- Vertical drop (m)
- Starting altitude (m)
- Top/Max altitude (m)
- Ski grade
- Route type
- Wide slopes
Start point Support point
- Timing: 2h30’ up
- Best season: November to mid April
- Aspect of the descent: N
- Ascent length: 4.900m
A super classic route in the Coumba Freida
The Col Serena ski touring route is the de facto classic itinerary in the Grand Saint Bernard valley; its north-facing aspect means snow conditions will be top-notch for most of the season.
The route goes via the entire Sereina Valley, flanked by the Orléans and Sereina walls, which cast their shadows on the route in December and January.
The descent is via the same face, the slopes possessing varying gradients, in a lappable, pleasant terrain where you can pack some punch.
This is a somewhat straightforward route, a testing ground for those who wish to learn the ropes of ski touring.
From the col you will enjoy views of Crévacol, the imposing S face of Mont Velan and the Graian Alps on the other side, spanning from Ruitor to Berrio Blanc.
Head due west going under the flyover of the Grand Saint Bernard tunnel and, following the track of the forest road, climb the first shallow slope. Cross the Belle Combe stream and reach the hamlets of Farettes and Ponty and then, flanking the woods, the one of Eteley. Turn left and run alongside the wood edge as the slope gets steeper. Climb the bare slope, crossed by the forest path several times and then reach the hamlets of Arp du Bois dessous (1950m).
Leave the farmhouses to the right and continue on a somewhat flat stretch, then climb up following the same direction, overcoming a steeper part from which you can see the Serena Col for the first time. Keep going on the shallow slope. From now on, you will go over a series of hillocks before the final stretch of the valley. At the first knoll, go right at first, then left with a diagonal and keep to this bank when you go past the next hillock, too. Stay on the left and, with a series of kick-turns, go to the right in the final stretch of the route. The col often sees gale-force winds: you will see some sections with a little snow and you may need to overcome a cornice.
Make the descent via your skin track as far as the trailhead.
From the col as far as the hillocks, your best bet is to keep right in the first part and then enjoy the lappable knoll part. At the end of it, keep left as far as the farmhouses of Arp du Bois, searching for some good laps. You may choose to go via the wood for the last part, according to snow conditions, with the very last stretch shallowing out.
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March 23, 2021