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.
9th STAGE: Valtournenche – Barmasse Mountain Refuge (5 km)
Technical description: From the square in Crétaz you cross the asphalt road and you take the trail that descends to join the driveway. Having crossed the stream Marmore, the route shortly rises up to the village of Valmartin. Here you take the path that, among the pastures, goes up through the woods and after a long diagonal leads to some buildings of Promoron’s hydroelectric plant.
The track reaches the pasture of Falegnon (1925 m.) and continues into the valley until it reaches the foot of the Cignana’s dam. Here you continue on the trail that turns left, downstream of the artificial barrier, traveling for a short distance on the dirt road and, just after the hairpin turn, on the left path leading directly to Barmasse Mountain Refuge (2,157 m.).
The Cignana Lake (Lac de Tsignanaz) is one of the largest basins in Aosta Valley, even if its artificial,. It is located in Valtournenche, enclosed in a large and impressive mountain amphitheater by a high dam. Its a popular and not challenging hiking destination: nearby there are the Barmasse Mountain Refuge and the Chapel of Tsignanaz.
Built during the Second World War, it is dedicated to St. Joseph and to Mary Help of Christians. Its a meeting place for many hikers that from here take the trail leading to Cignana lake.
City of departure: Valtournenche
City of arrival: Valtournenche
Arrival: Rifugio Barmasse
Length (Km): 5
Type of Itinerary: Half Day
Difference in height (m): 682
Difference in downhill (m): 25
Highest point (m): 2157
Lowest point (m): 1492
Duration (h.): 2