Navigation Menu

Fraction Pialpetta Groscavallo – Location Fonti Minerali, Ceresole Reale

Tipologia percorso


Dislivello in salita

1.570 m

Dislivello in discesa

1.140 m

Tempo complessivo

7.25 h

In senso inverso

7 h

Pialpetta 1069 – Rivotti 1450 m – Gias di Mezzo 2092 m – Lago di Vercellina 2484 m – Colle della Crocetta 2641 m – Alpe La Balma 1922 m – Ceresole Reale Fonti Minerali 1501 m

This section concludes your daily climbs over mountain ranges that are necessary to pass from one valley to the next and characterize the itinerary from Valle di Susa to Valle dell’Orco. The effort of this section is rewarded by the sweet landscapes on the lower parts of the opposite slopes, which contrast the environment higher up that is wild and very panoramic.

Go through the old, characteristic center of Pialpetta until you come across the road to Rivotti: cross it and take the mule track which, running alongside the walls of some villas, touches the road again in two successive hairpin bends, passes next to a characteristic votive pillar, erected on a rock that dominates the road, and emerges in front of a house that you walk along on the right, approaching the Vercellina stream: here you leave the obvious mule track on the right that crosses the stream on a bridge and instead take the path that across a meadow and then steeply through the woods it reaches the road again, which you follow along a hairpin bend. Take the mule track on the right, often paved and bordered by dry stone walls, which climbs into the dense broad-leaved forest (votive pillar) on the ridge that divides the Vercellina valley from the main valley, crosses the town of Airetta (short stretch on a deviation of the carriage road), and on more open terrain it goes up to cross the road again, in front of a group of huts. The mule track, leaving the huts on the right, with a pleasant path through cultivated fields reaches the church of Rivotti 1450 m; 1.15 hours: the white building in Baroque style, but without excessive decorations, stands isolated in the middle of the meadows, offering a glimpse of undoubted beauty. A path climbs through the meadows to the houses of Rivotti, a characteristic village located in a splendid position (the view of the peaks of the head of Val Grande and the Ciamarella is very interesting). At the crossroads of the carriage road, follow the right branch until the hairpin bend, where you continue straight towards the north-east, going up to the Crest huts and overlooking the Vercellina valley, turning left and continuing up the ridge for around 100 metres. : here you leave the mule track (which descends with a different route to Rivotti) and turn right (north) along cattle tracks, in the direction of Alpe Invers without however reaching it (1647 m), on the limit between meadows and larch forest; the mule track, now more evident, winds up into the larch forest and at the exit from the woods begins a long traverse that cuts through the steep pasture slopes of the valley (below you can see the roofs of Gias Mazzocco). Towards the top the valley is closed by rocky crags on which the waterfalls of the river flow: the mule track climbs to the left of the rocky bastion until it reaches Gias di Mezzo 2092 m; 1.50 hours, from here the mule track heads east, reaching the center of the valley, above the ramparts and climbs up a hill in the center of the valley, between the two branches of the Vercellina river (satisfying panorama of the route traveled thus far). You pass next to a ruined Gias and reach Gias Nuovo 2322 m. Here you cross the main branch of the Vercellina river, moving to the orographic left of the valley (leaving the deviation for Gias Massa on the right). The high number of mountain pastures in this area of the valley is surprising: the steep grassy slope is in fact limited by large rocky areas and scree. You pass under some rock jumps and reach the lake Vercellina 2484, 1.15 hours, small body of water set among curious smooth, slightly sloping rocks, at the end of the plateau below the hill. The path climbs with some hairpin bends on the left orographic side dominating the lake, and then with a last pleasant stretch along the hillside leads to Colle della Crocetta 2641 m 0.25 hours, so called due to the iron cross that distinguishes it. The panorama is splendid and grandiose below the large artificial lake of Ceresole Reale, surrounded by meadows and woods: around the Levanne chain, the head of the Occo Valley and the Gran Paradiso group: Becca di Monciair, Ciarforon, Tresenta, Becca di Moncorvè, Torre del Gran San Pietro

From the hill you can reach it in 0.20 hours. the Colle della Terra (2723 m), open onto Lake Fertà, following a path towards the east

From Colle della Crocetta you descend with numerous hairpin bends (path EPT 520). first in a narrow valley to the west of the hill (the descent can cause some problems at the beginning of July if it is covered in snow) and then in a more open environment, up to Piano dei Morti (approximately 2350 m)

The path crosses an area of scree and descends to Alpe Fumanova, 2223 m, then moves for 400 meters westwards on grassy shelves, to then descend through pastures to Alpe Gran Ciavana 2038 m and Alpe La Balma 1922 m. 1.25 hours. We are here on the edge of the Crousionay forest, rightly considered one of the most beautiful in the Western Alps

The path now enters it, crosses the Rio della Balma and descends for a stretch parallel to the stream. The tall and solemn trees (larch, spruce and silver fir), the flowering undergrowth of rhododendrons, the clearings through which you can glimpse the blue Lake Ceresole recreate the environment of an incomparable garden. In the middle of the forest you go down to the lake, near Villa Poma: here you come across the EPT 525 mule track which you follow to the right along the lake in the direction of the dam, do not cross it and go downhill from the dam itself along the mule track up to the mineral springs (1501 m) where you can collect an arsenic-ferruginous mineral water used for the treatment of chlorosis and anemia. The old buildings were transformed into the current Stopover Le Fonti Minerali  Refuge 1528 m 1.15 hours

Ceresole was already known in Roman times for its silver mines; the name derives from Cirysolie and Ceresole, which indicates an area rich in water, the title of Royal was granted in 1862 by Vittorio Emanuele II following the acquisition of the right to hunt chamois and ibex. The town is made up of several villages now almost all joined together following the recent construction of many buildings.

The Ceresole dam, built between 1925 and 1929, was the first intervention to exploit the waters of the Orco Valley for the production of electricity. The resulting lake is approximately 3 kilometers long and 600 meters wide.


Tappe su questo percorso