You can reach the refuge with a short walk of just over half an hour if you use the small mountain railway. The complete hike from Pranzaira takes about 3 hours.
Distance 9.7 km
Highest point2,333 m
Lowest point1,193 m
For most inhabitants of Bergell and Valchiavenna, the name Albigna recalls the large dam wall and the reservoir that has significantly changed the appearance of this side valley. But the mountain frame around the basin, characterized by walls of light granite and ice flows over glaciers, has naturally remained unchanged. Originally, the refuge stood in the place now occupied by the big wall. In 1956 it was rebuilt in a beautiful location on the height of a hump above the lake. You can get from the dam to the hut on a walk of a just over half an hour, if you make use of the mountain railroad. This has been completely renewed in 2016 by EWZ (Elektrizitätswerke Zürich) for work reasons, but it is also of great use for hikers and climbers in Bergell.
The proposal is to go up to the hut by train, but to make the descent on foot down to the valley. In this way one can also avoid the rather long waiting times for the descent on summer evenings, because the gondola only takes 8 people per trip.
Already the ascent in the mountain railroad is quite exciting and offers a wide view of the Bergell. Once you have crossed the deep cliff of the Sasc Prümaveira, the view sweeps over the walls of the Piz Balzet, which tower above the fearsome rock jump at the entrance to the valley. From the top station you climb up the right edge of the dam wall, where the lake soon appears and the view of the whole basin opens up. The refuge on the left is clearly visible. Walk over the dam until you reach the meadows on the other side. Here begins a marked path that leads in a long, sloping climb to the Albigna hut (2336 m).
From the hut you can go on several interesting hikes. A recommended extension of our excursion would be to follow the path to the Pass da Casnil up to a beautiful high plateau in front of Piz Balzet (45 min from the hut). There, by a few pools of water, you have the best view of all the mountains of the valley, especially the firn north face of Cima dal Cantun. On the way down, you continue by the top station and come to a flat narrow road - once used by vehicles brought up from the valley by a bigger, more powerful cable car. You pass the foot of the Spazzacaldeira wall, where there are countless climbing routes. The path goes around the deep crevasse at Sasc Prümaveira and descends on wide slopes through the larch forest. A last stretch between high trunks runs over a not very steep shoulder and up to the footbridge over the Albigna stream. A road brings us back to the main Bergell road not far from Pranzaira.
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