The Ferrata Maurizio is a beautiful via ferrata that extends on the northern slope of Monte Croce near Monte Alben in the province of Bergamo. The ferrata is divided into two large sections: the first is a long and tiring approach path and the second is purely vertical and athletic. The Ferrata does not present particularly difficult points, however it is exposed and requires good training.
The starting point of the itinerary is the parking of the Conca dell'Alben lift facilities in the municipality of Oltre il Colle in the province of Bergamo. From Bergamo you can go back to Val Seriana or Val Brembana up to Oltre il Colle and then follow the signs for the ski lifts where you park the car.
Directions for Google Maps available here.
Once parked the car, you will notice a showcase describing the route. You start hiking to the left of the skilift till you reach an embarkement towards a clearing, where you see a sign suggesting to wear the equipment, as shortly the aided path will begin (20' from the parking lot).
The ferrata Maurizio could be divided into two large sections. The first is characterized by a climb with the typical characteristics of a path aided on a rather unstable ground. This steep and tiring aided path will take us under the real vertical wall of the ferrata, or the second section.
The first section begins with the ascent of a steeply sloping gully with the wire that will help us ascend and increase our stability. Continue uphill long the track and the equipment until you reach a rocky ledge on a fairly exposed gravel ground that, once traveled, leads to the start of the vertical part of the Maurizio ferrata.
This stretch of ferrata begins with a diagonal ramp to the left on a gravel ground. In this section the cable serves us mainly as balance and support in the ascent steps. From here we continue in a short alternation of path and rocks until we reach the first vertical wall. The first vertical wall begins with a horizontal traverse with pegs for the feet to the left passing under a rocky roof. Passed under the roof the cable continues vertically to climb up this first section. We continue for a short stretch diagonally to the right and we arrive under a beautiful dihedral with cable that continues on its left side. The dihedral is about ten meters and is well aided with pegs to facilitate progression. After the dihedral, some small rocks are faced. We are now under a long exposed vertical wall. You climb wall using also the metal holds to a small terrace above which a chimney extends. The rock in this section offers good grips, especially for the feet and, where they are lacking, the brackets will help us to climb it.
At this point we begin an aided transfer path with some parts downhill till we reach the second set of vertical walls. We start by going up a new dihedral with many holds, but in a while it tends to flap to the right. In this section it may be useful to proceed with the legs spread apart by taking holdings on the left side of the dihedral. After going up this stretch, we begin a series of walls that are lying on the ground where it is very pleasant to try climbing without pulling on the cable. The upper part of this section sees some stretches of aided path on grassy and earthy stretches, we cross a carving in the rock and we walk towards the summit ridge. The ridge is at times aided at times with no. In a couple of situations we will have to go up and down some rocks up to a notch where the equipment ends the equipment and the via ferrata is completed and we engage with the normal route (2h from the start - about 2h 30 'total).
From the end of the equipment we will have some options:
This recent via ferrata is very well aided with stretched cable and equipment in the right number, without exaggeration. The via ferrata is decidedly vertical and exposed in its second part but never on high difficulty levels. It is advisable to proceed by climbing the first vertical part beautifully attached to then have energies available for the last vertical wall of the route. In this part of the way, it can be useful a lanyard to simulate a stop.
The aided path that characterizes the first part is tiring and on an unstable ground. The re-entry is long and in some places it is tiring and can be slippery so a pair of hiking sticks can be very useful.
If we face the climb at the beginning of the season and until the beginning of June, we must consider that in the first aided section we will have to cross a gully in which there are no facilities. This gully is frequently covered by snow and to cross it can be useful crampons and a piece of rope for preserved insurance.
The Ferrata Maurizio is a beautiful itinerary that leaves the possibility, if undertaken soon, to be chained to another via ferrata. However it must be said that the many ferratas of the Bergamo area are within long itineraries with non-marginal approaches (eg: la Ferrata to the Passo della Porta, the Ferrata Pizzo del Becco, the Ferrata del Pizzo Recastello and the Via Ferrata Guerino Rossi at Pizzo Strinato). The only exception is the Ferrata to the Madonnina del Coren which presents difficulties slightly lower than that of Mauritius and is about 1 hour by car. Still in the Bergamo area, but on the border with the province of Lecco, we find the Via Ferrata of Monte Ocone which is the most difficult and demanding of the Lombrarda province.
Approach: 0:20 h
Ferrata: 2:00 h
Itinerary: 4:00 h
Via Ferrata gap: 400 m
Route difference: 600 m
Max altitude: 1900 m
Length: 3.8 Km