The Ferrata Mario Minonzio is a beautiful ferrata that extends along a stretch of ridge that will lead us to the Zuccone Campelli above the Piani di Bobbio. The ferrata does not have extremely difficult stretches but a high variety of passages, never banal, with high exposure. The environment is austere and, despite the relatively low altitude, it is high mountain and therefore the necessary precautions are needed.
The starting point of the itinerary is the top station of the cablecar at Piani di Bobbio. To reach the valley station of the cable car continue from Lecco in the direction of Val Sassina passing Ballabio and reaching Barzio. Once in Barzio take the signs for the center and then for the cable car. Go up the road for a few bends and you will reach the parking area of the ski lifts.
If desired, it could also rise from the opposite side in the province of Bergamo but in this report we consider the top station of the cable car as the starting point of the itinerary.
Directions for Google Maps available here.
From the cable car station we will start by reaching the Lecco hut above the ski slopes and from there we continue up the Valle dei Camosci through an evident path on the left side of the valley. We will reach a crossroads with the normal road to the left for the Zucco di Barbisino and straight with yellow signs the direction for the Aided Minonzio Path. We continue along the beautiful path with yellow marks until we reach the first metal chains.
Although the aided sections are starting, it is not the real start of the via ferrata. However, it is advisable to wear the harness at this point. We cover a ledge beyond which we begin to climb the first aided sections diagonally to the right uphill and then subsequently to another stretch aided up to the start marked with a red arrow in addition to the usual yellow signs.
The immediately vertical ferrata is attached. The very first meters are climbable and can be easily climbed to then increase the difficulty with a stone that slightly obstructs the passage and therefore requires more attention. After the first 10 meters cross to the left bypassing an unmarked edge. It goes around and starts vertically for a climbing stretch.
Now we come to a narrow, ridge-like path with which we reach the next yellow sign and start the equipment again. Climb some rocks, initially easy then less. We are now back on the ridge and we begin a series of aided and downhill slopes in which to pay attention also because of the sometimes crumbly bottom. In fact we continue along the ridge standing at times on the right side, sometimes on the left side. Some of these traits must be taken with caution, particularly downhill.
Thus we come to what could be called the key passage of the via ferrata: a long gully to downclimb. The descent is long and decidedly adrenaline, however there are many natural grips for hands and feet. We descend between carvings and spiers in a crescendo of emotions until we pass on the opposite side of the canal where we will begin to climb again. The climb alternates vertical sections with ledges and short crossings until it reaches a metal staircase. Go up the ladder and continue on some easy rocks to reach a ledge. Follow it and you reach the last stretch with discrete difficulty: you go up a crack with the chain on our left side and many natural holds on the right side. Go up it and come to a carving on the rock that we go up on a stony path and reach the yellow sign that indicates the end of the Mario Minonzio Ferrata. From the end of the ferrata we continue on the small path until we reach the highest point of the Zuccone Campelli (2173 m - 1h 45 'from the start - 2h 30 from the top station of the cable car).
For the descent you have two options with the first section in common. From the end of the via ferrata, looking at the cross, continue to the right up to the saddle where the ferrata ends. We continue now on the ridge path towards a summit where a repeater is located. Just beyond the repeater we will have a crossroads:
The Ferrata Mario Minonzio is a beautiful ferrata of the ridge, artificially aided with moderation and a surprising environment. Easy sections alternate with adrenaline and technical traits (such as the downhill couloir). The difficulty is never excessive but always present. Plenty of exposure along the way. Not recommended in the event of unstable weather. Pay attention to the approach couloir which, even at the beginning of the season, often presents snow.
An interesting opportunity is to combine the Mario Minonzio Ferrata with the Aided path of the Stradini, along the latter before the ferrata. In this case, instead of going up to the Piani di Bobbio cableway, take the cable car up to the Piani d'Artavaggio and, via the Stradini Trail, reach the Lecco hut in 2 hours, from where it continues as indicated above in the approach. At the end of the Ferrata Minonzio you would then descend via the normal route towards the Rifugio Cazzaniga and then towards the Piani d'Artaveggio.
Another possibility for the more experienced is to walk the neighbor Via Ferrata of Zucco Pesciola uphill and then take the Ferrata Mario Minonzio downhill. In this case, from the end of the Ferrata Zucco Pesciola we proceed towards the Cristo delle Vette where to reach it we will have to go up an exposed wall with passages of I and II degree. From the Cristo delle Vette descend to the Dente dei Campelli until the end of the Ferrata Mario Minonzio which will be covered downhill.
Finally, if instead you wanted to opt, once the single ascent to Mario Minonzio ended, to another route in the lecco area, you could take another via ferrata among those with a short approach, for example the Via Ferrata of the Morcate Gallery or the most difficult Ferrata to the Corno del Medale.
Approach: 1:00 h
Ferrata: 1:45 h
Itinerary: 5:00 h
Ferrata height difference: 150 m
Route difference: 534 m
Max altitude: 2173 m
Length: 6 Km