This is an itinerary that exceeds expectations without presenting high technical difficulties. You go up in an austere environment, high in the mountains, joining the trip with a simple shod tract. For those wishing to complete a long ring trip you can continue to Monte Dronaz continuing to Mont Fourchon.
The starting point of the itinerary is the Colle del San Bernardo on the Swiss side. You park your car near the hospice, where we will start our path. Directions for Google Maps available here.
From the back of the San Bernardo hospice, climb up behind it via a small paved road towards the kennel. This road then becomes a path. You will soon reach the starting point of an old ski lift - dismantled in the 80s - of which only some bases of the pylons remain and the point of arrival, the "Belvedere". Go up a path with white signs in a westerly direction in the direction of a bastion reached which bends to the right along grassy slopes. You reach a part characterized by rocks that help us reach the area above. Beyond this area the path becomes less steep until you reach a point where you can see two lakes. We are approaching the Great Chenalette and its valley. Following the white-red signs, continue keeping to the left of the valley going up a stretch with some rocks until you reach the "Belvedere", the point of arrival of the old cable car (2650 m). Pass the Belvedere in a northerly direction following the trail of path and debris (written Ferret in red) up to a traverse uphill where the aided path begins (2780 m - 1h 20 'from the parking lot).
From the beginning of the ropes you go along a comfortable ledge with some steps and you arrive under a dihedral that you climb with ropes and metal steps. We then reach the first staircase and shortly after ascending it we meet a second one. We continue on the track that goes up some rocks until we reach a third stair. The third staircase allows to reach an inclined slab aided with chains turning left towards the nearby summit of the Gran Chanelette (2900 m - 1h from the start - 2h 30 'from the parking lot).
The descent takes place on the ascent route (3h 30 total).
The San Bernardo area is subjected to a harsh climate and therefore attention must be paid to this aspect. The ascent to the Belvedere and the section between these and the beginning of the ferrata requires attention at the beginning of the season as a snowfield may still be present.
The aided part does not present any particular technical difficulties and could be an excellent approach to the via ferrata for people with hiking experience.
From the summit of Gran Chenalette you can continue towards Monte Dronaz. From the summit, continue to the right (north east) through a rocky slab. From Mont Dronaz one could descend on an aided path, thus reaching a path to take on the left and return to the Colle.
From Monte Dronaz you could go on to the ridge area until you reach Mont Fourchon descending to the mountain pasture of Montagna Baus, grafting down the road that goes uphill to the Colle del San Bernardo. This itinerary is longer and requires more experience in aerial and exposed sections.
Going down from the Colle towards Aosta you can take the road that leads to the Ferrata del Crete Sech, ferrata that is not extremely demanding but long in its complex therefore difficult to combine in a daily trip with the Path Aided to the Grande Chenalette.
Approach: 1:20 h
Ferrata: 1:00 h
Itinerary: 3:30 h
Via Ferrata gap: 108 m
Route difference: 530 m
Max altitude: 2950 m
Length: 6.4 Km
Mountain Group: Pennine Alps