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Duration
7 days
Activities
  • guided alpine walk
Accommodation
  • 6 nights in mountain refuges/gîte-hostels or mountain hotels
Meals
  • 6 Dinners
  • 6 Lunches
  • 6 Breakfasts

Price

$1390USD

 
 

Overview

Trip Code: VAG

Trip highlights


  • Trek through stunning alpine scenery high among prestigious peaks
  • Hike on the southern slopes of the Pennine Alps away from crowded trails
  • Enjoy great views of 4000m+ peaks including Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa, Matterhorn and the Grand Combin
  • Sharing your walking day with a group of like minded travellers

The Aosta Alta Via 1, also known as the High Route of the Giants, is an epic alpine traverse of the Pennine Alps, one of the highest ranges of the Alps. Located between Switzerland's Valais canton and the provinces of Piedmont and Aosta in Italy, the Pennines have around half of the Alps' 4000m+ peaks and this hike offers sweeping panoramic views of Monte Rosa, Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn and the Grand Combin, the most prestigious peaks. Running along the slopes of the Dora Baltea river and across the Aosta valley, the walk features steep ascents to high mountain passes and deep descents to the valleys below. Scenic mountain huts and alpine inns provide hearty meals and a comfortable sleep, well earned after the vigorous walking. This is a challenging walk in a relatively remote area and recommended for hikers with previous alpine experience.

Trip Grading

challenging

More info about grading system

In the early afternoon (1.30pm) you will meet your guide and group in Gressoney-la-Trinite. From Gressoney, we climb up to Alpenzu meadow and our refuge for the night. The village of Alpenzu is home to one of the oldest Walser settlements with well preserved alpine houses dating back to the 17th Century. From the village there are incredible views to Monte Rosa and the whole Gressonney valley. Tonight you are in for a treat, with the refuge serving fresh local ingredients from the farm "Paysage à manger" in Gressoney, typical of the Aosta. This may be polenta with carbonada or the typical Walser dumplings, "chnefflene" (for example). 3hrs, +300m/990ft, -150m/495ft

Meals:  D

Today we ascend the flanks of the mighty Monte Rosa before continuing across the Pinter pass (2777m/9164ft). This takes us under the Testa Grigia on the Aosta Valley-Valais border. There will likely be patches of snow, which can survive almost till the end of summer at these altitudes. We descend to reach the village of Crest and our overnight accommodation. +1050m/3465ft, -910m/3000ft

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we ascend the valley of Ayas to the charming village of St Jacques, with great views of the Bec de Nannaz (3003m). We cross the Evançon to go up the Nana valley, watched over by the Grand and Petit Tournalin. Enroute the expansive views of the Pennine Alps will leave you awe struck. +1226m/4045ft, -625m/2062ft

Meals:  B,L,D

We continue along the Alta Via 1 crossing the Nanaz pass (2773 m). Here we discover the Val Tournenche, home to the famous Breuil-Cervinia ski resort town near the top of the Aosta valley and nestled beneath the Matterhorn. Mont Rosa is just on our right. We descend to our overnight refuge on the shores of Cygne lake (2160m), a man made lake formed from a dam. +1005m/3316ft, -1160m/3828ft

Meals:  B,L,D

We hike up to the 'Fenetre d'Ersaz' then the 'Fenetre du Tzan' (2736m) and enter the valley of St Barthelemy. After discovering Luseney lake, we arrive at the foot of Becca Fontaney and Becca del Merlo near to Cuney lake where our refuge (2652m) was built on the site of a chapel dating from the 17th Century. The chapel was established next to a consecrated spring which has been the destination for pilgrims for centuries. We are likely to spot Ibex and Chamois grazing on nearby slopes. +1100m/3630ft, -865m/2855ft

Meals:  B,L,D

Another great day! With no less than three passes to cross we reach the famous Val Pelline. You may have already walked here if you’ve trekked around the Grand Combin or the Matterhorn. +509m/1680m, -1500m/4950ft

Meals:  B,L,D

From Lake Place di Moulin, we ascend in the alpine pastures of Plan vallon crossing a vast amphitheater. We then reach Lake Lago then Lake Morto, both remarkably blue! Our walk ends in the town of Bionaz around 2pm, before we return to Gressoney by local bus. +839m/2769ft/ -839m/2769ft

Meals:  B,L


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.


Inclusions

  • 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners (does not include drinks) – continental breakfasts are served and usually consist of breads, jams, coffee, tea and juices. Lunch is picnic style. Dinner will consist of 2 or 3 courses which include regional specialties
  • 6 nights accommodation in mountain refuges on a dormitory share basis.
  • Luggage transfer by mule, 1 piece maximum 7kg
  • Experienced mountain guide
  • Local bus to Gressoney on day 7

  • Travel to and from the start and end point in Gressoney
  • Drinks
  • Storage of luggage
  • Transfers
  • Items of a personal nature

Accommodation


Grading

challenging  

CHALLENGING – GRADE 5 The walking is challenging (5) grade with daily guided walks of around 5-6 hours, and maximum ascents of 1250 metres per day. Every day involves steep uphills, sharp descents and many sections of the trail which require care with loose rock on the trail. There are short stages where chains and cables are there to support hikers. If you suffer from vertigo there are parts of the trail that are quite exposed. The accent is on keeping a steady pace with time to stop and take photos (subject to weather conditions). You will need a good level of fitness and a good walking pace to participate fully in this adventure. It is considered suitable for walkers with experience in alpine terrain. If you have no alpine experience, we recommend you participate in a series of hikes of 7-8 hours with lots of uphills and downhills - this will gauge your suitability for this walk. If for any reason during the trip the guide considers, in his or her sole discretion, that your fitness or mental or physical health is likely to cause danger, distress or annoyance to others, he or she may direct you not to continue and you must follow the guide’s instructions. In this case you will not be entitled to any refund. Early in the season (June) you may encounter snow on sections of the trail which may be quite deep. At any time during summer, weather conditions may be variable and you should be prepared for all conditions including snow, ice, strong hot sun and extreme winds. Pre trip training should involve a combination of cardio vascular sessions of 45 minutes, 3 to 4 times a week, coupled with endurance hikes of up to 8 hours carrying a daypack. Our staff are happy to provide further advice on pre trip training. Important note: good quality walking boots with ankle support are a pre-requisite for your participation. Runners or shoes without ankle support are not suitable for the conditions encountered on this walk.


Departure dates


Notes

DN1
Please ensure you read the downloadable trip notes prior to booking.

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Priceper person from

$1390USD

Options & Supplements*
    *Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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