MARMAGNA m. 1851
Monte Marmagna is surely the best known and more frequently climbed peak inside the whole Appennino Parmense. The reason of its reputation is mainly due to three important factors: its closeness to Rifugio Giovanni Mariotti, a popular hiking, mountaineering and ski-mountaineering destination; the easy access both in winter time and in the other seasons along its Normal route starting from Mariotti Hut and rising to Marmagna Saddle, which separates the peak from Monte Aquilotto, lying on the left of the saddle; the renowned view over Alpi Apuane and Tyrrhenian Sea with Gulf of La Spezia, which appears from the summit.
The Parmense side is gently sloping towards the attractive basin of Holy Lake, while the side facing to Tuscany is higher and deeper, but very rarely climbed because of its long approaches.
Getting ThereROAD APPROACH
Parma is the nearest town to the area; it’s a nice 200.000 inhabitants town with a small airport offering some domestic flies and only a few international ones. A good choice of international flies is provided by Milan and Bologna International Airports, both situated at a reasonable distance (Milan 110 km., Bologna 90 km.).
Parma is linked to other Italian and European towns by A1 and A15 motorways, so logistic is not a problem.
- Approach from A15 (Autocisa Motorway) – If you’re driving on A15 towards North exit Pontremoli and follow the road to Passo del Cirone and Bosco di Corniglio. From here follow the road towards the locality named Cancelli. If you’re driving on A15 towards South it’s better to exit Borgo Val di Taro and follow the road to Passo del Sillara and Bosco di Corniglio.
- Approach from Parma
Follow the SP 665 (Massese) towards Langhirano and Capoponte; here turn to right, reaching Corniglio, Bosco di Corniglio, the locality named Cancelli and finally Lagdei (wide parking).
WALKING APPROACH TO RIFUGIO GIOVANNI MARIOTTI
There are two possibilities to get to Rifugo Mariotti from Lagdei basin:
- Via the Panoramico Path n. 723a, a bit longer, but allowing fine views (1,15 hour in winter time, 45 minutes without snow).
- Via the path n. 727 (1 hour in winter time, 30 minutes without snow)
WALKING APPROACH TO CAPANNA ROBERTO SCHIAFFINO
From Lagdei Hut follow the path n. 727, starting just near the hut and rising inside the beautiful beech-wood; after the fork with the path to Rifugio Mariotti, starting on the left at about 1400 m., the track is getting to Ponte Rotto, as named because of a broken stones-bridge. Carry on always on the main path, without follow the tracks starting from the main one both on the left side and on the right, reaching the wild basin lying at the footh of Monte Marmagna, Monte Braiola and Monte Orsaro triad. Here is situated the small and secluded Capanna Schiaffino m. 1610, an emergency cabin always open (no beds).
Main routes to the summit
- SE Ridge or Normal route from Lago Santo
Alpine F, 350 m. from the hut
From the hut follow the right shore of the Holy Lake (SE), getting to the South end of the lake. Here leave the path running around the lake and follow another one starting on the right and rising inside the beautiful beech-wood. Don’t follow the first junction on the left, neither the second one on the right by carry on the main track (n. 723), going out from the wood and getting to a wide basin between Monte Marmagna on the right and Monte Aquilotto on the left. The track rises to Sella Marmagna, then it turns to right following a wide rounded ridge leading to the huge summit cross.
- NW Ridge
Alpine F+, 600 m. from Lagdei
From Capanna Schiaffino rise straightly toward the boundary ridge getting to Braiola Saddle, separating Monte Braiola (on the right) from Monte Marmagna (on the left). Turn to left and follow the wide ridge, sometimes steep, to a narrow saddle from which the summit cross is appearing. Climb the last slopes, frequently iced in winter, to the summit.
NW Small Gully and N Ridge
Alpine PD, 600 m. from Lagdei
From the basin where Capanna Schiaffino lies, turn immediately to left (South) without reaching the hut, heading towards the steep slopes below the obvious narrow and short gully, getting to its base. Rope up when the gully is on ice. Climb the gully and exit on the North ridge of the peak; follow it to the summit cross.
Descent: along the easy and panoramic SE ridge to Marmagna Saddle and to Mariotti Hut.
Huts and Bivouacs
- Rifugio Giovanni Mariotti al Lago Santo Parmense m. 1507 – Club Alpino Italiano Sez. di Parma (40 beds) Phone +390521889334 – 0,30-1,15 hours from Lagdei
- Rifugio Lagdei m. 1250 – Always open, 11 beds (60 km. from Parma) Phone +390521889353; wide parking
- Capanna Roberto Schiaffino al Monte Braiola m. 1610, emergency cabin - 1 to 1,45 hours from Lagdei – The hut is an ancient stone alp which had been restored and re-named in the memory of Roberto Schiaffino, a climber dead because of a stone-fall, while he was climbing a rocky tower in Grigna.
ClimateSubcontinental, with cold and snowing winter and good summertime, dry but not too hot, because of the mitigating influence of the Tyrrenian Sea and the action of the winds.
MeteoMETEO ARPA EMILIA-ROMAGNA
When to hike and climbIt’s possible to climb and hike all around the year on Monte Marmagna; winter ascents require the essential gear as crampons, ice-axe, a short rope.
Guidebooks and maps
“Appennino Ligure e Tosco-Emiliano” by M. Salvo and D. Canossini
“Le valli del Cedra e del Parma (The Cedra and Parma Valleys)” Map 1:25.000 (CAI-Regione Emilia-Romagna)
“Alto Appennino Parmense Est” Map 1:50.000 (CAI-Regione Emilia-Romagna)