Difficulties:E - Excursionist
from 01/01 to 31/03Not recommended after intense snow storms.
Departure:Villair damon - Courmayeur (1327 m)
Arrival:rifugio Bertone (1991 m)
Difference in level:664 mt.
Duration coming back:1h00
How to get there
Courmayeur highway exit. Enter the town. At the convention center, follow the directions for Val Veny, Val Ferret and Villair. At the roundabout, take the road that climbs towards La Saxe and Villair. Continue to the village of Villair.
The Bertone Refuge is located near the small village of Le Pré in front of Mont Blanc. A scenic and diversified excursion: the arrival at the refuge offers a great view. However, we recommend you continue climbing to the orientation table just ahead where the view is incomparable.
Description of the route
Climb the paved road, often frozen, to the chalet on the left. here you can put on your snow shoes and start hiking in the snow. Briefly climb the snow-covered slope, always beaten, that hugs the frozen stream coming from Val Sapin until you find a crossbar with signposts and a information panel with a themed map of the paths in the Espace Mont Blanc: follow path 42. Climb the beaten slope that takes you to the right to a fork for the Bertone Refuge, well-marked by yellow signposts and a ball.
Continue along the summer path, often beaten, that is rather steep from the get go. The climb continues leaving the last birch trees behind, entering a beautiful woods mainly populated by red firs. The path continues up the slope with a long series of turns to the stone monument dedicated to the Aosta Alpine Battalion.
The path continues crossing South to a bare slope. Cross the endless series of turns as the La Thuile mountains come into view: from Mont Colmet to Mont Crammont. After walking for about an hour, you’ll reach a second path heading South. Take this practically flat path that starts to climb with entering a larch woods. Just above you’ll find another path heading South: this path may be difficult if not beaten or when the snow freezes. At the end of this section you’ll finally see the end. In fact, the snow-covered pastures under the refuge are not far away. Leave the woods entering an extremely scenic area made even more breathtaking by the candid snow. When you reach the signpost, turn right and, gaining higher altitude, you’ll finally reach the Bertone Refuge.
Carefully assess the snow conditions: this excursion is relatively easy when there is not a lot of snow or the snow is stable. However, it becomes more difficult when there is a lot of snow or the path is not beaten.