|Colle del Nivolet/Col del Nivolé/Col du Nivolet|
|Height||Climbing height - length|
Signs 2617m, 2612m
|2209m - 55.5 km (Cuorgnè)
2010m - 39.5 km (Locana)
|4 (5)||4-5 (5)|
|How to get there||
This is a giant climb from Locana (613m) (the road starts even lower down at Cuorgnè (405m)). Just after Noasca (1058m) it starts to get really steep and the tunnel soon thereafter is one of the steepest tunnels in the Alps I know of, with gradients of around 12-14%. It is only paved on the south side and the road on the north side will apparently not be finished in the forseeable future as some people in the Aosta valley are afraid of too much traffic (which seems rather unlikely).
The paved road goes down to a café on the north side. From there it is only a path, and as I have heard one might as well to strike off the gravel road as quickly as possibly as it will only get more problematic to get down/up from it further north (it is the unfinished road that goes to nowhere). The path down to/from Pont (1960m) in the Valsavarenche valley is fairly easy walking and much of it could be cycled with a mountain bike. The walk takes 3 hours (with light luggage). There is a steep section just above Pont from Croce della Roley (2310m), where some care is needed, but the path is wide. The road up to Pont from the Aosta valley is fine.
|Other comments||The battered old hotel at Noasca is not the best (year 2002) to stay at and I am not sure about the places up at Ceresole Reale. Maybe you should try some place earlier to stay the night at (possibly Locana or Cuorgnè have some accomodation). Water should not be a problem to find on the way. Around Ceresole Reale (1620m) it is very beautiful and the road is almost flat for a couple of kilometres. The whole top section is very beautiful! I managed to fall down the steep section when walking down to Pont and fell without control and damaged some ribs. (This was because I was walking with racing shoes with only Look cleat covers and as the shoe sole is hard an not flat it is dangerous with loose bigger stones on the path. Try MTB shoes or light running shoes instead!)
[IT-AO-2612, BIG 678]