Tour del Gran Paradiso

ITINERARY

Day 0 - Arrive in Chamonix, briefing.

Day 1 - Pont to Rifugio Città di Chivasso

Day 2 - Rifugio Città di Chivasso to Rifugio Benevolo

Day 3 - Col Bassac Dere to Rifugio Bezzi

Day 4 - Colle Finestra de Torrent to Rhêmes-Notre-Dames

Day 5 - Colle di Entrelor to Eaux-Rousses 

Day 6 - Eaux Rousses to Pont and Chamonix

Day 7 - Depart Chamonix for home.

DETAILED ITINERARY

Day 0
Arrive at the La Chaumière Hotel in Chamonix. That evening, your guide will go over the details of the trip and answer any questions.

Day 1 - Pont to Rifugio Città di Chivasso
We travel through the Mont Blanc tunnel to the scenic Aosta Valley in northern Italy. A winding mountain road takes us through the Valsavarenche area to the small village of Pont (1,952m), the starting point of our trek. The trail begins steadily climbing upwards to reach the Col du Grand Collet (2,832m) before climbing under the rocky spires of Cima dell’Arollay.  Eventually, we arrive at a large meadow and marshlands which surround the Laghi del Nivolet, 'the lakes of the snow'. Passing alongside the lake we make our way to Rifugio Città di Chivasso (2,603m) for the night.
Distance: 11km     Time: 6hrs

Day 2 - Rifugio Città di Chivasso to Rifugio Benevolo
From the Rifugio Città di Chivasso, we head out across grassy meadows covered in alpine flowers and make our way to Lago Leita and Lago Rosset. Spectacular views surround us we climb towards Col Rosset (3,025m) or Col Basei (3,174m), depending on conditions at the time. A steep descent then sees us traverse across the side of the mountain to reach Rifugio Benevolo (2,287m) our accommodation for the night, where we can enjoy showers and a glass of wine!
Distance: 13km     Time: 6-7hrs

Day 3 - Col Bassac Dere to Rifugio Bezzi
It is a steep climb to start the day, taking us up to Col Bassac Dere (3,085m). Edelweiss and other alpine flowers carpet the ground as we climb upwards and together with the surrounding mountains provide many photo opportunities en route. We trek past Lago Goletta and arrive at the col to views of Grande Sassière in the distance and immense rocky outcrops around us. If conditions allow we will climb the nearby Becca della Traversière before descending into Valgrisenche. Welcome hot showers and meals greet us once we descend to Rifugio Bezzi (2,279m) for the night.
Distance: 13km     Time: 7-8.5hrs.

Day 4 - Colle Finestra de Torrent to Rhêmes-Notre-Dames
A relatively easy start to the day as our trail traverses across the mountain side, winding in and out of gullies and offering spectacular views of the length of the Valgrisenche, as we head for the Rifugio Chalet de l'Epée, where we will stop for lunch. It is then an easy climb over the Colle Finestra de Torrent at 2,875m, where we may see both chamois and the Gran Paradiso icon, the ibex.  A short but steep descent then takes us to our overnight destination, the tiny village of Rhêmes-Notre-Dames (1,723m) where we check into a local hotel. 
Distance: 21km  Time: 8-9hrs

Day 5 - Colle di Entrelor to Eaux-Rousses 
The morning trail weaves through larches and fir woodlands before breaking into the higher alpine meadows at Plan de la Feya and climbing up a rocky trail to the high pass of Colle di Entrelor at 3,007m. Gaining the col brings us to a full circle and we once more look down into Valsavarenche where our journey began. From here the majestic summit of Italy's highest peak, Gran Paradiso (4,061m), frames the horizon. We spend the afternoon descending and traversing the mountainside steadily via lakes and meadows to reach the village of Eaux-Rousses and our hotel for the night. 
Distance: 15km     Time: 8-9 hrs 

Day 6 - Eaux Rousses to Pont and Chamonix
Our final day sees us heading under the shadow of Gran Paradiso, initially trekking through larch woods to the Rifugio Federico Chabod (2,750m) where we stop for lunch. Herds of chamois and ibex can often be seen grazing in the meadows above the hut. We then spend the afternoon traversing and climbing across the mountainside towards Rifugio Vittorio Emanuele - a rather space-age looking building, pictured left. We then descend down through the forest back to our starting point at Pont where we enjoy an Italian hot chocolate or a cold beer before returning to Chamonix.
Distance: 22km     Time: 7-9hrs

Day 7 - Depart Chamonix for home.

 

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