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Refuge Alevè – Refuge Sella

Tipologia percorso


Dislivello in salita

1.200 m

Dislivello in discesa

200 m

Tempo complessivo

5.25 h

In senso inverso

4.00 h

Rifugio Alevè 1579  m – Grange Gheit 1912m- Passo di S. Chiaffredo 2764 m – Passo Gallarino 2727 m – Rif. Q. Sella 2640 m

Stage with considerable altitude difference uphill, but not too tiring and with very varied environments: the Vallanta valley, the picturesque and fresh Alevé forest, the wild Giargiatte valley with small lakes, and finally the glacial basin dominated by Monviso .

The hamlet of Castello (Lou Chastel) 1008 m, as the name suggests and as is evident from the topographic position, was in other times an important fortified place, controlling an obligatory passage point to go up and down the valley, now the ancient fortifications remain very little, but the town has maintained a characteristic urban structure largely determined by its historic strategic position.

From the Alevè Refuge, take the provincial road towards the Castello hamlet on the right of the church, the Vallone di Vallanta mule track begins. This valley, despite having no permanent settlements, is no less important orographically than the two main branches of the Varaita di Bellino and Chianale, with its course from north to south it clearly delimits the Monviso Group to the west and collects all the waters of the south-west side: the stream of the same name reaches a considerable flow in the lower part Just outside the houses of Castello, the U9 path climbs for a good stretch with a steep gradient on the orographic right of the valley, then with an almost flat route it approaches the stream and crosses it twice to avoid a stretch of rocks overlooking the water. Returning to the orographic right bank, you climb further between larches and stone pines with some hairpin bends and then continue halfway up the coast with a route parallel to the valley floor up to approximately 1900 m altitude; 1.50 hours. Here you leave the mule track that continues along the Vallanta and goes up to the Rifugio Vallanta and take a well-marked path (U 10) that descends on the right to cross the stream, beyond which rises the Grangia Gheit 1912 m. Going around the grangia, you go up with some hairpin bends in a south-east direction, entering the Alevé wood, the largest Swiss pine forest in Italy. At an altitude of around 2000 metres, you come across an almost flat path which runs halfway along the orographic left side of the Vallanta Valley. Follow it to the right (south) (be careful at this crossroads by following the route in the opposite direction) until you reach a beautiful clearing where a large spring flows. From this point the path gradually moves eastwards and with some hairpin bends it goes up the orographic right side of the Vallone delle Giargiatte, a tributary of the Vallanta. After crossing a grassy plateau (another fountain under a large boulder) you climb further into the woods with other hairpin bends until you reach the Gias Fons, a large partly grassy, partly debris plateau, at the edge of the tall vegetation. You cross the plateau passing by a characteristic isolated rock and some springs and start climbing again in hairpin bends over a large stony surface always on the orographic right side of the valley; then with a less steep section you reach the base of a narrow gorge between two rocky crags. The always well-marked path goes up this gorge with some zig-zags until it overlooks the vast basin below the San Chiaffredo Pass (crossroads on the left for the Bertoglio Bivacco). Cross the effluent stream of the small Lake Bertin 2701 m, with dark and deep waters, and walk along it on the orographic left. Continuing in an east-south-east direction, you leave Lago Lungo on the left and you soon reach the large depression of the Passo di S. Chiaffredo 2764 m: 2.40 hours. In the stretch from Lake Bertin to the pass the path can be partially covered in snow until the end of July, and in case of fog you need to carefully keep in the east-south-east direction. From the Colle, now in the Po Valley, you leave a trail that descends to the right, to follow the path that on flat morainic terrain overlooks the vast valley of the Piano Gallarino, (dominated by the majestic Cima delle Lobbie), surrounding the hill halfway up the southern side of Punta Trento; after going around a last rocky ridge, you descend briefly to Passo Gallarino, 2727 m; 0.15 hours. At the pass the mule track goes left onto the other side (do not take the path that descends to the south into the Piano Gallarino) where it descends in hairpin bends to the formwork below, often covered in snow. Leave the marked track on the right which descends directly to Oncino in a north-east direction, to continue north on the path halfway up the eastern slopes of Punte Trento and Michelis, in a rather severe landscape enriched on the left by a sequence of rocky spiers . This way you reach the Sagnette lakes; with a slightly downhill route, you leave the lakes and the path that descends to Oncino on the right (east), and you come into view of Lago Grande di Viso 2590 m, over which the mass of Monviso looms. Leaving the path to the Passo delle Sagnette and the normal route to Monviso on the left, the mule track runs along the eastern shore of the lake and climbs to the shelf at an altitude of 2640 m on which the Quintino Sella refuge stands; 0.45 hours.

Behind the refuge the grandiose eastern face of Monviso dominates everything, in front the view extends over the gentle landscape rounded by the Quaternary glaciations which includes the grassy slopes of the Vallone di Prá Fiorito, full of small lakes, with on the right the serrated crest of the Rocce Sbiasere, then the Vallone delle Contesse, Monte Tivoli and on the horizon the Piedmont plain.


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