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Picture Book: Refugio Franchetti, Grand Sasso, Central Italy.

Refugio Franchetti (xxxxxx m) North-East of the Corno Grande (2900 m).

A very scenic route in the Grand Sasso is from the Campo Imperatore parking lot to the top of Corno Grande at 2900 m, and to the other side to Prado di Tivo, via Refugio Franchetti. This is a 8-9 hour trip.

The route up the Corne Grande is not difficult, requiring a few scrambles across rocks and holding on while passing a few narrow passages.

The trail from the Corne Grande to Refugio Franchetti is more difficult. It leads along a narrow and steep trail. It is well-marked but in late June it may still be obscured by large snow fields. These can be very steep and tricky to cross and you need a small ice axe for safety. At the Passe del Cannone there is a 15 m high Via Ferrata, a metal cable, on a 4th degree rock wall for safety but going down is not very difficult.

Refugio Franchetti is fairly large, has good food and even an outside shower if you are prepared to use the cold water hose on the squat toilet. It is only open from June to mid September as heavy snow on the trail up limits access.

From the refugio it is one hour down along a good trail to the top of the ski lift of Prado di Tivo. Now you have a choice, to follow the ridge down towards a parking lot at the end of an access road and use the marked short cut past half way down the ridge to the village, or just go down the ski slope which is shortest.

Snowy area below the main massive of the Corne Grand, after 1 hour.

Corne grand West Ridge (on the right). On going trail to Refugio franchettit from right-bottom leading up the snow fields running just below the peaks and dispappearing behind the far left ridge.

Corne Piccolo (left) and Refugio Franchetti (down).

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