The ascent to the Boccalatte-Piolti hut is a long and demanding itinerary with a remarkable drop and some fords that - in some periods of the year - may not be easy. The part with fixed protections (ropes and ladders) has a drop of about 200 meters and is only a component of an trip in a majestic environment with a very alpine character.
The starting point of the itinerary is Planpinceaux in the municipality of Coumayeur in the province of Aosta. Turn left towards the center of the hamlet where there is a large parking lot for parking. Then follow the road uphill towards the center and near the hotel restaurant Miravalle the trail markers for path 21 are sought. Directions for Google Maps available here.
The first hour of walking is quiet with an incredible view of Mont Blanc and the Grandes Jorasses. It starts by climbing first into the woods then along the meadows with an uneven slope. After about 1 hour from the parking lot you come to having to make two fords going up the walls of one of the streams. At the end of this we go up a very steep slab with passages of I and II degree paying attention to the rock which is not exactly stable and with the possibility of slipping in case of damp soil. You will soon reach a metal staircase that helps you to go up and go over a rocky jump of 20 meters (1h 30 'from the parking lot). Continue along a zigzag morainic ridge and begin to see the destination of our journey closer. After an hour of path (yellow signs) turn left crossing a snowfield and continue reaching the rocky bastion above which is the hut.
You climb on stretches of rock helped by large canaponi present that cut to the left. Continue following the ropes up to a pulpit and then on an aerial path up to the balcony on which the hut is built (30 'from the start - 3h 30' from the parking lot) from which we enjoy a wonderful view of the Planpincieux Glacier. You can continue the itinerary continuing over the hut on fixed ropes until you reach the glacier.
Descend along the same uphill road (3h).
In the last traverse on the snowfield, pay attention to the glacier above which could discharge pieces of ice (use the helmet). It is a challenging itinerary for experienced hikers. You reach the base of the climbs to the Grandes Jorasses, one of the most challenging 4000s. The hut is open on the weekends of June and every day of July-August. For more information contact the CAI of Turin.
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Weather Trail Aided at the Boccalatte-Piolti shelter in Plampincieux (Aosta).