Discover the heart of Gran Paradiso National Park, during this enjoyable hiking week in Italy! Established in 1922, The Park is the home of the Gran Paradiso mountain range, spreading across the alpine valleys of Cogne, Valsavarenche and Rhêmes. Italy’s first national park served as a groundwork for creation and course of action for all European wildlife sanctuaries. We will not only follow the foot tracks of an extremely rich wildlife, but we will also enjoy its local heritage and food.
During one week, kids will camp under the stars, hear mountain tales, play and have great fun in the evenings, enjoy mountain hiking and much more… They will also sleep in mountain huts. Each hiking day is designed to suit young hikers’ ability and expectations. Our minibus driver takes care of group luggage and sets up camps each day, leaving children plenty of time to play and relax before dinner. Our staff members are certified mountain leaders; they have a very good experience of working with youth in the outdoors. So, come and join us soon!
Group transfers, luggage transportation and lunch preparation are taken care of by the mountain leader team. Kids just need the hiking necessary to fully enjoy the hike !
Day 1 : Chamonix - Aoste - Cogne
We meet in Chamonix in the morning at 7.30 am and transfer by minivan to Cogne, Italy. We start hiking to Lago di Loie from where we can enjoy a superb view of Mont-Blanc in the background. We spend the night at the campground of Lo Stambecco.
Elevation gain : 730m - Elevation drop : 730m
Day 2 : Cogne - Refuge Vittorio Sella
We leave the valley bottom and head to the refuge of Vittorio Sella (2584m) hiking through the Herbetet alpine pastures. A comfortable trail meanders through a wild-looking landscape, with cow herds grazing across rocky fields, near glaciers and under the surveillance of an eagle… The view over the Tribolazione Glacier is fantastic ! We spend the night at the refuge and experience a typical Italian atmosphere.
Elevation gain : 900m
Day 3 : Refuge Vittorio Sella - Valsavarenche
What a gorgeous day! This is the Day ! « Ma che come bello! » We leave the refuge early in the morning ready to encounter wild mountain animals. The hike towards col Lauson (10 890ft) is beautiful. Before the pass we will follow animal trails heading to small patios and lakes. Back at the refuge, we can enjoy our picnic before hiking down to Valnontey for a bus transfer to Valsavarenche to the campground in the hamlet of Le Pont.
Elevation gain : 700m - Elevation drop : 1300m
Day 4 : Valsavarenche
We leave our campsite to reach refuge Victor Emmanuel, where mountaineers usually rest before climbing the Gran Paradiso. The trail leads us to refuge Chabod. Facing us, the highest peaks of the whole range seem so close to us ! Hike down across the alpine pastures of Lavassey. We stay at the campground in Le Pont for the night.
Elevation gain : 800m - Elevation drop : 850m
Day 5 : Valsavarenche - Refugio Savoia
Our destination today is the rifugio Savoia (2534m). While following the trail to Della Mento mountain pass (2795m), the view over the peaks of Gran Paradiso range is outstanding ! After hiking across the slope in a very progressive diagonal traverse, we reach the welcoming Savoia mountain hut. The impeccable service foretells a delicious dinner. We spend a very quiet night in a breath-taking mountain environment.
Elevation gain : 900m - Elevation drop : 260m
Day 6 : Rifugio Savoia - Grand Collet - Pont
Today we hike over Grand Collet mountain pass (2832m) and enjoy another superb hiking day! If the weather cooperates, we will have a chance to observe chamois and Ibexes in their natural habitat. We finish that day with a nice descent towards Pont hamlet in face of Gran Paradiso summit … Transfer back to Chamonix around 5 pm.
Elevation gain : 500m - Elevation drop : 900m
The guide may have to adapt the route to weather conditions and/or to group physical and/or technical ability.
Date 2020 : from Sunday July 26th to Friday July 31th.
Price 2020 : 650€ per person, based on minimum 8 participants.
Included in the package :
- The organization and supervision by two state qualified trekking guides
- All nights and dinners during the trek
- The picnic lunches
- Transfers throughout the trek
- Lift passes
- Luggage transportation throughout the trek
Not included :
- Drinks and personal expenditure (souvenirs…)
- Repatriation insurance (mandatory)
Meeting point : at 7:30 am at the Compagnie des Guides in Chamonix.
It is also possible to meet the group directly at "Lo Stambecco" campground in Valnontey, (around 10:00am).
Ability level : 3/5 - Junior Gran Paradiso Range hiking trip is a moderate trek. A minimum of 700m (2350ft) vertical gain and about 5 to 7 hours of hiking daily. Hiking on generally well-maintained mountain trails, sometimes including easy out-of-trail sections. For active people who don’t mind training to prepare for the hike. A great multiday hike for people with trekking experience.
Guiding policy : by two state qualified trekking guide with a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 15 kids in the group. The Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix's guiding policy is one of the strictest in the mountain guiding business. The two trekking guides supervising childrens on the field are dedicated to junior tours.
Accomodation : 3 nights under tents in a campground and 2 in a mountain hut. Our camp is set with 3/4 people tents and a large group tent is used for meals and meetings.
Meal : our guiding team prepares healthy hearty meals daily, using fresh local products as much as possible. Naturally, young people food preferences are taken into consideration.
- Participants must have an insurance with repatriation cover. Cancellation insurance is highly recommended.
You can take out insurance offering both of these types of cover when you sign up.
- Participants must also take valid ID with them.
Parents also need to provided us the following documents signed and filled up:
- Parental permission
- Authorization to leave the country
Preparing for the trip : you are welcome to come and meet guides the evening before at our office at 6 pm.
ID card + parental authorisation to leave the country (documents will be in mountain leader’s hands during the trip). Please hand out the documents on Day 1.
- Avoid boots that are too heavy or too high. We recommend Vibram or Contagrip soles. Synthetic hiking socks.
- New boots should be broken in to avoid blisters. Stretchable tape can be applied on sensitive areas prior to hiking .
It is advised to make sure that the pack is properly adapted to juniors morphology. The pack should be comfortable, adjusted, able to fit all needs for a day hike and a takeout lunch. Using a large plastic bag (i.e. garbage bag) as a pack- liner will protect its content from getting wet in case of heavy rain. Keeping the pack as light as possible is essential to make the hike enjoyable to juniors.
A solid and compact travel bag weighing 33 lbs (15 kg) maximum, tagged with the child’s name. A big sleeping bag should be placed in a separate bag.
Avoid using cotton underwear. Compared to technical synthetic material, it is heavier and it dries slowly. Wool is also getting popular amongst sportswear brands. Synthetic and wool dry fast and are warmer.
- 1 T-shirt + 1 long sleeve shirt
- 1 polar fleece
- 1 short + 1 pair of hiking trousers
- 1 pair of synthetic hiking socks
- 1 Goretex jacket
- 1 “poncho” rain protection ( covers the pack too)
- 1 bottle (1.5 quarts to 2 quarts min) one pocket knife and a « spork »
- Ballcap or sun hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and lip balm
- 1 warm hat and gloves
- 1 pair of telescopic poles
- Optional : low gaiters ( early season hiking), camera, pocket money ( for souvenirs, drinks,… ) etc …
Change bag in the minivan
- 6 pairs of socks, 5 underpants, 5 T-shirts
- 3 shorts, swimsuit
- 1 sweat pants and sweater
- 1 sweater + 1 warm pull-over + 1 bottle neck shirt
- 1 warm set of clothe for the evening ( down jacket or thick fleece, warm sweat pants)
- 1 sleeping bag + optional: 1camping mattress i.e. Thermarest)
- 1 pair of confortable shoes for the evening + flip flops
- Personal shower kit and towel, large swim towel.
- Pocket light or headlamp
- Games, books, Teddy, …
- Individual first aid kit **
** Elastoplast (stretchable strapping tape), band-aids, second skin, medicine for common aches and pains( diarrhea, headaches, sore throat…) Don’t forget to bring your personal prescription treatment if you have one. Mountain leaders also carry a complete first aid kit. Remember that packing light is essential.
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