First Stage: from Etroubles to Chaligne Refuge
Duration 3h 35′
Difference in height: uphill 671
From Etroubles get off the main road and keep driving towards the campsite “Le Tunnel” .
Go past the hotel Beau Sejour on your left side and park your car near to the campsite.
Walk until you reach an old abandoned settlement. The itinerary starts on a paved road for the first few meters then an unpaved road enters a forest of red fir and larch (trail no. 5)
The forest, particularly rich in vegetation, offers the hikers an environment extremely rich in flora and fauna. While walking through the forest you may see squirrels and many different varieties of birds and on the undergrowth you may see raspberries, strawberries and an infinite variety of flowers.
After passing a small river, you will reach a fork in the road: turn left and follow the signs for Chaligne Refuge.
The trail continues on flat ground. Go past an avalanche barrier and walk for about 40 minutes then on your right, you will find the path 5A.
The path leads into a thick forest. Looking up behind you, through the trees, the view opens up to Becca di Viou, Dent d’Herens and to Menouve valley.
The pathway steeply rises through the larch and fir forest and once you have walked outside of it, it descents gently downhill (60′). Later, it goes past the Eteley mountain pasture (1689 m) and leads you to a bridge that crosses the Ars torrent flowing from the valley that is known under the same name.
The panorama of Mont Vélan (3734m) is wonderful from here.
Once you have crossed the bridge, the trail descends downhill along the river for about 400m.
Then get off the trail and turn right onto a wide path that rises quite steeply and goes through a forest (1h 25′).
Once you have walked outside of the forest , facing the Alpeggio di Ars, follow on your left the wide path that comes from Buthier (1936m) and gradually goes from Alpe Collet to Refuge Chaligne.
Second stage: dal From Refuge Chaligne to Refuge Mont Fallère
Duration: 4h 35′
Difference in height: uphill 922
Difference in height : downhil 428
From Chaligne Refuge, follow the signs for Costa Tardiva and keep walking along the path that goes through the forest, starting gently, then more steeply.
Once you have arrived at a clearing with a cross and some benches, you can notice some rhododendrons and junipers. Continue walking until you reach the path that leads to Tza Chaligne.
When you have passed next to a farm, the trail starts to rise up steeply to the direction Côte Tardive (trail no. TMF). Once you have walked next to a repeater, keep walking along the ridge following the yellow arrows painted on the stones indicating the right direction to take.
Even on the ridge, the vegetation is particularly rich, with rare edelweiss and several marmot dens. The hiker’s passage is accompanied by the sound of cowbells ringing from one side of the valley to the other.
From there, walk down to Col de Metz (2486m), until you see a memorial stone placed at the end of the path which indicates you the right direction to Alpe Chezere (2177m).
The pathway will then go through La Neuve mountain pasture (2269m). Follow the trail n°8a and get to Lac Fallère (2416m). From Lac Fallère, keep walking uphill westward, and you will reach the lake Lac des Grenouilles (2363m), from where you can easily see Mont Fallère Refuge (2385m).
from Rifuge Mont Fallère to Etroubles
Duration: 3h 55′
Difference in height: uphill 436
Difference in height: downhill 1556
From Refuge Mont Fallère, follow the path towards Crottes mountain pasture (2352m). From there, take the path that goes up to Col Fenêtre, and walk through the valley.
The trail, often grassy, tends to disappear , that is why the hikers are advised to pay particular attention to the signs that indicate the right direction to follow. At the end of the valley, the trail starts to zigzag up to the mountain pass Col Fenêtre (2729 m). From this point, turn left towards Vertosan and keep hiking through an area where rocks are easy to climb, then turn right at Vertosan mountain pass.
From Vertosan mountain pass, the descent gets more difficult, with easy rocky sections but slightly exposed at an altitude of 2500m .
From here the path gets easier as it traverses grasslands and it leads you to Tza di Flassin (2258 m).
From Flassin mountain pasture, the path takes you directly to the campsite Pineta di Flassin, from where you will arrive at the starting point of the tour by following “Percorso-Vita” (Route de la Vie),