Via ferrata Ciao Miki
dal 01/07 to 31/10
Departure:Coumarial (1450 meters)
Arrival:Mont Mars (2600 meters)
Difference in level:1200 m
Duration going there:4h00
How to get there
Tollbooth of Pont St.Martin. Turn right, pass a traffic light and reach a roundabout. Follow the directions for Gressoney, pass Fontainemore and after a few km turn right on the bridge. Follow the signs for “Mont Mars” until you reach Coumarial where there is a parking area.
The Chardon crest leads to Mont Mars along the border between Valle d’Aosta and Piedmont. It is a historic itinerary that winds its way along one of the most classic alpine routes, very much appreciated both by local mountainclimbers and non locals.
Description of the route
From the parking area of Pian Coumarial continue along the farm road for a few hundred meters, leaving the road that leads to the Coda refuge to the right and continue along the flat, traced out safety route which crosses to the left and follow it until it ends. Continue along the road that goes down for a bit until it joins with the one coming from Pillaz. Continue along the road until you arrive at lago del Vargno (Vargno Lake).
Before actually reaching the lake take the path of Col della Barma. You will arrive first at Lac de Lé Lounc, at the alp bearing the same name and then to Lac de la Barma where is the new mountain hut.
You continue to the right on path 2b that leads to the col Chardon where the ferrata begins.
You immediately climb a strengthened tower to the left with steps (every 30 cm) and handrails. You continue to go down and climb up on three main gendarmes. There are two short jutting parts of about 2 meters, but they are not difficult.
The last part of the ferrata looks alot like a fully equipped trail. The safety equipment consists of hemp ropes in good conditions. In the grassier parts its better to stay on the edge of the crest.
You continue downwards until you reach the passo della Capra (2414 meters) that joins with the normal path of the Oropa. You then continue to the right, going up, until you reach the Mont Mars peak (2600 meters).
From the top you go down on the opposite side with the help of hemp ropes until you reach the col Goudin superiore, with the view of the historic Carisey crest. You continue going down to the right on path 3a that leads to laghetto Gaudin (2083 meters) where you intercept the Alta Via numero 1. After a part along middle coast you start to ascend in a beautiful environment filled with mid mountain vegetation.
Once you’ve reached Serrafredda go to the left (trail 3a) crossing path 3 that goes down from col di Carisey. You continue downhill until you reach the delightful little cottages of Vercosa and then to alpe Chicail (1536 meters). You continue to go downhill on a wooded path until you reach the picnic tables and 50 meters to the right, going up, to the parking area.