Glorioso Rimpatrio dei Valdesi: Stage 4 Località Granges - Località Balziglia

da Pragelato a Massello (22,69 km)
Highlights and tour details

Depart Pragelato in the direction of Trampolini del Salto, along the paved road, as far as the bridge. From here, take the unpaved road that runs along the left orographic side of the Chisonetto and follow it as far as the next bridge, built for the Winter Olympics of 2006. The golf courses start (we are in the hamlet of Traverses, close to the Plan, which hosts the Cross Country Skiing Centre in winter). Continue, keeping to the orographic left, at the side of the river, leaving the Plan to the left with its Centre. The final part that is slightly uphill terminates at Pattemouche. Pass under the ski lifts at Clot de la Soma, at the side of the Locanda del Sole and of the ski rental office. You reach the campervan car park, at the entrance of the Val Troncea Nature Park, and in a handful of metres you reach the Das Itreit Bridge that marks official access, allowed only to vehicles with transit permit. Leave the orographic left to pass to the right and after crossing the bridge you go uphill on the vehicular road. Shortly after, pass to the left of a wooden footbridge of recent construction, made to cross the Chisone torrent and visit the former mill of Laval. This slightly uphill climb crosses a wooden bridge and comes out on the plateau where you can already see the Information and Control House of the Park, with a fountain and the crossroads with the directions for Laval and Joussaud uphill. Always on the vehicular road, go past Laval and Joussaud (the latter is not marked but where the Waldensians stopped for the night before facing the Colle del Plis). Continuing on, leave the Sentiero dei Forestali of Pragelato to the left, a grazing area indicated by an old sign. By now, close to Clot de la Soma, go past Belotte, closed accommodation facility, in a very large area typical of ski lifts. After a bend, the road climbs decidedly towards the mountain; it is the only truly challenging section, but of short duration. You come out always on the vehicular road of the ski lifts and, halfway up the slope with a lovely panorama to the left, in a short time you reach the ski lifts of Clot de la Soma. From here, a couple of trees provide shade for the trail that leads to Punta Clot de la Soma, across a short but steep, challenging ridge that detaches itself from the service road of the ski lifts in an unclear manner and continues to climb gently. Having reached Punta al Clot you can admire the panoramic point even better. Now, continue first on level ground on the ridge and then downhill towards the last pylon of the ski lifts on the wall of which the white/red trail sign board has been painted. Straight ahead, you can already see the commemorative Pylon Enrietto, to go alongside. At this point, the trail covers a short section of level ground and then climbs upwards very decisively and steeply, flattens out slightly crossing a stream and then climbs again always decisively halfway up the slope. Having reached a small hairpin bend, continue to the right, at Col del Pis, at 2614 m, a total uphill altitude difference of 1061 metres. Trail 216 starts here marked to access a wide valley with a bottom of stones or grass, passing under the mass of the Morefreddo and Ruetas mountain group. The trail allows to descend quickly and reach a crossroads in a short time, from which it is possible to have access to a shortcut that connects to trail 218. This trail takes to the Moremout military shelter, which leads up to Col dell’Albergian. You cross streams that merge into the Germanasca torrent of Massello and on a few bends, in a short time, you reach the official crossroads with trail sign. Leaving this fork on the left, you find another a little further on to the right. It is trail 217 that leads to the Colle dell’Arcano, under the now frontal mass of Bric di mezzogiorno. Already from this point towards the valley you can catch glimpse of an enormous stone man, which is reached in a few minutes, to the right you can see the Berg. Valloncrò. A large rift between the rocks nearby creates a canyon from which the river that gives rise to the great Waterfall del Pis emerges. The waterfall can be hiked as an iced waterfall in winter. You are in the Fun la Pla zone, where the trail 216/GTA presents a stony bottom not to be underestimated; halfway up the slope you cross three streams that merge in the same point until you reach the Bergerie Lauson. The trail almost backwards returns to the rocky jump of the Waterfall with a decidedly challenging bottom, of medium and small size stones, all in motion. It is initially a long traverse and then heads towards the valley floor, with a downhill section that is not so immediate. You pass an area of pasture. Following the left orographic side, you reach Clot Mian, cross it passing between the walls and, shortly after, on some bends and a change in gradient you arrive in Balziglia. There is also a narrow passage between the walls of the first houses until you reach the bridge on the paved road, signposted by the large noticeboard dedicated to the GRV.

Points of interest

Large military barracks in the grassy basin of Moremout; hills of the Arcano and of Beth: they are the site of the tragic avalanche of 1904 which destroyed the mines and killed 81 miners on their way home for Christmas. The cemetery is in Laval in the Val Troncea Park (where there is a refuge and plaisentif cheese producer); prehistoric graffiti on the Alce rock on the descent towards Balziglia. Lauson, probable birthplace of the saras del fen, a typical dairy product of Val Pellice and of the province of Turin; Balziglia, the first stronghold and refuge of the Waldensians on arrival, and the place where they painfully and tragically sacrificed the hostages who were with them. The Foresteria is also a small and interesting museum of the Waldensian feat.

Other information

Itinerary code: GRV
Phone coverage: partial
Recommended period: Summer
Access by public transport: Yes
Classification: Medium and low mountain provincial
Provinces crossed: Torino

Notes on public transport
Autolinee A Massello bus service in Pragelato, connections from Pinerolo - Perosa with Autolinee
Departure, arrival and municipalities crossed
Località Granges
10060 Pragelato (TO)
see on map
Località Balziglia
10060 Massello (TO)
see on map
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