Excursions in Orco Valley

  • Piantonetto Valley

Place of departure: Lago di Teleccio (1,917 m)
Place of arrival: Alpe Muanda di Teleccio (2,217 m)
Difference in altitude: 300 m
Total journey time: 1.45 hours
Difficulty: T
Time to visit: from June to September N.B: check the accessibility to the dam by AEM-owned road
Itinerary Description after the ascent by car, to the long and wild Vallone di Piantonetto, we come to the artificial barrier of Pian Telessio. Going almost completely along the left side shore of the lake, we reach the entrance of the path to the Pontese refuge. We then continue on the path which, which although stepped, is not particularly difficult, and allows a constant panoramic view over the valley. Finally, after passing the rocky ramparts overlooking the lake, we arrive near to the refuge where the beautiful scenery of the Becchi della Tribolazione and the Torre del Gran San Pietro opens up. By carefully observing the slopes and grazing areas, we can spot the animals typical of this area, from the ibex to the marmot.

  • Dres Lake

Place of departure: Ceresole Reale - Villa Poma (1,584 m)
Place of arrival: Lago di Dres (2,087 m)
Difference in altitude: 503 m
Total journey time: 3.30 hours
Difficulty: T/E
time to visit: from June to October
Itinerary Description Near to Villa Poma, on the left hand shore of Ceresole Reale Lake, a wide path starts which splits into two after about ten minutes, one side towards the Passo della Crocetta, the other towards Lago di Dres and the Leonesi Refuge. After passing the main river, the path leads to one of the most interesting coniferous forests of the park, both for the richness of the species represented, (larch, spruce, fir, Swiss stone pine), and for the grandeur of some of the specimens. We then continue to a picturesque stretch of grassland in front of Levanna Orientale and we reach the glacial valley filled by the waters of the lake, near which we can spot common frogs, a species which lays its eggs in mountain lakes more than 2500 m high!

  • Ribordone Valley

Place of departure: Prascondù Sanctuary (1,321 m)
Place of arrival: Colle del Crest (2,040 m)
Difference in altitude: 719 m
Total journey time: 4 hours
Difficulty: E
time to visit: from June to October
Itinerary Description The excursion starts from one of the most famous locations of all the Canavese area, the seventeenth-century Prascondù sanctuary, where every year the patron saint is celebrated on 27 August. The path is coincident with the GTA stretch and during the ascent allows us to observe, in the vicinity of Alpe del Roc, a cave that was created in a group of limestone rock, called the "Faia", a character present in many legends of the valley. Also on the way up the characteristic hill, we find the placement and type of alpine pastures, created to aid the summer grazing activity of domestic animals. Near the hill, we also find the famous Pian delle Masche (‘the witches’ in Canavese slang), a genuine expression of the legends of the past.

  • Jervis Refuge

Place of departure: Ceresole Reale - Borgata Villa (1,586 m)
Place of arrival: Jervis refuge (2,250 m)
Difference in altitude: 664 m
Total journey time: 4 hours
Difficulty: T/E time to visit: from June to October N.B: departure may also be from Chiapili di Sotto, ascent time 2.00 hours.
Itinerary Description Near to Borgata Villa, the path crosses the Torrente Orco and the ascent begins into the forest, here the dominant tree is the larch, although it there is no shortage of spruces and typical Swiss stone pines. Among the trees there is a chance of observing some chamois. The path is not particularly difficult, in the end we cross a large area of roche moutonnée where the pines and shrubs at high altitude stand out and we can have some of the most interesting encounters with representatives of the local birdlife (crows, ravens, ptarmigan ...). At the end of the excursion, near to the Jervis refuge, there are scenic aspects from the nearby Levanne al Basei, to provide the most striking insights with particular forms that testify to the passage of the ancient glaciers.