The river Dora Baltea
The river of Aosta Valley
In Aosta Valley, between two of massive glaciers of Monte Bianco (glacier of Pré de Bar in Val Ferret and the glacier of Miage in Val Veny) feed two streams. They are the Dora of Val Ferret and the Dora of Val Veny which, converging in the town of Entrèves (literally “between waters”), give life to the Dora Baltea. In its pathway to the Po river it welcomes numerous beautiful tributaries, as the Dora Verney which flows in the Vallone of La Thuile or the stream Ayasse, famous for its intact beauty and its technical difficulty for kayakers.
The Dora Baltea is a snow-glacial river so it has a much bigger reservoir. It is one of the river with the richest lean. Indeed, during summer the temperature rises, increasing always more the freezing level. Its basin becomes enormous.
Firstly the river feed it-self from snowfields built up in winter to then take up from the Aosta Valley glaciers melting. For this reason, the Dora Baltea has a unique grey colour, rich of erosion sand.
Water level variations
The Aosta Valley’s river goes from the not navigable minimal winter levels from the summer levels (in particular June-July) which to the estuary can overcome the 110 m³/s. That means that is possible to practice river sports as rafting, hydrospeed and kayakon great waves and exciting swifts.
The Dora Baltea , during its pathways, crosses gorgeous landscapes, some of which completely intact, becoming an unique point of view from which to observe the amazing nature of Aosta Valley.
There literally are hidden canyons, from the high natural walls of smooth rock visible just from the river. The canyons of Aviseand Monjovet offer a unique and rare sight just for us.
History teaches us how the Dora Baltea can sometimes be scary. Its floods are cyclic, caused by the heat and by strong rainfalls. They have the power to destroy anything on their path.
Homes, bridges and streets are thrown away and replaced by mood in a single afternoon. These events normally completely modify the river bed creating new swifts and pathways. The river takes possession of new lands earlier occupied by fields and trees.
Unfortunate events to apart, the Dora Baltea is know for its rich water environment. Its waters are home for the rainbow and salmon trout, river shrimps and a large variety of amphibious species.
The river as a source of energy
The Dora Baltea waters are source of sustainable energy. The CVA (Compagnia Valdostana delle Acque), heir of the Enel structures, is at the moment one of the major economic realities in Aosta Valley.
Tunnels into the rock
There are long tunnels craved into the mountains that distribute water from the power stations Their length is remarkable They start from Valdigne(the area of Aosta Valley next to the Monte Bianco) and end in Quincinetto, Piemonte.