Adventure Bike Aosta Valley
Sometimes you start a journey with the sole aim of setting out, trying to nourish an ambitious idea that has yet to take shape.
Sometimes you start a journey with only two certainties: rainy weather and a close-knit group of mountain bikers
In these circumstances, Elena, Alfredo and I ventured out to explore some mountain areas on our bikes, staying at charming facilities immersed in nature in Valle d’Aosta.
Unsurprisingly, we started at a traditional and renowned agriturismo in a village near Aosta, Maison Rosset in Nus, managed with care by Camillo.
On the first part of the trail we escaped the rain that subsequently accompanied us on the last stretch up to Rifugio Magià at 2,007 meters. Dario and his daughter Manuela, who in winter remain connected with the rest of the world only through a cross-country ski trail that leads to Saint-Barthélemy, welcomed us to their little corner of paradise. Fire, warmth and good food would reenergize us for the challenging second day.
Reaching Col Vessona at an altitude of 2,788 meters was not easy, despite our training. It is one of the most picturesque passes in the Valle d’Aosta, from which a freeride/enduro trail descends for 10 kilometers along another wild valley, Valpelline.
Humidity and mosquitoes followed us for a while and then relented while we pushed and “portaged” our bikes up the final section to the pass. After a brief stop at the Clermont Bivouac, still surrounded by the clouds that gave us respite while we reached the pass, we launched ourselves along technical switchbacks on clay, alternating with fluid sequences on dirt and sometimes-slippery roots – with an inevitable puncture, of course. Once we reached Oyace, we headed out again toward Champillon, a village at 2,000 meters’ elevation, located in a strategic area for accessing Rifugio Adolfo Letey at 2,430 meters, where we were welcomed by Silvie, Marcello and Mattia.
The window of good weather in the morning rewarded us generously for the effort of the previous day, granting us a sunny descent along a ridge that led us to the dense forests of firs and larches crossed by ancient irrigation channels connecting the high valley of the Great Saint Bernard.
Doues, Allein, Etroubles: these are the small mountain villages we encountered during our descent and the subsequent transition to the right side of the valley, along the Ru Neuf canal to Gignod. The day’s stage was to take us to Rifugio Fallère, a true work of art – located at 2,365 meters’ elevation, at the foot of the mountain of the same name – managed by Siro and his son François.
From here, the temptation to reach and tackle the Becca France, an exposed and jagged mountain from which a truly one-of-a-kind single track drops down to the city of Aosta, was too strong.
We headed out again with an exceptional sunrise, with one of the most beautiful and majestic mountains in Valle d’Aosta in the background, the 3,969-meter Grivola
Three intense days that end with this loop, crossing Roman Aosta and following the bike path that takes us back to our starting point, ready for another trip – why not? – together.