From a purely athletic point of view, the Ferrata delle Guide di Gressoney is probably the most challenging ferrata in Italy. It is a via ferrata full of overhanging walls that put the hiker's physical strength to the test. The technical difficulties are not very high given the abundant equipment but this should not be misleading given that the passages are difficult at many points. The yellow and black variants are at the end of the itinerary and present the greatest difficulties.
The starting point is the town of Tache in the municipality of Gressoney-La Trinitè in the province of Aosta. Going up the road that runs along the Lys stream. When you are near La Trinitè the main road will continue to the right passing the stream. At that point, following the signs for "Loc Tache", you will continue straight on for just over 200 meters bypassing the obvious church and finding an open space in which to park.
Directions for Google Maps available here.
Parked the car, the approach path is taken to the left passing alongside public baths. Go up until you reach an abandoned quarry and you will soon reach the start of the Ferrata delle Guide di Gressoney (10 'from the parking lot).
The route is divided into 3 sections:
The red path is divided in turn into three quite distinct sections:
After the red route to the repeaters on a summit, proceed to the left and you will notice that the ferrata continues with a short descent - 3 steps - to reach the first suspension bridge. This is about 40 meters long, 60 meters high with pegs for the feet. Despite the length the bridge is quite stable but long and adrenaline. At the end of the bridge a difficult, vertical and overhanging section is immediately started. This wall is long and very demanding from a physical point of view. It is useless to delay in this section and it is advisable to proceed quickly to reach the end of the overhang beyond which the wall becomes vertical. Before finishing the wall, two more overhangs face each other and then the ferrata ends at 2100 m near the Bodma huts. For descent follow the path 11 near the first hut.
Once the suspension bridge is finished, instead of starting the vertical wall of the yellow path, you go down slightly to the left in a decidedly aerial stretch that goes around an edge. Once around the edge there is a second 3-string suspended bridge, shorter than the previous one but much more swinging. After the bridge you come to a rest area before starting an impressive overhanging wall that - once passed - will lead you to the Bodma huts where the yellow path also ends. Mark 11 for the descent.
Once the red path is finished, if you avoid the yellow and black paths, proceed on the path of the trail initially slightly uphill until it enters a path that descends from above. Go down towards the valley reaching Gressoney-La-Trinité (30 'from the end of the via ferrata - 2h 45' total).
If you continue on the yellow or black paths, from the Bodma huts you follow the path 11 which then receives the graft from the descent path of the red path and you reach the valley (40 'from the end of the ferrata - 3h 30' total by making one of the two variants).
The black variant is considered by many to be the most athletically demanding piece in Italy and the yellow one is certainly not far behind. This type of very athletic via ferrata is best to go along with a pair of quickdraws or slings with snap-hooks to create mobile stops in case of need, especially in the overhanging sections avoiding burn arms before finishing the path.
It is possible to make all the variations if, once you reach the Bodma huts, you go down along the path 11 until you see the graft of a path that you take when you reach the end of the red path again. The first suspension bridge is retraced and another itinerary is made. Add 1h to the itinerary for a total of 4h 30 'very demanding.
The Ferrata delle Guide is a challenging via ferrata, under the extreme physical aspect. So it's difficult to test yourself with another ferrata at the end of this. However, if you wanted to associate it with another route, you could proceed to the next one Ferrata Josè Angster, on Ferrata Covarey or the Ferrata Nito Staich.
Approach: 0:10 h
Ferrata: 2:30 h
Itinerary: 3:30 h
Fixed height difference: 290 m
Route difference: 310 m
Max altitude: 2030 m
Length: 2.5 Km
Mountain Group: Pennine Alps