A trip up to the famous Rifugio Benevolo and 2 high mountain ski tours to do from it!
Given its status as the highest mountain completely in Italy, Gran Paradiso attracts climbers and ski tourers for much of the year, and is one of the most popular summits in the Alps. What most visitors to the area never discover is that the Gran Paradiso itself is just one of the countless fabulous mountains that the greater Gran Paradiso National Park is home to. This guidebook showcases a wild mountain hut and 2 of these "lesser" (only in height, not quality) summits at the end of a peaceful valley.
The Rifugio Benevolo is a typically welcoming and rustic Italian hut and, like most gastronomic establishments in Italy, it serves fabulous food. Be aware when staying in the hut that in Italy, the pasta course is followed by the main course and then desert- many ski tourers are unaware of this and gorge on pasta, only to find that they still have 2 courses to go. A First World Problem if ever there was one, but something to consider nonetheless!
Spending a night in the Rifugio Benevolo is worth the trip in itself but the 2 ski tours described here which start from the hut are excellent as well. Neither is particularly technical but if you're into fun ski terrain and huge views, you're likely to enjoy them.
So next time you're trying to think of somewhere off the beaten track for a few days of peaceful ski touring, give the Rifugio Benevolo a call and head up into the majestic Gran Paradiso National Park.