The ascent - I wouldn't call it climb - to Pizzo Catarinecci and the Contrada Trentamazze summit plateau is an easy affair when undertaken from Geraci Siculo to the east of the mountain. A short part runs across a road but most of the ascent is more or less trail-less. While not difficult the slope traverse from a Picnic Area at Pietra Giordano to the crest between Pizzo Argentiera and Cozzo di Raimondo is steep with many orchids and Affodils lining the way.
Once on the crest I would recommend the crest traverse, not only because of the views but mostly because it is rocky and thus noo bushes and brambles bar the way. The regular path crosses a plain, Piano di Raimonda, but ends between small bushes with lots of bugs to taste your blood. We went both ways and the crest traverse - while sometimes a bit exposed - was much preferrable.
Also the tour around the Contrada Trentamazze can be recommended. There are no trails - you need none - just scramble from summit to summit until you come back to Pizzo Catarinecci. Re-climb it to return via the crest - and not the bushes.
Getting ThereThe approach has been described on the main page. From the trailhead near the castle of Geraco Siculo follow a road for about 800m. In a right turn of the road you'll find a narrow valley through which the asent starts. Alternatively you can follow the road to its end. There a dirt lane heads right on and finally leads to the Pietra Giordano picnic area.
- Start altitude: 1011m
- Summit altitude: 1660m
- Prevailing exposure: E
- Type: 10min on a road, 2 1/2h along trail-less terrain
- Protection: unprotected
From the trailhead start to ascend the left slope of the valley. What path there is soon cuts through the valley and steeply climbs the other side, zigzagging more than once. Once up on the slope you will come across some tire tracks which lead from right to left. Follow these to the left. They will come to an end in front of a small slope where there is a sign leading to the picnic area which is only a couple of hundred meters away.
Through a bizarre area, strewn with sandstone blocks the route heads westwards and soon starts climbing again, up a slope towards a break between Cozzo di Raimonda and Pizzo Argentiera on the crest. Take in the Madonie panorama as you head out on the crest.
Now follow this crest. It heads up Cozzo di Raimonda, a long stretched summit, then descends only to head up the Pizzo Catarinecci northern slopes. Try to aim a little west of the summit to avoid the menacing bushes and brambles.
For the tour around Contrada Trentamazze better head down the summit on its western side, follow the creek that springs in the middle of the contrada, then turn east for the next summit. From there just scramble from top to top until you reach Pizzo di Corvo. There turn back towards Pizzo Catarinecci, which you re-climb for the crest traverse back home.