Vallone dei Faggi, through which the ascent route runs
The Libro Aperto
main summit Monte Rotondo
can be reached from the Abetone Pass
in little more than two hours along aroute, which in most of its part is very easy. Only the last sections, first the climb of the northern summit, then the final climb to Monte Rotondo require some moderate climbing skills. The climb leads along loose sandstone blocks and is protected by a fixed rope in the very last section.
We climbed the mountain by the end of May and had to realize that much of the route was still covered in snow. The slopes are not steep so that danger remains low but the CAI (Italian Alpine Club) have marked the route on the rocks beside the route (instead of trees) which become invisible underneath the snow cover. Thus orientation turned into a serious issue in the middle part of the route.
In Vallone dei Faggi
The main page of Libro Aperto describes how to get to Abetone from Bologna, Pisa and Firenze (Florence).
Monte Belvedere during the ascent
- Start altitude: 1388m
- Summit altitude: 1937m
- Prevailing exposure: West, later east
- Type: Easy until you reach the summit blocks, then steep scramble across loose blocks
- Protection: 10m roped section underneath Monte Rotondo
Power: 1 - Easy
Psyche: 2 - Exposed during the climb to the summit
Difficulty: 2 - Steep scramble
Orientation: 1 - Marked and easy (difficult under snow cover)
At the Abetone Pass two pyramids mark the border between Toscana and Emilia Romagna. From the pyramids turn right (north-west) and head up a side street into a residential area. The street turns right and after a few metres leaves the Abetone village. It heads through the dark BoscolungoForest, at first staying near the ridge. Pass a barrier and remain on the road (there is a marked trail to the left - don't take that). After about 30 minutes you reach a first saddle. Here you will find a fount and a picnic area.
From the saddle there are three possibilities of how to go on.:
- Straight on across wooded Monte Maiori (no views)
- Right along a forest road, passing Monte Maiori to the south (no views)
- Left to the north of Monte Maiori (views towards Monte Giovo and Monte Prado
The three variations recombine in the La Verginetta Saddle, which was named for a statue of the Virgin Mary. Again, you will find a picnic area here. A few steps ahead you'll come across Rifugio Casetta di Lapo, a hunting shelter. Here the roads end and a path will take you into the beech forest underneath the Libro Aperto - Monte Cimone Ridge. You pass two creeks until you reach Vallone del Faggi, the valley which ends between the open pages of the Open Book, Libro Aperto. In its upper part the trail follows the western side of the Vallone, before heading across right under the summit of Monte Rotondo.
Here the path turns northward and heads up the slopes of the Libro Aperto eastern summits, finally reaching a saddle to the north of the north-eastern summit. Turn south and climb across loose sandstone blocks onto said north-east summit. Climbing is UIAA I, the main challenge are the loose blocks. From the summit follow the ridge to the south-eastern summit, Monte Rotondo. To its north-east, pass the first tower, then head up a small cheimney towards the top. after some 5m a rope facilitates the traverse across sloped slabs before another blocky ridge traverse takes you to the top.
Essential GearHiking gear is sufficient