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Walk on ru Courtod, from Barmasc to Alpe Métsan


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The walk along the ru Courtod is a scenic walk with a view of Mount Rosa in an unspoilt place that inspires peace and serenity.

In the 15th century, there was a need to build a canal, drawing water from the Ventina glacier, to make up for the lack of water in the main valley between Saint-Vincent and Emarèse.

A 25-kilometre irrigation canal was therefore built, using only hand tools such as a shovel and spike, which could guarantee the necessary resources for an ever-expanding population.

After a long period of abandonment following the plague of 1630, the Courtod stream was rehabilitated in the 1980s and the walk along its course, among forests, meadows and alpine pastures, is truly pleasant and relaxing.

Let’s discover the itinerary of ru Courtod, departing from Barmasc and arriving at Alpe Métsan, in the heart of Val d’Ayas.

How to get there

The nearest motorway exit is Verrès.

From the toll station, pass the roundabout and continue towards Brusson and Antagnod, then turn towards the village of Barmasc.

Follow the entire road until you reach the large car park in Barmasc (very crowded in summer) where you can leave your car.

Ru Courtod from Barmasc

Technical specifications

Departure altitude: Barmasc 1898 mt.

Arrival altitude: Alpe Métsan 2000 mt.

Height difference: 180 mt.

Length: 5600 mt. ( 2km if descending to Mandriou)

Time taken: 1h/1h30 one way.

GPX track


From the Barmasc car park, take path no.105 (tarmac) which passes close to a riding stables.

At the first crossroads, keep to the left (the little road now becomes a dirt track) and, at the second crossroads, take the path going uphill on the right, which shortly afterwards crosses ru Courtod.

Here the walk continues on the level path in the shade of trees, adjacent to the watercourse.

This stretch, accompanied by the sound of flowing water, is very relaxing indeed!

Departure from the Barmasc car park
path up towards ru courtod
Path up towards ru Courtod
path n 5
Ru Courtod

Continue on path no.5 that runs alongside the canal, passing several alpine pastures.

The section that winds its way openly through the pastures is wonderful.

When you reach a small bridge, you can decide whether to continue on the flat path to the right, or to take the path to the left that leads to the La Tchavana farmhouse at Alpe Métsan.

path skirting the canal
Path skirting the canal
crossroads near a small bridge
Crossroads near a small bridge

If you opt for the flat path, you can continue a little further until you cross path no.3, which, turning left, leads to the Alpe, while on the right, it descends to the hamlet of Mandriou (15-minute walk).

Path going up to Alpe Mètsan
la tchavana
La Tchavana farmhouse
path ru courtod
Intersection point between path no. 3, the one descending to Mandriou and the one ascending to La Tchavana

From Métsan, return to the path already taken on the ascent.

Info with children

The walk on ru Courtod is perfect for walking with children because it has little height difference.

Between the outward and return journeys, however, you cover more than 10 kilometres, so some training is necessary.

Hiking boots and a supply of water are also indispensable.

Once you arrive at Alpe Mètsan, you can stay in contact with the farm animals and refresh yourself with a bowl of their delicious ice cream!

You might be interested in Agritourism La Tchavana.

Continue reading:

1. Chamois, the Pearl of the Alps

2. Fun in Torgnon

3. Round trip Champoluc – Mascognaz

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