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Trails with electronic guide

Four itineraries are described on multimedia guides created within the “Vinces” programme (Valle d’Aosta Internet Network for Community, Enterprise, Schools). At 80 points of interest distributed along the trails, presentations are activated with text, images and videos on hand-held computers that can be rented in the visitor centres of the protected area. Visitors can also download the contents of the multimedia guides on their own handheld devices via the Internet or at the Park information points.

A. Veulla – Mont Barbeston (Champdepraz, trail sign 7b)

The trail that leads from Chevrère to Mont Barbeston, with an overall elevation gain/drop of almost 1200m, is described in the space dedicated to the guided trails. Going along the first stretch up to the “Casa dell’Inglese” at Pra Oursie you will encounter 10 of the total 20 points of interest. The route is usually completely snow-free from late May until late October; below 1800m, starting from April the complete melting of the snowpack is frequent, thanks to the extensive amount of sun received by the slope.

Environmental types encountered: meadows-pastures of the valley floor – Scots Pine forest – mountain pasture – Mountain Pine forest – subalpine grasslands and shrubby thickets – crest lines in the Alpine plain.

B. Veulla – Lac Blanc (Champdepraz, trail sign 5c)

The first part of the itinerary is described in the space dedicated to guided trails (Veulla-Lac de Servaz trail). Beyond the lake, continue through a sparse pine forest with imposing serpentinite outcrops up to a panoramic hill. This is followed by some depressions occupied by peat bogs and, past Torrente Chalamy, the Coucy alpine pasture farm. The 5c trail starts to climb after the rural buildings and soon reaches the Barbustel Refuge, surrounded by the lakes Vallette, Noir and Blanc. Above Lac de Servaz the trail is usually partially or entirely covered with snow from November to May.

Environmental types encountered: meadows-pastures of the valley floor – Scots Pine forest – mountain pasture – Mountain Pine forest – subalpine meadows and shrubby thickets – subalpine lakes – peat bogs – ophiolite sites.

C. Chardonney – Lac Blanc (Champorcher, trail sign 9b-10; Champdepraz, trail sign 5)

From Chardonney (1450m), cross a slope occupied by now uncultivated agricultural terraces, to reach the villages of Perruchon and Petit Mont Blanc. Continue along the road towards Dondena and, after four hairpin bends, take trail no. 10 which leads to Lac Muffé and Col de Lac Blanc (2308m); on reaching the hill, descend to Barbustel Refuge at Lac Blanc (2205m), from where you can be observes a broad panorama of Val Chalamy and the major peaks of the Pennine Alps (Matterhorn, Monte Rosa). Above 1800m the ground is usually covered with snow from November to May. However, even in the middle of winter the strong sunshine can still melt most of the snow on the steep slopes facing south.

Environmental types encountered: uncultivated agricultural terraces – mountain meadows-pastures – mixed conifer forest – subalpine meadows and shrubby thickets – subalpine lakes – peat bogs – ophiolite sites

D. Chardonney – Dondena – Fenêtre de Champorcher (Champorcher, Alta Via 2)

The itinerary follows the Alta Via no. 2 from Chardonney (1450m) to Fenêtre de Champorcher (2826m). Leaving the valley floor, the trail climbs the left side of the gorge formed by Torrente Ayasse to the Champ Long pastures and then continues below the paved road to Dondena (2120m). The itinerary continues through large grasslands interspersed with rock outcrops reaching the Dondena and Miserin Refuges, the latter built next to the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Neve and near the eponymous lake (2576m). The last part of the trail crosses the alpine and snowy horizon. Once you reach the hill you can admire a large part of the upper Cogne Valley, the Gran Paradiso and the Grivola. On the way back, as an alternative to the Alta Via, you can go down from Champ Long to Chardonney by following the 5d trail sign. Above 1800m the ground is usually covered with snow from November to May; in the Dondena – Fenêtre de Champorcher section residual snow can be found on the path until July. There are a total of twenty-six points of interest, twelve of which are located above Dondena.

Environmental types encountered: uncultivated agricultural terraces – mountain meadows-pastures – mixed conifer forest – Larch forest – Green Alder shrubs – subalpine meadows and shrubby thickets – alpine lakes – alpine grasslands – cliffs (calc-schist and ophiolite)