Hike to Pizzo Ragno from Patqueso – EE

One of the most challenging hikes of Valle Vigezzo, only for expert hikers: it is really worth the effort!

From Santa Maria Maggiore drive to Malesco and then take the road for Valle Loana. After 4 km on your left you will find a small car park and a bus stop. Park your car there (or 100m further on, near the bridge). Take the mule track near the notice-board (50m backwards – towards Malesco); it slopes down towards the wood and the meadows of Patqueso. The path is marked (M26). Cross the bridge over the torrent Loana and then the bridge over Rio Basso. Then take the new unpaved road M10 that leads to Alpe Basso.

Before the end of the road take the mule track that turns right and climbs to Alpe Erta. Cross Rio Erta and among the huts you will find a fork: take the track to the right that climbs towards Alpe Al Cedo and Pizzo Ragno (not the level one in front that goes to Alpe Bondolo and Bocchetta di Vald). The path winds up through the wood and it reaches the meadows of Cedo and the hut of CAI Vigezzo. The track continues climbing to the left and then slopes down, crosses Rio Castello and reaches Alpe Geccio. The path is well marked, but in case of poor visibility it is quite difficult to find it. However go between the two cowsheds and then go up keeping on your right until you reach the ridge.

Do not take the path that slopes down towards the soapstone, but follow the ridge towards north-west until a small reservoir and then a small valley, where Rio Castello flows. Go past the valley and turn right until you reach the small lake of Geccio.

Continue always towards north-east and go up the mountainside track until you reach the top of Pizzo Ragno. From here the view is really gorgeous.
Follow the same route to come back.

Time of ascent: 5 hours

Ascent: m 1290

Trek grade: EE

Text by Enrico Cheula
Photo by Roberto Paniz