From the parking area (1337 m) in Quarzina, stroll for about thirty metres beyond the church and at the crossroads (fountain) take the asphalt road to the right.
A little further on, at a second crossroads, continue to the right following the indications for the Church of San Giovanni and then towards Casa Brignacchi, where there is a group of old stone houses with “enclosed roofs” characteristic of the upper Tanaro valley and the Monregalese valleys.
To the left of these houses, instead of the long, hairpin bend there is a short-cut path in the grass passing close by a ruined wayside shrine. Further on, we return to the gravel track and follow it for about one kilometre, avoiding several short-cuts that tend to disappear into the grass. When this trail reaches a fork, do not take the one to the right towards the Chapel of San Giovanni but following the branch to the left.
Stay on the gravel trail that moves around the large hill of Monte Castello di Quarzina (1773 m) on the left. A number of hairpin bends take us to Alpe degli Archetti, on the way to the distant yet clearly visible signal repeater located just below the peak of Pizzo d’Ormea.
As we climb higher, the landscape behind us opens out more and more.
We reach a basin with a fountain (1990 m) and, immediately afterwards, the turning for the Valcaira Refuge which we will take on the way back. Continue to the left, keeping to the numerous hairpin bends that take us to the low hill where the signal repeater (2370 m) is installed. Apart from the distance, the climb so far is not particularly difficult.
A signposted trail starts from the pass here and zigzags up to the cone-shaped peak of Pizzo d’Ormea. After an initial stretch between grass and rocks, we reach a narrow channel (rope), after which we cross a very steep section of the route.
Lago del Pizzo is four hundred metres lower down, set in the bottom of a broad valley.
Continue around the rocks above us, pass on the south side following the up-and-down track flanking a small altar with a statue of the Madonna. Slightly uphill on the right, we come shortly after to the small cross on the summit next to which there is an orientation table (2476 m).
There is a superb view over Bric di Conoia and the imposing limestone Mongioie massif (2630 m), the second highest mountain in the Ligurian Alps. Below us we can see the broad, green Revelli basin which stretches north into the Corsaglia valley.
On the opposite side, the panorama is dominated by the Ligurian Sea and, on clear days, the view stretches as far as Corsica.
After a well-deserved break, continue the descent to the pass close by the signal repeater. Do not take the outward path on the right but follow the one on the left continuing along Costa Valcaira. Further down, pass by the turning that goes to Lago di Pizzo on the left. A further stretch descending the mountain-side at last reaches the crossroads for the Valcaira Refuge, which we reach after a few minutes.
After a break here, we continue on our way back to Alpe degli Archetti. We cross the deep, narrow valley uphill (there is also a road going downhill but after we would have to regain the lost altitude), taking us back to the outward route near the fountain basin.
An easy-going descent brings us back to the right of Monte Castello di Quarzina, between meadows teeming with beautiful, colourful flowers, and finally down to Quarzina.