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Rifugio Bertone and Testa della Tronche, balcony on Mont Blanc

In Val Ferret, on a grassy ridge in front of the colossal views of the Mont Blanc.
6:30 h


The traditional route to Rifugio Bertone starts from Courmayeur, but we prefer to begin from Plampincieux in Val Ferret to save some elevation gain and ensure the possibility of a loop hike to Testa Bernarda and Testa della Tronche, facing the Mont Blanc group.

Pay attention to road closures in Val Ferret, usually between 9 am and 5 pm in July and August, until parking spaces are filled.

After parking at the "Bertone" parking lot in Val Ferret (1616m), we cross the Dora di Ferret on a small bridge and leave the Neyron alpine pastures on the left, taking the trail that begins to ascend westward. The trail quickly becomes interesting for the expansive views unfolding before us; in the distance, we can already see the "bifurcated tongue" of the Miage Glacier.

Arriving at the upper Alpe Leuchè (1929m, 45 minutes), the trail levels out, and we reach a viewpoint with detailed signage; Rifugio Bertone and Le Prè are just a few meters below (2000m, 30 minutes).

Our route now continues northeast: taking the path to Testa Bernarda and Col Sapin, we steeply ascend the grassy hump marking the beginning of Mont de la Saxe, a long grassy ridge culminating in Testa Bernarda and Testa della Tronche. We follow it all the way to Testa della Tronche, the highest point of the loop (2584m, 1.45 hours). The view of the eastern sector of the Mont Blanc group is exceptional.

After a well-deserved break, we descend from the south side of Testa della Tronche and quickly reach Col Sapin (2436m, 15 minutes), then descend to Alpe di Séchéron (2260m, 20 minutes), immersed in a puzzle-like landscape. The green valley in front of us is the perfect backdrop for the white peaks of Greuvetta and Grandes Jorasses. We then continue downhill through the meadows to Armina (2009m, 30 minutes), where we cross the stream on a small bridge.

When we reach the La Leche stables, pay attention to the poorly marked trail that descends towards Plampincieux, branching off from the trail that continues straight to Rifugio Bertone. Cutting diagonally across the mountainside, we return to the parking lot (1616m, 1 hour), completing the loop hike.






The mountains are a dangerous environment: make sure you always have the right equipment — hiking or trail shoes, warm clothes and waterproofs in case of unexpected changes in weather conditions, a small emergency kit.


I've made an Amazon "shopping note" to make sure you have everything — ps if you buy from these links, 3% goes to support the development and maintenance of Hikes of the World 🙏.


  • Breathable t-shirt ( example )

  • Sweatshirt, fleece, or light jacket

  • Waterproof windbreaker (for example: men / women )

  • Gloves and hat (you never know)

  • Backpack with rain cover

  • Trekking poles (not essential, but they help to unload the weight of the backpack and ease the impact on the joints)

  • Trekking or trail running shoes (in great vogue lately because they are lightweight. These Salomon ones - for men and women - are an excellent entry-level, preferably Gore-Tex)

  • For via ferratas: complete via ferrata kit (I have this one , very light and compact, with this harness and helmet — or you can buy complete kits ). Buy in store to receive ad hoc support

  • To sleep a night in a refuge: sheet or light sleeping bag

  • Water bottle or thermos

  • Light crampons if you think you will find ice or snow on the route

  • Power bank or cell phone charger

  • Camera

  • Drone, for those who love to "fly" (used in moderation and at a distance from other people. I have had the DJI Mini 2 for over 2 years and have found myself very happy with it. The DJI Mini 3 also allows you to take vertical photographs)

  • Small emergency kit ( example )

  • Sun cream (essential)

  • Sunglasses


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