Starting out along the south slopes
The normal route to Rocca Busambra is an easy scramble along the south slopes of the mountain. Much of it is trailless (though sometimes marked by red dots) - a good sense for orientation is needed. Also, the sometimes overgrown rocks on the south slopes can be slippery, which is problematic mostly on the descent.
See the Rocca Busambra Page for the information how to get to the trailhead at Rifugio Alpe Cucco. From there turn east on the access road and at the first intersection take the right hand dirt road. It slowly circles the mountain to get to the access point at its eastern end.
Rocca Busambra summit plateau as seen from the main summit
- Start altitude: 981m
- Summit altitude: 1613m
- Prevailing exposition: S
- Type: 1h on a forest road - 2h on overgrown and vanishing trails
- Protection: unprotected
Effort: 800m elevation gain
Power: 1 - easy
Psyche: 1 - easy
The normal route to Rocca Busambra follows a dirt road from Rifugio Alpe Cucco. At its highest point, in a saddle, the road crosses a fence, where directly afterwards a trail starts on the right hand side. The trail climbs slowly and crosses a campfire area on its right hand side where you will see a lot of garbage. Approximately 200m behind this campfire site the trail turns sharp right and upwards (though a path goes straight on - don't follow this!) through a red (pink?) gully with precarious footing.
Once up through the gully you come upon a first orchid meadow with a view overlooking the Piano della Tramontana, a summer pasture. Cross this pasture (trailless) until you hit a fence. Find the weak spot in the fence to cross it - if you don't find one follow the fence as far right as possible - there is a spot to cross it without being cut by the barbed wire.
Now you are on the base of the eastern fore summit. There is no trail to the top though you might be able to follow some animal tracks. Head for the summit where you will find red marks which eventually will lead you to the Rocca Busambra main summit. The fore summit ends in a small gully which you pass on its left side. Once there you have a perfect view of the impressive Rocca Busambra east face.
Head down into a saddle between the fore summit and the east summit, where again you have to cross a barbed wire fence - attention! The normal route now heads away from Rocca Busambra for a couple of hundred meters before starting to traverse the south slopes. All the time you have the summit in front of you, while the trail switchbacks back and forth. You reach the summit plateau to the west of the main summit which from here can be reached in a matter of two minutes by a balanced scramble on loose rocks.
Essential GearHiking gear is sufficient but bring a lot of water, especially in the hot Sicilian summer!