Municipality: Valsavarenche

A beautiful classic high alpine mountain route up to the highest peak in the Grajisch Alps. Located in the national park of Gran Paradiso, this peak fascinates lots of mountaineers from all around the world in winter as well as in summer. The Gran Paradiso is 4061 meter high and not so difficult to climb, compared to other mountains in this range. But still you need complete glacier equipment, rope and experience.

Splitboard Skitour - Gran Paradiso
Difficulty SAC: S
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Summit altitude: 4.061m
Start altitude: 1.960m
Vertical height: 2.100m
Walking time h:min: 8:00+
Exposition: West,Northwest,
Best season: Late winter
How to get there:

From Milano take the A5 into the Aosta Valley till exit Aosta Ouest / St. Pierre, then turn left and after 5km on the SS26 you'll reach the turnoff left to Valsavarenche. Now you go on for about 25km to the end of the road - Pont (1960m).  Here you find a guesthouse where you can have food before climbing.

From France:
You go through the Mt. Blanc Tunnel to the Aosta Valley and on just before Aosta. Take the exit  Aosta Ouest / St. Pierre (see above) or, if coming on the SS26, turn right to Valsavarenche.

Route description
Starting point:

Parking in Pont, 1960m.


First, you hike direction south along the river into the Vallone di Seiva. Either you cross the river at the beginning and walk on the left (western) side of the river or you go along the easter side up to the sign Rifugio Vittorio Emanuele, both is possible. The Rifugio is a great base to climb the Gran Paradiso in two days.

At the sign you head on for a few minutes and then you go to the East, following the summer trail into the forest. After around 100 altimeters you leave the forest and go on, quite steeply through hilly terrain, till you reach the hut Rifugio Vittorio Emanuele. Here you can get some food before entering the high alpine area of Gran Paradiso and head on with lots of people up to the peak.

If you are lucky and there are no tracks, you just pass the hut and afterwards you go to the left, direction North, until you reach the morain. From here you go on in long snake-like curves up to the Gran Paradiso Glacier and to the peak.

You will see the prominent Schiena d´Asino, where the uphill tracks from Rifugio Chabod meet the ones of Vittorio Emanuele, it is on a height of around 3500 meters. Having a beautiful view to the ice boom (if the weather is fine) you go on direction South-East up to the "Back of the Donkey"  where usually are lots of crevasses and then to the Col d. Becca di Moncorvè. At this point you often have lots of clowds coming in over the saddle and some wind. In a left curve you move on to the steeper section, direction North, and then further up to the main crevasse which is almost every winter closed by lots of snow. Then you reach the Ski- or Splitboard Depot. From here it is just 60 meters further up to reach the summit, but you have to climb a bit (UIAA I-II). After an exposed step you will be just beside the Madonna enjoying the breathtaking views to the big neighbors like Matterhorn, Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa... and there is rising this feeling in your soul...

The time is estimated with 8+ hours when you go slowly and have a lunch break at the peak and another break at the hut.

If the conditions are right and your skills accordingly, you can find great untracked ascents aside to watch the caraavan hiking up from a distance. Later you get easyly back to the track to safe strength for the descent.


As ascent, if you open your eyes and ears you can find some excellent untracked descent options which make this classic an unforgettable experience.

Please take care even when it looks great, you are moving on high alpine area and you should be aware of the possible dangers. Also you should minimize your risk and choose your line carefully.

Alternative I Check out the way down to Rifugio F. Chabod.

Alternative II, if you hike up 150 altimeters again, you can reach the Col del Grant Etret at 3200 meter and ride down to Pont on this less tracked way. Keep in mind the steep walls of the mountains you are traversing.

Read here our excursion-report from Gran Paradiso


IGC 101, Gran Paradiso La Grivola Cogne 1:25000

Ascent route map (show/hide)

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