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 lot follow the path 113 which first on a slight slope then more steeply rises again on a well-marked trail to the Massero hut (2082 m). Pass 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. You then enter a stony valley that we will have to climb between stones until the rock carving which is the Colle della Bottigia (2607 m). The ferrata starts at the notch (2h 45 'from the parking lot).
From the hill the metal cable starts uphill on a vertical wall where you should take a moment to find the holds that are not immediately obvious. Climb up this slab you begin to walk the ridge with some short vertical and traverse sections on both sides. The vertical sections are always assisted by changing in abundance which makes the vertical tears not particularly tiring nor technical, however, as the exposure proceeds, the steps increase and become more variegated with uphill sections and short downhill sections until reaching the 'smaller peak.
From the foresummit continue on a not difficult stretch with quite lying steps. From here, a short, non-trivial downhill stretch joins you near the summit. A vertical wall is climbed followed by a crack in the rock them by an exposed chimney (key passage) and finally followed by a short vertical section. Continue on a horizontal stretch and then tackle a challenging downhill stretch to the Croce del Pizzo di Montevecchio (2789 m -2h from the start - 4h 45 'total).
The ferrata is not finished from this point. You must return to the antechamber, 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.
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.
Approach: 2:45 h
Ferrata: 2:00 h
Itinerary: 7:30 h
Ferrata height difference: 180 m
Route difference: 1485 m
Max altitude: 2789 m
Length: 12.6 Km