The Aided path of the Caminetto (literally "the little chimney") or Buco della Carlotta (literally "Carlotta's hole") is an aided path that allows you to reach Pian Serrada from Passo Fò under the Resegone in the province of Lecco. The path extends along a fairly steep gully in which some sections are suitably aided with chains. The trail is often combined with other well-aided routes in the area.
The starting point of the itinerary is the large square from which the cableway to Piani d'Erna starts in the municipality of Barzio in the province of Lecco. Once in Lecco from the highway that connects Lecco with Ballabio and then with Valtellina, at the exit of a tunnel take the exit with clear signs for "Piani D'Erna". From there continue uphill between hairpin bends until the end of the route in the large square.
Directions for Google Maps available here.
The approach to the Aided path of the Caminetto is in fact the same as the Centenary Ferrata (read here the review). Arrived to the Passo Fò, we will notice the signs that will indicate us on one side the via ferrata and on the other the aided path. If the approach is by cable car, consider about 1h. If, on the other hand, you are on path 1 and then path 6 from the car park, consider about 1h 30 '.
From the path, you will keep the right following the signs at Passo Fò and proceed on a steep path that is sometimes rocky up to the beginning of the equipment. We start the aided route with the first chain going up a first slab and then turn left going up a couple of other stretches and make a short downhill stretch. You go up through rubble in the direction of the characteristic passage of the route: you arrive under a large stuck boulder that goes beyond the right going up the "Buco della Carlotta" (literally Carlotta's hole) until it exits the canal on a ledge.
At the end of the first groove, you enter another one with some parts and athletic stretches in which, if you want to climb up, you must patiently look for some holds that are not immediately obvious. After this stretch, the path is less difficult and you continue until you come out of the chimney. We will notice on the left a sign towards the Ferrata of the Centenary to the Resegone. The path now extends on lawn and rocks by now in the Pian Serrada. Here ends the Sentiero del Caminetto (45 'from the start - 1h 45' from the cable car -2h 15 'total).
If our itinerary ends at Pian Serrada after the ascent of the aided path, you will have to reach Sentiero 1 uphill and then take it downhill to the junction with path 5. If we wish to return to the Piani d'Erna cable car, we will take Trail 5 to right to reach the cable car station (1h from the end of the path - 2h 45 'total). If instead we would like to return to the car park via the path, we ignore the junction with path 5 and descend in the direction of Rifugio Stoppani and then to the car park (1h 45 'from the end of the path - 3h 30' total).
The Aided path of the Caminetto or Buco della Carlotta is an easy itinerary, although perhaps the wording of an aided path is a bit narrow. Some passages are quite vertical, although not difficult. The exposure is quite contained stretching out into a gully. Be careful not to move stones uphill which could inevitably create problems for hikers below.
A passage in the canal is quite narrow and could create problems with bulky backpacks. In this case it might be convenient to use a quickdraw / webbing to tie the backpack to the harness in the ascent of this short passage.
The Aided path of the Buco della Carlotta is often combined with the neighbor Ferrata of the Centenary to the Resegone as a descent and return to the Fò Pass. It could also be used more generally as a return path after trips to the Resegone, for example via the Via Ferrata Gamma 2 or the Via Ferrata Silvano de Franco. If you wanted to follow it uphill, it could be the natural continuation of the Aided Path of the Giumenta ridge.