Saturday, 9 August 2014

Gran Paradiso - Sentiero del Re

The campsite at the eastern end of lagi di Ceresole Reale (Cassa Bianca) has a new chalet style cafe with the showers and toilets below. It all appears to be new. It is very smart and clean with hot showers. We were pitched on a small grassy terrace looking rather worn after the summer season and all the rain that northern Italy had experienced in July. 

Ceresole Reale is one of the 29 "Pearls of the Alps". These are Alpine villages and communities that promote "soft mobility". This means that they are accessible by public transport and promote sustainable holidays. They invest in alternative energy and support environmentally friendly holidays.

Looking east towards Col de Terra
We ate some breakfast in the cafe packed the tent and set off up to road to catch the bus  at 9.00am. The bus arrived on time and we got off at rifugio Muzio  then walked up the road to Chiapili di Sopra (1754m). A small path headed up the hillside alongside a small stone barn in a NE direction (route 533) to a spot height 2543m at a junction of paths. We dumped the rucksacks and headed NE on route 14 far enough to have a look at the path in the opposite direction and towards Col d Terra. 

Sentiero del Re, looking west towards Lago Serru and the French border

On returning to the bags at the junction we draped the wet tent over a large rock to dry in the sun and ate our lunch. After lunch we walked west along Sentiero del Re, a very pleasant contouring path heading toward Col del Nivolet. It had beautiful views west towards Lago Serru and the mountains behind that form the French border.

We took a right turn near Bastalon onto route 550 in a NE direction to a series of small lakes including L. Losere.

We briefly joined the Tarmac road to the first of the steep zig zags where a reinforced path climbed steeply up the hillside, thus avoiding a long walk on the road. The track leads to Rif. Città di Chivasso where we stopped for a drink and some jam tart. 

Unfortunately the refuge was full when we tried to book in from the UK. The guardian said that a group had cancelled at the last minute and that there was now space. We had already booked ourselves in to Rif. Savoia. So much for planning in advance, so we carried on down the valley to our refuge.

When we arrived at Rif. Savoia (2532m) we found that we were booked into a private room with our own double bed, wash basin and shower.
The weather had been OK and certainly better than the heavy rain forecast. We had a brief shower, there was a cool wind with some low cloud. The sun did make a show at times making it pleasantly warm.
The meal that evening consisted of a thick green soup, boiled potatoes, cabbage beef (egg for vegetarians) ice cream, panacotta and some red wine.
After a good nights sleep we had breakfast at 7.00am, consisting of tea, bread jam and yoghurt biscuits and toasties.

Ascent 1155m
Descent 330m

No comments: