Rutor and its wonderful waterfalls
One of the most magnificent natural wonders around La Thuile is the Rutor glacier, which dominates the valley and can be admired from all angles. The Rutor glacier is huge, covering a surface area of 8.4 km2, but astonishingly it is smaller than two other glaciers in the Aosta Valley: the Miage (10.6 km2) and the Lys (9.6 km2).
The wide cap at the top is at an altitude of 3,486 m, but the glacier extends down to 2,500 m, where its runoff feeds several lakes. Rutor is surrounded by several peaks—the Flambeau (3,315 m) Monte Doravidi (3,439 m), Monte Chateau Blanc (3,408 m), Becca Du Lac (3,402 m), Punta D’Avernet (3,307 m) and Grand Assaly (3,177 m), but is easily recognised by the twin peaks, Le Vedettes, at its centre. The Rutor glacier is also set apart by its waterfalls, which are among the most beautiful in the Aosta Valley.
Three magnificent falls rush down the mountainside and give rise to the Dora River, and the best views are to be had from the bridge across the lowest fall, which was opened in 2014 to mark the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the falls. You can get to the falls on foot from below—from the La Joux fraction (1,603 m)—or above—from the Deffeyes refuge situated at the foot of the Rutor glacier.
It is also possible to continue the walk until you reach the splendid lakes at Bellacomba. Expert mountaineers can continue upwards to the Rutor summit, but there are many other guided itineraries for adults and kids available.
For more information see:
Hiking routes to discover the waterfalls.