The new Ferrata Montevecchio, inaugurated in 2016, is an interesting itinerary that extends along a bold ridge. The via ferrata is never too difficult, however it is very varied and exposed. You have to take the via ferrata even on the way back, thus facing many non-predicted sections of climbing. It requires good experience and good training.
The starting point of the itinerary is Carcoforo in the province of Vercelli. The village is located in the high Valsesia, reachable from Varallo (VC) and then continuing along the valleys until reaching the town and parking in the large parking lot in the center of the village.
Directions for Google Maps available here.
From the parking area follow path 113 which initially proceeds in the wood then steely uphill on well marked down to Rifugio Massero (2082 mPass the hut and continue to climb reaching a crossroads where we will keep the left towards the Colle della Bottigia, ignoring the track that goes to the right. The trace is reduced but the cairn and signs that help us in the progression remain. Ahead of us, you see the ridge which will lead to the top of Pizzo Montevecchio. You enter then a stoney valley which we ascend between boulder up to the rocky saddle which is the Colle della Bottiggia (2607 m). Possible snofields in the beginning of the season on the last section of the approach. The Via Ferrata at Pizzo Montevecchio begins at the saddle (2h 45 'from the parking lot).
A note on the approach. It is also possible to take the ascent to Pizzo Montevecchio from Colle Vallè (another saddle on the west ridge) and rejoin the main via ferrata that climbs from the North-East ridge to the ante-peak. The report, on the other hand, considers the departure from Colle della Bottiggia and the return to Colle Vallè, then the path on the north-east side returns to Colle della Bottiggia. It should be noted that the via ferrata that starts from Colle della Bottiggia is more demanding than the one that climbs from Colle Vallè. This picture shows in details the trace between the hut and the peak with the way up from Colle della Bottiggia e return from the Colle del Vallè.
From the saddle you will see the metal wire going up on a vertical wall where you should take a moment to find the holds that are not immediately obvious. The first section is vertical and you gain exposure fast. Climbed up this slab you begin to proceed on the ridge with someone short vertical sections, traverses and rocky ledges on both sides- The vertical strokes are always assisted with metal brackets in abundance which makes the vertical tears not particularly tiring nor technical, however, as the exposure proceeds, the exposure increases and the steps vary with ups and downs til you reach the anti peak (2777 m). Next to it you will notice the wires coming from the west ridge from Colle Vallè (descent option).
From the anti-peak you proceed on a non difficult leaned slab. From here you face a short section of descent till you reach next to the peak. You face a vertical wall next to the exposed chimney (crux) followed by a short vertical strech. Proceed horizontal then descend, and finally the last meters uphill of ridge up to metal cross of Pizzo di Montevecchio (2789 m -2h fom the beginning - 4h 45' total).
The ferrata is not finished from this point. You must return to the anti-peak, then going back along the last section of the ferrata and here you have two options:
From the Colle di Bottigia you return along the same path as the outward journey (2h from the hill - 8h 15' total).
It is a new via ferrata that on the one hand has plenty of equipment on the vertical stretches but on the other it leaves the hiker good autonomy to get by in some exposed and variegated stretches in which to decide for himself the best way to deal with short rocky jumps, traverses, chimneys and cracks in the rock. The large sections of climbing, especially when returning, are not trivial. The environment is very nice and out of the masses. Given the altitude and exposure to north, it's common to find ice on certain sections. Magnificent view on the closeby massif of the Monte Rosa despite not always visible due to the clouds often present in the area.
In the valleys near where the Ferrata Montevecchio extends, there are other interesting itineraries that could be tackled in the days adjacent to this itinerary. In particular we find the Ferrata Detomasi in Alagna Valsesia, further downstream there is the Via Ferrata Falconera, the Ferrata Partusac and the Via Ferrata Picasass.