The Aided path Carlo Villa on the Canale Bobbio is a beautiful itinerary that connects Piani d'Erna with the Resegone ridge going up a suggestive canal with some exposed sections aided. The trail is passable both uphill and downhill and can be easily connected to other routes in the Resegone 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.
As for the other routes that start near Piani d'Erna, you can choose to climb in 3 ways:
From Piani d'Erna you go down to the Bocche d'Erna from where various paths start, we will follow the signs for our (path 10) that lead us uphill on a dirt road towards some houses. From the houses you will notice on the right a path with an indicator sign and then uphill towards the wood where the real path begins (20 'from Piani d'Erna).
The trail begins without difficulty in a south-south-west direction although it is characterized by many ups and downs, some of which are assisted by chains and cables in the most exposed sections. This section does not present any particular difficulty, however, pay attention in the case of damp soil. The path continues until it reaches some exposed aided ledges, one of which has also a metal bracket supporting the progression. From this stretch onwards the path becomes more challenging and we are entering the gully following the white-red-yellow signs. We climb a short ledge on the right side with the help of cable gaining meters in a stretch that is certainly steeper and more difficult than the previous ones set between the spiers of the Northern ridge of Resegone.
Proceeding we enter in fact the narrowest part of the Canalone Bobbio. A stretch of just under 100 meters must be traced with several aided boulders. We ascend boulders, never exposed, aided with short walls that develop between 2 and 4 meters. They generally face a diagonal crossing with a couple of exceptions in which you climb vertically. As you ascend the landscape becomes more austere and rocky until it enters a narrow gully where the key passage of the path extends, which however remains of moderate difficulty. Once up the short section, we find ourselves inside the gully with a rocky pulpit of about 3 meters to climb and then cross diagonally to the left. With this stretch, the difficulties of the path ends and we continue in steep climb on the path mixed of grass and stones steeply. We now continue crossing the summit meadows in the direction of the Selletta di Bobbio where the Carlo Villa Aided path ends (2h from the start of the aided path - 2h 20 'from the top station of the cable car).
For the descent, the most common option is to reach Rifugio Azzoni in about 20 minutes along the ridge in a south-south-west direction. From the hut you can go down to Piani d'Erna via Trail 1 and then at the saddle to the right to Path 5 (1h 45 'from the end of the trail - 4h total) or go down directly to the car park on trail 1 until you pass the Rifugio Stoppani and reach the parking lot (2h 30 from the end of the path - 4h 45 'total).
Other alternatives are to keep the left at Selletta Bobbio, go along the north ridge of the Resegone (watch out for rocks) up to Passo Giuff (2h from the end of the path) and then downhill to the Erna plains (2h 45 'from the end of the path - 5h total).
The Aided path Carlo Villa is probably the most beautiful trail with which to reach the Resegone ridge. The path is not technically demanding but exposed and steep enough to make it interesting even for the expert hiker. Care must be taken along the ascent in the canal not to move many stones that would inevitably risk falling along the canyon and creating risks for those who are ascending.
The aided path Carlo Villa could be followed downhill by expert hikers even after the ascent of the via ferratas leading to the summit of the Resegone: the Via Ferrata Gamma 2 or the Via Ferrata Silvano de Franco. In these cases it must be considered that the difficulties of the aided path increase, since some stretches must be covered with exposure and an unstable ground descending. Coming down from Rifugio Azzoni it is also possible to walk along the Centenary Ferrata or the Ferrata Buco della Carlotta.