The Ferrata del Venticinquennale at the Corno Occidentale di Canzo is a difficult via ferrata in the Como area. The Ferrata has a fairly long approach and extends on a very demanding wall with little use of metal brackets. It requires good climbing skills to avoid using the chain too much and therefore straining your arms unnecessarily.
The starting point of the itinerary is the Sorgenti di Gajum, in the municipality of Canzo, in the province of Como. From Canzo, go up via Gajum to the hotels where there is an open space for parking.
There is also a way to start in the municipality of Valbrona but the itinerary is longer, as it is possible for more experienced hikers to combine this via ferrata with the Ferrata al Corno Rat starting from Valmadrera (Lecco) and take a long loop itinerary. (more information in report of the Ferrata del Corno Rat)
Directions for Google Maps available here.
From Gajum you must reach the Terz'Alpe hut. You have two options: follow the path that runs along the Ravella stream or follow the path that leads to Prim'Alpe and Second'Alpe. Once you reach the Terz'Alpe hut, follow the steep path to the north in the direction of Colma di Pianezzo. Shortly before reaching the cross, on the right we will follow a path that along a scree brings us to thestart of the Ferrata of the Western Horn of Canzo (1h 45 'from the parking lot at Gajum).
The ferrata initially starts for one short section of supported slab to the right, then fold left diagonally on an excellently attached wall until it reaches below one long, demanding wall. The slab is smooth and originally had no brackets. Now some artificial grips have been inserted which, together with the excellent grips and natural supports present, facilitate the ascent. It is clear from the start that proceeding climbing will make the climb much less hard than abusing the cable and the chain. Once the slab is finished, we turn to the right going up diagonally a groove initially a little cramped up to reach two brackets that help us in the climb. The way up to this point is very beautiful, logical and gives great satisfaction.
We go around a tree and we are near a lgrease traverse to the right. The sideways offers good support for the feet but not always easy handholds and this will sometimes make it necessary to balance with the large chain. Be careful to stay long on pieces in light overhang that could unnecessarily tire your arms. It is advisable to proceed with rhythm to finish the traverse.
The traverse ends and we go up a non-trivial dihedral where you have to look for the best grips for your hands and feet to avoid pulling the cable completely. Once up the dihedral, the slope drops for a moment and we face some pleasant rocks. We are now under a more vertical wall, appealing and of medium difficulty. Then we come to one metal ladder of about 20 meters. Once the staircase is finished, go up a slight belly and some small rocks with some small metal frames.
We are now in an aided path where you can catch your breath before the last pillar. This last pillar requires a good climbing technique to overcome some smooth slabs (some brackets, however, are present).
The last walls are finished and the via ferrata ends. Follow the red signs uphill to the right, go down the saddle and go up to the summit of the Western Horn (1h 30' from the start - 3h total).
To go down you can choose two options:
As happens in other ferratas of the Lecco area, the rope is often flanked or replaced by a chain. In this case it is quite large and this sometimes prevents the carabiner from following us uphill. The via ferrata, although not long, is not recommended for beginners due to the number of technical passages in the route.
A note should be spent on Passo della Vacca, or the passage that will have to be faced at least once at the end of the via ferrata in the direction of the summit. This step takes place at the end of the via ferrata or when it is easy to relax after the effort made. This is a step that is not difficult but exposed and should not be underestimated.
This via ferrata has both a chain and a wire rope. It is advisable to hook the carabiners to the rope and, if necessary, use the chain to pull.
The Ferrata del Venticinquennale at the Corno Occidentale di Canzo extends close to the Ferrata of the 30th OSA at the Corno Rat. This could be, logistically speaking, viable the same day without lengthening the itinerary much. However both are difficult and challenging via ferratas so it is advisable to evaluate your strength well before going through both. If you want to combine, we suggest departure from Valmadrera, Lecco.
Other via ferratas of similar difficulty in the area are the Via Ferrata del Medale and the Ferrata Contessi at Monte Due Mani between Via Ferrata in Lecco, and between the Vie Ferrate of Como the Ferrata of the Centenary CAO Como at Monte Grona and the Ferrata Sass del Tavaracc.
Approach: 1:45 h
Ferrata: 1:30 h
Itinerary: 4:45 h
Via Ferrata gap: 250 m
Route difference: 900 m
Max altitude: 1373 m
Length: 11 Km
Mountain Group: Prealpi Comasche