We return to the itinerary of the Great Crossing of the Alps with a short but demanding stage, due to the long climb to Colle della Crocetta, which is rather steep in the last stretch.
The view from the pass is spectacular and from there we embrace the severe peaks of the Gran Paradiso with our eyes: the Becca di Monciair (3,554 m), the Ciarforon (3,640 m), and finally He, the Gran Paradiso (4,061 m).
Water points are absent up to the upper hamlets of Pialpetta.
We leave Ceresole Reale by road to cross the dam walkway. Always on the road, skirting the lake, we come to the start of the path (or the Great Crossing of the Alps), through which we start the long climb (approximately 1,050 m height difference). We continue in the woods, the climb is intense but without sudden steep parts. We pass the Balma mountain pasture and slowly leave the shrubs: the view is more and more fascinating. Alternating steep sections with small plateaus that let us catch our breath, we reach the base of the last steep part, the most challenging, always on an excellent path.
The Colle della Crocetta (2,640 m) gives us a breathtaking view to the north: below us shines the Great Lake of Ceresole, surmounted by the peaks of the Gran Paradiso: Punta Fourà (3,411 m), the Becca di Monciair (3,554 m), the Ciarforon (3,640 m) and finally he, the Gran Paradiso (4,061 m). The most daring ones can climb the nearby Cima della Crocetta (2,828 m), with a 360 ° panorama.
From the pass, the descent (always on GTA) in Val Grande is long (approximately 1,600 m drop) but very relaxed and open. In the last part, alternating the path with some parts of roadway, we pass by some small inhabited areas, finally reaching Pialpetta.
The Lanzo Valleys were inhabited in prehistoric times by Ligurian peoples, who were joined by the Gallic tribes of the Graioceli (we owe them the name of the Graian Alps) and the Meduli, originally from beyond the Alps.
Many archaeological finds of these presences have been found throughout the territory, unlike the few traces of the Roman dominion: probably Romans preferred the nearby valleys of Susa and Aosta for trades across the Alps.
From the nearby town of Chialamberto, you can reach the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Ciavanis, located at 1,880 m, in a very panoramic position.
On the second Saturday of every July, there are many faithful from the valley who go there (taking on the 300 stone steps) to attend the traditional annual festival, very much felt in the Lanzo Valleys.
The salame di turgia (salam ëd turgia in the local dialect) is a typical sausage made with beef. It is a "poor" kind of food and it is mainly consumed raw and fresh, spread on bread.
Albergo Setugrino (GTA stopover), in Pialpetta. Tel. +39 0123 81016
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.