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A Tarred or paved road
B Dirt track
C Mule trail
D Mountain trail
E Equipped trail (cables, ladders)
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R137 Pontebernardo » Rifugio Zanotti
  |   6h55   |   15.55 km   |   1560 m   |   879 m

From Pontebernardo the trail heads westwards, about halfway up the slope, through a dip near the Becchi Rossi peaks, and then down to Prati di San Lorenzo, on the banks of the Forneris stream. Once over the Stau pass it leads back down to the Ponte Bernardo valley and near the Talarico hut. The trail then leads up the opposite slope to the Sottan delle Scolettas pass, followed by a brief descent to the Zanotti hut. This leg is practicable by mountain bike, too from Zanotti Refuge to Pontebernardo (don’t go up to Stau pass; once you get to Malarico you’ll have to go down directly along the valley of Pontebernardo; Zanotti refuge can be reached through the military road from Pietraporzio).

Point Segment
Name Services Information Marking
1312 m
|   7.96 km / 3h35
Colle di Stau
2499 m
|   3.6 km / 1h25
Prati del Vallone
1719 m
|   2.62 km / 1h30
Passo Sottano di Scolettas
2225 m
| C  1.37 km / 0h25
Rifugio Zanotti
2045 m
Detailed route description
Other long-distance trails and alternative routes
Sentiero Italia trail.
Useful topographic maps
  • 7 ~ IGC VAL MAIRA, GRANA E STURA (1: 50000)
Useful guidebooks
  • La Valle Stura di Demonte, com.scient. CAI ~ Itinerari naturalistici e geografici (ISBN 1978)
  • Camminaitalia, Cannobini, Carnovalini, Valsesia ~ Le guide di Airone, Mondadori (ISBN 1995)
  • In cima-70 normali nelle Cozie meridionali, M.Bruno ~ L'arciere blu, Cuneo (ISBN 1995)

Favourites, criticisms ? Make your personal comments on this stage. For more general notes please use the comments section of the page Over to the Via Alpinists.

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  • auf-guten-wegen - 2018-11-15
    Wir benötigten für die Strecke von Pontebernardo nach Prati del Vallone 5 Std. 45 Min. Marschzeit exklusive Pausen. Der GPS-Track (Stand August 2018) war leider nur rudimentär, doch der Weg ist relativ klar und gut markiert. Wir haben im Rifugio Prati del Vallone übernachtet, der ehemaligen Ferienkolonie "Zio John".
    Hinweis: Wer nicht im Rifugio Zanotti übernachtet, kann den Aufstieg dorthin auslassen und unterhalb vorbeiwandern.
    Automatic translation [Google]
    We needed 5 hours 45 minutes for the route from Pontebernardo to Prati del Vallone. Exclusive breaks. The GPS track (as of August 2018) was unfortunately only rudimentary, but the route is relatively clear and well marked. We stayed at the Rifugio Prati del Vallone, the former holiday colony "Zio John". Note: If you are not staying at Rifugio Zanotti, you can skip the climb and hike below.
  • Berta - 2018-08-17
    Rifugio Zanotti ist telefonisch nicht zu erreichen und nicht sehr zuverlässig besetzt. Wir gingen weiter bis zum Refugio Migliorero. Das ist zwar etwas anstrengend und weit, aber machbar. Refugio Migliorero 017195802 ist einfach aber sauber, die Leute sehr freundlich und das Essen ist sehr gut. Wir hatten ein 2Bettzimmer mit Halbpension f 44€pro Person (Club Alpin Mitglieder)
    Automatic translation [Google]
    Rifugio Zanotti can not be reached by phone and is not very reliable. We continued to Refugio Migliorero. This is a bit exhausting and far, but feasible. Refugio Migliorero 017195802 is basic but clean, the people are very friendly and the food is very good. We had a double room with half board f € 44 per person (Club Alpin members)
  • Daniel - 2017-09-06
    No need to climb the Colle di Stau, because you can get to Vallone by walking up an even asphalted Road. That will save you time.

    When I passed rifugio Zanotti, I saw it was abandoned and locked. So check at rifugio Vallone if it is open. I continued to rifugio Migliorera, which is big. From Migliorera to Strepseis, of you are tired of climbing up passes, you can also reach it by going through the valley. That will save you half a day and nobody will mind!
  • Elisabeth - 2016-11-10
    Grosse erreur : il faut compter 10h25 et non 6h55 pour cette très longue étape : il manque les 3 h de montée à Becco Rosso (à ne pas confondre avec Becchi Rossi) et les 30 mn de remontée au refuge Zanotti, qui n'est pas à 2045m (c'est la Gias del Piz) mais à 2200m !
    Automatic translation [Google]
    Big mistake: it takes 10:25 and not 6:55 for this very long stage: it misses the 3-hour climb to Becco Rosso (not to be confused with Becchi Rossi) and the 30-minute climb to the Zanotti refuge, which is not at 2045m (it's the Gias del Piz) but at 2200m!
  • Jean-Claude - 2015-09-30
    A côté du refuge talarico fermé, il y a la refuge Prati del Vallone ouvert et repas. 1/2 Pension 35€ en août 2015. Très bon accueil, endroit très agréable avec les pâturages, des sapins, et mélèzes.
    Automatic translation [Google]
    Next to the Talarico shelter closed, there is the refuge Prati del Vallone open and meals. Half board 35 € in August 2015. Very welcoming, very nice place with pastures, firs and larches.
  • Martin Schreiber - 2011-04-17
    Don't take the shortcut to Prati del Vallone via the valley since the other side of the mountain (following the VA) is really beautiful.

    The Quota with 1540 m seems to be wrong. It should be something about 1800 m. Don't cross the bridge at this quota. The VA is continuing on the very small hiking path besides the river.

    There's also an accommodation in Prati del Vallone. They have a really cheap offer for half-board.
    A.P.S. "Associazione Zio John". +39 011 317 97 96.

    The people at Zio John told me, that Rif. Zanotti is only accessible with a key which you have to bring back. On the next day trip, I figured out that the hut warden was inside the hut. Thus maybe the information with the key is wrong.
Last update : 2019-12-17