OverviewThe Valle Stretta (Narrow Valley).
by 1947 (Paris Peace Treaty) became French territory (Department of Hautes-Alpes), from the dam of the Seven Fountains on, it is a beautiful natural amphitheater, a paradise for hikers, bikers, climbers and ski mountaineers.
The whole valley is crossed by a beautiful dirt road (ex military), which leads up from 1400 meters of Pian del Colle, to the 1770 meters of the shelters of Grange Valle Stretta. The road is completely passable by car (with no off-road vehicles); alternatives in a beautiful trail, gives up the walking path. About half of the trail is the impressive "Parete dei Militi" (Wall of the Soldiers), one of the best and most challenging rock climbing of the Western Alps. The shelters of the grange is the starting point (in winter) of ski tourers; with about two hours of skiing you can reach the huge monolith rock of the Grand Séru (2888 m). At twenty minute from the grange, there is the beautiful Green Lake. A wonderful mirror of emerald water, clear and full of trout. Its color is due to a particular marine moss, which was formed on the trunks of dead pine trees, that have fallen into the lake. These are just the main and most popular trails of Close Valley , but the great plateau has countless others.
Trail DescriptionStarting from "Pian del Colle" (Bardonecchia), you leave the car in front of the camping. After 15' biking you reach the first goal of this trail.
The Seven Fountains Dam.
Built at the beginning of the twentieth century fueled the small power station of the Valley of Bardonecchia. Its basin surrounds a lake with blue gulf waters. The water of the river comes with a impressive force in the reservoir, is rightly regarded as the white gold of the Alps. Iin 1947 became French territory (Peace Treaty of Paris).
Once you left the seven fountains dam, you take the road that climb the Narrow Valley.
A beautiful dirt road that cross a larch tree forest. After 40' biking you reach a large plateau, where, on your right there is the imposing Wall of the Soldiers.
The Wall of the Soldiers.
The Wall of the Soldiers (Parete dei MIliti), is located about 1700 meters above sea level, overlooking the narrow valley floor and the green of the Soldiers. Although geographically belonging to France, the Wall of the Soldiers is an hour's drive from Turin. The wall was real witness to the evolution of climbing during the twentieth century. The easy way out there, even for beginners, and a summer day in glen always leaves a wonderful reminder. If the sun is not too strong, the morning is the ideal time, but also in the afternoon, but the cold wind gets up. Watch out for snakes on the scree at the base of the wall, chains and bolts to wandering the old streets and taken down to the stones that fall from the wall every so often pushed by birds that nest among the rocky gorges.
Length of roads: 15-30 meters (about double for the shots to be careful over the length of the rope)
Rope: 60 feet
Type of rock: limestone gray and yellow
Equipment: fix chains 10 and parked
Altitude: 1700 m. asl
Number of routes: 51
After 30' biking you reach the Re Magi Shelter, ex Uget.
A perfect support point for bikers, hikers and riders.
The Three Kings.
At 1,760 m. of altitude, the Refuge THE THREE KINGS is located in Valle Stretta in Briançon (France), the department of Hautes-Alpes. The Valle Stretta, the Italian territory before the Second World War and now the French - in the City of Nevache, has a French-Italian charm unique. Situated between the famous Parc des Ecrins and Piedmont, is a little piece of sunshine to 30 km from Briançon, 10 Km from Bardonecchia and 80 km from Turin.The Refuge RE MAGI is:
way stage of the Grande Traversée des Alpes (GTA), the GR 5, the Via Alpina and the Tour du Mont Thabor.
Once you have left the Re MAgi Hut, you have only 20' biking to reach the little bridge on the VAlle Stretta River.
The indication for the green lake are very clear.
You have to cross the little morenic hill that divide you from the lake.
The slope it's about 100 meters, but you have to do it with the bike on your shoulder.
The Green Lake.
It is a glacial Lake in the Valle Stretta at 1834 meters (France, Hautes-Alpes). The emerald green of the lake is about a particular seaweed that grows on the bottom and covering branches and decaying trunks. It is rich in trout and its small beach does not regret those of the tropics. The basin of the lake is well sheltered from the wind. Worth a trip even in winter to enjoy the clear waters of its ice. Years ago, taking courage in both hands, i plunged into the icy waters of the lake to take these photographs of the seabed.
Getting ThereFrom Turin (Italy):
take the A32 motorway (Turin-Bardonecchia), exit Bardonecchia (1 hour by car) direction Colle della Scala (Hill of the Ladder). When you reach the Pian del Colle (15' minutes), there is at your right a camping and the creek Valle Stretta; at your left you can see the Hill of the Ladder. Moving on the road you arrive to the dam of the seven fountains, from this point you are in France. After the dam on your left there is the road that reaches the Hill fo the Ladder, from wich you arrive in the french valley of Nevache (Dauphiné). Continuing instead of the dirt road, you enter in the Vallée Etroite. It is a succession of steep slopes alternating with gentle plains farming. In about twenty minutes you arrive to the "Parete dei Militi". An impressive vertical wall of rock over four kilometers long and with a height of over a thousand feet, it is a climbing wall known throughout the world and home to an important school of climbing. The French road at this point is shown on the maps as: "Tour de Rois Mages" (GR57A.) , named by the mountain range that is on your right side.
After about twenty minutes by car, exceeded a yet another series of switchbacks, you reach the grassy plateau of the Grange. Here, a barrier, prevents you from going any further. A little further on are the shelters of the "Third Alpini" and "Three Kings", open in winter. In front of you the dirt road continues into the valley. The impressive Monolith of Rock of the Grand Seru, who will be always in full view. A thirty-minute walk from the refuge there is the Green Lake.
From Briançon (France):
take the road N94, direction Hill of Montgenévre, turn on your left in La Vachette (Vallée de la Clarèe).
You have to pass the villages of : Le Rosier, Val-de-Prés- La Vachette (road n° D994G); after twenty munites by car you arrive at the cross with the road for Le Col de l'Echelle (on your right, road D1). Crossed the hill and down in the Vallée Etroite.
At the end of the road you will find the dirt road coming from Italy, direction la Valle Stretta.
When to BikeLate Spring-Summer-early Autumn.
The color of the Lake.Years ago, in the company of some friends, I made a diving in the green lake (apnea), this for the sole purpose of photographing the backdrop, fallen trees in the lake over the years, but especially slime algae that grow on the dead trees trunks.
These algae have created the wonderful green color of the lake.