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The Giants' Trail Through the Italian Pennine Alps trekking guidebook - Cicerone

Guidebook to trekking Italy's Alta Via 1 - a 180km trail through the Italian Alps, following the northern flank of the Aosta Valley from Donnas to Courmayeur. Nicknamed the Giants' Trail, the route offers fantastic views of the Alpine giants: Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa. With travel advice and accommodation listings. 

EAN13 : 9781852849924

  • Publisher/Serie : Cicerone/International walking
  • Destination : Italy
  • Activity : Trekking/Trail
  • Publication date : feb-2021
  • Pages : 160
  • specifications/quality : paperback
  • Language : english
  • Dimension : 11.6cm x 17.2cm x 1.6cm

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Italy's Alta Via 1, a 180km trail through the Italian Alps following the northern flank of the Aosta Valley, boasts magnificent views of the Alpine giants: Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn, the Grand Combin and Monte Rosa. Indeed, it is sometimes known as the Giants' Trail and can be combined with a sister-route, the Alta Via 2 (covered in a separate Cicerone guide), which runs along the southern flank of the valley, to form the Tor des Géants. Stretching from Donnas to Courmayeur, the Alta Via 1 offers fantastic alpine walking, with welcoming refuges and small hotels providing overnight accommodation (and great food) along the way.

The guide presents the route in two sections, for the advantage of those who can't spare the full fortnight-plus needed to walk the entire AV1. The trail is described in 16 stages, with alternative stages covering some popular variants, including an optional detour to visit the famed monastery at the Great St Bernard Pass. Each stage includes clear route description and mapping, plus notes on local points of interest and accommodation options. An alternative itinerary, list of useful contacts, kitlist and glossary can be found in the appendices.

The AV1 crosses cols of nearly 3000m as it traverses the side-valleys of the main Aosta Valley. Suited to those with some of experience of alpine trekking, the walking is demanding but without technical difficulty. And the rewards are many: quieter huts, breathtaking vistas and a chance to immerse yourself in fabulous mountain landscapes overlooked by soaring, snow-clad giants.

Seasons

Once the rifugi open, from late June to early September each month offers different views and experiences.

Centres

From Donnas the route visits Gressoney-Saint-Jean before passing the world-famous Great St Bernard Monastery to finish in Courmayeur.

Difficulty

Regular, fit walkers will enjoy crossing cols of nearly 3000m and travelling across the 'grain' of the mountains. Harder than the Tour of Mont Blanc, but without technical difficulty, this trek will provide a suitable challenge for those familiar with Alpine trekking looking for quiet huts and stunning views.

Must See

The Alpine giants of Monte Rosa, the Matterhorn, the Grand Combin and Mont Blanc form the stupendous backdrop to two weeks' trekking through the old kingdom of Savoy. With almost 1000 years of history, the Great St Bernard Monastery is a rewarding diversion.
Contents
Introduction
The route
Geography
Geology
History
Art and culture
Wildlife
Plants and flowers
Weather
When to go
Access and travel
In-route transport options
Accommodation
Mountain huts
Clothing
Food and drink
Language
Maps and navigation
Waymarking
Safety and emergencies
Insurance
Using this guide
The Alta Via 1: An Italian Haute Route
Eastern section
Stage 1 Donnas to Sassa (Etoile du Berger)
Stage 2 Sassa (Etoile du Berger) to Rifugio Coda
Stage 2A The Col Portola Route: Sassa (Etoile du Berger) to Rifugio Coda
Stage 3 Rifugio Coda to Rifugio Barma
Stage 4 Rifugio Barma to Niel (La Gruba)
Stage 5 Niel (La Gruba) to Gressoney-Saint-Jean
Stage 3A Rifugio Coda to Rifugio della Vecchia
Stage 4A Rifugio della Vecchia to Rifugio Rivetti
Stage 5A Rifugio Rivetti to Gressoney-Saint-Jean
Stage 6 Gressoney-Saint-Jean to Rifugio Vieux Crest
Stage 7 Rifugio Vieux Crest to Rifugio Grand Tournalin
Stage 8 Rifugio Grand Tournalin to Cretaz, Valtournenche
Western section
Stage 9 Cretaz, Valtournenche to Rifugio Barmasse
Stage 10 Rifugio Barmasse to Rifugio Cunéy
Stage 11 Rifugio Cunéy to Closé/Oyace/Lexert
Stage 12 Closé/Oyace/Lexert to Ollomont/Rey
Stage 12A Closé/Oyace/Lexert to Ollomont/Rey: the low route
Stage 13 Ollomont/Rey to Rifugio Champillon
Stage 14 Rifugio Champillon to Saint-Rhémy-en-Bosses
Stage 15 Saint-Rhémy-en-Bosses to Rifugio Bonatti
Stage 15A Via Francigena from Saint-Rhémy-en-Bosses to Great St Bernard Monastery
Stage 15B Great St Bernard Monastery to Rifugio Bonatti
Stage 16 Rifugio Bonatti to Courmayeur

Appendix A Alternative schedule
Appendix B Useful contacts
Appendix C Useful phrases
Appendix D Kit list

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