The High Way n.1, called THE GIANTS HIGH WAY, is a hiking trail with an incomparable scenery: it develops at the foot of the highest massifs of Europe, such as Monte Rosa, Matterhorn and Mont Blanc. This itinerary offers, alongside the superb examples of natural architecture in the Alps, incomparable examples of rural architecture, closely linked to the pastures life.
It goes along the left bank of the Dora Baltea river, The High Way n.1 is viable by anyone since it follows well-marked and fully signaled footpaths. It develops in 17 daily stages, from Donnas to Courmayeur (requiring on average of 3/5 hour walk each) providing hikers resting stops and dining options for every need.
The high natural value of these environments and the high and famous mountains, full of history and companies, which act as a superb setting, offer a picture of the past that the hiker will simply have to admire and appreciate.
10th STAGE: Barmasse Mountain Refuge – Cuney Mountain Refuge (16 km)
From Barmasse Refuge (2.157 m.) you continue on the dirt road for a short distance and you turn left into the trail that descends to the pasture of Cortina Superiore; then you go back onto the dirt road and at the junction you descend on the left to reach the pasture of Cortina Inferiore. Shortly before the pasture, you take the trail on the right that, through a humid area, runs into the wood and leads back on the dirt road. You cross it and you run on the path which, passing by the Ersa Dessus pasture, leads to the Fenêtre d'Ersa hill (2.290 m.).
From the mountain pass, going slightly down, you take the dirt road leading to the Vareton pasture, from where you continue along the trail through the pastures, up to Lake Tsan, where there is the namesake bivouac. From here, the route climbs up to the Fenêtre de Tsan hill (2.736m.).
You start to go down, first with various bends and then along a long diagonal that ends in the plateau where there are the Reboulaz’s bivouac and the magnificent Lake Luseney. Then you cross the river that starts form the lake and you start to go up passing by some ruins. After overcoming a steep slope you come to Col Terray (2.775 m.): here you face a steep descent, then you proceed along the hillside with some ups and downs until you reach a grassy plateau. Once crossed the stream to the left and passed a small promontory, you reach the Cuney Mountain Refuge (2.652 m.).
Its a very scenic mountain pass that connects the Torgnon Valley to the Valtournenche Valley, particularly appreciated as an observation point on the Matterhorn valley and on the glaciers of the Rosa Plateau. Located at 2.290 meters, this pass was very important for trading in the past, while today it is above all a pleasant immersion for hikers in the silence of the high altitude.
Beautiful glacial basin located in the valley of Saint-Barthélemy. It is located on a terrace at the foot of Becca di Luseney, in a wide grassy plain with a beautiful view. At the edge of the lake stands the Reboulaz Bivouac, a beautiful stone hut (named after the dead mountaineer Luca Reboulaz) very popular among local hikers.
Located at 2.656 meters at the foot of the Becca del Merlo mountain, Cuney is the highest Marian Shrine in Europe. Before its construction, the place was frequented by pilgrims because of the presence of a blessed source, then in 1656 a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Snows was built. The current building was rebuilt in 1861: inside its remarkable the statue of the Virgin and Child, dating back to the same period of the construction of the primitive Sanctuary. Near the Sanctuary there is the Cunéy Oratory Mountain Refuge, a destination for many excursions and a great rest stop.
City of departure: Valtournenche
Departure: Rifugio Barmasse
City of arrival: Nus
Arrival: Rifugio Cuney
Length (Km): 434
Type of Itinerary: Full day
Difference in height (m): 1233
Difference in downhill (m): 0
Highest point (m): 2779
Lowest point (m): 1943
Duration (h.): 6