Today’s itinerary starts from Pila at 1790 m above sea level, in a basin that until the ’60s of the 20th century was only the site of alpine pastures, and takes us up to Becca di Nona at 3142 m above sea level.
Pila is one of the most famous resorts in the Valle d’Aosta, both as a ski resort and as a starting point from which you can enjoy a 360 ° view of the main peaks of Valle d’Aosta. Pila enjoys a network of trails particularly articulated and from various difficulties that makes it an ideal destination for families with children, both for the most experienced walkers.
There are several tracks that lead to Becca di Nona, but today we decide to follow the most scenic one, starting with a very comfortable dirt road on the flat up to the Hermitage of San Grato (about 2 km).
As an alternative to the first stretch, you can start from the last square of Pila and follow the signs to Chamolé lake. Once arrived under the lake, at Baite di Chamolé, you will follow the flat path towards Comboé intercepting the path that, from below, will come from San Grato.
Come potete vedere sin da subito, la vista sulla valle è il primo colpo d’occhio del cammino odierno.
L’Eremo di San Grato è una graziosa cappella dedicata al patrono della diocesi di Aosta; ci torneremo sicuro dato che al momento del nostro passaggio era in restauro.
Le prime tracce documentarie di questo luogo di culto risalgono al XIII secolo; la cappella venne ampliata e impreziosita nel 1754, ma in parte andò distrutta nell’aprile del 1918 a causa di una valanga.. Sulla cima del grazioso campanile svetta una statua raffigurante il santo alta ben 3 metri realizzata nel 1853 dal valdostano B. Thomasset.
From the Hermitage starts the path that will lead towards the Plan-Fenètre pass, which in turn will descend towards the Comboé Valley.
The Becca di Nona is there in front of us, waiting for us.
This path alternates between stretches in the woods and wide panoramic spaces, passing through some alpine pastures above Chavensod and the beautiful Oratory of San Grato, then, another stretch in the woods, until you reach the open spaces of the alpine pasture of Chamolé.
From the huts, walk north-eastwards towards the wood, trying to find the path of the summer trail, and make a long traverse in the wood with the steep sides that descend from the long ridge that comes down from the Tête Noire; gain a little height with some ups and downs and, after a bend, you’ll reach the wooden cross placed on a panoramic hill on the left, just above the Col Plan Fenêtre.
From the pass to the Becca di Nona the path starts to become really challenging. This last stretch is recommended from July to September in the good season, unless you are experienced and equipped mountaineers.
In our ascent we don’t pass by Col Carrel and Bivacco Federigo also because of the difficulty of the path, very friable and steep, but we decide to keep the path on the left when we will be about 2550 m and we will find ourselves in front of the fork for Col and Lago Carrel. We advise the descent from Col Carrel because the path is very friable and the risk to fall is very high.
On days like this Aosta seems almost like a small town below our feet and Mont Blanc and the Great St. Bernard those giants that slowly get a little closer.
Route type: dirt road and mountain trail
Water: you need to be self sufficient