via the Segantini Ridge, from Pian dei Resinelli
Great classic alpinistic route in the Group of Grignes, of modest difficulty and great fun, rather crowded, offering good rock, although quite smooth in some steps, with outstanding views in a beautiful environment located between the mountains and the lake.
While it is advisable to use a rope, some more experienced ones dare doing it free-solo style. Crampons might be required. The travel time can vary greatly; in the info sheet a rather extensive total time is indicated.
The degree of difficulty ranges between I and III+ (IV- according to someone), and also involves some down-climbing, possibly avoided with double ropes.
Author's Note: I thank my friend Armando who invited me on this route, and two friends of Lecco, that we met along the way, who facilitated our orientation.
From Lecco you drive towards Valsassina, heading to Ballabio, from where you drive up to Pian dei Resinelli, where you find a wide parking lot.
You take the paved road that goes up to the Refuge Porta:
This takes you to a second, narrow parking lot, from which you continue on a path until you reach the refuge.
From there, you take the path 7:
At a clearing, there is a fork, where you take the path 8, which branches off to the left, in the direction of the Refuge Rosalba. It goes on at length, mainly along the mountainside:
Along this trail, you cross some gullies and some equipped sections: the Canalone Caimi, then the Canalone del Caminetto, beyond which you climb up a ladder and the Caminetto Pagani, a chimney:
You continue in the area of Funghi, passing some clevises:
You cross another gully, the Canalone Angelina, and shortly after you turn right following the signs for the Cresta Segantini.
Shortly after you climb up a valley:
and reach a saddle, the Colle Valsecchi:
Near the saddle on the right you can find the start of the route, with a visible chimney:
You climb entirely up the initial chimney:
The end of the chimney forms a notch. You climb on the right side and split on the left, facing a short and slightly overhanging wall, with excellent handholds; immediately after, the difficulty decreases:
You go down to the next notch, and then climb up the Dorn tower, partly in a channel-chimney
Then you re-descend on the opposite side:
Then you climb up the Swiss tower:
A vertical and narrow chimney,
possibly viable outside in split at least in the first part, leads you to easier ground.
You then cross towards the Central Tower
where you climb up a narrow gully:
Then you cross again to the left, and then go down to the Canalino della Lingua, a steep gully that is often full of snow. It is expected to be crossed, to go up on the other side, but we preferred to put on crampons and deal with it in a direct and rapid ascent:
By following tracks you then go up again, heading towards the ridge;
until you reach and go through the Bastionata, an almost flat section of the ridge:
So you reach another sharp clevis, called the Ghiacciaia. You descend on double rope or climbing down:
And then up on the other side, on an almost vertical wall, but with good handholds, on excellent rock:
and winding a bit on the right, go up the last part of the wall
to regain the ridge. Soon you reach the exit, and the confluence with the Path
Cermenati, or Normal Route:
and soon you reach the summit, with the characteristic bivouac and the cross:
From the top, the view extends all around on many peaks, lakes and groups, including the Resegone, Lake Como, Mount Rosa in the distance, the Northern Grigna, etc.
You go back for a short stretch along the path forward, but soon you take to the left, and walk down along the path Cermenati:
Partly on stony ground, then along an easy grassy ridge, and with many zig-zags, you rapidly loose altitude.
On the way down you pass the fork to the Magnaghi towers, then finally reach the junction between paths 7 and 8, where you rejoin the approach path.
Going downhill you reach the refuge, and always going backwards, you finally reach the parking lot.
■ gb, 2014-06-07