Gran Paradiso – 15 Day Climb
The Gran Traverse trek starts in Mont Avic Natural Park before entering the adjacent Gran Paradiso National Park. The trek is a quieter, tougher and wilder version of the Tour de Mont Blanc with scenery matching the best the Alps have to offer.
Itinerary for Climb Gran Paradiso – 15 Day Climb
Day 1: Transfer from Turin to Mellier
Arrive at Turin airport and transfer by private bus to our guesthouse in the village of Mellier, 1350m. Dinner will be provided depending on the flight times.
Day 2: Mellier to Rifugio Barbustel
Walk through forests then over a mountain pass (Col du Lac Blanc, 2309m) to the refuge which is located at 2200m by a lake in the heart of Mont Avic Natural Park. The park is known for its beautiful lakes set amongst alpine meadows, forests and gentle mountains. The walk only takes about 4 hours and depending on the weather after a picnic lunch we can walk around the lakes in the valley or ascend an easy nearby summit to see the main Alpine Chain with excellent views of the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa massif. The refuge is new and offers a good quality accommodation.
Day 3: Rifugio Barbustel to Rirugio Miserin
We follow the main valley past a string of beautiful lakes then cross two cols (the highest being 2912m) before droping into the upper Ayasse valley where Rifugio Miserin is located by a lake, 2582m. The exterior of the refuge is austere standing beside the famous chapel of Notre Dame des Neiges itself a destination for regular pilgrimages. Inside the atmosphere is a total contrast, warmth, simple but very good facilities and good food. The walk takes about 6 hours, along the way a short detour can be made in to take in the easy summit of Mt Glacier, 3186m.
Day 4: Rifugio Miserin to Ronco Canavese
A short walk past the lake then up open easy slopes leads to a short section of scree and small outcrops then the Colle de la Rosa, 2957m. The descent on the other side is initially over exposed, slabby ground; then steep grassy slopes lead down to the small chapel of San Besso at 2019m. Picnic lunch. Now a good path leads down to the Campiglia Valley which is followed to our hotel in Ronco Canavese, 956m, 5-6 hours walking. The last section of the walk involves about 3 kilometers on a tarmac road.
The crossing of the pass, particularly in bad weather, is quite demanding and potentially dangerous, the guide may decide to take an alternative low-level route to Ronco. 6-7 hours walking.
Day 5: Ronco to Talosio
After a short descent to Bosco village we take a path through forests and alpine meadows up to Colle Crest, 2040m. A gentle descent leads down past a 17th century shrine to a rather basic guesthouse in the village of Talosio, 1225m, 6 hours walking, picnic lunch.
Day 6: Talosio to San Lorenzo
A steep climb from Talosio gains Monte Arzola 2158m. The little used path now follows a mountain ridge then descends slopes past Lago d’Eugio, 1860m, before climbing again to about 2200m where it traverses steep slopes round the head of a valley before dropping down to San Lorenzo, 1045m, 6 hours, picnic lunch. Night at a small hotel. photo
Day 7: San Lorenzo to Rifugio Pocchiola Meneghello
A short walk takes us to San Giacomo village. We continue up a steep woodland path then over more open slopes and across alpine meadows passing Lago de Balma (possible swim) and a fine waterfall to reach Lago de Valsoera and the refuge, 2440m, 4-5 hours walk. This is the most basic of the refuges we will use. It lies at the heart of a magnificent cirque of fine granite peaks. There will be time to explore the area after lunch at the refugio. photo
Day 8: Rifugio Pocchiola Meneghello to Rifugio Pontese
Walk through Alpine meadows then a short grassy path up to the easy Boccetta di Valsoera pass (2683m). A nearby peak, 2790m, provides a fine viewpoint in good weather. Descend steeply to the beautifully located Rifugio Pontese (2217m, 3-4 hours walk). This is one of the most welcoming refugios in the whole of the Alps. After a sumptuous lunch, time can be spent visiting the ancient deserted mountain village of Muanda di Teleccio and wandering up this grand valley. photo
Day 9: Rifugio Pontese to Casa di Caccia
This walk requires an early start. We ascend through alpine pastures, often passing herds of ibex and chamois, to reach the Colle dei Becchi (2990m) beneath the elegant granite spires of Becchi della Tribulazione. A long descent initially, over big boulders, leads to the upper Noaschetta Valley (locally known as ‘little Tibet‘). Easy downhill walking to 2400m, then a final uphill climb leads to the Bocchetta del Ges pass (2692m) before descending to the Casa di Caccia, one of the former king’s hunting lodges, now taken over and refurbished by the National Park (2222m, 6-7 hours total walking). Much of this days walking is on excellent paths made for Vittorio Emanuele, the scenery is magnificent and the area rich in wildlife. Note: This day may be altered slightly – details will be sent out with the trip information sheet.
Day 10: Casa di Caccia to Chalet del Lago
The day starts with a high level traverse with fine views up to the snowy high peaks of the massif and down into the dramatic Vallone del Roc. Then a gradual descent takes us down to pine forests beside the Lago di Ceresole Reale. A short walk through the forests takes us to the Chalet del Lago, a very well positioned and extremely friendly ** small hotel renowned locally for its excellent food, 1583m, 5-6 hours walking, dinner not included.
Day 11: Chalet del Lago to Citta di Chivasso
A short section of road leads to a steady climb to Lago Lillet (2765m) then Colle della Terra (2911m) which offers views south to the fine peaks of the Tre Levanna on the French frontier. The gentle trail contours to the last hairpins of the road leading to Col del Nivolet and the refugio at 2684m (5 hours). The refuge has an outstanding library of mountain literature and maps.
Day 12: Citta di Chivasso to Rifugio Vittorio Emanuele
We follow the Nivolet valley northwards to the little village of Pont with superb views of Gran Paradiso. Now a trail leads north then steeply up east to the Rifugio Vittorio Emanuele, (2732m, 5 hours). This is a famous old hut and the most popular base for the ascent of the Gran Paradiso.
Day 13: Ascent of Gran Paradiso and traverse to Rifugio Federico Chabod
An early start rewards us with morning views or even sunrise seen from the summit – a magnificent panorama. The ascent itself is by an easy, slightly crevassed glacier with a short section of airy and exposed rock scrambling to the summit. The upper sections of the ascent involving being roped together. Crampons and ski poles or an ice axe are required. Those who do not wish to make the ascent can enjoy exploring the area around the hut (4-5 hours in ascent, 2-3 hours in descent). After a rest we traverse round to the Rifugio Federico Chabod.
Day 14: Rifugio Federico Chabod to Degioz, Aosta and Turin
We follow the Camino Real to Colle del Gran Neyron (3227m). A steep descent protected by cables is followed by a long descent to beautiful meadows and excellent views of Mont Blanc. Many ibex are seen here. Continue descending to Degioz from where we take a public bus back to Aosta. After a late lunch there is time to wander around Aosta before taking a public bus back to Turin. Private transport may be used depending on flight times.
Day 15: Transfer to airport for flight home
Prices for Gran Paradiso – 15 Day Climb
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