The Ferrata Zucco Pesciola is a beautiful, demanding and panoramic ferrata that extends in a suggestive environment of the Orobie. Climbed up to the Piani di Bobbio ski lifts, you will face this via ferrata technique that will put you to the test between chimneys, dihedrals, climbing walls and ridge stretches. The difficult variant is to be considered one of the most difficult stretches of the Italian via ferrata landscape and must be faced with excellent training and preparation.
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 cable car.
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 top station of the cable car, go up along the ski slopes towards the Rifugio Lecco from which we will take the right on the path 30 in the direction of Bocchetta di Pesciola. Once began this path - later on called the Aided path of Stradini - we reach a sign for the beginning of the via ferrata not far away the path (45 'from the top station of the cable car to the Piani di Bobbio).
An alternative approach is to travel the Aided path of the Stradini from the Piani d'Artavaggio. In this case, the cable car goes up to Piani d'Artavaggio from Moggio. Hike to the Bocchetta del Faggio and then go along the Aided Path of the Stradini almost completely up to the yellow sign indicating the ferrata just above the path (2h 15 'from the top station of the cable car to Piani d'Artaveggio).
The ferrata begins with a beautiful tower to climb. Initially you go up some rocks towards the left and then start to climb more vertically on a series of rocky jumps that gradually become vertical slabs. The rock is good and generally allows climbing. You reach an exposed traverse that goes around a corner to the right and so the first tower ends..
Continue along a section of descent aided and we reach the second stretch of ascent. You face this section of the second section by climb up towards left a wall of about ten meters with a crack in the center. This climb has good grips and we come under the impressive overhanging wall. This challenging wall extends along a dihedral where the chain will slide to the right while many hand and foot grips will be on the left side so that you need to proceed in split. Inthe most demanding part we can use another chain and a metal handhold to pass the most protruding section. Once ended this overhanging part towards right, we are in a leaned in a section .
We leave this demanding stretch and along a ridge path we proceed towards the following sections of the itinerary. We face a fairly short chimney (4 m) and continue to climb reaching an athletic trait: a diagonal sideways exposure to the right that allows us to climb up an edge also thanks to the help of a pair of artificial brackets. We end this stretch and continue uphill streches of moderate difficulty..
We are now nearing a challenging dihedral. The dihedral starts vertically for 4-5 meters at the end of which we bend in a crossbar with the chain to the right to avoid a protrusion of the rock and complete the ascent of this demanding stretch..
We now come a saddle: on the right the easy road continues, while the difficult road continues vertically.
Thus we undertake few easy meters and an easy wall. We then begin the last section of the ferrata. After a stretch of path we go up wall less difficult than the previous ones but with previous tiredness and therefore not to be underestimated. Short flat section then the last leaning wall and we are in the finishing straight, reaching to Madonna on the summit (1h 45 'from the start - 2h 30' total).
The descent in the direction of the Piani di Bobbio takes place going eastwards along an obvious trail to a pass where we take the steep Canale Madonna to the left, which leads us to the Valle dei Camosci from which we descend towards the west towards the Rifugio Lecco (1h from end of the via ferrata).
Pay attention to the return couloir which, being in the north, is often covered with snow until late in the season and therefore potentially dangerous. If you wish to travel, equip yourself accordingly.
The Ferrata Zucco Pesciola is a difficult via ferrata with many challenging passages, plenty of dihedrals and chimneys where it is definitely recommended, if not mandatory, to proceed climbing to avoid excessive fatigue. As happens in many other via ferratas in the Lecco area, the chain is sometimes loose and so sometimes it happens that the carabiner does not slide well or that in certain sections it tends to throw out. On the other hand, the chain can be clipped and therefore allows stops almost anywhere.
A special note should be made for the difficult variant. This is an extremely difficult trait. The wall is particularly poor in natural and artificial holds, requires excellent climbing skills and has overhanging sections where strength and good training are required. An aspect that should be emphasized is the presence along this wall of some additional eyelets and bolts in which to pause with a reference. Carefully evaluate your condition at the crossroads.
In order to overcome the hard sections of this via ferrata, we reccomend you to read out article "How to temporarily take a pause in a Via Ferrata".
For experienced hikers, an interesting opportunity is to reach the summit of Zuccone Campelli and descend from there along the Ferrata Mario Minonzio, ferrata which is to be considered moderately difficult but with a couple of difficult passages and therefore the descent to be reserved for experienced and well-trained people. If you wanted to follow this route from the end of the Ferrata Zucco Pesciola, 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.
If you decide to finish the route in the area with the Ferrata Zucco Pesciola, you could go on other ferratas with a short approach of the Lecco such as the Via Ferrata of the Morcate Tunnel, the Ferrata del Corno del Medale (difficult) or in an hour's drive to reach Valchiavenna for the Ferrata Succetti or the Via Ferrata Biasini. We also suggest a similar level Ferrata Gamma 2 at the Resegone, the Via Ferrata of Monte Ocone in the Bergamo area and the Via Ferrata Contessi at Monte Due Mani.