Champoluc, a snowy paradise during the winter and a hidden gem of flower-filled meadows and woodland glades in the summer. This area epitomises the Alps. When people think of the mountains, they imagine big, snow-capped peaks, glaciers, forests, lakes and rushing rivers. In the summer, Champoluc has these in abundance.
It is during the summer months that Champoluc blossoms into a walker’s paradise. With over 200km of marked trails, the Ayas valley is a fabulous destination to explore on two feet. Inghams provides two ‘wanderwalks’ in Champoluc: the Mascognaz trail and the hike to Lago Blu, the Blue Lake.
The changing terrain on the mountain walk to Lago Blu sums up why this is such a fantastic trail. Starting in the bustling town of Champoluc, the trail quickly heads through the woods towards the village of St Jacques. It is a flat, pleasant start to the journey allowing walkers to build up confidence and acclimatise to the altitude and weather conditions.
The ascent begins in St Jacques. Following the rushing waters of the glacial melt, you climb towards the little commune of Fiery. Not only does this area have one of the most charming names in the region, but it also affords fantastic views back down the Ayas Valley. And these fabulous views are just the first of many!
Continue up the mountainside through trees, passing farms and the cows that live in this incredible environment. The fresh air here is so different to back home. The noises of the rushing water and the jingle of the cowbells will transport your mind as if on a mediation exercise. There is a beautiful sense of tranquillity.
At the top of the mountain, you will again encounter a different landscape. The open glacial basin that greets you provides great views of the glacier and towards the valley behind. A flat stretch of the journey provides the chance to recuperate from your climb.
Admiring the scenery along this part of the trail you wouldn’t immediately recognise Italy. The ‘Christmas trees’ lining the paths evoke images of Scandanivia. The rocky, mountainous terrain suggests Canada. A slight drop in temperature gives a cool breeze, resting the muscles from your climb and bringing a sense of calm to the area.
The last push, as the end sight comes into view through the rocks at the base of the glacier brings, with it a massive sense of accomplishment. The outstanding blue colour of the appropriately named Lago Blu is astonishing.
The water’s rich colouring comes from the glacial melt. The rocky surroundings and minimal greenery instil a sense of calm, and the cold touch of the water provides a typical, refreshing Alpine experience. From the sense of accomplishment, to the stunning variety of scenery en route, the Lago Blu walk is an experience that typifies hiking in this region.
In the mountains, the footpaths and trails are vast. Whether you plan a trip or pick a path on the day, the variety of typical mountain scenery in Champoluc guarantees views of the area will be stunning. Hidden gems can be found around every corner, and moments of awe and wonder are just a few steps away.
We hope you will join us in Champoluc this summer so we may share the beauty of this marvellous area with you.