Do you want to follow an itinerary with snowshoes? A little village in Acceglio called Chialvetta is the starting point for a way suitable for everyone. It goes through peculiar villages and it offers breath-taking views.
The pandemic crisis blocked the ski centres while the snow kept on falling. This brought to an explosion of the phenomenon of snowshoe hiking. In the valleys of Cuneo there are many paths with different lengths, difficulties and heights. In order to do this kind of activity, it is necessary to have the proper outfit and suitable boots, poles and snowshoes, without forgetting caution and responsibility. Do check the weather forecast before leaving.
If you are not used to it, start with an easy and not too long path. It is not easy to cope with the problems and dangers of the mountain.
There are numerous paths in the Maira Valley, and among these it is worth following the way from Chialvetta (Acceglio) to Viviere village. Drive to the main village in Unerzio Valley which is about 50 minutes by car from Dronero, and park in the square at the beginning of the village. Then walk though it till the beautiful church devoted to Saint Anna.
After turning left, you will follow the “scurcio” path. It runs along Unerzio stream and it goes through a larch and ash forest. Here you can see traces of ski and snowshoes. Follow the red and white marking which signals the path, and if you want, have a look at the numerous panels describing the fauna of this place. This easy path brings you to Pratorotondo village, where you can find an old backing place, restored in 2012, and a chapel. The rural buildings are an example of alpine architecture which combines stones, wood and slate. On a plaque it is written that in one of these houses the painter Matteo Olivero was born in 1879. In some of his works he painted these snowy landscapes and alpine villages
Now follow the path and reach Viviere village with its few houses, a fountain and a mountain hut, where you can surprisingly find a sauna and Scandinavian hot tubs.
Then just come back through the “scurcio” or follow the trail to Chialvetta, which is often covered by snow. This path is 6,5 kilometres long. Who wants to keep walking toward Prato Ciorliero can follow a shortcut through the larch forest or the path along the stream.
Going up almost to 2000 meters the landscape becomes even more spectacular with its villages, the larch forest, snowy peaks and the blue sky. On the right you can also see a military fortification, built in the 1920s. You can arrive now to Prato Ciorliero (1955 m) after a two hours walk from Chialvetta with a difference in altitude of 500 meters. From here you can reach the Gardetta, a perfect spot for ski mountaineering.
It is not difficult to go back to the starting point, therefore you will have time to visit Chialvetta and enjoy a little ethnographic museum.
This path is beautiful not only in winters, but also in every season. During springs you can smell and be pleased by the first blossoms; in summers you can enjoy the fresh mountain breeze and in autumns you can admire the larch foliage.
To get more information about Maira Valley visit the website of the town of Acceglio, where you will also find information about Matteo Olivero. Moreover, have a look at the websites www.lascurcio.it, www.visitvallemaira.it and www.vallemaira.org.