Bivouacs of the past
This page collects the information I was able to gather on some bivouacs of the past: for most of them there are today very little traces. The available information is also extremely limited, and it is a pity that such important “protagonists” of Gressoney’s hiking history are now forgotten.
I invite anyone who has photos or more information about these bivouacs to contact me.
- Remains of the Cattani Bivouac (2400m?).
- Remains of the Virgilio Cozzi Bivouac (2690m)
- Remains of the Remo Passera Bivouac (3175m)
- Remains of the Linty Hut (3369m)
1: remains of Cattani Bivouac (2400m?).
- I could not find any information about the Cattani bivouac. It was located on the orographic left of the Lys, above the “Lys springs,” which can be reached via trail 7, and is mentioned in some guidebooks: as early as 1985 Piergiorgio Bosio, in his “Gressoney, hiking routes along the Lys valley,” gave it as completely destroyed.
- A kind Facebook user allowed me to post his photo in which, on the right, there are some remains.
2: remains of the Virgilio Cozzi Bivouac (2690m)
- Climbing toward Testa Grigia along Trail 10C, one crosses the remains of the Virgilio Cozzi bivouac, built in 1965 and named after the president of the Vigevano CAI who died in 1964. The bivouac was destroyed by an avalanche about 20 years later. The benches survived.
- Here is a photo of the bivouac taken from Dimensione 4000, A.Mellano, 1977:
- The Cozzi bivouac in another photo (photo by Mario Gremmo):
- Another photo of the entrance (photo by Ugo Lauletta):
- One last photo of the Cozzi Bivouac
3: Remains of Remo Passera Bivouac (3175m)
- Along Trail 7C leading to Alta Luce, just before reaching the final bell, you can see the remains of the Bivouac that was intolated to the mountain guide Remo Passera, who passed away in 1970. The bivouac was swept away by a blizzard in 1983.
- A call for bids issued by the municipality of Gressoney-La-Trinité to rebuild it is currently underway (April 2023).
- Remo Passera was a great mountain enthusiast from Vigevano who, having moved to Gressoney-La-Trinité out of love and become a mountain guide there, was among the architects of the resort’s winter development. Here is an article from December 14, 1957, mentioning the newly established Punta Jolanda chairlift.
- In these articles from July 20 and 21, 1970, the account of the tragedy in which he lost his life on Castore.
Here is the transcript of the two articles.
- Here is the bivouac in operation (photo by Mario Gremmo):
- Still the bivouac (photo by Mario Gremmo)
- Bivouac again from Gressoney, Ayas, Valtournenche, Zanichelli, 1985 (photo by Carlo Dellarole):
Just above the remains of the Passera bivouac can be seen remains of another masonry construction. They are what remains of a hunting lodge belonging to Baron Peccoz, visible in this photo from 1894 when it was visited by Queen Margaret with her retinue (photo taken from Matterhorn and Monte Rosa, by Alessandro Gogna and Marco Milani, 2007):
4: remains of the Linty Hut (3369m)
- Climbing up to the Capanna Gnifetti refuge along Trail 6A , when you are about to enter the area from which you begin to see the Mantua, at about 3369m you should find (never seen, but there seems to be very little left) the remains of the Linty Hut. The Hut was inaugurated on August 2, 1875, and built at the expense of Sebastiano Linty, mayor of Gressoney-Saint-Jean for 30 years and owner of the Hotel du Mont Rose,built in 1861, which still stands in the center of town (there is now a pizzeria on the ground floor).
- From a 1930 TCI map, here is the precise location of the Linty Hut, already then in ruins:
- Very few pictures exist of the hut. The most accurate is this 1878 lithograph by Johan Jacob Weber, contained in the book Album of a Mountaineer in Valsesia, 1878.
- This 1884 stereograph by Vittorio Sella shows only a small corner of it:
- Queen Margherita stayed overnight near the hut (since a queen certainly cannot sleep in a hut, she settled in the “royal tent”), on the occasion of her ascent to the 4270m Punta Gnifetti (where she would inaugurate, on August 18, 1893, the Capanna Margherita). Here is a description of the climb from the wonderful 1899 Casanova Illustrated Guide, focused to Gressoney:
- Two photos from Angelo Mosso’s book “Physiology of Man in the Alps,” 1897, Treves publishershowing two camps near the Linty hut
- Near the area where the hut stood, a very short distance from Trail 6A, an old iron cross is visible today, with the inscription JBA 1885.