The Gran Paradiso massif is the ideal terrain for long crossings to discover new amazing landscapes., going from hut to hut.
Scenery of this trek is the picturesque mountains of Valgrisenche, Val di Rhêmes and Valsavarenche. Starting from Valgrisenche, you will cross the Gran Paradiso National Park, a hunting reserve of King Vittorio Emanuele II from 1856 and then first Italian Park in 1922. Wild and uncontaminated, the chosen route will allow you to walk along alpine pastures, larch forests and alpine lakes facing the Gran Paradiso massif, the only completely Italian 4000 peak, between Aosta Valley and Piedmont. Along with our local alpine guide, you will discover the fauna and flora of this rich and varied environment. In particular, you will be able to admire the ibex, the symbol of the Park, saved from extinction thanks to the establishment of the hunting reserve. If you are lucky, you will have the opportunity to meet other inhabitants of these mountains such as chamois, marmots, foxes and eagles, and maybe even gipètes! After five days of good walking at high altitude, on the 6th day you can finally climb to the summit of Gran Paradiso, to complete your adventure, perhaps conquering your first 4000!
Duration: 6 Days with walks of an average duration of 6/8 hours.
Accomodation: 5 nights in a hut or hotel with half board (dinner and breakfast). For the noon picnic, you can buy sandwiches and snacks during stops at the huts or in the villages you will pass by.
Difficulty: Medium (no technical difficulties, need of good physical shape and good training).
Itinerary - Program
Day 1 - Valgrisenche, Chalet de l'Epée Hut
Starting point: Surier - Usellières (m 1785)
Altitude drop: +585 meters
Arrival point: Chalet de l'Epée Refuge (m 2370)
Walking time: 2 hours
You will meet the mountain guide at 9.30 am in Valgrisenche to have a coffee at the bar in the center of the valley - after a general material check, you will drive 10 minutes by car until the end of the valley, where you will park and start your trekking.
The route takes place in the upper Valgrisenche, mainly in the Bouc valley. On your right the panorama opens itself on the glaciers of Ormelune, Plattes des Chamois and Rutor.
The path begins on the dirt road, at mid road you will keep going on the path that crosses the ancient forest, full of great secular larches of important naturalistic value (protected area).
After about two hours of an easy and pleasant walk, you will reach the Chalet de l'Epée hut, where you can have lunch and take the opportunity to taste the specialty of the hut: a delicious polenta, one of Aosta Valley typical dishes. You will then have the afternoon free to rest or take a walk to the small lakes above the hut or to reach the Col Fenêtre, from where you can admire the Val di Rhêmes.
Dinner and night at the hut.
Day 2 - Crossing from Chalet de l'Epée to Bezzi Hut
Starting point: Chalet de l'Epée hut (m 1785)
Altitude drop: +230 meters
Arrival point: Rifugio Bezzi (m 2370)
Walking time: 6 hours
After a good breakfast, you will leave for your 2nd day of trekking to discover the mountains of the upper Aosta Valley.
The Crossing from Chalet de l'Epée hut to Bezzi hut is surely the Valgrisenche trekking highlight. The crossing runs along a path at altitude, always staying at 2500 mt: this trail will give you some spectacular views, passing on the moraines under Giasson glacier and by Becca Refreita ridge. You will then reach Bezzi hut in the first afternoon.
Afternoon to rest, dinner and night at the hut.
Day 3 - Crossing from Bezzi Hut (Valgrisenche) to Benevolo Hut (Val di Rhêmes)
Starting point: Rifugio Bezzi - Valgrisenche (mt. 2284)
Altitude drop: +798 meters - 800 meters
Arrival point: Benevolo Refuge - Rhêmes Valley (mt. 2285)
Walking time: 7/8 hours
Wake up early in the morning to start your day with the right energy! You will leave Bezzi hut to reach Col Bassac Deré (3085 mt): part of the Aostay Valley Alta Via no. 4, this is the only easy way to cross from Valgrisenche to Val di Rhêmes. At approximately 2500 mt., along the path you will cross the "elephant cemetery". The legend tells that here were buried the carcasses of some of Hannibal’s elephants, the popular mythology says that he passed through Valgrisenche as well. You will reach the Pass at the altitude of 3085 mt. after passing a last steep detritus slope. After a short break to enjoy the panorama that opens on Val di Rhêmes, you will begin your descent direction Benevolo hut, passing by the Goletta Lake and in front of the great Granta Parey.
Dinner and overnight at Benevolo hut.
Day 4 - Rhêmes Notre Dame, Col de l’Entrelor - Valsavarenche, Eaux Rousses
Starting point: Benevolo Hut (organized car transfer) - Rhêmes Notre-Dame
Altitude drop: +1300 meters - 1300 meters - demanding day
Arrival point: Valsavarenche - Eaux Rousses
Walking time: 6/8 hours
Wake up early in the morning, and after a good breakfast, your car transfer, organized in collaboration with the hut, will be scheduled to reach the village in Rhêmes-Notre-Dame. From there you will your walk to reach the Col de l’Entrelor. This is the fourth stage of your Tour, within the Gran Paradiso Park and it will be a busy day: starting from the center of Rhêmes-Notre-Dame you will pass through its thick coniferous woods, reaching its high mountain pastures that will lead you to the Col de l'Entrelor, window on Valsavarenche and its king: Gran Paradiso summit (4061 mt). Once you reach the Pass, you will descend along the valley of Valsavarenche, crossing some Alpine lakes and the hunting lodge of King Victor Emmanuel II, currently used as Park-keepers' hut. You will end up in the meadows above Eaux-Rousses village, Valsavarenche, in the late afternoon.
Night in Valsavarenche in one of its cozy and typical hostels or B&B (we can arrange your stay according to your preferences).
Day 5 - Valsavarenche - Chabod Hut
Starting point: Valsavarenche village
Altitude drop: +916
Arrival point: Chabod Hut, Valsavarenche
Walking time: 2.30 hours
After a well-deserved rest, on the fifth day you can leave around mid-morning to reach Chabod hut, located at the feet of Gran Paradiso’ northwestern wall, in the heart of the homonymous National Park.
Today you will have a lighter day: starting from the bottom of the valley you will reach the hut in two and a half hours of walk by following a comfortable mule track, which winds through a larch forest and ends on large flowered slopes, where sightings of animals is frequent.
Afternoon: time to relax at the hut and its surroundings.
Day 6 - Climb to summit of Gran Paradiso (4061 mt.)
Starting point: Chabod Hut, Valsavarenche
Altitude drop: +1300 meters - 1300 meters
Arrival point: Chabod Hut, Valsavarenche
Walking time: 6/8 hours
Wake up early in the morning - Departure between 4.00 and 5.00 depending on weather and snow conditions, following a substantial breakfast.
The day starts with about 40 minutes of walking on a path to reach the first part of the glacier; After wearing the crampons and being tied up in rope following the instructions of your alpine guide, the climb continues to reach the glacier shoulder in about 2/3 hours, leaving the last ramp to overtake the glacier terminal and reach then to the Madonnina, following easy steps along the rocky ridge.
Walking time: about 6/8 hours - return to the hut scheduled for 12.00/1.00 pm, depending on the training and the performance of the group.
Here you will end your Gran Paradiso Tour: you can be satisfied! You will walk back down the valley in the afternoon. We will organize a car to pick you up in Valsavarenche and drive you back to Valgrisenche to pick your car up.
Prices available on demand
The price includes
• Assistance of a local and experienced mountain guide of our Team;
• Technical material for the group (rope, carabiners, nails, etc.);
• professional accident insurance for mountain rescue.
IMPORTANT insurance: we recommend in any case to have your own personal travel insurance, covering accident abroad and repatriation.
The price does not includes
• Half board in hut or B&B/hotels for yourself and the guide;
• Personal equipment (boots, backpacks etc.), travel expenses, drinks;
• Car transfers.
• Backpack (40/45 lt) - telescopic trekking poles - a waterproof cover for your backpack - waterproof trekking shoes and mountaineering shoes adaptable to crampons.
• Clothing: a thermal undershirt (lure, softshell, merino wool, etc) - lightweight fleece or lightweight waistcoat - a warmer fleece - a goretex shell or alike - 2 breathable T-shirts – one short pant – one mountaineering shoeller pant or similar- one lightweight tight (lifa, softshell, merino wool, etc) - peaked cap and heavy cap - 2 pairs of socks – warm gloves.
• Bottle (1 lt) - sunglasses - protective cream (minimum protection 30) - camera - front lamp – money for personal expenses - bladder patches - documents - personal pharmacy.
Technical equipment: Harness, crampons and ice-axe (this material can be rent at Chabod hut directly).