The Colle di Ciriegia
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The Colle di Ciriegia
Valdieri

The Colle di Ciriegia

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Easy climb, of moderate length, to the Colle di Ciriegia, which, along with the Colle di Finestra, is one of the most commonly used passes that lead over the border from the Valle Gesso to France. The route begins on a well-cleared mule track and continues on a good trail.
Except for a few larches and some copses of green alders at the start of the climb, the trail passes through a wild, boulder-strewn detritic valley.

1 point of interest
History and historical trail

Trails of Freedom

Betwee the 8th and 13th of September, 1943, just days after Italy's surrender, about twelve hundred Jewish civilians of all ages and walks of life, originating from Saint-Martin Vésubie, crossed the Alps together with the Italian troops of the IV Army Corps. On foot, following two different routes, over the Colle di Finestra and the Colle di Ciriegia, the refugees arrived, respectively, in Entracque and Valdieri, where they were housed in the barracks and wherever else possible. A plaque affixed to the wall of the barracks at Colle di Ciriegia commemorates these events.

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Description

After crossing the wooden bridge over the Gesso della Valletta torrent, the route follows the mule track that crosses Pian della Casa del Re (1735 m). The mule track climbs with a few broad switchbacks up grassy detritic slopes dotted with larches until it comes to a triple fork: the route continues along the middle trail, ignoring the one on the right, which leads to the intermediate Lake Fremamorta (unmarked and reserved for expert hikers only) and the one on the left(marked) to the Regina Elena Refuge.
A bit further on, the route passes by a turnoff on the right, also for the intermediate Lake Fremamorta.
After passing through a copse of green alders, the trail circumnavigates a rockslide with a few stone steps. Arriving at the foot of a rocky outcropping, the trail surmounts it with tight switchbacks and two long traverses, passing first on the orographic right side of the valley and then returning to the left one again.
Now passing through fields of detritus, the mule track becomes a trail and passes by the remains of a small former military shelter, then winds past several large fallen boulders.
After climbing up another detritic slope, the trail proceeds through rubble until reaching a fork: the two paths come together again further on, but the one on the left is recommended.
The trail continues uphill on the orographic right; it passes by the turnoff to the left on the mule track for the Vallone di Balma GhiliË, shifts once again to the orographic left side of the valley and, in a series of long but fairly steep switchbacks, leads over the rock-strewn slope that precedes the barracks erected to house the troops defending the pass.
The Colle di Ciriegia pass (2543 m, 2 hours and 35 minutes from Pian della Casa del Re) is just a few meters beyond the remains of the military barracks.

Departure : Pian della Casa del Re (1735 m)
Arrival : Colle di Ciriegia (2543 m)
Towns crossed : Valdieri

Altimetric profile


Recommandations

Is in the midst of the park
The national park is an unrestricted natural area but subjected to regulations which must be known by all visitors.

Access and parking

Drive up the Valle Gesso from Borgo San Dalmazzo. After passing  Valdieri, continue on to Terme. Without entering the town, drive uphill on the left side of the Vallone della Valletta until the road ends (it is unpaved in its final tract) near Pian della Casa.

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