Western Central Valleys
Western Central Valleys
Page Type: Area/Range
Aosta Valley Courmayeur Pré St. Didier Morgex La Salle Avise Arvier St. Nicolas St. Pierre Sarre Aosta Municipalities, Italy, Europe
45.81392°N / 7.06137°E
Western Central Valleys
Hiking, Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing, Toprope, Bouldering, Ice Climbing, Aid Climbing, Big Wall, Mixed, Scrambling, Via Ferrata, Canyoneering, Skiing
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
10912 ft / 3326 m
Created/Edited: May 17, 2015 / May 20, 2015
Object ID: 939514
Page Score: 79.78%
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Western Pennine Overview
Surely this area than the North Dora Baltea River and towards the West in respect of Town of Aosta
, that from the Mont de la Saxe-Val Sapin (Courmayeur, Villair Hamlet) reaches the furthest Eastward mountain above the same city, and offers many opportunities for easy excursions and even to pleasant trips with Snowshoes also by Ski-Mountaineering. Exposure to the South of the small valleys, which follow one another at right angles in a regular manner, promotes transformation in advance of the snow with the consequent possibility of early excursions compared to other areas. So "outputs"
allow easier not only the path to the bottom of the same vallons, but also on the uphill side slopes and, above all, the achievement of several top where the location is facing South (Mont de la Saxe, Testa Bernarda, Grande Rochère, Aiguilles de Malatrà and d'Artanavaz, Testa (Head) Serena and Testa of Frà, Court de Bard, Fetita two Summits, Aouillette, Pointe Leissé, Mounts Rosso and Vertosan, Becca France, La Tsa, Summits of Met(z) and Chaligne Cross). Even the tracks at lower altitudes, however, allow nice trips, easy walks, always with the greatest exposure to the sun, which is not a minor thing.
Val Sapin at the beginning of the other West small Valleys, by Emilio Bertona.
Deserving the achievement of certain pastures and visiting many villages overlying the "Salassians Road" with his street that cuts halfway up the hill from Aosta Town to Saint Pierre Municipality. An area frequented almost exclusively by local Mountaineers and until the end of the Sixties used for Hiking, while the Ski-Mountaineering had turned to a few places that were almost always repeated with an identical script (Aiguille d'Artanavaz, Testa Serena, Punta Leissé and Mont Fallère). The publication of C.A.I./T.C.I. in 1971 with "Pennine Alps Volume I°"
, by Gino Buscaini, and some other later work and in its wake has certainly expanded the the scope of knowledge across this vast zone. It has experienced a significant boost in acquaintances especially for those mountains explored in the middle and at the end of 1800 and then dropped almost completely abandoned, partly because of the poor quality of the rock, which does not offer great prospects for climbing. But especially towards the Ski-Mountaineering (and also for the Snowshoeing) where the sphere of action is greatly expanded. A curiosity in addition, with a view by the New Thouraz, to the remains of the huge landslide that at six o'clock in the morning of July 6th, 1564 buried the old Village of Tôra also Tôrah and today called Thouraz with all its 600 inhabitants. There are many peaks most "internal"
and little known of the Pennines admirable from these locations (Grand Rochère, Aiguille Malatrà and Artanavaz, Great Creton and nearby Creton of Midi, Testa Serena, Monte Rosso and Vertosan, Fallère, Mont d'Arsy, La Tsa etc.); reaching the peaks mentioned prior the view stretches then "in the round" to 360° on the whole Aosta Valley.
Grande Rochère (3326m), the Vertex of the whole Western Area, by emilius.
Sicuramente quest'area Settentrionale rispetto alla Dora Baltea ed a Ovest della Città di Aosta, che dal Mont de la Saxe-Val Sapin (Courmayeur-Villair) raggiunge verso Oriente le estreme propaggini montuose sopra la medesima, offre numerose e pacevoli opportunità per facili escursioni nonché gite con le Racchette da neve. L'esposizione a Mezzogiorno dei valloni, succedentisi perpendicolarmente in modo regolare, favorisce la trasformazione in anticipo della neve con la conseguente possibilità d'effettuare precocemente l'escursioni rispetto ad altre zone. Quindi le "uscite"
permettono più agevolmente non solo il percorso del fondo dei medesimi valloni, bensì anche la salita sui pendii laterali e, soprattutto, il raggiungimento di diverse Sommità laddove il percorso é rivolto a Mezzogiorno (Mont de la Saxe, Testa Bernarda, Grande Rochère, Aiguilles de Malatrà e d'Artanavaz, Teste Serena e dei Frà, Court de Bard, Punta Fetita, Aouillette, Punta Leissé, Becca France, Punte di Met e Chaligne). Anche i tracciati alle altitudini inferiori comunque permettono belle gite e facili passeggiate, sempre con somma esposizione al sole, che non é cosa di poco conto. Meritevole il raggiungimento di alcuni alpeggi e la visita di molti villaggi sopastanti la "Via dei Salassi"
con la sua strada che taglia a mezza costa la collina d'Aosta insino a Saint Pierre. Una zona frequentata quasi esclusivamente dai locali e fino alla fine degli Anni Sessanta utilizzata per l'Escursionismo, mentre lo Sci-Alpinismo era rivolto a ristrette mete quasi sempre ripetute con identico copione (Aiguille d'Artanavaz, Testa di Serena, Punta Leissé e Mont Fallère). La pubblicazione del C.A.I./T.C.I. nel 1971 con "Alpi Pennine Volume I°"
ad opera di Gino Buscaini e qualche altra opera successiva e sulla stessa scia ha sicuramente ampliato l'insieme di conoscenze su tutta questa vasta area. Si é conosciuto un'impulso notevole nelle frequentazioni soprattutto per quelle montagne esplorate nel 1800 e poi cadute in quasi completo abbandono, anche a causa della cattiva qualità della roccia, tale da non offrire grandi prospettive d'arrampicata. Ma soprattutto nei confronti dello Sci-Alpinismo (ed anche per le Racchette da neve), ove la sfera di azione s'é notevolmente ampliata. Una curiosità inoltre, con vista dalla Nuova Thouraz, dei resti dell'immane frana che alle ore sei mattutine del 6 Luglio 1564 seppellì il vecchio Villaggio di Thôra con tutti i suoi 600 abitanti. Molte sono le cime "interne"
e misconosciute delle Alpi Pennine ammirabili da queste località (Grande Rochère, Aiguilles di Malatrà e d'Artanavaz, Gran Creton e Creton de Midi, Testa di Serena, Monte Rosso, Fallère, Mont d'Arsy, La Tsa ecc.). Raggiungendo le cime citate prima donde la vista spazia poi "a tutto tondo" su tutta la Valle.
Verrogne Chiusella Vallons below M. Fallère at the end of West Valleys, by emilius.
Getting ThereWestern Getting There
- From TORINO, MILANO, etc: Motorway A5. Exit at IVREA or Quincinetto (PIEDMONT)
From IVREA Town: in West towards Pont Saint Martin, Donnas, Bard, Champdepraz, Pontey, Fénis, Saint Marcel, Grand Brissogne, Pollein, Charvensod, Gressan, Jovençan, Aymavilles, to Villeneuve, Arvier, Avise, Morgex and to Pré Saint Didier, Courmayeur Municipalities (Western side).
From Courmayeur Resort: in East to Morgex, La Salle, Saint Pierre, Sarre, Aosta Municipalities.
From Courmayeur-Villair Dessus (1282m), with Municipal Road and through dirt road to fork 1470 metres and path to Refuge Bertone in Val Sapin.
From La Salle 1001m), with Regional Road, towards Challancin (1610m), Cheverel, Morges (1829m), Planaval Hamlets (1750m); from this, through farms dirt road in North-northeast, passing Maison Blanche Pasture, towards the Rantin (2333m) and Bonalé (2340m) Alpages, in Upper Planaval small Valley.
From La Salle, with Regional Road, towards Challancin Village, Ponteilles (1741m), Arpilles (1862m) Pastures to Bard Pass (2178m) in Arpilles Conca.
From Saint Pierre-Pommier (783m) towards Champretavy, Rumiod, alternative just after Persod (1351m), Ravoise, Chaillod, Clavel, Cerlogne (1580m) and Vens small Villages (1750m), with Regional Road in West-northwest. From this last to Joux Saddle (1930m); through short, always by dirt road, descent to Vertosan small Valley
From Saint Pierre-Château Sarriod de la Tour, Rumiod, Petit and Grand Sarriod (1444/5m), Gerbore, Vetan Dessous (1670m) and Dessus (1737m), with Regional Road to Vetan Basin. From this, through dirt road, towards Genevrine Pasture, Chatalanez, Toules, Grand Arpilles Alps to Chaz Creuse small Basin (2398m).
From Sarre (657m), with Regional Road, towards Plèod, Vert Dessous and Dessus, Vareille, Caillod/Ville sur Sarre/Remondet, Moulin/la Cort, forks 1225, 1301 metres, Salet, Chavalançon (1426m) small Villages to Thouraz Dessous and Dessus Hamlets (1652m); from the last to Closella and Met small Valleys.
From Aosta North Town with Main Route of From Aosta City towards the Great Saint Bernard Valley to alternative nearby Grand Signayes Hamlet (737m); through the deviation, in asphalt, to Arpuilles (1010m), Excenex (1046m) Fractions. From these by farm dirt roads or various paths, numbered or not, to Tsa de Metz or "Les Arpes Vieilles" (1419m), below Checotteyes (1715m) Alp on Arpilles small Valley. From this point to Met Hill, Met Summit and Croix de Chaligne.
- From FRANCE: through the Mont Blanc Tunnel to Entrèves-crossroads to Vény/Ferret Valleys - Mountain Guides of Courmayeur - La Saxe Rock Gym - Courmayeur. By Little Saint Bernard Pass, closed since November until half May to La Thuile Valley - Pré Saint Didier - Courmayeur.
It is not necessary to take Motorway A5: you can drive on State Road n° 26, in the direction of AOSTA - IVREA - TURIN.
- Aeroporto Internazionale "Corrado Gex" Saint Christophe (Aosta)
All Western Central Valleys by Baltea to the North & some advice
To make contact and knowledge with this large area are enough half a dozen Trips.
From the table here underexposed it can extrapolate what you want, but I'll try to give advice starting from the West (Courmayeur Common) to arrive at the gates of the City of Aosta. We begin with a Tour in Val Sapin, which brings us to the eponymous hill with great views of the Grandes Jorasses in the West and Grande Rochère on the opposite side, while to the North fanning the side secondaries valleys of the Val Ferret. The Aiguille of Artanavaz (3071m)
is the Summit of the next valley, but not the highest point that is reached by the Grande Rochère (3326m)
, beautiful not only hard rock Summit. The first offers a nice trip Ski-Mountaineering, an excursion on the second rock route the inside of a wide scree couloir; to vary, but always starting from Planavalle Westward, a nice long walk through the Valley of Liconi until, depending on your willingness, the homonyms Lake (2655m)
, Pass and Summit. On the opposite side you can reach the Colle and the Testa (Head) of Serena, while in the East, but from more below or by the Village of Challancin (1610m)
you can make a nice excursion with Snowshoeing at the Court de Bard and Skiing towards the two Tips of Fetita (Important Remark:
for this last attention to descent to the West where there have been various misfortunes cause avalanche, including one still in this winter). The next Vallon or Vertosan is a variation on the much more extensive or Basin Vetan: abandoned in the East this last at 1600 metres
after the junction Saint Nicolas and just before the Village Chaillod (1218m)
, is reached to Cerlogne Hamlet (1580m)
under the Joux Saddle(1930m)
with its artificial little lake and the true gateway to the long valley, that ends at Col Citrin (2484m)
. We recommend a trip to the Lakes of Dzioule (2524m)
to the North-northwest, while to the East and almost to the entrance of the valley you can go to the Lake Leissé or Leysser (2418m)
. But also a nice trip with Snowshoeing to the Alps of Or de Breuil, Jovençan and Tronchey (1954m)
is more than enough to make contact with this valley. But continuing toward the Northeast with the Regional Road and passing through the Villages of Persod, Grand Sarriod, Gerbore, you reach Vetan Dessous and Dessus (1770m)
at the entrance of basin with the same name and at the foot of Punta Leissé (2771m)
. This offers a nice of Ski-mountaineering ascent, so fashionable to be included in the World Circuit of this sport. This wide zone opens like a big leaf, and has an easy hike to the Northwest towards Alpe Chaz Creuse or Tsecreusa (2398m)
and the overlying Punta Aouillette or Ollietta (2616m)
, right (East) on the other hand gives the opportunity entering the adjacent Valley of Verrogne with two choices: a)-
with a lower path heading to the Alp Loé (1986m)
and to the Becca France (2312m)
With an altitude of more than 2206 metres
a dirt road heading towards the Alp Les Crottes (2385m)
at the Lac des Grenouilles. From there to the various possibilities of Punta Paletta, the Monte Rosso (2940m)
, the Mont Vertosan and Colle Fenetre, the Lake (Dead; 2634m
) and equipped South-southwest Ridge of Mont Fallère. But even the small saddle 2240 metres around
at its base allows you to pass in the Valley of Clusella and then to Lake Clapin 2617 metres
to the Normal Route of Fallère (widely used as an input port for a trip Ski-Mountaineering) or his Lake. Or, further South, with the saddle 2251 metres
towards Tsa de la Comba pasture or, wanting to be always on the watershed, yet to the Becca France. Give you some suggestions: the Aouillette or Lake Morto Hiking, the Punta Leissé and Monte Rosso by Skiing and Becca France with Snowshoeing. But there is a more and more direct way to enter the Val Clusella(z) and is to go up from Sarre with the Regional Road until you cross on that of the "Salassians"
at Ville sur Sarre Hamlet ("Hotel des Salasses"; 1212m
), from which a Chavalançon Village and Thouraz (1212m). From here a private road that immediately splits: 1) -
one goes to the North towards the Val Clusella; the second 2) -
proceeds to the East towards the Alps of Met or Metz and Condemines. Let Lake Fallère or Mont Fallère for the first and Punta of Met followed by Chaligne for the second, now classic and traditional trips for Hikers of Sarre Aosta but also for those of Gignod, but now entering into the Valley of Gran San Bernardo.
VALLEYS & small Valleys
In order to deploy clockwise from Courmayeur-Val Sapin to East above Dora Baltea Central Valley
In Courmayeur, Pré saint Didier, Morgex, La Salle, Avise, Saint Nicolas, Arvier, Saint Pierre, Sarre Municipalities & Aosta Town
& surroundings from North to South
Val Sapin: from Courmayeur to Villair Dessus Fraction (signal no transit); through the path n° 42 to Refuge Bertone, at the beginning of Mount de la Saxe. In descent, to Northwest, with path n° 3/TMB/Haute Route number 1 in Northwest to Ferret Valley
, lower part nearby Planpincieux.
Liconi small Valley:
from La Salle Municipality to Planavalle (1760m; signal no transit) with Regional Road; from this to Southwest and path n° 20/21 to Piginière Alp. After with Northwest to entrance of Chambave Comba, near Chambave Alp (1880m); crossing to Weast reach Licony Alp (1878m; Madonna de Lourdes). Along Licony Torrent, with path n° 4, to Lake (2555m) and Hill (2674m). In descent, with path n° 44, to Val Sapin
Chambave-Battaglione Aosta Pass small Valley:
from Chambave Alp, with path n° 20 between two torrents, to Grand Plan Alp (2187m) and through walloon floor to Btg. Aosta Pass; descent in Northwest with traces-path n° 29 towards Armina(z) small Valley
to Ferret Middle Valley
Grande Rochère (3326m) Summit, by emilius.
Planavalle-Grande Rochère small Valley: from Planavalle to Eculé Pasture (1886m) and fork 2083 metres with unnumbered path along Planaval Torrent; from this in Northwest, without path on moraine, to Grand-Eau Torrent and in West to Grande Rochère (3326m), West Slopes with traces.
Bonalex-Artanavaz small Valley:
from Planavalle in North-northeast to Maison Blanche Pasture (1871m), Rantin Alpages (2333m), through the path n° 6/7 concomitant with the steep dirt road; after with path n° 7 to Bonalex Pasture (2340m) and with unnumbered path and traces in moraine to Lake (2782m). In North, through sparce trace into the meadows and moraines or snowfields towards the Aiguille of Artanavaz (3071m; ski-mountaineering). In Northeast Grand Creton (3071m), by easy rocks on South Face or on short but steep Northwest Crest. From Bonalé, in West, Pass (2925m), through traces on moraine, and Aiguille (3201m) by South-southeast Crest with an steep but easy rock (a passage of II°-).
Serena Southern small Valley:
from fork before Rantin Alp, through the good path n° 6, passing immediately below the Serena Loch, turning in North-northeast towards the wide Serena Hill (2546m; classic ski-mountaineering), with possibility of a descent in Gran San Bernardo Valley.
More Western small Valleys from Testa di Serena, by Antonio.
Ors-Pisserio small Valley: from fork before Rantin Alp in South with path n° 3A towards Tramail (Hugh Alpage) des Ors (2390m), crossing Pisserio Torrent, Felita or Fetita Hill (2557m). East descent to Jovençan in Vertosan Valley
or traverse with path n° 3/2 on South Crest to Borromein and Bard Hills (2176m), between this and Vertosan Valley. Downhill possibilities of descent to Challancin (West) or to Joux Saddle over Vens Hamlet.
Court de Bard Basin:
La Salle to Challancin Village (1610m; signal no transit near a mini parking) through Regional Road. In Northeast with path n° 2/2A to Ponteilles Alp and alternative 1741 metres; from this point in Southeast with path n° 2 to Arpilles Pastures (1802m; fountain) and in East to Court de Bard Hill. From this 1)-
in South to Mount Court de Bard (2262m; beautiful by snowshoe); 2)-
in North to Felita two Summits (2623m).
Vertosan small Valley:
from S.S. n° 26, near Saint Pierre Commune, to Vetan Hamlet with Regional Road; before go left to Vens (1734m) through a deviation to Vertosan Vallon up to the Joux Saddle (1934; signal no transit); continue on dirt farm road with a brief descent into walloon reaching Zette Montagna (1877m), Or de Breuil (1850m) and Jovençan (1867m) Alps. After with various paths to: 1)-
in Northwest Felita Hill; 2)-
in North-northwest Ziule Lake (2524m), path n° 11. 3)-
In North Citrin Hill (2605m), path n° 10; 4)-
in Northeast Vertosan Pass (2689m), path n° 20.
with previous route to Vetan small Resort (1671m; various signals no transit); from this in Northwest through farm dirt road to Thoules (1919m), Grand Arpilles (2120m) Pastures and in North-northeast to ancient Le Crotte Alp (2392m) in Verrogne deep valley
. Also from Grand Arpilles in West to Chaz Creuse Alp (2330m), below Aouillette (2618m)/Leissé (2771m) Comba (various Hiking Tour; ski-mountaineering).
Towards Monte Rosso of Vertosan (2943m), by emilius.
Verrogne-Mounts Rosso-Vertosan-Fallère small Valleys and the wide Vetan Basin: from Aosta Town or from Sarre Commune, through, in asphalt, "Salassians Road"
to Ville sur Sarre (1212m), Bellun (1382m), Homenè (1448m), Verrogne (1582m) Hamlets; from this last, with path, in North to Montagna Vergioan (2106m) and Le Crotte Alp. From this point, with various paths, excursions to Leyssé, Paletta (2810m), Rosso (2943m), Vertosan (2822m) Fallère (3061m) Mounts and Passes of Paletta (2707m), Southern Vertosan (2770m), Finestra (2729m). Moreover beautiful excursions towards the Lake Morto (Dead; 2638m) and Rane (Frogs; (2367m), through enough steep trails under West Face Mont Fallère.
Clusella-Fallère small Valley:
from Ville sur Sarre through Municipal Road in asphalt to Touraz (1652m; signal no transit; in foreground the remains of enourmous landslide from Becca France of July 06th, 1564, with 600 deads, all the inhabitants of ancient Thora). Through farm dirt road to Morgnoz (2052m), Frumière (2062m), Chaz de Morgnoz (2271m) Pastures. Easy excursions to Becca France (2312m), Lake Fallère (2415m) and Mount (3061m; equipped route), Hill 2674 metres, Mount d'Arsy (2827m), Croix de Chaligne (2608m), Met(z) Hill (2485m) and Point (2553m), paths.
Clou-Met(z)-Chaligne small Valleys:
from Touraz new Hamlet (; Horses Ranch; no transit signal immediately after) in East-northeast through private dirt farms road concomitant with the path n° 6 towards Metz Bionaz (1731m), Vignon (1789m), Condemine de Metz (1874m) Pastures and Metz Alp (2261m), nearby Labe Torrent. From Alpage always with the trail n° 6 towards Met Hill, between Croix de Chaligne and Met Summit.
Arpilles small Valley:
from Aosta North Town with Main Route of Great Saint Bernard Valley
to alternative nearby Grand Signayes Hamlet (737m); through the deviation, in asphalt, to Arpuilles (1010m), Excenex (1046m) Fractions. From these by farm dirt roads or various paths, numbered or not, to Tsa de Metz or "Les Arpes Vieilles"
(1419m), below Checotteyes (1715m) Alp. From this point to Met Hill and Croix de Chaligne.
From Chaligne by now towards Great St. Bernard, by emilius.