A long and tiring stage along the Italian-French border, but beautiful and varied like few others.
After traveling along ancient military roads, passing beautiful forts, we enter the incredible Marguareis Park, in the presence of the homonymous, beautiful mountain. Speechless.
The stage is long and not recommended for those who are not well trained. If the day is windy, the stage can be really complicated due to the long stretches of the ridge, hit by the winds: better to take this into account.
The ascent to Bec Roux is very steep and at times exposed.
Water points are absent: bring a good supply.
We leave Limonetto and immediately take the GTA path, which gently climbs (approx. 600 m height difference) the Vallone San Lorenzo, surrounded by pastures, up to Colle di Tenda (1,871 m). From there, we continue on the roadway (known as Salt Road), arriving shortly after at the two great military forts (Forte Alto and Forte Centrale), unfortunately, abandoned. We are on the Italian-French border, which from here on we will follow for a long time.
We continue on the roadway until we reach the start of the path that climbs (approximately 200 m height difference) towards Bec Roux (2,214 m). We approach the stretch with caution, the slope is really high and some sections are slightly exposed. Once at the top we enjoy the incredible view, which embraces most of the western Alps. We resume the march on a well-trodden track, with gentle ups and downs, following the ridge overview and passing several minor peaks in rapid succession, until we reach the Colle della Boaria (2,102 m). We continue on the cross path, under the vertical wall of Testa Ciaudon (2,386 m). With a short climb, we reach the Colla Piana di Malaberga pass (2,219 m), from where we can admire the rocky mass of Cima della Fascia (2,495 m).
Detaching ourselves from the borderline, we begin the descent (approximately 350 m drop) entering a valley with a new, karst appearance (as suggested by its name: Conca delle Carsene). Once on the beautiful plateau of Gias dell' Ortica (1,860 m), we continue eastward, returning to climb (approximately 100 m height difference) easily up to the Passo del Duca, located under the Testa del Duca, a rocky spur.
We cross the hill and enter the amphitheater of the Marguareis massif. We quickly lose altitude, then ascend again (approximately 250 m height difference) the Vallone del Marguareis: with the last stretch, we are at the Laghetto del Marguereis. The last stretch in a pleasant cross path takes us to the fantastic Rifugio Garelli.
Rifugio Garelli is named after Piero Garelli ( 1905-1945), a former lawyer from Mondovì and a partisan, who was deported and died in the Mauthausen concentration camp. The legendary Guido has been managing the mountain lodge for over 20 years and has been able to transform the structure and preserve it with foresight.
Not far away is the Passo del Duca, which on Easter 1944 was mined and blown up by the partisans as the Nazi troops passed by, trying to surround them.
In Val Pesio it is possible to visit the Certosa di Santa Maria, founded in 1173 and managed by the Carthusian order.
The internal cloister is beautiful, open on one side towards the woods, with a 250 meters long portico. Inside you can admire a large collection of stuffed animals, local and exotic. For more info, timetables and tickets, follow the LINK.
Located in the upper part of the valley to escape the numerous attacks of the Saracens, over the centuries, the Certosa has represented an economic reference point for the neighboring villages. Its presence has also safeguarded the surrounding forest, now part of the Marguareis Park, famous for its beautiful flowery meadows.
Rifugio Garelli, not far from Pian del Lupo. Tel. +39 0171 738078
Starting point reachable by car.
Departure point NOT reachable by bus.
The nearest location reachable by bus is Limone, starting from the city of Cuneo.
Here the LINK to check the timetables.
Starting point NOT reachable by train.
The nearest location reachable by train is Limone, starting from the city of Cuneo.
Here the LINK to check the timetables.
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.