Col San Carlo - Col Croce

From the car park of Col San Carlo, we enter the wood of spruce and larch walking on the forest track heading to the lake of Arpy (2.066 masl): in this first section the path is slightly sloping and, since it is very popular, the snow is so compressed that we can start walking without snowshoes. When we come to a fork marked by signposts and wooden signs (2007 masl), we leave the right summer trail heading to Col Croce and we go on to the lake along the forest track. From here, after a slight slope, we get to a signpost at the orographic left side of the lake, we turn right and start climbing among the last larch trees that have colonized this part of the valley. When we reach 2.250 masl, we catch sight of Col Croce (2.381 masl), a pass where defensive walls are situated. From here we can follow the summer trail heading north with steep diagonals lines and then reach Col Croce with a long traverse, or, after evaluating the avalanche hazard, we continue walking on the valley floor to the foot of the col and climb diagonally up the steep final slope (50m of elevation gain). When we get to the col we can enjoy a wide panorama on the valley of La Thuile, on Mont Blanc and the Grandes Jorasses. We take the same route back.


In short:

  • Estimated journey time: about 7 hours (lunch stop included)

  • Meeting point and time:  9.30 a.m. at the car park of the municipal swimming pool of Pré-Saint-Didier

  • Elevation gain:  about 435 m

  • Length: about 10 km

  • Kind of activity: group snowshoeing with hiking guide

  • Altitude of the highest point of the trek: 2.381 masl (Croce Pass)

  • Terrain characteristics: the itinerary follows the summer trail up to the lake.  The last stretch leading to Col Croce is more challenging with steep diagonals lines. Possible ice in the first morning hours during late winter/spring.

  • Minimum number of participants to this excursion: 5



Scheduled hikes:


See the snowshoeing calendar on the homepage of this site; it is updated every month.

The booking must be submitted within the 24 hours before the start date of the hike you have chosen.


Difficulty of the snowshoe hike:


WT3 (difficult snowshoe hike), according to S.A.C. (Swiss Alpine Club) rating scale. See the subsection Technical difficulties

A good level of fitness and health is required. Consider a minimum of workout before the departure.


Minimum age: 12 years

N.B.: the times indicated in the technical sheet refer to summer hikes and do not take into account the greater difficulties for average hikers to walk on snow.

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Ciaspolate in Valle d'Aosta

The programme of the tour may be modified for reasons not attributable to the organization (bad snow and weather conditions, technical level of the participants, etc.) The guide reserves the right to change the itinerary according to snow and weather conditions or for the safety of the group.

Cost per person:  25 € including the hire of snowshoes and trekking poles


The enrolment fee includes: 

  • The support of an Aosta Valley hiking guide throughout the excursion

  • A third-party liability insurance for accidents due to the negligent behaviour of the guide

  • snowshoes and trekking poles hire


The enrolment fee does NOT include: 

  • personal equipment and gear

  • travel costs to get to the meeting point

  • food and beverage (packed lunch)

  • anything not mentioned at “the enrolment fee includes”

  • in case of change of itinerary for reasons not attributable to the organization (bad snow and weather conditions, technical level of the participants, etc.) the unforeseen expenses will be charged to the participants.


Equipment list for one-day snowshoe hikes:

Backpack of 25 litre max.


Clothes to wear: 

Hiking boots (preferably waterproof) or après-ski boots (no moon boot)

T-shirt (preferably of breathable fabric, like microfibre)

Hiking socks

Wool hat

Winter gloves


Windstopper jacket or fleece

Waterproof shell jacket

Mountain trousers (or ski suit)

Ski tights (to wear in colder months, if necessary)


Inside the backpack: 

Spare t-shirt

Water bottle/thermos + snack (like cereal bars, chocolate)




Personal pharmacy kit (painkillers, compeed, aspirine)




Sign up: within the 24 hours before the start date of the hike you have chosen, by email or by phone at +39 333.7373636


Useful inks: