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Tuscany Mountain Walks

Montes Forbice & Grondilice - From Rifugio Orto di Donna 

(Anybody choosing to follow this walk does so at their own risk and is entirely responsible for their own safety)

Car Journey from Walk

Click for PDF Road Map

Reference Material

Minor Roads
Main Roads
One-Way Journey Time

5 miles from Biforco through Massa to Autoroute
30  miles on Autoroute to Aulla

Tuscany North Book
Bocchi Book
Map details

JBH mods to walk 14, page 79, La Forbice
Carta del Sentieri e Rifugio No. 101/102

Recommended Route Description


This walk has been designed as a return route after an overnight stay @ Rifugio Orto di Donna, following the climbing of Ferrata Contrario on the previous day.

The route is "point to point" and includes a ridge scramble and two summits, along with the descent back to the car park at Biforco above the village of Forno.

It is essential to book beds etc. for the preceding night at Rifugio Orto di Donna which is only open at weekends, outside of the main summer season.
Telephone +39 347 366 3542.

From Rifugio Orto di Donna re-ascend yesterday's descent , now south-eastwards to regain the Contrario ridge at Passo del Pecore, above the Ferrata Contrario.

From here the Recommended Route traverses this ridge westwards over three separate tops before reaching La Forbice, which looks over the Finestra di Grondilice to the summit of Monte Grondilce.

The intervening tops are all above 1640m  with up and down scrambles between them. The rock is friable in places so care is needed in testing holds before relying upon them.

The grade 1 and grade 2 scrambling is similar to that on Pizzo d'Uccello and is generally enjoyable, with fantastic views on both sides of the ridge. If preferred, the more difficult sections can be avoided by traversing beneath the ridge on its northern side.

The final ascent to La Forbice should be made up its south-east ridge, passing to the right of a group of trees. La Forbice (the scissors) has two summits, 1773m and 1772m with a small descent and re-ascent between the two. The  west summit provides excellent views across La Finestra de Grondilce to Monte Grondilce and the curved ridge continuing beyond.

The easiest descent to path 186, below in the Finestra, is on the south side of the western ridge. From here the return trip to the summit of Grondilice takes about 30 mins before beginning the descent back to the valley below.

From beneath Grondilice, descend south-westwards on path 186 for 700m down to a major path junction (5 paths) to the north-east of Monte Rasore. From here take paths 37/173 westwards for 500m to where these two paths divide.

Turn left onto path 37 (south then south-west) to begin the major part of this steep descent. The path is heavily zig-zagged to ease the burden. After 700m you reach a 300 metre section which is very steep and exposed, after which the descent path turns to the south-east. After a further mile of more gradual descent it intersects a quarry road in the valley below.

Turn left onto this dirt road and then left again after 400m, walking north & north-east for 800m on the original approach road back up to the car park at Biforco.

Map Showing Possible Routes (Click Map below for Larger Version

Tuscany Mountain Walks-Apuane Alps-Forbice-Grondilice-Rifugio Orto di Donna-Biforco-Forno-Walk Map


Statistic Recommended Route Variation 1 Variation 2
Walk Style Point-to Point n/a n/a

Height Profile
(Click Thumbnail to Enlarge)

Tuscany Mountain Walks-Apuane Alps-Forbice-Grondilice-Rifugio Orto di Donna-Biforco-Forno-Height Profile
n/a n/a
Walk Description

As Above

Walk Start Rifugio Orto di Donna

Paths Used

186, 37/73, 37, Dirt Road, Road
Walk Grade EE
Scramble/VF Dist (metres) 800S 
Scramble/VFGrade EE 
Maximum Height (metres) 1805
Flat Speed (mph) 1.4
Walk Distance (miles) 5.2
Walk Ascent (metres) 362
Walk Time 4:18
Rest Recommendation Lunch on Monte Grondilice
Rest Time 1:42
Total Hill Time 6:00
Total Trip Time (Rifugio to Villa) 7:00
Leave Rifugio @ 09:00
Return to Papavero @ 16:00

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