A long but really pleasant route to reach the summit of Northern Grigna from Piani dei Resinelli is the "Traversata Bassa" (mark 1).
The path can be considered a long walk up and, in summer, doesn't require any particular experience or climbing skill. In winter things are quite different and some familiarity with the use of crampons and ice axe can be necessary to safely climb the upper part of the Northern Grigna route.
Starting point Piani dei Resinelli.
From Milano SS 36 till Lecco then follow the indications for Valsassina. After some long tunnels you arrive in a roundabout in Ballabio where you can find the indication for Piani dei Resinelli.
Once arrived to Piani dei Resinelli you can park the car in the big parking area or you can go right in the direction of SEM refuge and park the car few hundred meters after the refuge thus saving 10 / 15 minutes of walking. After parking follow the indications for Traversata bassa / Refuge Pialleral.
To go from refuge SEM ( 1350m.) to Refuge Pialleral (1400m.) it takes about two hours and it is a long and amusing walk mostly in the wood.
After few minutes you can see on your left, descending from the Southern Grigna, il Gerone. A very large and rocky channel that you have to cross.
Then you enter into the wood. There, in summer, it is quite common to find shepherds with sheeps (maybe hundreds and with the right of way), goats, donkeys and the shepherd's dogs.
A neverending flock
There are some up and downs but, generally, the path hasn't big gains or losses of meters. The minimum level is at about 1100m.
After 2 hours you arrive to Alpe Cova where there are some houses and a very small lake. Turn left and follow indications to Refuge Pialleral and Grigna. In 10 minutes you are at Refuge Pialleral and, 5 minutes later, you reach a pic-nic area where you can find fresh water too.
Follow the indications for summit of Northern Grigna and Refuge Brioschi, which is very few meters under the summit. The marks indicate 2 hours and 30 minutes to get the summit at 2407m.
Valsassina seen from Northern Grigna East flank
Now the path goes up and there are marks for the summer path (on the left) and for the winter one (right). After one hour of walk up from the Pialleral Refuge, few meters on the left of the track at about 1800m., there is a small statue of the Holy Virgin.
The track now is a bit steeper and, in another hour, you reach the Merlini Bivy at 2144m. The bivy is small but firm based and can be a good shelter in case of storm. There is a fireplace (no wood inside), 2 beds ( but without mattresses and blankets) and a table with benches.
From here to the summit it takes another 30 minutes. Looking towards the Southern Grigna we can see the Canalino federazione and the route of the Traversata Alta and, on the west ridge, the Refuge Rosalba.
Southern Grigna and Traversata Alta trail
Refuge Rosalba in the distance Como Lake
The path goes up on the right side of the ridge and we can see, in front of us the Refuge Brioschi and, on the left, the lake of Como.
Once arrived to the Refuge Brioschi (always open in summer and all year long during the week-end) you can have a good meal and decide if you want to spend the night there ( wonderful night view with million lights in direction of Milan ) or prefer to go back.
The round trip can be made in about 9-10 hours.
Normal for hiking. In winter, in case of snow and ice, crampons and ice axe can be necessary from Refuge Pialleral to top of Northern Grigna
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