Very long stage, marked by the extremely long climb to Passo dello Spluga (although without technical difficulties).
The effort is amply rewarded by the village of Frasnedo, overlooking the northern edge of Lake Como, and (with a further climb) by the belvedere that overlooks both the large lake and the Sasso Manduino, an authentic rock prodigy.
The stage is very long and demanding. It requires very good training and an early start. It can be shortened by stopping at Bivacco Primalpia.
The path which leads to Passo Primalpia could be quite steep. After passing the lake of Primalpia, you face a short cross path slightly exposed: pay attention.
Water points are absent from the hamlet of Ceresolo to Bivacco Primalpia.
We leave the center of Filorera early, and walk south through Val di Mello, taking the hillside path that points towards the hamlet of Civo. We start the very long climb from the built-up area (ca. 1,800 m height difference). We walk on a good track in the woods, gradually gaining altitude. Once past the ruined houses of Corte di Cevo, the track is sometimes lost in the tall grass and you have to look carefully to find the trail signs. We finally leave the trees and the slope increases a little (albeit without difficulty). We reach the first of the Spluga lakes: without giving in to the temptation to stop, we continue to the last lake, much larger. The place is perfect to catch our breath and recharge our batteries in preparation for the last stretch that awaits us.
Staying on the northern side of the lake, we face the decisive climb to Passo di Primalpia, which requires a lot of effort. Finally, we reach the top, and in front of us, we find the gigantic bulk of the Sasso Manduino.
Finally, we start to descend (ca. 1,350 m drop). On a steep but easy path, we reach the small Primalpia lake. We go around it from the north and, once we pass the western end, we take the cross path (a little exposed, it is the only slightly technical stretch of the day, we must pay attention) that crosses the north side of the valley. We turn decisively southward, remaining for a while on the ups and downs on the hillside, before easily descending to the comfortable Bivacco Primalpia (where those who are tired can interrupt the stage), that dominates the Valle dei Ratti.
From here on the descent becomes easy and we pleasantly reach the stream, cross it, and continue the descent at the foot of the great wall of the Cima del Cavrè. At the crossroads where the path starts for Verceia, we keep to the right and on a wide dirt road we go up smoothly (ca. 100 m height difference) until we reach the beautiful Rifugio Frasnedo.
Lake Como sparkles at the bottom of the valley.
Frasnedo is a mountain pasture who watches over the Valle dei Ratti, reachable only on foot. It was inhabited only in the summer and was the reference point for all the mountain pastures in the valley, first as a maggengo (pasture) and then as a place of trade (flour, chestnuts, etc.). Embellished by the Church of the Madonna delle Nevi, it was awarded by Legambiente because of the initiatives aimed at redeveloping the pastures and fighting the abandonment of agricultural practices.
All around we admire the large maple and chestnut woods, the latter fundamental for the survival of the inhabitants: in the Valle dei Ratti there is in fact a huge centuries-old chestnut grove, so much so that the hamlet downstream of Frasnedo is called Castan.
Today in Frasnedo live permanently only the managers of Rifugio Frasnedo.
With a last effort, it is worth taking your end of the day beer to the belvedere above Frasnedo, about 20 minutes away (approx. 150 m height difference). From there, during the summer sunset, we admire a large part of Lake Como and, in the north, the wild Val Codera and Val Chiavenna.
For those who can still make it, we highly recommend the stretch of the ridge leading to the Forca, the pass at the foot of Cima di Provinaccio: above us stands the imperious Sasso Manduino (2,888 m), one of the most spectacular peaks of the Rhaetian Alps. To watch it be painted in the summer sunset ... is priceless.
Gnocchi with cheese (soft, semi-fat Casera), made with chestnut flour (instead of the normal white flour used in Valchiavenna), is a renowned recipe of Rifugio Frasnedo.
As the managers proudly report, many Chiavennaschi prefer to go and eat them there, rather than in the taverns near their homes...
Bivacco Primalpia, at the head of Val dei Ratti: 18 beds, blankets, stove, kitchen, bathroom, lighting, and running water. Always Open
Rifugio Frasnedo, in Frasnedo. Tel. +39 333 626 6504
Starting point reachable by car.
Starting point reachable by bus.
Starting point NOT reachable by train.
The closest location reachable by train is Verceia, starting from the city of Lecco.
Here the LINK to check the timetables.
Va' Sentiero is a grassroot project, thanks to the spontaneous contribution oft housands of people.
Even the most complicated dream, a 7,000km uphill dream,
can be achieved... together.