Punta Pousset

  • Italy Alps: Gran Paradiso, Punta Pousset, , Walkopedia

Key information: Punta Pousset

    • Perfect for peak-baggers, this perfect pyramidal mountain yields 360 degree panoramas over vast swathes of the pristine Valle d'Aosta.
      • Called the "Gornergrat of Cogne" in 1837 by Yeld and Coolidge, Punta Pousset is an improbable peak in the Cogne valley, with awe-inspiring panoramas.
        • The standard Gran Paradiso mix that is to say, lots of wildlife and plantlife in this non-touristy corner of Italys oldest park.
          • You will be walking in high mountains with unpredictable weather. Come prepared.

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating88
  • Beauty35
  • Natural interest17
  • Human interest4
  • Charisma32
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating88

Vital Statistics

  • Length: 8 miles
  • Maximum Altitude: 3,046m
  • Level of Difficulty: Difficult


This is a relentless out and back, up to the grand views atop 3,046m Punta Pousset. Remember your knees! - but this hike is achievable for most walkers given a clear day and plenty of water; although the trail is a steep climb and copycat descent, none of it is overly technical.

There are 1,600m of ascent in all; and well worth it. The views up top are superb, back down to where you have come from, or north-west to Punta di Trajo, or due west to snow-bound Grivola and its ascending knife-edge ridges. South, Gran Serra and all the way along to 4,061m Gran Paradiso itself.

The trail (marked path no: 26) climbs out of Cretaz at the foot of Vallone di Vermiana, one mile north of Cogne, through low-level pasture and through some bands of woodland; up to the ridge and over into Vallone del Pousset. Follow path and streams both, west past Gran Paradiso's characteristic ice-polished rockfaces, then beyond a small group of old huts (Punta superiori; 2,529m). Keeping right, a number of meadowed terraces form a giants staircase for a few hundred metres ascent, and specked with idle herds of chamois and ibex. Bear right again for Punta Pousset looming above you.

Luckily, you dont approach the mountain head on, where steepest. Instead curve around the head of the valley and diagonally up a grassy shoulder. This is a long, tough pull, but when you reach the ridge the rocky peak is unexpectedly close. Now, the trickiest part of this walk, on the narrow ridge and over dizzy outcrops; then Punta Pousset, 3,046m and cliffs seemingly on all sides. Far below, Cogne nestles at its foot and the Graian Alps curve away on every horizon. This is stunning. Further along the same ridge, Colle Pousset rises yet higher (3,198m), but beneath Punta Pousset here the pastured lowlands are surreally proximate.

Although the climb is tough, it is well worth it. On the way back (same route), there is the opportunity to branch off over Colle Pousset and to overnight in Bivacco Gratton above the ice-fields of Ghiacciaio del Trajo. A wonderful night to be had*, and a new (the return) leg back to Cretaz tomorrow.


*Note: Bivacco Gratton is not a rifugo, and doesnt have their amenities: bring sleeping bag, cooking gear and food if you want to try this!

See our Gran Paradiso page for detailed general and practical information about the park.

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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.


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