From refuge to refuge in the Susa Valley

“All the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey. I went for a walk on a winter’s day”
Jose Feliciano

From La Chardouse Refuge to Guido Rey refuge
Time for journey: 2 hours, 15 minutes.
Level of difficulty: Easy
Point of reference: Eitabl Trattoria at Chateau Beaulard

Leaving from Vazon, take the military road to Cotolivier.
After about 300 metres, a wide path into the wood begins on the right. Take the first turning, a pleasant path through the woods, passing several pastures.
Follow the notices with directions for Chateau and the white and red signs on the trees, and you will reach Chateau Beaulard in about one hour, 15 minutes.
This beautiful village is protected by a spur of rock standing in front of it, which dominates the valley at Bardonecchia. An interesting parish church, dedicated to St. Bartholomew the Apostle, was built in 1493, with a belltower in a delfinale? style, and a magnificent doorway added in 1690 and a sculptured lintel in 1740. The interior has a fine altarpiece in the baroque style. A XVth. century wooden carving, stolen in 1976, once portrayed a Mass that was held by St. Gregory the Great. A strange fountain was added in the XVI century, and its compressed octagonal form was modified during the 1700s.
The path 702a is well signposted from Chateau Beaulard and will lead you to Guido Rey Refuge in about an hour.

From La Chardouse Refuge to Baita Gimont
Time for journey: 6 hours, 30 minutes.
Level of difficulty: Demanding
Point of reference: La Gerla at Fenils
Take the military road from Vazon towards Cotolivier for about 800 metres. Then turn left down the forest road sloping gently to Grange Lozet. Here’s an incomparable view of the east side of Mount Chaberthon.

Now take the scenic path to Desertes. After an initial steep climb for a hundred metres or so, turn right along the path leading to the old cart track from Grange Millaures to Desertes.
Desertes is a very old village in the borough of Cesana Torinese, where St Margaret’s church was built in 1487.
Continue along the scenic path through the larch woods, mule tracks and pastures to reach Fenils after walking for about 2 hours, 45 minutes.
After a brief rest in the village, take the scenic path leading along the bank of the River Dora to Cesana.
In Cesana’s built-up area you can find SS.24, the main Monginevro road. Follow it for about 2 far as the turning for ‘sagna longa’ (sx?). Continue along this old cart track to Sagna Longa.
Turn right near the Sport Hotel and continue to Colle Bercia (2200 m.), the highest point of this excursion.
Leaving Colle Bercia, go down the steep unpaved track beneath the ski lifts to Baita Gimont, where you can see a spectacular view of Mount Chaberton from the opposite side from where you began.