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Refuge Garelli – Limonetto

Tipologia percorso


Dislivello in salita

900 m

Dislivello in discesa

1.600 m

Tempo complessivo

8 h

In senso inverso

8.45 h

Rifugio Garelli 1990 m – Passo del Duca 1989 m – Gias dell’Ortica 1836 m – Colla Piana 2218 m – Colle di Tenda 1871 m – Limonetto 1294 m

As it has not yet been possible to equip an intermediate stopover (Capanna Morgantini on Colla Piana is a speleological shelter), the itinerary of the last section, which concludes the crossing of the Ligurian Alps to then enter into the Maritime Alps, is rather long. You will cross one of the most important karst areas of the Western Alps and the itinerary then winds for almost its whole length along the panoramic ridge that is the dividing line between Piedmont and the Nice area (Valle Roya)

From the Garelli refuge, follow the path downhill towards the walls of Marguareis which then almost flatly leads to the Laghetto del Marguareis 1928 m. From there it turns to the right and continues along the bottom of the Marguareis Valley, descending just below 1700 m, where at a gias characteristically leaning against a large erratic boulder (Gias Balmás) you take path H7 on the left. This diagonally cuts the offshoots of the Scarason Rocks and near Colle del Prel (at Colle del Prel Soprano 1925 m) it leads onto the H10 mule track which comes from Pian delle Gure. Turning left along it, you soon reach Passo del Duca 1989 m; 2.00 hours.You look out onto the Cårmene side, where you enter a military road that descends into the Càrmene basin and then reaches the grazing shelf of Gias dell’Ortica 1836 m (source) with ups and downs; 0.35 hours. Go up the karst area, keeping to the most obvious valley, taking shortcuts in the direction of Colla Piana. Finally, you take the road again on a less steep route and you reach Colla Piana 2218 m, on the French border, a crossing that has been practiced since ancient times for traffic between the opposite sides and the gateway to Saracen incursions; 1.45 hours. On the right stands the Capanna Morgantini. In case of poor visibility, from Colla Piana you can reach Colle di Tenda following the little-used ex-military road (12 km). The route of the GTA instead follows a wide mule track that connected the various barracks built towards the end of the last century. From Colla, leaving the road that goes down to the carriage road on the left, take the wide, sometimes paved mule track that descends diagonally onto the Val Roia side, first skirting the ESE side of the Testa Claudon between steep pastures and limestone rocks, to then return to the territory Italian before Colle della Boaria 2102 m, which can be reached by descending through hairpin bends. From this hill, take the mule track on the left which goes up a little, goes around the Cima del Cuni on the French side and descends with narrow hairpin bends to Colle della Perla 2083 m. Without following the carriage road, continue along the mule track which climbs up the eastern slope of Cima del Becco among alders, goes around it on the French side about 100 m below the summit, touches the two collars of heights 2187 and 2207 on the watershed, returns to the slope Italian of the Cima di Pepino and at an altitude of 2240 metres, it meets the military road that connects the Pepino and Taburda forts: follow the latter, descending in hairpin bends to a saddle (2189 m) and then walking on the watershed. After Cima Beccorosso 2214 m, and after other hairpin bends, you leave the road (which descends towards the south) and continue along the watershed line along a clear path, up to the hill at 1885 where you find the dirt road, which you follow up to the now near Colle di Tenda 1871 m; 3.00 hours. Take the mule track (ruined house) that goes down to Limonetto. With hairpin bends on rhododendron-filled slopes on the orographic right, you descend until the meadow basin of the S. Lorenzo farmhouse, and continue on flat ground to the end of the basin itself (towards the west, beautiful wide-ranging view of the upper Val Vermenagna). From here you follow a cart track called the Roman road, in some places still paved and bordered by very old dry stone walls: up to 200 years ago it was the transit route for Colle di Tenda, before the current road was built which bypassed Limonetto . It descends, enters a beech forest, makes two hairpin bends and after another stretch flows out near Limonetto 1294 m, slightly lower than the town; where there is the stopover L’Abric 1.15 hours.

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