Taou Blanc, 3.438 m., is an awesome natural balcony on all Gran Paradiso group, the region lakes close to Nivolet pass, and all other mountains of Val d'Aosta and Haute Savoie. When the road to Nivolet Pass is open (early June to late September) this area is very crowded. A lot of people hike to Taou Blanc, because Nivolet pass differs only 800 meters from summit. With a very wise (and too late) decision, paved road to Nivolet is closed ALL week-end days in July and August (this in 2003), to avoid further disasters. My lucky is to live here, and to choose the best period for hiking, so I suggest to wait season closure of Nivolet road, coming from Piemonte: too many people coming from cities: they don't understand what mountain is for ... ok let's talk about Taou Blanc! Drive to Pont Valsavarenche and begin this 12 hours hike, with your favourite partner and the wild animals of Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso: nobody else. Brief summary: two routes 1) From Nivolet highland (coming from Pont Valsavarenche, or, with car or bus, from Nivolet Pass) 2) From Thumel, Val di Rhêmes, crossing the lonely Vallone della Vaudaletta. Hints for photographers: all lakes in Nivolet highland are in ideal position for great sunset scenes on Gran Paradiso west face. If this hunt is interesting for you, take your time to wait last light of the day. Warm clothes will help you when sun will hide down behind Basei ridge. Keep your lens clean and ready! The two routes join together at Col di Leynir.
Valsavarenche and Rhêmes Notre Dame route. Common begin: Introd village. Bus station for Rhêmes Notre Dame. *** From Turin/Milan. Motorway A5, exit in Aosta Ovest. Follow Courmayeur direction, until reached Villeneuve. Follow for Val di Rhêmes direction. *** From Switzerland, Martigny (Grand St. Bernard Tunnel/Pass). Drive to Aosta, then follow Courmayeur direction on SS.26. Once reached Villeneuve, turn for Val di Rhêmes. *** From France (Mont Blanc Tunnel or Petit St. Bernard Pass). Do not enter in motorway A5, drive through SS.26 Aosta direction. Before arriving in Villeneuve, turn right for Val di Rhêmes direction. From Introd. 2 km far from Introd there is a crossroads: left to Valsavarenche, right to Val di Rhêmes. *Valsavarenche. Drive until road ends, in Pont Valsavarenche, 1.960 m. Big park (same for Gran Paradiso, via Vittorio Emanuele Hut). *Val di Rhêmes. Drive until road ends, in Thumel, 1.789 m. How to get to Nivolet Pass, road access through Ceresole Reale (Piemonte). *** From France (Tunnel Mont Blanc, Petit St. Bernard) and Switzerland, Martigny (via Tunnel or Grand St. Bernard Pass): motorway A5, exit in Ivrea. Follow for Castellamonte or Cuorgnè then Ceresole Reale or Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso. *** From Turin. Motorway A5, exit in Scarmagno. Follow for Castellamonte, then Cuorgnè, then Ceresole Reale or Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso. *** From Milan. Motorway A4, after Santhià exit, turn to Aosta direction (A5 motorway). Once arrived on A5, following Aosta direction first exit is Ivrea, while following Turin direction first exit is Scarmagno. Best one (easier road) is Ivrea. Road to Nivolet Pass access restricted: road open only from June to end of September. Saturday and Sunday, bus mandatory from Serrù dike (bike are allowed).
All routes are within Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso. Dogs or other animals are not allowed. Camping is strictly forbidden (except for emergency from sunset 'til dawn). Any fees required nor parking permits. ------ Ceresole Reale - Nivolet Pass paved road. Seasonal open from early June to end of September. During Sat and Sun in July and August, engin veichles (cars, campers and motorbike) must stop in Serrù dike park station. Bus mandatory to Nivolet pass.
When To Climb
Hiking: from late June until end of September. For lucky people: from 1st 'til 15th October, if snow let you ... Ski mountaineering: from late March 'til late May. Perfect assested snow required. From Thumel, Val di Rhêmes, BS+, 5h00min.
Strictly forbidden in Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso.
Miscellaneous InfoOnly for Valsavarenche or Nivolet side
Rifugio Città di Chivasso, 2.606 m. - located just under Nivolet Pass. - Phone: +39.0124.953150 - 70 places (6 places in winter room) Rifugio Savoia, 2.532 m. - at Nivolet lakes. - Phone: +39.0165.94141 - 65 places. Maps: IGC, foglio 102 (Valsavarenche, Val di Rhêmes e Valgrisenche - Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso), scale 1:25.000
Talk about Taou Blanc?Need some vocal info on Taou Blanc? Would you like to laugh at my spoken English? Here is my Skype contact (Exception: when I'm in office I'm not able to answer, because I haven't the USB phone there ...). French supported only after three red wine glasses.