How to get there:
To get to Castelnovo ne' Monti:
From Reggio Emilia (44 km) you get there by taking the SS 63.
From Modena (65 km) you reach Sassuolo and continue on the SS 486 of the Radici Pass up to Cerredolo, where you take the SP 19 up to Gatta; from here you continue on the SP 9 which leads to Felina, and from here you take the SS 63 up to Castelnovo ne' Monti. From Parma (55 km) you take the SS 513 Parma, Traversetolo, S. Polo d'Enza, Vetto, Castelnovo ne' Monti.
From La Spezia (92 km) you go towards Aulla and from here take the SS 63 (towards the Cerreto pass). "
Warnings and information
Climbs: in the headings you'll find the names of the first climbers and the year in which the path was opened, its development, its difficulty on the whole expressed in the French scale and the schedule referred to a trained rope party which proceeds following alternating commands.
Material: what is specified corresponds to particular requirements of the above-mentioned path and exceeds normal alpine equipment (for normal alpine equipment we mean: a 40 m rope, a helmet, 6 returns and a few small climbing ropes) which is necessary for the paths where it isn't specified
due to the particular quality of the rock and its characteristics, it is strongly advised that smooth-soled shoes be used. Besides the name of the path, there are plus signs which indicate, according to common judgment the beauty of the path:
+ discreet path
++ nice path
+++ very nice path
Along with the comprehensive evaluation, there are also small circles which indicate the comprehensive quality of fastenings:
o path with ugly nails and few secure opportunities oo path with good nails and few secure opportunities
ooo path with excellent nails (SPIT)
SCALE OF DIFFICULTY
The French scale (F-PD-AD-D-TD-ED-EX) has been used for comprehensive evaluation of the path, bearing in mind therefore, besides the purely technical difficulties, also the nails, the quality of the rock and the chances of fastening. In the introductory part of a few particularly dangerous paths, because of the quality of the rock and the state of the nails, an extra warning note has been added. The U.I.A.A. scale has been used to evaluate the single passages of climbing followed by the sign + or by the sign - according to the case. For the difficulties related to artificial climbing the classical scale (A1-A2-A3-A4) has been used with the warning that it does not necessarily indicate the vertical position of the wall, but the layer of nails and the distance of the nails; AO means the use of nails without stirrups."
The main climb of the Pietra di Bismantova.
The Pietra di Bismantova, located in the medium-altitude Reggiano Apennines can be considered the most interesting and complete rock gym of the entire Emilia-Romagna region, even if, for it's geographic, morphological and technical characteristics, it is easily enjoyed by alpine climbers and excursionists of all Northern Italy. It is a massive and imposing calcareous rock packaged with sedimentary continuity, or marly clay which forms its base. The summit is a vast plateau of 12,000 sq.m. covered by a thin earthy layer which forms a beautiful shrubby prairie whose tallest point is at 1047 m above sea level. Slightly descending towards the north, the summit plateau is an unforgettable viewpoint of the Parma - Reggio - Modena Apennine chain and on particularly clear days, beyond the Padana plains, even of the Alps. Be it admiring the imposing south-east side, or the series of crack of the overhangs, the plates of the southern side, or the western side, softer, but almost overwhelmed by vegetation, or at last t
he now characteristic northern profile, which has offered many ideas to writers and poets, the Pietra di Bismantova is always an admirable example of nature's creativity. On the south-east, above the villages of Campolungo, Fontana Cornia, Casale, Maro, Vologno, the wall forms a long coast always above 110 m in height with a length of about 700 m; to the south above Ginepreto and Carnola, the height of the walls varies between 40 and 120 m extending about 250 m, while tot he west above Castelnovo ne' Monti, a modest rocky belt rises about 60 m high for about 500 m in length. To the east two enormous landslide boulders which descended to lap the villages of Fontana Cornia and Casale, give life to two charming areas of Bismantova: l'Orto del Mandorlo and La Sassaia, while to the south, at Piazzale Dante, the paved road ends which climbs to Castelnovo ne' Monti and a little further above a beautiful stone staircase, there are, under the overhangs of the walls, an ancient hermitage, which once belonged to the Benedictine Fathers and has now been restored and converted in to a hotel and restaurant and Creuz shelter. Itinerary in detail
The Pietra offers different, long, thrilling paths; we will mention three for their different climbing styles, all well equipped and protected: Via Zuffo Ruggero 1970 +++
First climbed: G. Zuffa - F; Ruggero 1970
Extent: 127 m
Difficulty: TD oo
Hours: 1.30 - 2.30
Ten meters from the previous starting point, to the left of an obvious dihedron with boulders at the base, there's a narrow crack which you take with a difficult climb up to a large terrace. To the left of it you take a nice walk which leads to a pause on a strip. Having passed the small edge, you cross horizontally to the left for about 5 m, you climb obliquely towards the left up to a small overhang. You pass it directly, you follow the following plate and for a brief dihedron, you reach a small terrace. Continue along the dihedron and exit on a plate. Turn left and of the two parallel cracks, climb the one on the left side to the top.
Via Oppio +++
First climbed: N. Oppio - L. Guidi - A. Faridi 1940
Extent: 130 m
Difficulty: DT ooo
Hours: 1 - 2.30
The starting point is found at about 15 meters to the right of the Via del Bagnino, near a marked crack which carves the entire wall. Climb the long dihedron - crack, pass a protrusion and with delicate climbing reach an uncomfortable pause within a chimney. Pass the chimney up to a plant, then in splits up to a large ledge. Continue along the dihedron vertically until you reach a very uncomfortable pause within a narrow chimney: pass the chimney and continue along the magnificent final dihedron until you enter a canal which leads to the summit plateau.
G. Aimi, S; Righetti, 1986
Selection of the climbs was done by Daniele Magnani