Monday, 26 August 2013

Maritime Alps - Rifugio Genova Figari to Rifugio Soria Ellena via Collette di Fenestrelle

The views back to the Collette di Brocan
with Fifugio Genova Figari in the foreground .
Monday 26th August 2013

Our destination for today was Rifugio Soria Ellena over the Collette di Finistrelle. It follows the Via Alpina and GTA, both long distance routes through the alps.

The path follows the SE shore of the Bacino del Chiotas then joins the M10 over the col.  climbing gently via zig zags below the  Rocce di Laura. It cleverly avoids the rocky outcrops that appear to block the route.

Looking down from Collette di Fenestrelle
 towards Bacino del Chiotas

We encountered a large patch of snow just before the col that was still hard and icy so we took a cairned route across the rock and boulder scree to join the path on the other side of the snow. We saw no one the entire day, this late in the season it is very quiet.
The views back to the Argenterra massif and the Collette di Brocan that we crossed yesterday were spectacular.

Collette di Fenestrelle from the north side

Collette di Finistrelle (2463m) is a wide grassy col, with a snow patch and small pond, but a cold wind was whistling through making it unsuitable for a stop. We carried on to a rocky outcrop marked P. della Lobbie (2322m).  as it gave fine views  of M. Gelas and our route for tommorrow aver the Collette di Finestra.

M. Gelas and our route for tommorrow
over the Collette di Finestra.

The descent into the Piano del Praiet where Refugio Soria-Ellena is located was very easy on grassy paths across flower meadows. All very Sound of Music like!
There  were juniper, beech 9growing as a shrub), azelia and bilberry laden with delicious fruit. a large herd of cows with bells aroun there necks added to the alpine atmosphere. It started to rain as we arrived at the refuge and later the cloud dropped right down into the valley.
All power in the refuge is supplied by a water turbine  so charging our camera and phone was not a problem and they even had heaters.

Ascent 611m
Descent 774m

Piano del Praiet from P della Lobbie

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