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The Wolves Trek

By: Franco Voglino and Annalisa Porporato
Area: Western Alps, Group: Maritime Alps, Country: Italiy, Region: Piemonte

Night falls on the Maritime Alps, the last light has been swallowed up by the surrounding mountains. We're snuggled in the warmth of out tent in a wild countryside, when man is no longer at the top of the food chain... instead it's the wolves. This is the truly fascinating aspect of this magnificent trek called "Trekking del Lupo", the Wolves trek.

The trek is an extremely beautiful round trip which follows in the "footsteps of the wolves" through two natural parks and their pristine ecosystem: the Italian Maritime Alps park in Piemonte and the Mercantour Park in France. After years of absence, both these habitats have recently been re-inhabited by packs of wolves.

Night falls on the Maritime Alps, the last light has been swallowed up by the surrounding mountains. We're snuggled in the warmth of out tent in a wild countryside, when man is no longer at the top of the food chain... instead it's the wolves. This is the truly fascinating aspect of this magnificent trek called "Trekking del Lupo", the Wolves trek.

The trek is an extremely beautiful round trip which follows in the "footsteps of the wolves" through two natural parks and their pristine ecosystem: the Italian Maritime Alps park in Piemonte and the Mercantour Park in France. After years of absence, both these habitats have recently been re-inhabited by packs of wolves.

What renders this trek unique is the fact that the start and finish are located in two centres specialised in illustrating the life, habits and the history of this magnificent animal.

The first is the fauna centre at Entracque called “Uomini e Lupi”, men and wolves which offers not only a museum but also the possibility to view a couple of wolves in a pen just above the centre.

The second is located in France at Le Boreon and is called “Alpha Loup”. This too has a musem and also numerous vantage points to observe the wolves in the nearby forest.

The trek described here, walked for the first time ever in summer 2011 thanks to a collaboration with the Maritime Alps Natural Park, Ferrino and Nikon Italia, is circa 75km long and passes five spectacular cols at circa 2400m, passing the famous road "Strade di Caccia Reali" built for king Vittorio Emanuele II.

The trek starts at S.Giacomo di Entracque in the Marittime Alps Natural Park and crosses varied terrain, past grandiose lakes, forests and waterfalls. Apart from the lush fauna, you can also catch sight of the wolves' prey: chamois and deer.

The trek can be carried out autonomously with a tent (bivvying allowed) or by using the huts located at the end of each stage. Rifugio Regina Elena is private and offers not only accommodation but also the possibility to cook your own food.

GETTING THERE

Reach S.Giacomo di Entracque in the Maritime Alps.

ROUTE

Stage 1
SAN GIACOMO 1213m - Rif. SORIA-ELLENA 1840m
total: + 627m
An early morning visit to the Wolves and Man Centre Centro at Entracque before setting off is highly recommended.

Stage 2
Rif. SORA-ELLENA 1840m - Col delle Finestre 2471m (+631m) - Rif. de Cougorde 2050 m (-381m) (facoltativo) - LE BOREON 1460m (- 630m) (Centro Alpha Loup)
totali di tappa: + 631m / - 1011m
A visit to the Alpha Loup centre is highly recommended.

Stage 3
LE BOREON 1460m - Col de Ciriegia 2543m (+ 1083m) - Rif. REGINA ELENA 1800m (-743m)
total: + 1083m /- 743m

Stage  4
Rif. REGINA ELENA 1800m - Colletto di Valasco 2479m (+ 629m) - Rif. QUESTA 2388m (- 4 m)
total: + 629m / - 41m

Stage 5
Rif. QUESTA 2388m - Rif. Vallone di Valasco 1763m (- 625m) - TERME DI VALDIERI 1368m (- 395m)
total: - 1020m

Stage 6
TERME DI VALDIERI 1368m - Rif. Morelli-Buzzi 2350m (+ 982m) - Colle del Chiapous 2526 m (+ 176m) - Rif. GENOVA-FIGARI 2015m (- 511m)
total: + 511m / - 1158m

Stage 7
Rif. GENOVA-FIGARI 2015 m - Col di Fenestrelle 2463m (+ 448m) - Rif. Soria-Ellena 1840m (- 623m) - SAN GIACOMO  1213m (- 627m)
total: + 448m / - 1250m

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S.Giacomo di Entracque

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S.Giacomo di Entracque

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The Wolves Trek

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