2.450 meters over the sea level – Pontechianale – Valle Varaita - WEST side of MonViso
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“IL GIRO DEL VISO” the tour of Viso

Did anyone ever tell you that a trekking lasting more days around a cliff was developed right by the Monviso’s foot? During 1839 James David Forbes, professor in biology and natural philosophy of Edinburgh University, undertook a long journey within the Alps. Coolidge told: ”He started is walking from Marseilles climbing along the valleys of Durance e of Ubaye up to Bacellonette, crossed at the head of that valley the Col of Cula reaching Saint Veran and so Abries in Valley of Guil He did the “Tour of Monte Viso” going through many difficult paths and excursions: the “Col of Traversette, the Col of Viso, the Walk of Sagnette or the Walk of San Chiaffredo and the one of Vallanta”. Forbes in order to reach the “Valdese Valley” tracked down along the Guil until Echalp, closing the “Tour of Monte Viso” exactly in the same way thousands of French excursionists cover it nowadays.

Monviso – North-West Wall The Tour of Viso became very famous in the 70’s as “Tour du Mont Viso”: in fact the French were the ones to discover this itinerary. Perhaps for curiosity or grace to the delicious cuisine of the Italian shelters, or simply for the extraordinary beauty of the landscapes, has brought thousands of French excursionists among the Monviso. Later on lots of Italians began to visit this area as German, Dutch and Swiss, whom discover the “Tour of Viso” thanks to Great Crossing of the Alps.

Very few trekking offers such spectacular places among all faces of the mountain and in the same time dominating with vast landscapes three different valleys: Po, Varaita and Guil. The gradients are moderated and we never excessively lose quota: between 2000 meters of Pian del Re we go down to 1937 meters and with a marvelous walk climb over hills between 2655 meters of Viso Hill and 2947 of Travesette Hill. The gradients are acceptable also starting from 1590 mt of Castle, district of Pontechianale, where the tour Val Varaita begins or also at 1787 mt of the Roche Ecroulée in the natural park of Queyras. In the first day, no matter from any Valley we decide to begin with it will take half a day journey; the presence of the five shelters situated around the “gigante delle Cozie” will enable everyone to organize the further path according to their own taste.

For those who love to vary and for who departs from Pontechianale or Queyras you can use the interesting path called “sentiero del postino”: a panoramically half coast path along the wall of Punta Roma and Punta Venezia, between lake Chiaretto, and shelter Giacoletti and the walk of Traversette, which avoids to go further down Pian del Re. If this deviation is a shortcut, there are those who prefer to lengthen pointing towards the Pellice Valley. So from shelter Refuge du Mont Viso you join the Col Sellier the shelter Granero, the Jervis in the beautiful valley of Prà or also the shelter Barbara. Also Shelter Alpetto, built near the historical 1866 construction not far from Shelter Sella, supplies room facilities in order to permit the excursionists to stay for the night.

The “Hole of Viso”...

The “Hole of Viso” It also possible, to pursue the Viso Tour crossing the “Hole of Viso”, the tunnel which was created between 1475 and 1480 just under the Hill of Traversette 75 meters long, and 2 mt. high and 2.5 mt. large. The mandatory of the work was Ludovic II, who sent to the Parliament of Grenoble the official request, to create a gallery that improved to cross its lands and the Dauphine. But since the response was waited, in 1477 the Marquis decided to write to the King of France Louis XI and to Giovanni d’Aillon, governor of the Dauphine. The economic agreement was carried out between the Dauphine and the Marquis of Saluzzo. This agreement developed and facilitated the salt commerce with the use of mules. The businesses between the two sides of the Alps increased and brought great benefits to the population, linked for the first time by a tunnel; unfortunately after the goods also the army and soldiers arrived and, “the hole” achieved a strategic role. Nowadays the “hole of Viso is visited by researchers and excursionists that climb up to admire the work High Level of Engineering that links the Po and the French Guil Valley ever since 5 centuries.


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RifugioVallanta.it – Valle Varaita CN - Manager: Guida Alpina Patrile Livio - Fr. Furest, 12 – 12020 Pontechianale CN - Tel. / Fax of Shelter: 0175 95.60.25 – Home: 0175 95.01.61 - Tax code: PTR LNT 43M11 L804U – VAT: 00941110041 - Graphic and realization: by Paoletti Computers – Busca, Caraglio, Centallo (CN)