a small preliminary remark ...
the goal of this page is to introduce some starting knowledge of this wide area, sometimes underrated and often stridden by big quantities of tourists along some popular routes.
Out of those ones this area hosts and offers some very fine environments where nature looks uncontaminated and wild ... despite their nearness to a densely populated country.
Here you will find only the main geographic and logistic info: the complete description of the main summits should belong only to summit pages
OverviewWith the name of Prealpi Lombarde is normally intended the big area between the Lago Maggiore (Verbano lake) and the Lago di Garda (Benaco lake).
All these mountains, subgroups, groups are quite near to some important towns of Northern Italy, so someone can think of them as tame mountains : nothing wronger than it !
There are a lot of villages, joined by good and bad roads, and a lot of paths, easy and well marked, but, out of them you can often find absolute wilderness and some real danger, first of all the risk to loose bearings and to find yourself in strange situations : the most frequent is the track ending over a big rocky wall.
Differences in elevation are often not small, 1000-1500 m are normal here ...
So, the best way to amuse these environments is well studying maps and tracks before starting or, better, go there with someone who well knows the area.
Geographic OverviewAs previously said with the name of Prealpi Lombarde is normally intended the big limestone area between the Lago Maggiore (Verbano lake) on the west side and the Lago di Garda (Benaco lake) on the east side.
The norther borders are much more difficult to find : geologically it should be the Dinaridi limit (the border of the ancient Tethys sea)
so we can define 3 different sections :
Western Lombardic Prealps
starting from Bellinzona the border arrives, along the Passo di San Iorio to Gravedona, on the western bank of Lario lake (Lago di Como)
north of this border the Lepontine Alps
Central Lombardic Prealps
on the eastern bank of Lario lake (Lago di Como), the border starts from Bellano, goes along the Valsassina, the Piani di Bobbio and gets down to Piazza Brembana, goes on to the Passo della Marogella to come down to Val Canale, on the bottom of Val Seriana, then after Valbondione and Passo della Manina, the Val di Scalve and the Passo del Vivione goes down to the Valcamonica
north of this border the Alpi Orobie range
Eastern Lombardic Prealps
here the geological borders are not so easy to find, but geographically we can easy find the northern border : the valley leading to the Passo di Croce Domini
north of this border the Adamello group
then the sourh border of Giudicarie till the Benaco lake (Lago di Garda)
north of this border the Brenta group
Getting ThereI can't hope (believe) that someone can cross the ocean to come here to hike and/or climb :)
So this page can be used by those ones that live or work
starting from these towns the approach to the main valleys leading to the various subgroups is easy and (often) fast along the motorways or SS leading to the closer places wherefrom start the roads entering in the groups along the below quoted valleys.
Just to make an example, I live few km N of Milan and used to start from home on saturday at 2PM to climb the Cassin Route to the Medale (400m of pure rock - D) or at 10AM to climb the other routes on the same wall :))
So, starting from Padana plan these are the main starting points :
Prealpi Varesinewith the only exception of Campo dei Fiori, on whose N side there's a wide rocky wall hosting many short (2-3 pitches) routes of traditional and sport climbing, the whole area looks made for fine sweet hiking and, in winter, after the first snowfalls, a good training ground for ski-mountaneering
a 6504 x 651 pixels pano of the Alps from a minor summit in Varese Prealps
Monte Nudo (1235m)
Campo dei Fiori (1226m)
Monte Lema (1621m)
Monte Gradiccioli (1935m)
Monte Tamaro (1961m)
Monte Paglione (1594m)
main valleys - clockwise from S
meteo - google map
Prealpi Luganesi-Comascheeasy hiking range for family trips in spring, avoid summer ... too hot
main subgroups and summits