Type: Sport, Aid, 1300 ft
FA: unknown
Page Views: 46 total · 3/month
Shared By: kenr on Nov 7, 2017
Admins: Tim Wolfe, Shawn Heath

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Fun reddish (quartzite?) rock with big positive holds mostly on a long ridge with some short steep-ish sections. Only 13 km from the famous Sport-climbing area of Finale Ligure.

A bit odd because it's like two different adjacent routes very close. One is a popular Via Ferrata with an over-abundance of steel rungs and handrails, with a steel cable sometimes for protection but often for navigation. Often given a VF difficulty rating of C or C/D on a VF-specific A to F scale.

The "other" route is fun + interesting free climbing and scrambling with hands and feet directly on the rock, alongside the steel hardware, often clipping the rungs and handrails for protection of the more difficult moves. Difficulty much 3rd / 4th class, much low 5th class, some around 5.5-5.6, perhaps a couple sequences 5.8 and above if done in "free" style. Funny that the cable and rungs bypass a substantial portion of the fun scrambling and climbing.

Follows the East ridge of the peak Bric dell'Agnellino (N44.1997 E8.1767) . (elev 1310m), without visiting its (uninteresting) summit.

  • Fairly long route.
  • Straightforward approach hike.
  • Easy-to-follow descent mostly on nice trail (but with some steep slippery sections with cable).
  • Arrangement of rungs mostly ladder-like, so the normal VF aid climbing does not try to be interesting.
  • Abundant opportunities for free climbing moves - (I used the fixed hardware for aid for only 7 moves in the whole route).
  • Driving includes at least 0.8 km on single-lane dirt/gravel (much could be avoided by extra walking).

  • uphill of the cable sections = +480 vertical meters.
. . . (measured roughly by my GPS with barometric altimeter).
  • uphill of "real" VF climbing = +325 vertical meters.
. . . (measured+estimated roughly by my GPS with barometric altimeter).
. . . (not including sections where the cable is used mainly as a handrail or for navigation.
  • Length of "real" climbing on the VF sections = 1300ft / 400m.
  • Length of "real" climbing including away from the cable = 1650ft / 500m.
. . . (including interesting scrambling, but not steep walking).
  • Total uphill including approach and re-climbing on return = +715m vertical.
  • Total distance including approach and return = 7.0 km

GPS useful waypoints:
  • Bottom start of VF . (N44.2039 E8.1882) .
  • Top of official VF route with register . (N44.2025 E8.1800) .
  • Descent route top . (N44.2017 E8.1784) .
  • descent route finishes long gentle traverse S, starts down steeper ESE . (N44.1989 E8.1835) .
  • descent route turns sharp L to go gentle N . (N44.1979 E8.1878) .
  • descent route meets main dirt/gravel road from parking . (N44.2012 E8.1917).


GPS latitude longitude approx (N44.2039 E8.1882).
13 km WNW from Finale Ligure.
65 km W from Genova, 100 km NE from Nice, 120 km S from Torino.

GPX tracks:

GPS useful waypoints:
  • Magliolo village on driving approach . (N44.1913 E8.2430) .
  • Isallo village on driving approach . (N44.2040 E8.2210) .
. . . (Do not allow your GPS navigation app to avoid these two villages).
  • Parking main trailhead, with map of trails + routes . (N44.2071 E8.1935) .
  • Turn R (W) off dirt road onto trail on Hiking approach . (N44.2045 E8.1920) .
  • Bottom start of VF . (N44.2039 E8.1882) .


Protection - (in case of actually falling):
  • Not so good, if only clip the cable in the normal way using normal VF kit,
. . . . (which is typical of most VF routes).
  • Well-protected if also clip intermediate rungs.
  • no rubber bumpers on cable-to-rock attachment posts.
  • non-taut cable (so less chance of carabiner breaking by hitting cable-attachment post.


- No Photos -
  Easy 5th C0
  Easy 5th C0
Seemed to me that this rock could have been a great introduction of athletic hikers to finding and using the many big positive holds directly on the rock. But instead the designers decided to install an over-abundance of steel rungs and handrails, to render any searching for rock holds unnecessary. Maybe the designers wanted to prove they could build a "real" French-style Via Ferrata.

But I'm not going to complain, because the abundance of rungs and handrails also offers so many opportunities for good protection of free moves alongside. Likely this is no accident, but only a few times did the hardware get in the way of necessary holds on the rock for free-climbing sequences. Sometimes seemed like the rungs had been placed on the section of face with the fewest positive holds, and right next to it was a section with many positive holds -- so excellent for clipping the fixed Aid hardware for protection just a short distance away from the fun free-climbing moves. Oct 15, 2017