You are here: sethdepot>TripsHiking>TripsHiking2009MonteViso (2013-04-07, RoLaUser)

Hiking around Monte Viso 2009-09

This year I went to the Piemont area of Italy for some nice mountain hiking. At least this was the plan, about the nice see later pictures.

The trip went around the famous Monte Viso in alpine setting. It's on the French border, so the hike also crossed into French territory. Accomodation were alpine huts - called Rifugi (Italy) or Refuge (France) - so I finally managed to stay in the mountains on a multi-day hike.
Because of the limited amount of luggage, I did not brought my Acer Aspire One. Anyway, there was no WLAN in the mountains - not even GSM coverage! It was really quiet, which was very impressive.

My unlucky streak continued also this time. And got even worse. From the beginning only rain and fog. Then later on heavy snowfall kicked in. As I missed the right time to abort my trip, I ended up at the French side of the mountains and needed to wade back through 1 meter deep snow, over a 3000m high pass to return to the Italian side. Don't try this, until you carry adequate snow equipment.
And during my whole trip I did not even got the smallest glimpse on the Monte Viso itself. What a pity, this was said to be one of the great features of this hike. And I completely avoided it. Reminds me of old Aso-zan story in Japan ... (but that's another story)
Luckily I had my Garmin eTrex with me and the track pre-loaded. Otherwise I would been really lost in the snow.

Despite the severe weather situation it was a really good hike. Highly recommended, and I will continue with multi-day hikes next year. Hopefully with sunshine. Or next time with good snow equipment, which would be also a great challenge.

This year trip cost came around to 150 € travel costs, plus a 99€ flight to Italy (round trip, bargain booker price from Lufthansa. Not counting the equipment costs, which were higher.

The Route

The complete route is available in various formats

Google Maps route-google.html
OpenStreetMaps route-osm.html
Raw GPX route.gpx

Day 1: Entrance at Crissolo to Rifugi Quintino Sella

My hub was Torino. There I left at 6am by bus 62 to Barge, changing there to a local bus bringing me to Crissolo. From there on I made my ascent to the mountains, and finally to my first rifugi. Before entering the rifugi I made a side trip to the top of Viso Mozzo.

Distance approx 20 km
Pictures Ascent into the Monte Viso area
Side-trip to the top of Viso Mozzo (3025 meter)
Rifugi Quintino
Accomodation Rifugi Quintino Sella
Highlights Serenity on the trail in alpine setting

Day 2: To France

Over night snowfall has started. So continuing in snow, passing Monte Viso in south and climbing up again north. After passing a mountain pass and the French border, making stopover in Refuge du Mont Viso. I and the guardian were the only people, everybody else was wise enough to bail out. I was not wise enough, so I was taught a lession on day three.

Distance approx 25 km
Pictures Descending south and getting out of the snowfall
Climbing back north and more snow than before
Accomodation Refuge du Mont Viso
Highlights Change in landscape and suroundings during descent and ascent

Day 3: Pass de la Traversette

This was planned to be a quick final of my tour. Unfortunately stomping through heavy snow it was the most difficult and dangerous part of the trip.
I still manged to catch the bus from Crissolo, changed in Barge and arrived save (and with much more experience) in Torino.

Distance approx 15 km
Pictures Pass de la Traversette, snow and smuggler tunnel
Back in Pian del Re and descending to Crissolo
Accomodation Back in Torino
Highlights Surviving deep snow experience


Next time I want to have some good weather for the trip, and not underestimate the impact of bad weather.
Or go to a planned trip in snow - this also sounds great.

Additional Information

Planning Literature

  • Iris Kürschner: Piemont Süd: Vom Monviso bis zu den Ligurischen Alpen 50 Touren, Bergverlag Rother, ISBN-10: 3763343598, German
    A lot of tracks in the Piemont alps

Information Links

Bus transport


  • Refuge Quintino-Sella: Lat: 44.665, Lon: 7.1097
  • Refuge Vallanta (Valante): Lat: 44.6658, Lon: 7.0644
  • Refuge du Viso: Lat: 44.70055, Lon: 7.05139


IGN Alpes sans Frontières, 1:25 000, Blatt 8 Monviso. Haut-Queyras
Is said to be good, but out of print
IGC Blatt 6 Monviso 1:50k, besser 106 (1:25k)
Bad paper quality and some tracks not accurate, but can buy this map at any small kiosk in Italy's Monte Viso area (e.g. Barge, Crissolo)
Main track is available and you can download this to your GPS (don't go without this!)

Contact me

Topic revision: r4 - 2013-04-07 - 10:57:38 - RoLaUser



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