Col Vascoccia - Monte Facciabella
Difficulties:EE - Expert Excursionists
January - March
Departure:AYAS: Mandriou (1847 m)
Arrival:Alpe Vascotchaz (2619 m)
Difference in level:772 m
Duration coming back:2h00
How to get there
Verrès motorway exit. Take the SR45 road along the Valle d’Ayas as far as the junction for Antagnod: you continue along the local road going past the villages of Lignod, Antagnod and Bisous until you reach the junction for Mandriou: drive up to the village and park your car.
Route that winds its way across the sunny, south-facing mountainside of Mont Facebelle: can only be taken when the snow conditions are excellent.
Description of the route
The route starts by crossing the village of Mandriou following path no. 3. After a few minutes you meet a snowy path which leads to a house a little further on. Ignore the track on the right and climb upwards through the beautiful Bois de Vachère with its larch trees. You come out of the wood into a lovely clearing at he foot of the La Tschavana agriturismo: you go across it until you reach Ru Cortod. From here you climb the gradual slope following the fencing that leads you to the right of the group of houses. You then continue on through another stretch of larch trees which soon disappear giving way to the steep slopes that descend from Mont Facebelle. The next part is a little more arduous but undoubtedly worth the effort with the stunningly beautiful views over Mont Zerbion and the particular mountainslope which separates Val d’Ayas from Valtournenche. You gradually make your way to the foot of Vascotchaz: here you catch a glimpse of the white Sarteur Chapel with its metal cross. You cover the last, short, uphill stretch on unbeaten tracks until you finally reach the Alpine pasture of Vascotchaz. You now continue a fairly steep climb up the mountainside, by trying to perform a number of turns which do not reduce the steepness too much. You bear to the right and once past a rather steep section of the slope, you go across a last sideways section to the left until you reach the ridge: you follow the ridge until you come to the peak where you can enjoy a beautiful view over the whole Monte Rosa massif.