holds and we come out of it facing left. This traverse requires us to descend a few steps and proceed in adherence by bypassing the wall until we reach another rocky roof with our feet on an inclined slab. We continue to the left until we climb up a small spur and then we go down on a more sloping ramp. We go around an edge and the cable points vertically with the aid of pegs. After a few meters we turn to the left for a new exposed sideways slightly downhill. In this section we are bypassing a rocky stretch. Beyond this section we take up vertically another stretch with few natural and artificial holds, with the result that it will in fact be necessary to pull on the cable to proceed. In this section the rock is good, solid but poor in grips. In the middle of this wall there is an earthy terrace where, if necessary, we can catch our breath. We continue to climb vertically to then face a new traverse to the left. We go around a new ledge and continue on the left. Here we find the first escape route of the via ferrata.
The route starts on a short chimney and then turns to the left for a new challenging uphill traverse. You arrive at a pulpit from which we will have to descend with a section of climbing beyond which, after a short path, we take yet another traverse to the left until we reach a saddle. On the left continues the easy ascent route to the Corno di Caspai peak while on the right the extremely difficult route continues. The easy route has some aided stretches with ledges, ramps and short vertical passages then followed by a easy hiking trail. The difficult stretch is composed of 4 sections and is to be considered extremely difficult and should not be underestimated as it does not present escape routes along the way.
The first of four jumps begins with a short vertical wall which is followed by a diagonal stretch to the right that leads us to a steep wall aided with pegs. As often happens with overhanging sections, it requires a good combination of agility, quick change of carabiners and strength of arms for progression. The first few meters begin by bending to the left and some pegs help us to position the legs well, then we start again vertically on an overhanging wall and then bend again in strong exposure to the left so to end on some mixed rock-grass passages. We are now on a ledge where you can rest before embarking on the second stretch of the difficult route.
We start now in a slanted to the left with medium difficulty although the accumulated fatigue begins to get noticed on the arms. You reach a stretch where the cable from the left bends decisively to the right diagonally first and then vertically. We are now in a very exposed stretch but it does offer some good holds for the climb with a little more jagged rock. We go up a short vertical stretch to the right and face a stretch of path to reach the third stretch.
The third section begins with an exposed and difficult traverse to the left until it passes an edge. Beyond the corner the cable goes vertically for a few meters and then later to the right towards a exposed chimney with good natural and artificial grips. After the chimney we go up a fairly supported wall and go through the grassy path to the last stretch ignoring the possible escape route.
The last section begins with a traverse to the right, then going diagonally towards a narrow chimney in which we will keep its left side until the end. We are on the ending part of the route. We have a wall resting with the cable that proceeds in a zigzag to be traced up to reach the visible cross of the summit (3h 15' from the start - 3h 45' total).
From the large summit cross of the Corno Caspai you have two options for getting off at the parking:
The Ferrata Caspai is an athletic ferrata although not in a "French" sense of some ferratas of the Western Alps. The via ferrata does not use a large amount of brackets but rather doses them in a useful way along the route in the sections with few natural holds. The climb is tiring due to the combination of many ups and downs, the length of the route and also the high number of traverses that tend to stress the arms. The rock is solid on most of the climb, although in some places it is quite poor in grips.
The difficult variant in the second half of the itinerary is to be considered extremely difficult, athletic, exposed and comes after 2 hours of climbing when the energies begin to shrink. We also want to emphasize that if you go up the first section of the difficult route, you must continue to to end since there is no escape route. In fact, it would be very difficult to go down. In this section it could be very convenient to have a quickdraw to rest if the strength is lacking.
The Ferrata Caspai extends in a beautiful via ferrata area. Returning back along the road traveled to reach Lodrino we will find on one side the Ferrata delle Fucine di Casto and on the other the Via Ferrata Nasego, both close. If you wanted to proceed in the direction of Lake of Idro one could consider the easy Aided Path of the Idro Lake Falls maybe linked with the neighbor Via Ferrata Crench or the Ferrata di Cima Ora or the most difficult Via Ferrata Fregio and Ferrata Ginestre.
Approach: 0:30 h
Ferrata: 3:15 h
Itinerary: 4:45 h
Via Ferrata gap: 350 m
Route difference: 500 m
Max altitude: 1391 m
Length: 7 Km