Excursion number 1 – Outer circuit Orrido di Botri
|Level:||Easy level, but due to some of the steep gradients, it can be
quite physically demanding.
This route starts from the Casentini refuge, following route number 14. Starting with a gentle descent heading north/north- east, you will come to a torrent, which is quite easy o cross. From here, you will be ascending the Col delle Prada through ancient beech woodland that spreads out towards the summit, where the trees have taken on interesting twisted forms. From here, you will be descending towards the second torrent, which is easy to cross due to a landslide that has been rearranged to facilitate the passage. You will then ascend gently to a terraced clearing situated a few meters above the rock overhang, which is the entrance to the northern part of the Orrido di Botri.
Continuing on, you will descend to meet the third torrent, after which, you should advance with caution between the blocks of sandstone, as you will ascend rapidly between the beech trees to reach the Fontana di Troghi refuge. Going back up through the woods towards south (after 200 meters), a sharp and bare crested detour from the path leads you to a rocky overhang right over the precipice of the Orrido di Botri. The natural showcase is amazing and breath-taking, with large vertical walls alternating to grassy edges underneath, from which other walls converge towards the deeper gorge, where you can hear the sound of the rapids and waterfalls.
Back on the path, the beautiful scenery of the Orrido continues for over a kilometre walking along the oriental edge to reach 1,400 meters.
Further ahead, the path descends between more woodland in a panoramic route leading to the grasslands of Foce a lago, which is the end of this itinerary.
Excursion number 2 – Monte Forato
|Time:||6 hours (option 1)
or 6.5 hours (option 2)
|Level:||Medium level, but due the difference in height, we recommend
good physical preparation and suitable hiking boots.
Monte Forato is part of the southern Apuane Alps, reaching 1,223 meters and consists of two twin peaks connected by a natural arch in the rock that has been eroded by past weather conditions.
On clear days, you will be able to see a panoramic view of the Tirrenian Sea and the “Gruppo delle Panie”, a spectacular formation, which is well-known in the area.
Depending on time and the fitness level of the participants, Monte Forato offers two options:
You will follow route number 110, which leads all the way to the crest of the natural arch, with a total walking time of 3 hours. The descent will be on the northern face, with the first section being steep and gritty and gradually becomes softer and easier to hike through until Casa Del Monte. From Casa Del Monte, you will be hike along new ground, eventually leading back to the path used on the way there for a total circuit of 6 hours.
This itinerary involves some climbing to get to Monte Forato from Foce di Petrosciana through the “via ferrata”. The via Ferrata means an artificially created path with metal rigs, cables, metal ladders or footplates protected by wire cables to allow the climber to reach otherwise inaccessible walls. These routes can be both horizontal and vertical and can be done ascending or descending, depending on the choice of grade. If you would like more of an adrenaline rush, why not try the swing at Monte Forato? Your guide will attach your harness to a cable, allowing you to swing out from the edge, where you can fully take in the beautiful valleys laid out beneath you.
For this particular itinerary, you are required to wear alpine hiking gear, helmets, gloves and a comfortable harness.
This option has a total time of 6.5 hours.
Excursion number 3: Monte Procinto
|Level:||Expert, including equipment for via ferrata.|
You will be following route number 5 up until Callare di Matanna reaching 1,139 meters, where you will be continuing along the path (on the right) towards the characteristic mountain shaped as a Panettone cake. You will pass underneath the Mozzafiato wall (literally “breathtaking wall”) in the western part of Monte Nona, reaching a little bridge from where you will start the Monte Procinto circuit.
The Procinto is a beautiful location and can be a physically demanding hike. You will hike through via ferrata Bruni and, with the right
equipment, you will be able to reach the summit to benefit from the amazing views over the Apuane Mountains and, on a clear day, you will
be able to spot Elba and Corsica.
The first climbers of this peak are thought to be the lumberjacks of the area in 1848, while the first recreational climb was undertaken by A.Bruni and C.Dinelli with their guides, E.Bertozzi, E and G Vangelisti on 17 November 1879. In 1893, a ferrata was set-up along this route, allowing tourists to reach the summit in safety. In the following years, many other routes were opened raising the grades of the climbs to conquer even the steepest sheers. In little time, the mountain was full of new routes, but the real boom was in the 1980’s with the beginning of the recreational climb.
Many of the routes were re-laid and a different point of view gave birth to an even greater web of itineraries, with shorter and more challenging climbs together with the classical ones. In the following years, the popularity of these climbing grounds diminished, due to the professional climbers searching for more extreme climbs. In the new millennium the multi-pitch climbs seems to be back in fashion so, once again, the old routes have been modernised and repopulated by a new generation of enthusiastic climbers.