The Paolo Daviso alpine refuge is the only refuge in the Val Grande of Lanzo (the others are unattended bivouacs) and is located in the magnificent natural amphitheater of the upper Gura valley. A few years have passed since I was last there and I wanted to go back, too after learning that ibex often are seen in his immediate surroundings.
It was therefore natural to agree with my friend Roberto Richiardi, a good jazz musician (he plays the saxophone) who shared the passion for this fascinating musical genre with my late dad.
Roby is also a lover of photography and the mountains and, like Valerio in the previous post on the Sagnasse lakes and myself, he has
been on holiday in Chialamberto since he was a child.
We want to begin trekking at dawn because we want to go home for lunch. Compared to others trekking previously described on this blog, the Daviso excursion requires some training. The difference in height to cover the distance from Forno Alpi Graie to the refuge is about 1,100 meters. Although it is not anything particularly challenging, I believe that the barrier of 1,000 meters in altitude represents a bit of the watershed between the occasional hiker and the trained one. When there is less than 500 meters of altitude difference to reach the refuge, the wood gives way to the alpine prairie. It is the most scenic part of the trekking, the moment in which the Gura valley shows itself in all its splendor.
The final stretch of the ascent is the most challenging but by now we see the flags of the refuge and the fatigue is not felt. As soon as we arrive, the refuge managers, extremely kind and cordial, offer us a cup of hot tea.
We begin to talk and tell us that they have seen, just a few days earlier, a majestic bearded vulture flying a few meters from the roof of the alpine refuge. They also explain that ibexes are often seen, in particular a large male renamed Beelzebù, due to his imposing horns.
There is no trace of Beelzebù but, wandering around the refuge, we spot a female ibex with her two young cubs. Time to take some photos and have a quick snack that we are already on the way back.
Next year I would like to come back to the Daviso refuge to spend the night and use it as a base for an excursion to the Col of Fea ... who will live will see!