The Bessanese’s Tour is a circular altitude itinerary in the southern Graian Alps, developing, through Italy and France, around a massif including the Uja di Bessanese (3604 m), Arnas (3560 m) and Coroce Rossa (3566 m) summits. Old borderline trails used since the roman age, military mule tracks, well-marked trails or simple tracks on drumlin ground offer to the hiker a heterogeneous itinerary. Its highest point (3200 m) is the Collerin Pass. The itinerary is 32 km long with a total elevation gain of about 2600 m and may be split in three stops at comfortable alpine refuges.
The whole trail is well marked and does not present mountaineering difficulties but, due to the austere environment and the not best climatic conditions (snow on the ground and/or fog), the hiker must be experienced, have the proper equipment (poles and/or ice-pick – crampons) and a good training/skill.
The three refuges, Rifugio Cibrario and Rifugio Gastaldi managed by Club Alpino Italiano in Italy and Refuge d’Averole, owned by Club Alpin Français in France, assure shelter and refreshments to the iker. The opportunity of different nationality refuge accommodations is one more attraction to the pleasure of crossing so far wild valleys rich in streams, lakes and alpine fauna and flora: it is possible to meet, along the trail, ibexes and groundhogs.
The starting point may be any of the three refuges (Refuge d’Averole, Rifugio Gastaldi or Rifugio Cibrario) and the journey may be undertaken both ways: clockwise (suggested) or counterclockwise.
The best time for this trekking is from the beginning of July to mid September, when all the refuges are opened and regularly run. It is, however, suggested to check on the website www.tourdellabessanese.eu itinerary conditions before leaving.