The Ferrata al Corno del Grevo is one of the most demanding routes on the Italian Alpine landscape. The route is characterized by a strong exposure along the entire route that extends on a jagged ridge that goes up the Corno del Grevo from the west. The via ferrata is rich in different types of passages, little artificial equipment and requires excellent physical preparation. The environment in which it extends is severe and generally little beaten therefore to be reserved for very experienced and well prepared hikers.
The starting point is the car park near Malga Licino. To reach this malga, go up the road to Val Camonica in the province of Brescia. Follow to Cedegnolo and take the road to Valle on the right (15 Km). Once in Valley we continue uphill towards the exit of the village where we continue straight following the brown signs for Località Rasega and Forami. We continue on this narrow road until the end of the paved road near a bridge where we park.
Directions for Google Maps available here.
From the parking lot we follow the CAI path 15 which leads us to the Scale dell'Adamè, which we ascend to the Rifugio Lissone (2000 m - 45' from the parking lot) in a beautiful setting. Behind the hut, we will notice a trail that climbs up the pines in a southeastern direction. We follow this path (CAI 24) which leads to the Passo di Forcella Rossa. Climbing steeply we will see on the left the Corno di Grevo massif and the west ridge covered by the ferrata. We continue on the path to a junction marked on a rock: on the right the CAI 24 continues, while on the left we walk towards the Ferrata del Corno di Grevo. We hold the left. Attention to this point because if you don't notice the deviation sign on the rock, you risk to continue towards the saddle from where it is possible to climb to the Corno del Grevo from the Via Normale (i.e. the normal route we will use in the descent).
At the junction on the rock, therefore, keep to the left and follow a path on grass that leads to the start of the ferrata marked with a white slab next to a former military tunnel (1h from the hut - 1h 45 'total).
Let's start going up a nice vertical slab with good holds. This short slab immediately takes us to the edge that will characterize the climb. We now begin to proceed along an exposed edge that immediately shows the typical characteristics of this difficult itinerary: exposure, technical difficulties and severe environment. We proceed uphill on the edge with the cable (not always taut) that runs on the left edge of the ridge. After these meters we find an edge from which we descend slightly to a small saddle beyond which we cross a short ledge. We continue trying to identify, depending on the case, which side of the ridge should be kept during the climb. Continuing on, we reach a singular pillar on our right that we can use as support for the men as we always proceed faithfully following the ridge. Along the ridge we encounter a first difficult jump: we have to climb up a ledge with the cable that passes almost over our head and therefore with little possibility of using it to help us in the climb. To proceed we will have to try to use the legs to climb up that half meter necessary to grasp the upper part of the ledge and continue. We cover a short ledge and resume the ascent along the exposed edge of the ridge on the right side up to a passage in which we will remount a vertical section and carry on to the left. We walk a fairly flat stretch and carry a fairly vertical wall under which a pulpit comes back up and leads us to the ridge. We continue on the aerial ridge until we get around a ledge on the left side going up a steep ascending slab. This is a challenging trait due to the lack of grips and we will have to pull the cable. We continue now along some rocky cracks that characterize the ridge beyond which we must walk down a slope on a sloping slab.
We come to a narrow grassy droplet beyond which the ridge starts up steep and exposed as before. The rock despite being jagged in some cases will not be so easy to climb and you will have to help yourself with the cable to climb up this first exposed section. Once up this stretch you can take a moment's breath and then continue on a flat stretch. Start again on the left side of the ridge. We climb up a short sloping wall and continue on the ridge of the right side without any particular difficulty until we remount an insidious vertical wall with few holds where we will have to pull to go up it. We continue on a short stretch of wide ridge and we find ourselves under a chimney. The chimney is initially faced as a dihedral, as the central fissure is still quite narrow. As you go up this widens and you pass literally through (watch out for large and bulky backpacks). We come out on the opposite side of the fracture where, in a strong exposure we climb a couple of meters before facing a diagonal stretch. We go up a short dihedral outside which there is a particularly exposed upward stretch of ledge. We go around an edge and find ourselves near a very exposed traverse. The traverse initially offers us a minimum space for the pedi where we can proceed, then we go down a meter on the grass and face the key part of the traverse. The traverse goes back to the right a smooth wall in which we will need good strength and meet some brackets to proceed. This stretch is challenging and requires good strength to be able to proceed above all because the cable tends to be a bit loose in some points. We will then reach a grassy terrace where to rest before leaving and ending the diagonal section.
We are now under a long dihedral. As in other parts of this via ferrata, you can try to proceed climbing in some sections and in others you will find yourself with few holds and you will also proceed by pulling the cable. This long dihedral is quite physical and should get out of it quickly. Leaving the dihedral we will proceed by alternating short diagonal and other more vertical sections, however always at a level of sustained difficulty. We come to a rocky terrace where we can catch our breath before a new, rather smooth slab that takes us back to the ridge. The stretch is aerial and we proceed literally straddling the edge of the ridge, now particularly smooth. We have to trust the last remaining energies and proceed to replace this last difficult rib. After this difficult stretch we are on a ledge partly rocky and partly earthy that runs on the right side of the ridge. We remount a short vertical section and find ourselves at another saddle. Here to go up a short ledge we can look for a handle above it. Found more easily we will be able to unhook the carabiners and continue on the slab above. We are almost at the end of the road but concentration is now essential because some traits are still insidious. We go up a short wall with a few handholds, taking us back to the ridge where we will have to go back to the right of some stretches to the left of the wire in very strong exposure. We are now on a rocky terrace where we first ascend and then descend a spur beyond which we climb over the ridge and find ourselves under a short but extremely poor corner of holds. It will be essential to use the legs well to find a foothold on the right side of the dihedral, thus gaining a meter and reaching a providential handle. We go up the dihedral using the cable and we go out diagonally to the right until we meet another short dihedral this time more attached than the previous one. We leave the dihedral, we pass through a crack between the ridge and a pillar we find ourselves to circumvent on the left side of the ridge a protruding rocky blade. Needless to emphasize the strong exposure we are in now as we climb up the last vertical wall. We climb over the ridge bringing us back to the right side, climb the last leap and we are on the summit meadow where along a not difficult rocky ridge the equipment of this wonderful, challenging and extremely difficult via ferrata at the Corno del Grevo near the summit cross ends (2827 m - 3h from the start - 4h 45 'total).
The descent of the via ferrata starts not far from where the ascent equipment ends. We must descend along the southern slope using stretches of rope and chain then on stretches of rocks. Some uphill and downhill sections alternate (grade II+ in free climbing), some of which are quite difficult and where it is necessary to pay particular attention (white-red trail sign 24). In about 40 minutes we will reach Passo del Forcellino Rosso where we will keep the right to descend in the direction of Rifugio Lissone. The descent is for long groove landslide and it is very prudent (and the hiking sticks are recommended). Going down the canal we will reach the crossroads that we have reached in the approach. From that point backwards along the path previously traveled up to the hut and then to the parking lot (2h 30 'from the summit - 7h 15' total).
The rock of which this ridge is composed is solid and granite. Obviously this solidity and its roughness play in favor of a good climbing ability however the rock is not always full of obvious grips and some stretches we will have to follow them in adherence pulling on the cable. It may be an option to bring climbing shoes with you to increase grip in the most demanding sections.
The via ferrata is varied, full of difficult passages where it is necessary to study the best solution. We will find in the path a difficult traverse and a couple of challenging corners with many vertical sections. That being said, our constant ascent from the first to the last few meters will be the constant exposure.
The cable was modernized in 2017 and is better than the previous one. However the nailing of the ferrata has quite distant bolts and this results in a fairly mobile cable. Given the distance between the taps it could be an option to bring along a lanyard for a Prusik knot together with a taproot for added security in some places.
The route does not have escape routes and therefore it is necessary to follow it in physical, psychological and meteorological conditions such as to allow the entire tour to be completed.
Last note, in the approach the deviation for the start of the via ferrata is drawn on a stone. If there was sleet or fog, pay attention to locate the trail as it may not be visible at first sight.
The Ferrata del Corno del Grevo is a difficult and long via ferrata that will not leave much energy nor time to chain another trip on the same day. However, the area of the upper Val Camonica is full of itineraries aided for all levels of difficulty. Near the Ferrata del Grevo, you can opt for the Ferrata Terzulli at the Adamello (mountaineering itinerary) or la Ferrata at Pizzo Badile Camuno. Going down towards Lake Idro we could opt for athletics Ferrata del Fregio and the Via Ferrata Ginestre or for the Via Ferrata Crench. Driving northeast towards Passo del Tonale we can undertake the Ferrata del Sentiero dei Fiori and Aided path of the Alpini to Punta d'Albiolo.
Approach: 1:45 h
Ferrata: 3:00 h
Itinerary: 7:15 h
Ferrata height difference: 500 m
Route difference: 1200 m
Max altitude: 2869 m
Length: 11 Km