Snowshoeing in the Heart of the Rhaetian Alps! Discover the itinerary with us for the snowshoeing excursion in Val Viola, near Bormio in the upper Valtellina.
Val Viola is a lateral valley of the upper Valtellina, situated along the road that ascends from Bormio to Livigno. We are within a remarkable natural setting, both due to the altitude of the route and the majesty of the surrounding peaks. Snowshoeing in Val Viola, however, is safe and easily doable, as despite the considerable distance (almost 11 km), the elevation gain is moderate and allows reaching the Caricc refuge/farm, which is open in winter. The route consists of two variants, a “High” one and a “Low” one. In this article, we describe the loop by taking the low variant on the way there and the high variant on the return. The low route is generally very safe and less prone to avalanche risk. Before embarking on the high route, it’s advisable to check the weather and snow reports.
DIFFICULTY: Moderate to Easy
ELEVATION GAIN: About 250 meters
MAXIMUM ALTITUDE: About 2055 meters
DURATION: 2.15 hours Up / 1.45 hours Down
START: Arnoga (SO)
DESTINATION: Caricc Refuge Farm (SO)
The itinerary starts from Arnoga, a location along the road that ascends from Bormio to Trepalle and Livigno. After passing through the village of Valdidentro and tackling the first hairpin bends, you’ll find places to park your car along the road or directly in the parking area at the entrance of Val Viola.
The path is generally groomed with a snowcat by the refuge keeper and could even be tackled without snowshoes, but wearing them allows you to fully enjoy the trip and the snow, cut through fresh snow, and comfortably navigate the ups and downs of the route. We set off along Trail 291, following the signs for Baite dell’Orsa. The path enters a forest, and upon reaching a junction, take the left, following the signs for Baita Caricc, our destination (the path is always well-marked), along Trail 293.
With ups and downs through a larch forest and then expansive meadows, we cross the bridge over the Viola stream and rejoin the high variant. From here, we quickly reach the Caricc farmhouse/refuge, which is usually open in winter. In the background, we can enjoy magnificent views of Corno Dosdè, which at 3233 meters, dominates the panorama.
After a stop at the refuge, for the return, we head back along the same path as the outbound journey. However, when we reach the junction, we take the left following the signs for the “high route” towards Arnoga. Without significant difficulties, and with gentle ups and downs with slopes milder than those on the way there, we finally reach the parking area.
The elevation gain is moderate, and although the route is not short, it’s suitable for all.
You can find the interactive map of the route, complete with elevation profile and downloadable GPS track, at this link.
For all our organized trips and events, check this page.
Always organize your trips with care, choose appropriate equipment, and verify the itinerary before embarking on it.