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Chalet de L'Epee > Rifugio delle Marmotte

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Punto di partenza
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Punto interesse

A pleasant stage, short in length, and with relatively low gradients, with the only difficulty being the descent from Col Fenêtre.

The news of the day is undoubtedly the entrance into the Gran Paradiso National Park: the oldest in Italy.

Special Notes

The first section of the descent from Col Fenetre, very steep and crumbling, is equipped with a rope.

The only water point is in Bruil (Rhemes Notre Dame).

when to go
June - September
Suitable for
how to get there
description of the route

We take Alta Via 2, immediately starting the climb (approximately 500 m height difference) up to Col Fenêtre. The path is good, never exposed. Only the last part of the climb is slightly steeper and more demanding. Col Fenêtre (2,840 m), a narrow window between the rocky walls, opens the view towards the east on the Cima d'Entrelor (3,425 m), with the Gran Paradiso (4,061 m).

After a break, we start the long descent (approximately 1,100 m drop). The first section is perhaps the steepest in the Aosta Valley and the bumpy surface makes it even more difficult. After the first 500 m of negative altitude difference, we walk along the Vallone de Torrent and the path improves, although it tends to remain steep. We thus arrive at the bottom of the Val di Rhêmes and enter Bruil, a hamlet of Rhêmes-Notre-Dame.

After a short stretch on the road, we cross the Rhême stream, continue on the AV2 and begin the second and last climb (about 400 m height difference) of the day, on a good path in the woods. With a small detour, we can admire the Entrelor Falls from below. Resuming our steps, we enter the Gran Paradiso National Park and, with the last climb (decisive, but without sudden ascents), we gain the Pianoro delle Marmotte, which houses the homonymous mountain lodge managed by the volunteers of Operation Mato Grosso.

What to know

The Gran Paradiso National Park extends from the Aosta Valley to Piedmont around the Gran Paradiso massif: it is the oldest national park in Italy.

It was created from a hunting reserve of the royal house of Savoy, established in 1856, in order to safeguard the ibex in danger of extinction: only the sovereign had the right to hunt in it.

Finally, in 1919 Vittorio Emanuele III decided to sell the hunting ground to the state, which became a park in 1922.

What to see

Along the royal mule track stands the hunting lodge commissioned by King Vittorio Emanuele II, today a hut for the park rangers.

what to eat

At the Rifugio delle Marmotte the cuisine (as well as the welcome) is exquisite, as well as healthy: highly recommended are the risotto with nettles and ratatuia (a typical vegetable-based side dish).

where to sleep

Rifugio Marmotte,in the Entrelor Valley. Tel. +39 389 348 8785

How to Reach

Starting point NOT reachable by car.

The nearest location reachable by car is Usellières.


Departure point NOT reachable by bus.

The nearest locality reachable by bus is Valgrisenche, starting from the city of Aosta with a change in Villeneuve.

Here the LINK to check the timetables.


Starting point NOT reachable by train.

“The temperature suddenly drops and the track towards Col Fenêtre is a thin crack in the frozen snow”

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