A Few Points
Region: Valle d’Aosta (Province of Aosta)
Coordinates: latitude 45° 44’3”84 N / longitude 07°29’55”68 E
Altitude: 520 - 600 m (built-up area) - 541 m (town hall)
Altitude min/max: Altitude min/max: 489 m – 3,513 m (altimetry excursion 3,024 m)
ClimateAlpine (hard winters and fresh summers)
Most important peaks: Punta Tersiva, Mont Glacier
Seismic classification: very low
The territory of the town of Fénis can be subdivided into three main areas:
The Built-up Area
The town’s built-up area can be found at the foot of Mont Saint-Julien and does not exceed 620 m in altitude.
The most important water course in Fénis is the Clavalité stream. This has its source in the Punta Tersiva glacier, crosses the valley of Clavalité from which it takes its name, and the urban centre, before flowing into Dora Baltea river. Otherwise, there is an artificial canal which crosses the entire territory from West to East, taking water to the hydroelectric power station.
Last of all, the Dora Baltea acts as a natural border with the lands of Nus and Verrayes.
The Valley of Clavalité
At Misérègne one can access the road which runs through the entire valley of Clavalité. From the car park in Lovignanaz it is necessary to proceed on foot along a dirt road which leads to a top from where one can see the entire Clavalité plain with the Punta Tersiva on the background. Continuing up the valley, the path runs alongside the stream Clavalité, leaving Mont Saint-Julien at its shoulders. Once having run across the entire plain, in Cuneaux locality [2156 m] it reaches Egidio Borroz hut, a stop-off point almost obligatory for excursionists who want to climb Tersiva or Mont Glacier. From here, continuing on, one reaches the Fussy pass and Fénis pass which link Clavalité valley with Champorcher valley and Cogne valley.
Tersiva [3513 m] plays host to two glaciers of modest size: the “Punta Tersiva’s glacier” – where the Clavalité stream has its source - and the “Tessonet glacier”. The path which leads to its peak is classified as an F in order of difficulty and thus it is most important that one is well-trained, prudent and cautious.
The Valley of Pieiller
From Pommier one can access the road which runs through the entire Pieiller valley.
The limited development of human settlements in the high mountain areas has helped to maintain intact the forest which even today extends almost uninterrupted from the central valley up to an altitude of 2,000 m. In the year 2009, a large part of the Clavalité and Pieiller valleys, habitat to numerous animal and plant species, was declared a ZPS area (Zona di Protezione Speciale - Specially Protected Zone) for the safeguarding of its bird life. Numerous paths let excursionists immerse themselves in this uncontaminated, natural environment, to admire the suggestive landscapes and to experience the sounds of the animals that populate the forest.
Even though the safeguarding of this small paradise is one of the priorities for local and regional administrations, it remains of extreme importance that each single individual shows respect for an ecosystem so fragile and yet so precious.