Ru Courtod le ru retrouvé: Brusson, Ayas, Saint-Vincent

Le Ru retrouvé : the project

Ru Courtod (irrigation channel) rises 2,150m above sea level on the slopes of Monte Rosa. The irrigation channel water flows for almost 25km along the orographical right-hand side of Val d’Ayas through meadows, conifer woods, ancient villages and often between walls of rock cut out of the steep mountain side.

It took the founding fathers forty years (1393-1433) of immense hard work and dedication to build this Ru which provides the dry hillside of St. Vincent, Emarèse and Challant-Saint-Anselme with water, giving farmers hope for a better future. Ru Courtod is still there after 600 years and its role remains unchanged, although its aspect has partly been modified, especially during the 1970s when the water was diverted into pipes thereby partially erasing its bygone enchantment.

The original plan has, however, remained intact: it is still possible to enjoy walks along extensive stretches of this open-air water channel.

This Ru is being completely renovated and made safe under a project set up by the Autonomous Region of Valle d'Aosta. In the meantime, the authorities aim to make this vast work, which over the years has deeply affected the life of this valley’s inhabitants, known to a wider public. The project (Le Ru retrouvè – rediscovering the Ru) aims to show the visitor a true example of collective heritage under a historical, cultural, traditional, natural and obviously tourist aspect thanks to the possibility to go hiking, mountain biking and horse riding along its route, not forgetting the welcoming facilities found along the way.

It was possible to carry out this work thanks to a leading project involving the Town Councils of Brusson, Ayas and St. Vincent, co-ordinated by GAL and financed by the Autonomous Region of Valle d’Aosta, the Italian government and the European Union.

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