The itinerary starts off from Colle di Capraùna, on the side opposite the parking area (1375 m), along the path that climbs for a few metres towards several beech trees (start sign).
After a deceptively flat stretch, we continue between two wings of conifer trees. Do not take any turnings to the right or left, including those to the Pian dell’Arma Refuge (where the return trip starts). This is part of the Alta via dei Monti Liguri – a very long itinerary of over four hundred kilometres from Ventimiglia as far as Ceparana, in the province of La Spezia.
Moving uphill, we reach a rocky stretch which we pass over by cutting off to the right. Ascending over limestone ground between hazel and larch trees, we approach a signal repeater and a nearby panoramic point offering a superb view opening out to the west over the Alps.
We continue on the right side of the Monte della Guardia mountain relief (1658 m) and, further on, come to the turning up to the peak which can be reached in just a few minutes.
After a slightly downhill stretch, we enter an evocative pine wood. We come out into the open all of a sudden along a scenic path cutting across large meadows before descending slightly to Colla Bassa (1570 m).
The view extends to the Ligurian Sea where Albenga – also known as the “city of one hundred towers” – is clearly recognizable.
Here, do not take the right branch at the crossroads (the return route) but continue uphill over gentle grassy slopes with a few outcropping rocks on the wide ridge that divides Tanaro and Pennavaira valleys.
Follow the numerous white/red flags and signposts to avoid any possibility of errors to reach the evidently flat peak of Monte Armetta (1739 m), surmounted by a large memorial headstone. The views are spectacular: from the village of Ormea, with its characteristic heart-shape clearly visible exactly one thousand metres below, to the pyramid of Pizzo d’Ormea overlooking it and, on very clear days, even as far as Corsica.
After a well-deserved rest, we retrace our footsteps as far as Colla Bassa, where this time we take the track descending to the left. On reaching the gravel track, we follow it for a short distance and then take an initial short cut before a right turn towards the Pian dell’Arma Refuge.
After a stretch descending steeply along hairpin bends between rocks, we turn right at the crossroads and quickly arrive at the fine Pian dell’Arma Refuge, standing at the feet of the vertical rock face of the same name.
Lastly, we take the easy mule track to the west of the refuge that – slightly uphill and ignoring all detours – takes us back to the crossroads we first encountered in the morning. Now simply take the left turn to bring this splendid and little-known itinerary to an end.