Walking in the shadow of the Matterhorn

June, the pleasant warmth of spring is caturing the valley little by little, under him everything begins to live again, the green adorns the scenery, the flowers dot his feet.
It takes him a while to take off his white cape, during some summers he loves to conserve a little of that white to remind to those who watch from underneath, that soon white will be the fashionable color again…

Cervino - MatterhornCarpe diem…this is the right moment to punt on a new pair of shoes and a backpack, and venture off into the trails in front of the Matterhorn, he’ll guide you with his bright light!!!

The Matterhorn inspires poetry but as a guide…where do I go?? And what if the sky is cloudy?? So, let’s get right to the point, to walk in the mountain you need good equipment, a good map of the area and maybe a guide to accompany you!
Let’s start from this map…here is the Tourism Office, and here is the new map with trails from “Walking in the shadow of the Matterhorn”, this is exactly what I need!!!

A map with a fun side, a new image of this wonderful valley, here it is; on one side the updated version of the Matterhorn’s high valley and on the other side lots of news…
The Great Balconata (107); the itinerary is a journey through culture and Aosta Valley traditions, a direct contact with vegetation and the fauna mountain, a path that connects the mountain’s magic with enlightening and educational lessons. The itinerary involves a path that constantly keeps you immersed in breathtaking panoramas, made up of light and shadow, of shades, and vibrant colors.

It is 73 km long (with a 2300m variation, an average elevation of 1800m); the time required to cover the walk is 25 hours, four stops are advisable, there is the possibility to book rooms in hotels and lodges.
And then the Carrel Path (65) dedicated to Jean Antoine Carrel in celebration for the 150th anniversary from the extraordinary task done by Carrel himself. As he led the first roped party of mountaineers of “Votoren” to the peak of the Matterhorn on the south-western side.

The path is 30km long, passing through the hallow of Breuil between the ends and views of rare beauty. A trail rich of personality, able to bring out in the modern excursionist those intense emotions that the former hunters and shepherds and now explorers and mountaineers have always lived at the edges of the Great Becca.
The itinerary begins at elevation 1850m of Perrères and ascends on the orographic right side of the valley; travels the old trails that connect the “tramail”, the highest mountain pasture, and arrives at the Rifugio l’Oriondé at elevation 2808m. From there one can gaze at the whole valley , the Matterhorn is so close you will be able to see its most intimate forms, its most distressed passages.
The returning route to Perrères descends on the orographic left side, the one with most man-made influences. The path passes through the most recent historic testimonies which rendered Cervinia famous world-wide; the last portion of the ride will be on the wonderful larch woods; it is a silver lining between wild nature and civilization and it bring us back to the valley, where the adventure began.

Cappella di Sant'AnnaSomething new for summer 2016! What a fantastic experience it was to create a new itinerary, dedicated to Saint Anne. The starting point is Perreres and the arrival is at the Chapel of Saint Anne Notre Dame de la Garde (18), this chapel, although has its own micro-bell tower, it too small to host its followers. It wouldn’t want to anyways: it’s simple transparency, it is a symbol which lifts your eyes oast the Great Becca, and to the highest points of the spirit. It transforms meadows, ridges, and sky more solon than cathedrals. This happens in an obvious way each summer on July 26th, when a little multitude of believers take their place in the patron celebration mass. The little chapel, in fact, was blessed in 1996 with the title of Our Lady of the Guard and Saint Anne, celebrated on the 26th of July.
The 19th of July in 2000, a Jubilee year, this truly unique place was chosen by Pope Giovanni Paolo II as a place of rest and contemplation. The pope left his autograph in the pilgrim’s notebook and to the Bich family, who hosted him.

The memory of his reassuring smile is still kept to this day. Behind the map there is something very interesting; general information, QR code to know everything about cableways and Trek-Bus service, lodge and restaurant information that are opened along the itinerary schedule, lots of curiosities on the summer mountain pasture and…how wonderful…five itineraries to participate for snowshoeing!!! Great, this means I’ll have to come back this winter.

Well, the day is beautiful, it’s time to move, today I’ll climb on the Carrel Path on one of the many access trails; the environment is breathtaking, so many things to see, to get to know, to discover…

Soon I’ll be able to do a wonderful planned excursion with the Naturalistic Excursionist Guides (Guide Escursionistiche Naturalistiche) or with Mountain Guides (Guide Alpine). This way I’ll be sure not to miss even the smallest detail of this beautiful world in the shadow of the Matterhorn.

Angelo Vallet