Weismatten (2055m), trail 2

from Biel to Weismatten

Capriata House, the Carlo Mollino Refuge

Capriata House, the Carlo Mollino Refuge

Trail 2 starts in Biel,a hamlet of Gressoney-Saint-Jean at the end of the Savoy Castle road, and arrives at the arrival station of the Weismatten chairlift (2055m). It is 2777m long and the total positive elevation gain is 590m.
The approximate time for the climb is 1h46. The trail is rated of difficulty E.

Simple trail, more than half of which follows a dirt road that is a ski slope (of blue difficulty) in winter. The most scenic point is shortly after the start, when it cuts through the wall of the black ski slope dedicated to Gressoney champion Leonardo David and offers remarkable views of the Gressoney Saint Jean plain.

The main attraction point is undoubtedly the Carlo Mollino Refuge/Casa Capriata. Inaugurated on Dec. 5, 2014, the hut was named after Carlo Mollino, a prominent architect, designer and photographer, and lecturer at the Faculty of Architecture in Turin, and was built following his “truss house” design, a reinterpretation of traditional Walser houses. Here is the Turin Polytechnic’s website dedicated to the project, and interesting is this document “The project at a glance, “ which contains photos of the construction. The shelter now offers bar/restaurant services and charming tented overnight stays; here is the website where you can find more information.

The Queen's Tea Pavilion

The Queen’s Tea Pavilion

Next to the hut stands an ancient construction, currently not accessible, that people tend to underestimate: the wooden part above the stone basement is none other than the tea pavilion of Queen Margaret of Savoy, which was originally located at Villa Margherita (current seat of the municipality), and which was moved up here in the 1950s, first as a hunting lodge and then as a bar/restaurant, which remained in operation until the opening of the Mollino lodge. We hope it will soon be restored and enhanced as it deserves.

Two trails start at this point (which can also be reached, of course, via a convenient quarter-hour or so chairlift ride): the challenging 1A, which leads up to the lakes of Frudière, and the most affordable 3A leading up to Punta Regina, the surely most popular destination for hikers in this area.