Description of the route
Altitude: 2,415 m
Location: Menouve Valley
Trail sign: 20B
Journey time: 2 h 30 from Prailles
Coordinates UTM- WGS84: EAST 362967
Coordinates UTM- WGS84: NORTH 5081688
Located at the foot of Mont Vélan (3,710m), along the itinerary of the Alta Via no. 1 and the Tour des Combins, it sleeps 16 with bathroom, shower, heater, kitchen and dining room and hydroelectric power unit. The bivouac is open and managed from the middle of June to the middle of September and closed the rest of the time. For further information, contact the owners: Stefano Jorrioz (tel. 3188.8.131.522) Fabiano Jacquin (tel. 3184.108.40.2065).
Beyond residential Etroubles, from the SS 27, take the fork on the right for Prailles, following the road signs. After a few km, close to a holiday farm, you will come to a small car park from where the inter-estate road that goes into the woodland of the Menouve Valley leaves (you can also leave from the upper hamlet – Prailles Dessus – that after a short path, joins up again with the estate road just after its entrance). Once you leave the car, you will walk along the easy estate road that runs alongside the Menouve river for about 1h; once you’ve reached the 5th hairpin bend carry on along the main road that, instead of heading left, heads right (trail sign 20B). Just after this, take the small road on the right that heads down to the river, walk along the edge of it, almost on the shores for a short stretch, then cross it and head in the direction of the long mountain pasture on the right (1h 20min). The path is behind the mountain pasture that with articulated hairpin bends heads back up the steep slope until it crosses over a fork, here keep to the right (20B) and you will come to a crossroads (2h 20); from here take the path that leads up on the right passing some crags and shortly leads to the bivouac that is not visible from the path because it is in a depression, but marked with a stone cross located on the highest part of the valley (2h 30).