Val Ferret

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The upper valley, known as the Vladigna, which runs alongside the Dora, is blocked not far past Courmayeur by the imposing Mont Blanc mountain chain. Here, the Dora divides into two rectilinear and converging valleys: to the North West, the Val Veny and to the North East the Val Ferret. The Val Ferret begins just after the built up area of Entrves (m.1.306) and then creeps in almost a straight line in a South Westerly > North Easterly direction - along the foot of the Rochefort Crests, the Grandes Jorasses, the Triolet and Mount Dolent; this acts as a divide and marks the border with France, and terminates to the North East at the Col Ferret (2543 m.), marking the boundary with Switzerland. The relief at the bottom of the Valley from Entrves to Planpincieux initially evidences a brief difference in height (220 m) followed by a long grassy plateau which, once it has passed the Comba d'Armina outlet, continues as far as Lavachey. From here, after a fall of about fifty metres, corresponding to the Frebuze woodlands, the Valley becomes a gently sloping marshy plain which reaches as far as the Arnuva woods, which mark the entrance into the Belle Combe Valley. Starting from this point, the Valley unites and integrates with the steep slopes which lead to the Col du Ferret, the eastern limit of the Mont Blanc Chain. Running along the complete length of the Val Ferret is the Dora di Ferret river which is born, impetuous, at the foot of the Pr de Bar glacier (m 2.100). This watercourse, after having received the clear waters of the numerous glacial rivers which flow into it (Meyen, Montita, Marguera, Tronchey), unites, further down-river, in Valdigna, with the Dora di Veny. Whilst on the orographic right-hand-side loom the glaciers and the peaks of granite which form the groups of Rochefort, the Grandes Jorasses, Triolet and Mount Dolent, the orographic left-hand-side is gentle and relaxing, scattered with woodlands, alpine pastures and meadows. The Val Ferret marks not only the political boundaries, but divides also geographically the Graie Alps (which include the Mont Blanc Chain) from the Pennine Alps (all the peaks corresponding to the slopes towards the Mont Blanc chain). The Valley is about 13 Km long (from Entrves to Col Ferret). Planpincieux (1598 m.), considered the "capital town" of the Valley, is 6,5 km away from Courmayeur, 37 km from Aosta, 147 km from Turin, 217 km. from Milan, 282 km from Genoa and 782 km from Rome.