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The Western road of the Fortresses.

The Western road of the Fortresses.

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The <FONT COLOR=RED>Western</FONT> road of the <b>Fortresses</b>.

Page Type: Trail

Location: Turin, Italy, Europe

Lat/Lon: 45.08428°N / 6.76822°E

County: Piedmont

Technical Difficulty: Medium

Aerobic Difficulty: Medium

Layout: Loop

Elevation Gain: 9203 ft / 2805 m

Length: 19.0 Mi / 30.6 Km

Route Quality: 
 - 1 Votes


Page By: chaberton

Created/Edited: Aug 29, 2012 / Jul 30, 2013

Object ID: 284987

Hits: 3097 

Page Score: 74.01%  - 4 Votes 

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It is an ancient way in the high mountains, which runs more than twenty kilometers (more than twelve of secondary branches), on the ridges and plateaus of the north-east of Susa Valley. It was built, with enormous efforts, at the end of eight hundred (1886). The road allowed to exceed a height of 825 meters, from the lower valley up to the summit of Mount Jafferau. In the twenties, was improved with the construction of a U-shaped tunnel (876 meters long), in the bowels of Mount Seguret. This gallery is unparalleled throughout the Western Alpine Arc.
Today is a splendid run, available to Bikers who can follow it completely.
You can certainly define the path of the ancient fortresses, because you can meet on his journey four, all easy and very impressive.
A view from Mount Triplex.

In the order you meet:

Fort Fenile 1200 meters.
Fort Pramand 2161 meters.
Fort Föens 2177 meters.
Fort Jafferau 2805 meters.

Aerial View.

Aerial View.

Getting There

From Turin:
Take the A32 motorway Turin-Bardonecchia, exit Oulx (50'by car).
Come back in the direction of Turin and follow the indications for Salbertrand.
Beyond the village of Salbertrand, after two bends close together, you come to a fork Eclause- Pramand-Valley Grange. You are now on the Statal Road SS 24 Fenils-Moncellier(20'). Just above the village of Fenils(15') is the first fort to visit (only externally), Fort Fenile (in the summer is home to a colony of children).

At the village of Moncellier (altitude 1332 m) the dirt road begins.

Embarrassing evidence of the past.
Embarassing evidence of the Past!

The Map.


The Road of the Fortresses.

The first part of the course of the road was overwhelmed by a large landslide in 1957.
The initial three hundred meters are made by the temporary variant, which then became final.

The road gradually gains altitude, climbing up the hillside to the east-west. A point very impressive is characterized by the short tunnel Chanteloube. Completely built in concrete and beautiful cut stone, the roof of the tunnel, when the snow melts, it becomes a beautiful waterfall for the Rio Chanteloube (1910 m).

Rio Chanteloube.
Rio Chanteloube
Rio Chanteloube.
Rio Chanteloube.

After a few turns the road reaches the Colletto Pramand (2087 m.), where it forks to the right leads up to the fortress, left, continue towards Jafferau.

The visit to the fortress of Pramand worth the stop for an hour. Along the access path can be seen the remains of the barracks troops, along the hillside, past a rock arch, we reach a beautiful panoramic terrace on Monte Seguret. A semi-barred door is the entrance in the rock of powder magazine. This was connected with the fortress above by a freight elevator and a stepladder. On top of the mountain there is the fortress itself, a two floor parallelepiped of concrete. Upstairs are visible the four giant craters, where once they were positioned the steel domes of the guns. The panoramic view over the valley of Susa, and on the hills of the ridge: Rock Charrà, Grand Hoche, Clotesse, is perfect!

Mount Pramand 2161m.

Returning to the military road, we meet, after a short tunnel, the impressively entrance of the Seguret Gallery (825 meters long, U-shaped, completely darkened and with deep holes filled with water), to go along is absolutely necessary to carry a powerful flashlight. As makes a turn in the mountains, the first part is completely dark, you hear only the sound of dripping water, is very impressive!

In the <i>bowels</i> of the mountain.
The Tunnel
Mount Seguret.
The Cave of the Saracens

Leaving the gallery, meet the odometer milestone N° 14, on a plateau you can see the ruins of an old military barracks.

Once you reach 16 km, through a pine forest, and to our left the Cave of the Saracens, from the top down a beautiful waterfall (Legend has it that were dug by the prisoners Saracens), there is, continuing to the left the junction which leads us the fortress of Föens (beyond which the road is reduced to one narrow path); to the right we have other 7200 meters of road to reach the Col Basset and the Jafferau Fortress.

The Foens.

Col Basset.
Col Basset
A door in the <FONT COLOR=BLUE>Heaven!</FONT>

Journey times.
5 hours from the Fenile Jafferau, making the full loop which includes the Foens.
About one and a half hours for the return to the parking lot of Fenile.

Red Tape


The road (unfortunately) is passable by off-road vehicles, transit is allowed. Inside the long tunnel of Mount Seguret, there is no lighting and there are holes full of water, so for those facing the bike or on horseback, it is better to be equipped with powerful torches.

It is essential to take a good supply of water, especially during the summer, natural sources are completely dry.
The caves of the <FONT COLOR=RED><i>Saracens</i></FONT>.
A large Panorama View.


You can camp anywhere, advice, whip the tent back from the road, the passage of the jeep is annoying and raises huge clouds of dust.
<FONT COLOR=RED>Watch out for the off-road!</FONT>
Watch Out for the Jeeps!

When to Bike.

Summer - early Autumn.

Gallery of the Past.

External Links:
Gallery of the Past