A long and intense stage, characterized by the long climb to Colle Costa Fiorita, followed by an important descent.
Very beautiful and varied, it alternates vertiginous walls and peaks with the colorful swamp of Lake Falin.
The monumental Rocciamelone (3,537 m), reflected on Lake Malciaussia, is the postcard of the day.
The stage is quite demanding: the less trained hikers are advised to break the stage in Usseglio.
The descent from Passo Paschiet is sometimes exposed and not on very good terrain (several infiltrated and slippery rocks).
On the steep climb to Lake Falin, the terrain is often muddy and steep and it is easy to slip.
For those who wish, from Margone you can go up the orographic left side of the valley to take the old disused Decauville railway which cuts across to the Lake Malciaussia. The stretch is very scenic but covered with tall grass.
There is a water point at the Bivacco Gandolfo, afterward, there is nothing until you reach the hamlets of Usseglio.
Following the paved road, we leave the town, take the GTA path and begin the long climb (approx. 900 m height difference), never too steep, skirting the Rio Paschiet in the woods. Once out of the trees, the incline of the path (always in good condition) increases: we reach the Laghi Verdi, Green Lakes, (2,160 m) - the upper one, in particular, has a dream color and invites you to dive in. Going up, we pass Bivacco Gandolfo, small but welcoming, and continue the steady and uneven ascent to Passo Paschiet (2,434 m), where the view opens onto the upper Viù Valley.
We proceed easily downhill, soon reaching the underlying plateau where we take the path on the right side (the signs and the track are not easy to spot, pay attention) to go up quite swiftly (approximately 200 m height difference) to Colle Costa Fiorita (2,445 m), that introduces us to the Valle di Viù.
Once we catch our breath and please our eyes, we face the long descent (approx. 1,200 m drop), rather decisive, almost all on a cross path. The gaze falls on the sharp and toothed ridges that divide the Vallone di Venaus. Some parts are exposed, a firm step and special attention to slippery rocks are required. Returning to the woods the path becomes less complicated and, skirting Rio di Venaus, we reach the Cortevicio di Usseglio hamlet (shortly after, those who are tired can interrupt the stage, stopping at the GTA stopover, Albergo La Furnasa).
We set off again along a long stretch of paved road up to Margone. From there we resume the path: very easy at first, on the banks of the Stura di Viù stream, it soon rears up in the woods (about 250 m height difference), up to the final climb (on a very steep and slippery ground due to mud) that leads to Lake Falin (1,693 m), a very fascinating swamp, dominated by the northern slope of the Grand Uia (2,663 m). Across the valley, at our same height to the north, we spot the old Decauville Railway. From the lake, we lose a little altitude and then we ascend slowly (approximately 150 m height difference). Finally, after passing a narrow gorge, we reach Lake Malciaussia, from where we can admire the pyramid of Rocciamelone (3,537 m).
Val di Viù is the southernmost of the beautiful Lanzo Valleys. In addition to that of Malciaussia, the valley hosts the Lago della Rossa dam, located at an altitude of 2718 m: it is the highest water barrier in Europe.
The first to populate this area were the Ligurian Taurins and later the Celts.
Among these mountains, in 218 BC, Hannibal passed with 30,000 soldiers, thousands of mules and horses, and 37 elephants! Even if the Carthaginians were later defeated by the Romans in Zama in 202, the passage of the Carthaginian army remains today a memorable undertaking, one of the greatest of ancient times.
It seems that the name Malciaussia derives from the patois mal ciaussia, or "badly shod", to indicate the old habit of the poor of the area to wear old, worn-out, or poor quality shoes.
At dawn, Lake Malciaussia turns orange, together with the Rocciamelone wall, transforming the whole basin into a small fresco.
The dam of the lake was built in the 1930s. For its construction the old hamlet of Malciaussia was submerged by water: a local legend has it that sometimes the bells of the old church of San Bernardo can be heard, a clear sign of misfortune.
Characteristics of the Lanzo Valleys, in addition to the famous Lanzo toma, are the renowned and delicate breadsticks.
The authorship of the breadstick is still much discussed today: we know that their fame was decreed by their prescription, by the court physician, to the little Vittorio Amedeo II of Savoy, called to treat the intestinal ailments of the future ruler.
After that, the international success was overwhelming: Napoleon was so enthusiastic that he ordered a regular supply of petits batons de Turin.
Albergo La Furnasa (GTA stopover), in the Villaretto di Usseglio hamlet
Tel. +39 0123 83788 - +39 0123 83747
RIfugio Vulpot, at the eastern end of Lake Malciaussia. Tel. +39 0123 83771
Va' Sentiero is a grassroot project, thanks to the spontaneous contribution oft housands of people.
Even the most complicated dream, a 7,000km uphill dream,
can be achieved... together.