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Celle Macra – San Magno Fraction Chiappi

Tipologia percorso



Anello delle Valli Stura Maira e Varaita

Dislivello in salita

1.100 m

Dislivello in discesa

600 m

Tempo complessivo

6.15 hours

In senso inverso

5.30 hours

Celle Macra 1270 m – Grange Serra 2232 m – Monte Crosetta 2194 m – San Magno Fraction Chiappi 1761 m

One of the most pleasant itineraries of the GTA in the Cottian Alps: after climbing along a wooded ridge that first separates the ravines of Celle and Paglieres, then becomes open and panoramic and separates Val Maira from Val Grana, you reach and cross the pastures of the upper Vallone di Narbona and finally descend to the picturesque Santuario di S. Magno Fraction Chiappi.

From Fraction Chiesa you go up the old mule track which, through woods and land which is unfortunately no longer cultivated, goes up to Castellaro, 1451 m; 0.40 hours.

The village is worth a short stop: in the center of the town the front of the castle still stands out (hence the name Castellaro) adorned with an elegant mullioned window (window) on the side of which you can see a tastefully carved green stone. A peculiarity of the castle and of another house in Castellaro is that of having the façade wall made in a “sail” shape. that is, protruding above the roof level, and culminating horizontally with its own slate roofing: these are two examples of the rare stately buildings still existing in these valleys.

The mule track now climbs between sparse larch groves and pastures, still on the Celle side up to a collar at an altitude of 1573 m: from here, through alternating steep meadows and woods, sometimes also of beech, it continues until it reaches the huts at an altitude of 1743 m ; after having cut halfway up the eastern side of Monte Sociù and having passed next to a hut next to the rock, you reach Fumei 1801 m, a modest saddle with some granges; 1.15 hours. (On the right a flat path leads in 100 m to a fountain). A meteorological curiosity: the Fumei are often clouded by mists and vapours,

to which they probably owe their name; the fact is explainable, as these are the first buttresses on which the hot and humid air of the plain collides with the coolness of the mountain; this microclimate was exploited for a spruce plantation above Castellaro, which gave excellent results.

You climb the ridge until you pass near Monte Bastia 2134 m, through a narrow passage called the “pertus” (hole), which on clear days frames Monte Rosa overlooking Col Birrone. From a saddle the path climbs among the last larches and alders, leaving the Cernauda Rock on the left, the remains of a slate quarry and the “Battle Rock” on the right; the path continues almost flat, just below the grassy ridge, up to the watershed with the Narbona Valley where the Grange Serra are located, 2232 m; 1.50 hours. You descend into the Narbona Valley and, having almost reached the valley floor (approximately 2100 m altitude), you go up towards the south-east with a route halfway up the hill on bushy terrain up to the panoramic ridge of Monte Crosetta, 2194 m; 1.00 hour.

The name of Monte Crosetta is probably due to a religious tradition. The pilgrims who went from Val Maira to the sanctuary of San Magno on the occasion of the festival used to bring a small wooden cross with them: it was planted on the ridge after which the last stretch was covered in procession, singing songs and prayers. The elders of Celle Macra remember that they themselves still practiced this custom.

From here, after a short initial descent with hairpin bends, you reach a sort of grassy trench which you follow towards the south-west until you reach, in a flat area, the path coming from the left. Now descend, gradually leaning to the left, into the magnificent prairie overlooking the sanctuary, with a wide panorama of the valley, rich flowering and the presence of a large colony of marmots. The path descends the steep slope above the last hut with a few short bends and reaches a cart track at a bend; follow it for a short stretch until you find a path which, descending towards the south, ends at the fountain in the Sanctuary square, 1761 m; continue descending to the Fraction Chiappi Stopover Hotel Locanda La Meiro stop 1.30 hours.




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