Col D’Olen (2881m), trail 6
from Orsia to Col D’Olen
Trail 6 starts from Orsia (1772m) and arrives at Col D’Olen (2881m). It is 7273m long and the total positive elevation gain is 1159m.
The approximate time for the ascent is 3h31. The trail is rated of difficulty E.
Trail 6 almost completely traces the old mule track that connected Gressoney La Trinité with Valsesia via Col d’Olen. Not surprisingly, three buildings of some historical significance are located in the immediate vicinity of the hill: theAngelo Mosso Scientific Institute, the City of Vigevano Shelter (closed since 2012) and the Guglielmina Shelter (burned in 2011).
It is a long and easy trail that has a “gastronomically” interesting feature: it passes in the vicinity of as many as 8 refuges, so you will certainly not have the problem of where to stop and eat–the one present at the Salati Pass is the Bar Restaurant Stolemberg, but if you want to stop earlier there are 7 alternatives, at different altitudes, shown below in the route description.
It is possible, once at Col d’Olen, to follow the trail on the Valsesian side that leads first to the Guglielmina, then to the Vigevano, and then to the Angelo Mosso Institute, climbing up to the nearby Passo dei Salati (2980m) from where you can return to the valley by rejoining the outward path, descending a few hundred meters following the path of the ski slope.
From Passo dei Salati it is possible to continue north to reach the Indren Glacier, thanks to Trail 6C.
I have never climbed so far along the first stretch, from Orsia to Gabiet: instead, I have walked the next stretch from Gabiet to the Passo dei Salati , 2931m (the pass following Col D’Olen) during the Covid lockdown of winter 2020 (to Gabiet I had climbed there starting from Stafal, along the path 7a).