Our itinerary today includes the ascent to the Brioschi Refuge located on the Northern Grigna. With its 2403 meters it is the highest of Valsassina. From up there you can enjoy a unique panorama on the Lecco branch of Lake Como.
Departure is fixed in Balisio, you can park your car along via Grassi Lunghi, we suggest to leave it at this height
The first few meters will be on asphalt or beaten earth depending on where you can find parking. Immediately after the church of the Sacred Heart at Colle di Balisio, keep left and start climbing.
In the first km of the excursion you will pass several agritourisms until you reach Alpe Cova, where you will find a small lake (plus a pond) and several agritourisms and refuges, such as the Plateral. These shelters being down below are usually full of people, we recommend you go further and enjoy the peace of the rest of the trail.
Keep to the right and take the steepest slope with steps. After a while you will find yourself at a crossroads where you can decide to make a sort of loop between the outward and the return.
If you go up to the left the path will be a little longer and very suggestive (summer side), while going straight it will be harder and will take you to the Rifugio Riva Girani before reaching Brioschi (winter side).
We opted to do a part of the winter climbing up to Girani and then take a flat path that connected us to the summer one. If you want to continue on the winter part up to Brioschi, the road is very steep and with a very important slope up to the crest where, keeping the left side, you can go all the way to the destination. On windy days this version is not particularly recommended.
The last part of the climb, after rejoining the summer side, climbs smoothly and offers every now and then some breathtaking views between the rocks on Lake Como.
The refuge is half of many mountaineers in the area because it is one of the highest in lower Lombardy, without having to go to Valtellina.
On the way back, following entirely the summer route, you can speed up the descent because the path is very easy, but not without panoramic points, such as the house carved in the rock that you can find on the left in that stretch.
Once you reach Alpe Cova the path will be the same as before and you can easily reach your car.
Trail Type: dirt road and mountain trail
Water: at Riva Girani bivouac or at Rif. Brioschi