Aosta Valley Trek – Italy

Trip Type: Trekking
Region: Aosta Valley - France & Italy
Grade: Moderate
Duration: 5-8 Days
Max Altitude: 2933m
Best Season: June - September
Trip Begins: Chamonix / Ends: Chamonix
Batch Dates: 01/06/2023 - 03/06/2023
15/06/2023 - 17/06/2023
Trip Cost

This is a custom departure tour and so please write to us for prices and more info on this trek.

The Aosta Valley is the smallest region in Italy – located to its north-west, it borders France and Switzerland.

Every turn on this beautiful trail reveals a majestic summit in this mountainous territory and in particular some of the highest peaks in the Alps. We see peaks such as the Matterhorn, Mont-Rose, Gran Paradiso, and the majestic Mont-Blanc. In fact, its wonderful natural environment is a major asset that attracts visitors from all over the world by its geographic and cultural characteristics.

We start the trip at Chamonix in south-eastern France. Situated to the north of Mont Blanc, and near the massive peaks of the Aiguilles Rouges and most notably the Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix is one of the oldest ski resorts in France. It was the site of the first Winter Olympics in 1924.

We make our way to Italy and discover Valle d’Aosta, by hiking through a selection of the most beautiful hikes in the Mont Avic Natural Park and the unspoiled Ruitor massif.  Through the course of the trip, we also appreciate the warm Valdotain welcome as well as the regional gastronomical delights.

Itinerary
DAY 1
Val d'Ayas Distance: 810m Duration: 1 day

Departure from Chamonix for a two hour transfer to Val d’Ayas. Our hike begins above Brusson, a route that offers a striking view of the lower Aosta Valley. After an hour of walking in the forest, we reach the Chamen valley and its eponymous lake. A final climb leads us to a very aesthetic pass under the Pointe de Valnira. We descend to the Arp refuge and find our vehicle. A one hour transfer takes us to Champ de Praz, we spend the night at the Hotel du Parc du Mont Avic.

DAY 2
Mount Barbeston Distance: 1260m Duration: 2 day

Our path starts from the hotel to make a loop at the north end of the Parc du Mont Avic. We gently leave the hamlet before starting a steady and sustained climb in the dense forests that smell of pine essence! After the hamlet of Arp, an increasingly marked rump will lead us to a beautiful easy ridge walk to the summit of Mont Barbeston (2482m).

Our efforts are rewarded because the panorama is splendid. We will descend towards the “Alpage des Anglais” before returning to the hamlet of La Veula and spend a second night in our Hotel.

DAY 2
Barbustel Refuge Distance: 1000m Duration: 3 day

We leave the hotel for a two-day trek in the heart of the Mont Avic Natural Park. It is therefore with a slightly heavier bag that we progress in the Pessey pine forest which then brings us along a torrent, weir of Leser lake (2011m). The landscape opens onto the high alpine pastures and larch forests to the Barbustel refuge (2200m), located in a natural setting between lakes and “whale back”! We can consider an additional little getaway, without backpacks, in the nearby surroundings in order to enjoy more of this beautiful place. We will sleep at the shelter tonight. No access to luggage.

DAY 3
Pointe de Médzove Distance: 815m Duration: 4 day

After a good night aloft, we leave early, a big and beautiful day awaits us. Our steps will lead us from lake to lake, each more extraordinary than the other. It is in this sublimely austere atmosphere that we will reach the tip of Medzove (2845m), the culmination of our day. Option to push forward to Mont Iverta (2933m). The view is breathtaking on the Trevista which dominates the Val Clavalité, incredibly wild and preserved. Now, a long and beautiful descent under the wall of Mont Avic awaits us, we will then take the path of the miners to reach the lower valley. A 1.5 hour transfer by minibus takes us to the hamlet of La Salle in the Aosta Valley. We will sleep at the hotel tonight.

DAY 4
Pointe de la Croix - Lac d'Arpy Distance: 500m Duration: 5 day

A transfer by minibus takes us to the Col de San Carlo (1971m) in a remarkable Mélézin. This enchanting route will lead us without great difficulty towards the Col de la Croix, and some additional efforts will allow us to reach the military remains of the summit stop, the Cross (2476m). A strategic point with an impregnable fort, our summit offers a striking view of the sunny slopes of the Mont-Blanc massif, the upper Aosta valley and the famous passage of the Petit St Bernard pass, which makes this historic and geographical link between the Tarentaise in Savoie and the Aosta Valley.

On the way back, we can take a foot bath in the splendid Arpy lake. Finally, a 10-minute transfer takes us to the village of La Thuile. We will sleep at the hotel.

DAY 5
Les Eaux du Ruitor Distance: 1000m Duration: 6 day

We start our day in the hamlet of La Joux. The path runs along a fast torrent, the cold waters fall in multiple waterfalls offering a beautiful spectacle. The last climb takes us in front of the imposing Ruitor glacier, and its main summit, the Testa del Ruitor. We will make a first break at the Deffeyes refuge, then we will make our way to a lake, later the mountain pastures and finally the last laces along the torrent will gently bring us back to the hamlet of La Joux. We find the minibus again, and it takes 1 hour to reach Chamonix at the end of the afternoon. Trip Ends.

Inclusions
  • Organization and supervision by a Mountain Guide
  • Half-board in a hotel, refuge and inn
  • Picnics
  • Ski lifts
  • Transfers with our minibuses from Chamonix and during the hike
  • Luggage transport (maximum 15kg)
Exclusions
  • All expenses of personal nature like drinks, tips, telephone calls, mineral water etc.
  • Any personal gear
  • Accommodation and food in Chamonix
  • Medical and Repatriation insurance (compulsory)
Things You Need To Get

Pack:
– Backpack 40 – 50 Lts with rain cover.This you will need in case you choose to offload your larger pack onto a horse/porter
– Day Pack 15 – 20 lts – You will use this to carry your camera, water bottle, Trail layers, trail food etc.
Footwear:
-Trekking Shoes: Please do not wear sports shoes as on most treks as we go higher it gets harder to use the sports shoes. We recommend shoes with a good hard sole and also ankle support preferable water proof. While we do not subscribe to any particular brand you can try the Quechua forclaz 100, 500 or 600.
Socks:
– 2 -3 pairs of cotton socks.
– 2 pairs of woolen socks ( these are ideal to sleep in and best to use when in camp. We do not recommend them while trekking).
Clothing:
– Pants: 3 pairs (including the ones you wear) – Ideal are the quick dry light weight synthetic pants. Alternatively track pants are also comfortable to trek in. We do not recommend you get Denims or Jeans as they get hard to trek in.
– Tshirts 3 pairs (including the ones you are wearing) – Preferable cotton t-shirts that are full sleeves. You can also choose to get T-shirts with collars, they offer extra protection for the neck from sun burns.
– Synthetic Fleece Jacket – 1 pair.
– Wind proof/ Water proof Jacket – 1 pair.
– Down filled / Hollow fiber fill insulated Jacket – 1 -pair ( optional – get this if you want to stay extra warm at camps.)
– Thermal liners – 1 pair upper and lower (optional).
Accessories:
– Raincoat/ Poncho – what ever you get make sure it is something that will cover your daypack and camera too.
– Warm Beanie – make sure it is something that covers your ears. You can also use buffs, scarfs etc in addition to your beanie.
– Gloves – Lightweight synthetic gloves made of Fleece or you can also use woollen gloves.
– Sun Cap- 1 no
– Sun Glasses with good UV protection.
Other necessary things that we recommend you get:
– Toiletries – Sunscreen SPF 40+, Moisturizer, Lip balm, Soap, Toilet paper.
– Repair Kit (needle and thread).
– Headlamp/ Torch.
– Camera.
– Water Bottle- Ideally keep two bottle 1 litre each.
– Trekking Pole – Optional.
– Plastic Packing covers. (Please pack all your gear in waterproof plastic bags so that your clothes etc do not get wet while on horses or porters. Also carry extra plastic bags in case you need to pack wet clothes.)

Overview
+-

The Aosta Valley is the smallest region in Italy – located to its north-west, it borders France and Switzerland.

Every turn on this beautiful trail reveals a majestic summit in this mountainous territory and in particular some of the highest peaks in the Alps. We see peaks such as the Matterhorn, Mont-Rose, Gran Paradiso, and the majestic Mont-Blanc. In fact, its wonderful natural environment is a major asset that attracts visitors from all over the world by its geographic and cultural characteristics.

We start the trip at Chamonix in south-eastern France. Situated to the north of Mont Blanc, and near the massive peaks of the Aiguilles Rouges and most notably the Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix is one of the oldest ski resorts in France. It was the site of the first Winter Olympics in 1924.

We make our way to Italy and discover Valle d’Aosta, by hiking through a selection of the most beautiful hikes in the Mont Avic Natural Park and the unspoiled Ruitor massif.  Through the course of the trip, we also appreciate the warm Valdotain welcome as well as the regional gastronomical delights.

Itinerary
+-
DAY 1
Val d'Ayas Distance: 810m Duration: 1 day

Departure from Chamonix for a two hour transfer to Val d’Ayas. Our hike begins above Brusson, a route that offers a striking view of the lower Aosta Valley. After an hour of walking in the forest, we reach the Chamen valley and its eponymous lake. A final climb leads us to a very aesthetic pass under the Pointe de Valnira. We descend to the Arp refuge and find our vehicle. A one hour transfer takes us to Champ de Praz, we spend the night at the Hotel du Parc du Mont Avic.

DAY 2
Mount Barbeston Distance: 1260m Duration: 2 day

Our path starts from the hotel to make a loop at the north end of the Parc du Mont Avic. We gently leave the hamlet before starting a steady and sustained climb in the dense forests that smell of pine essence! After the hamlet of Arp, an increasingly marked rump will lead us to a beautiful easy ridge walk to the summit of Mont Barbeston (2482m).

Our efforts are rewarded because the panorama is splendid. We will descend towards the “Alpage des Anglais” before returning to the hamlet of La Veula and spend a second night in our Hotel.

DAY 2
Barbustel Refuge Distance: 1000m Duration: 3 day

We leave the hotel for a two-day trek in the heart of the Mont Avic Natural Park. It is therefore with a slightly heavier bag that we progress in the Pessey pine forest which then brings us along a torrent, weir of Leser lake (2011m). The landscape opens onto the high alpine pastures and larch forests to the Barbustel refuge (2200m), located in a natural setting between lakes and “whale back”! We can consider an additional little getaway, without backpacks, in the nearby surroundings in order to enjoy more of this beautiful place. We will sleep at the shelter tonight. No access to luggage.

DAY 3
Pointe de Médzove Distance: 815m Duration: 4 day

After a good night aloft, we leave early, a big and beautiful day awaits us. Our steps will lead us from lake to lake, each more extraordinary than the other. It is in this sublimely austere atmosphere that we will reach the tip of Medzove (2845m), the culmination of our day. Option to push forward to Mont Iverta (2933m). The view is breathtaking on the Trevista which dominates the Val Clavalité, incredibly wild and preserved. Now, a long and beautiful descent under the wall of Mont Avic awaits us, we will then take the path of the miners to reach the lower valley. A 1.5 hour transfer by minibus takes us to the hamlet of La Salle in the Aosta Valley. We will sleep at the hotel tonight.

DAY 4
Pointe de la Croix - Lac d'Arpy Distance: 500m Duration: 5 day

A transfer by minibus takes us to the Col de San Carlo (1971m) in a remarkable Mélézin. This enchanting route will lead us without great difficulty towards the Col de la Croix, and some additional efforts will allow us to reach the military remains of the summit stop, the Cross (2476m). A strategic point with an impregnable fort, our summit offers a striking view of the sunny slopes of the Mont-Blanc massif, the upper Aosta valley and the famous passage of the Petit St Bernard pass, which makes this historic and geographical link between the Tarentaise in Savoie and the Aosta Valley.

On the way back, we can take a foot bath in the splendid Arpy lake. Finally, a 10-minute transfer takes us to the village of La Thuile. We will sleep at the hotel.

DAY 5
Les Eaux du Ruitor Distance: 1000m Duration: 6 day

We start our day in the hamlet of La Joux. The path runs along a fast torrent, the cold waters fall in multiple waterfalls offering a beautiful spectacle. The last climb takes us in front of the imposing Ruitor glacier, and its main summit, the Testa del Ruitor. We will make a first break at the Deffeyes refuge, then we will make our way to a lake, later the mountain pastures and finally the last laces along the torrent will gently bring us back to the hamlet of La Joux. We find the minibus again, and it takes 1 hour to reach Chamonix at the end of the afternoon. Trip Ends.

Inclusions/ Exclusions
+-
Inclusions
  • Organization and supervision by a Mountain Guide
  • Half-board in a hotel, refuge and inn
  • Picnics
  • Ski lifts
  • Transfers with our minibuses from Chamonix and during the hike
  • Luggage transport (maximum 15kg)
Exclusions
  • All expenses of personal nature like drinks, tips, telephone calls, mineral water etc.
  • Any personal gear
  • Accommodation and food in Chamonix
  • Medical and Repatriation insurance (compulsory)
Things You Need To Get
+-

Pack:
– Backpack 40 – 50 Lts with rain cover.This you will need in case you choose to offload your larger pack onto a horse/porter
– Day Pack 15 – 20 lts – You will use this to carry your camera, water bottle, Trail layers, trail food etc.
Footwear:
-Trekking Shoes: Please do not wear sports shoes as on most treks as we go higher it gets harder to use the sports shoes. We recommend shoes with a good hard sole and also ankle support preferable water proof. While we do not subscribe to any particular brand you can try the Quechua forclaz 100, 500 or 600.
Socks:
– 2 -3 pairs of cotton socks.
– 2 pairs of woolen socks ( these are ideal to sleep in and best to use when in camp. We do not recommend them while trekking).
Clothing:
– Pants: 3 pairs (including the ones you wear) – Ideal are the quick dry light weight synthetic pants. Alternatively track pants are also comfortable to trek in. We do not recommend you get Denims or Jeans as they get hard to trek in.
– Tshirts 3 pairs (including the ones you are wearing) – Preferable cotton t-shirts that are full sleeves. You can also choose to get T-shirts with collars, they offer extra protection for the neck from sun burns.
– Synthetic Fleece Jacket – 1 pair.
– Wind proof/ Water proof Jacket – 1 pair.
– Down filled / Hollow fiber fill insulated Jacket – 1 -pair ( optional – get this if you want to stay extra warm at camps.)
– Thermal liners – 1 pair upper and lower (optional).
Accessories:
– Raincoat/ Poncho – what ever you get make sure it is something that will cover your daypack and camera too.
– Warm Beanie – make sure it is something that covers your ears. You can also use buffs, scarfs etc in addition to your beanie.
– Gloves – Lightweight synthetic gloves made of Fleece or you can also use woollen gloves.
– Sun Cap- 1 no
– Sun Glasses with good UV protection.
Other necessary things that we recommend you get:
– Toiletries – Sunscreen SPF 40+, Moisturizer, Lip balm, Soap, Toilet paper.
– Repair Kit (needle and thread).
– Headlamp/ Torch.
– Camera.
– Water Bottle- Ideally keep two bottle 1 litre each.
– Trekking Pole – Optional.
– Plastic Packing covers. (Please pack all your gear in waterproof plastic bags so that your clothes etc do not get wet while on horses or porters. Also carry extra plastic bags in case you need to pack wet clothes.)

Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of equipment will be provided?
+-

On treks, the only equipment provided, other than tents, will be sleeping bags and carry mats. All our sleeping bags are -10 degree C comfort rated and the carry mats are good quality, thermo foam mattresses. On mountaineering courses and expeditions, we will provide all technical climbing gear - high altitude tents, ice axes, crampons, gaiters, carabiners, jumars, descenders, pulleys, harnesses etc. However, if you have your own personal gear that you wish to use, you are most welcome to do so. On Himalayan Skiing Courses, all ski gear will be provided - skis, ski shoes and ski poles.

What kind of food will be served?
+-

Whether treks or Himalayan safaris, if we are camping, the food will be nutritional, vegetarian fare. However, there is no limit to the cuisine - Chinese, North Indian, Continental, South Indian, Tibetian, Italian you get it all. On Himalayan safaris, where we will be staying in guesthouses, however, food is not included.

How many people will accompany us on treks?
+-

In most cases, this depends on the group size. However, for a group of 4-5 people, there will be a trip leader / guide, a cook, a kitchen helper and a horseman / porters.

How difficult are the treks?
+-

Most of our treks are graded "moderately challenging", which means they are suited for both veterans and first-timers. However, you cannot discount the altitude difference between where you come from and the Himalayas. Weather conditions - snowfall, heavy rain etc - also could make the trails more strenuous than otherwise.