Excursions with the snowshoes in Valsavarenche Valley

A place.. fit for a king

Destination: Orvielle hunting house (2190 m)
altitude520 m
Time on the climb: 2/2:30 h
Starting point:  Eaux Rousses  in Valsavarenche

The ancient hunting house of the Savoia family was one of Vittorio Emauele's favourite places for hunt; now it has been converted in the park guards headquarter and in support structure for research activities in the Park. About 50 m before the Hotel “A’ l’Hostellerie du Paradis” a signage pole marks the start of the path that crosses the meadows in front of the hotel to go inside a magnificent forest at times interrupted by glades and terraces. The path, climbing gradually with harpin bends, permits to have different views of the valley below, when the glance penetrates within branches of larch, needles free because of the winter season. You will pass by the ruins of the Rondzegou Alp, and higher you will see, in a valley below, the summer pastures of Carré and Rujaz, witnessing the historic economy of these alpine valleys based on cattle breeding and on the use of pastures of different heights according to the seasonal variations in altitude as still wild animals do today. The path crosses the meadow over the summer pastures- pay attention in case of non settled snow-before reaching the larches and stone pines forest that goes until the wonderful basin: the park guard quarter. It will be possible to sight numerous animals living in the forest during winter, not remaining idle, such as chamois, squirrels, woodpeckers, chickadees and various birds such as robins and the crossbills, aided by the absence of leaves on the trees. The descent can be accomplished by following the route of ascent or descending towards the Ruya Alp and from here to the hamlet of Creton.

Not to be missed:
- PNGP visitors centre and etnographic museum of Degioz
- the library “ Maison de la montagne”
- Well preserved examples of the typical Valle d'Aosta architecture in Creton 
- Ancient water sawmill Maisonnasse

Torrents and their richness

Destination: from Pont Valsavarenche (m 1960) to Pravieux (1829 m)
Altitude: m 140 ca
Time on the climb:  2,30 ore
Starting point: in front of Hotel Genzianella in Pont Valsavarenche

In front of the hotel starts an easy path on the orographic left, almost everything in downhill that permits to see how the water power has prevailed on the hardest rock: the torrent has signed during millennia wonderful gorges alternating with flatter strokes .. 
The great opposites of nature on mountain occur often this way: like this torrent that hosts a very small bird, but tenacious and very strong: the dipper, which plunges against the current to rummage the gravelly bottom of the stream looking for aquatic insects, both in summer and in winter, without freezing! Capable, unique in his specimen, to build a nest behind a small waterfall that will become copious when, in late spring, it will bear cubs; This will be an impenetrable barrier for its predators, but not for him! Continuing the path, it's possible to cross the torrent on one of the snow bridges that are naturally formed during those winters in which snowfalls are copious, following traces that the wild animals leave to cross the river between the two sides of the valley. You will then reach the ancient village of Passey, almost abandoned, where angles of wonderful traditional architecture can be admired. In case of small snowfall or in spring, you will need to keep going on the orographic left until the bridge that skirts the street in Terrè, this will enable to pass on the right orographic side and then climb to the Pessey village crossing the forest before the village itself. In both cases, from the village, you will reach the Pravieux Alp (with a barn used for summer grazing of steers in medium altitude) where there is the car park. This is the starting point of the beautiful Gordtzes du Terrè (it's starting is visible from the bridge itself), spectacular gorges cut by the force of the water ice and now equipped by the Alpine guides, and of the path that leads to the Chabod alpine huts.

Back from the outward path or, in case of the snowy bridge, making a loop.

Not to be missed:
- Pessey village
- waterfall of the torrent Cote Savatère
- Gordtzes du Terrè

In order to appreciate the natural beauty of the Park with the snowshoes let the official guide accompany you (see the section Park Interpreters)

Attention please: always verify, before you leave for an excursion, the nivo regional meteorological bulletins (very useful the Bollettino Aineva Neve e valanghe), since the areas may be subject to avalanche hazards phenomena. For more information about security visit the website of the Fondazione Montagna Sicura.