GTA: Balme - Usseglio

GTA Balme Usseglio - profilo

Due to the ground morphology, this GTA stage offers a climb along gentle slopes of a valley rich in water and small lakes, while the descent toward Usseglio is steep and demanding, requiring particular attention in case of fog or rainy weather. At the beginning of the summer, the rhododendrons blooming offers striking contrasts, while in August, the climb to Passo Paschiet is ideal for the blueberry harvest.


Suggested period
From mid June to September, at the beginning of the season, it is possible to find snowfields in the final climb to Passo Paschiet.
Starting point
Elevation gain
+ 1120 m ; - 1350 m
Travel time
7:30 hrs
Trail indication
EPT 214, GTA, 128

Recommended for

  • Skilled hikers


Leaving the Posto Tappa, follow the paved road leading to I Frè hamlet. At the hairpin turn below the hamlet, cross the bridge and follow the obvious trail (indication GTA and 214). Reach the Pian Salè pasture huts, passing by the huge sheep rock called “Balena”(whale). Do not take the trail on the right, but keep on climbing and enter the small wood, tackling a steep stretch taking you to the summit of a wall overlooking the stream below. The trail levels up reaching the Garavela pasture huts. Walk on, always on the orographic right side of the stream, until arriving at Alpe Pian Buet. Just a bit further on, at the crossroads, keep the right and climb a slope with many rhododendrons and alders so as to arrive in sight of Lago Verde Inferiore. Skirt it on the right, climb among huge boulders to Lago Verde Superiore. From here, in a short time you will reach the Gandolfo bivvi, on the right of the trail. The climb now easily proceeds on rubble ground up to Passo Paschiet, beyond which you will enjoy a wide panorama.

With a short descent you will arrive at a trail fork, turn right ignoring the (128A) trail which keeps descending towards Alpe d’Ovarda to end at Lemie. (This itinerary is longer but useful and safer in case of physical problems or reduced visibility.) After having turned right at the fork, you start circling the Torre d’Ovarda slopes, at first climbing to Colle di Costa Fiorita, then descending along steep meadows until you arrive at Pian Venaus. Crossing several couloirs, descend until you definitely turn left to enter a steep conifer wood. Keeping on walking you finally arrive on the left orographic side of Rio Venaus, characterized by the great protection wall. Shortly, reach the paved road, turn right and climb for about 1½ kilometers until reaching the Posto Tappa Albergo Furnasa, at the beginning of Vallone d’Arnas.


“GTA – Grande Traversata delle Alpi” di I. Kürschner e D. Haas Ed. Rother.


Valli di Lanzo – carta sentieri 3 Val d’Ala e Val Grande; Alte Valli di Lanzo – carta n° 17 L’Escursionista & Monti editori

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