In the north-west of Italy, in the tiny, but most beautiful province of Valle d'Aosta (Valle d'Aosta) on the border with France and Switzerland is the highest alpine massif Monte Rosa (Monte Rosa, 4663 m). Four thousandths covered with ice helmets surround the Aosta Valley - one of the five ski regions of Italy.
Resort for serious skiers
The resort of Monte Rosa, belongs to the "Celestial" region of the highest mountain in Italy, he It is also known as the Italian Three Valleys. A single system of lifts connected three parallel gorges with tiny villages:
- In the valley of Val de Ayas (Val de Ayas) are located Champoluc (Shampoluc), Brusson (Brusson), Antagnon (Antagnon);
- In the Gressoney Gorge - the communes of Gressoney-Saint-Jean and Gressoney-La-Trinité;
- Alagna Valsesia is home to the Stafal and Alanya Valsesia mountain shelters.
Among these mountain villages, only Champoluc has the infrastructure for tourist services, which allows it to be a popular ski resort - this is the capital of the Three Valleys. The region attracts those who know a lot about skiing: 180 km of ready-made slopes; Gigantic off-highway routes through the Monte Rosa massif, with the capture of the Cervinia and Swiss Zermatt routes; Heliskiing with a helicopter lift; skiing - all this is not for beginners.
However, there are schools and schools for advanced training and the development of snowboarding, freeriding, and carving. At the children's school of the resort (ScuolaSciChampoluc), instructors - the best Italian and English specialists - work with children from 4 years old.
Fans of comfort and entertainment in the resort of Champoluc will be bored, it is interesting for avid skiers and sports families. Monte Rosa is loved by the Scandinavians, and already they understand the places of skiing. Champoluc with its adrenaline capabilities and affordable prices deserves the attention of Russian tourists, although in the Aosta valley they are better known for the resorts of Cervinia and Courmayeur.
When to go
Snowfalls begin here in November, sub-zero temperatures prevail, but the real "puff" - the fresh snow that is so much appreciated by freeriders, appears in the second decade of December.
The skiing season lasts from November 26 to April 15, has peaks of activity and decline:
- Low season: November 26 - December 8; March 29 to the end of the season.
- Main season: December 8-24; January 9 - February 10;
- High season: December 24 - January 8; February 11 - March 28;
The Monterosa Ski area has its own ski pass acquisition features.
Seasonal differences apply to three- and six-day subscriptions. So, a six-day ski pass for an adult tourist cost: in the low season - 216 €; in the main - 222 € in high - 242 €. The cost of one-day ski passes throughout the season, with the exception of the Christmas holidays, is the same: 41 euros for the regular season and 46 for the holidays.
Those who want to “catch” good snow and not overpay at the same time should have a tactic of behavior before the start of the ski season:
- Choose one or more resorts;
- Buy a ticket, but with a refund option;
- Book accommodation, rent a car, but without prepayment;
- Keep abreast of weather forecasts in the region using the official website snow-forecast.com.
If snow has fallen and the weather is favorable: the sun, the wind is weak, you have to fly. The best time for Monte Rosa resort is before the Christmas holidays on December 17-24. If the weather is unfavorable, you will have to turn in your tickets and book your apartments for March.
In March, there is still snow here, and few people, and there will be no problems with housing. The only minus is the weather: cloudy, windy, by the evening the snow is melting, and in the morning it is covered with ice crust. In case of bad weather, a tourist staying in the resort of Champoluc needs a car: there are few entertainments in the village itself, and there are interesting objects to visit in the district.
Trails, lifts, ski passes
A single ski pass for the entire Monterosa Ski area provides access to 67 tracks with a total length of 180 km. In addition to them there are ski areas for freeriding, heli-skiing, one track for border cross-country, and skiing routes.
Of all the equipped descents, 19 belong to the blue, 41 to the red, 6 to the black. All the routes descend into the valleys of Champoluc, Gressoney, Alanya. In the Champoluc zone, the total length of the slopes is 70 km, and the elevation difference is 1900 m; in Gressoney - all descents are 50 km, and the difference is 1600 m; In Alanya there are few routes - 23 km, but they are the coolest, the height difference is 2350 m.The map is clickable, click to download the ski map of the ski resort of Monte Rosa in PDF format
Blue trails are located mainly on the slopes of the Champoluc Valley, which gives reason to consider the resort a family one. In other valleys, the blue trails are very short.
One of the good blue runs descends from the Mon Ros zone (Mont Ros, 2457), the other runs from the foot of the Ostafa. The children's area is located in the village of Antagnod with elevations of about 400 m.
The blue track at Passo Salati in Alanya is the only easy downhill in the third valley of Monta Rosa.
Red slopes begin at the peaks of Crest and Colle Sarezza (2700 m). Tourists here come from the Champoluc ski lift. Starting on a plateau, the trails pass through the coniferous forest, they prepare many surprises on the way of skiers.
The Frachey Lift delivers tourists to the Colle Bettaforca area (Colle Bettaforca, 2672). This pass has slopes in both valleys: Champoluc and Gressoney. The red routes to the second valley, especially the descent from Passo dei Salati (PassodeiSalati, 2971 m), are relief and swift (drop to 1200 m).
Extreme black slopes
- A long and difficult descent C 12 leads from the Colle-Bettafork ridge to the Frachey ski lift, this is the second most difficult resort slope;
- Another black track - B6 - descends from St. Anne (Sant'Anna) on the Stafal in the Gressoney Valley;
- From the peak leading to the third valley, Alanya-Valsesia, a descent is made along the Balma V 5 highway from Punta Indren (3260 m) with a length of 8 km and a vertical drop of up to 1200 m. There are many steep drops on the slope with hills and ice sections. This track is the "black pearl" of the resort;
- Another black descent into the Alanya Valley starts at Passo dei Salati and leads to Pianalunga (2046 m) - the V3 highway. There are two parks for snowboarding: on Mount Gabiet and on the Col Dolen pass.
Off-piste skiing is a feature of the Monte Rosa resort. In other places, it is limited or not recommended. There are instructors here, they introduce the skier to the terrain and the dangers on it. Freerider must have a probe with him, a beeper - an avalanche sensor, a shovel.
The Monte Roses Grand Tour (MountRoseGrandTour) takes place over 8 hours along the off-piste descents of three valleys. Frachey - Colle-Bettaforka - Gressoney Valley - Passo dei Salati - descents of Valsesia - Alanya - Punta Indren glacier - descent to Gressoney - Champoluc.
An even more extreme opportunity to engage in a duel with height - heli-skiing, heli-boarding. A helicopter throws athletes onto the Lys pass, from where they descend along the Grenz Glacier.
Downhill does not allow you to feel the beauty of the snow-white peaks of the heavenly alpine region. Therefore, many admirers of skitting come here. Here you can win a bet with a skier developing speeds of up to 250 km per hour, or take a grand Swiss trip to Zermatt - the Monterosa Ski ski pass also provides such an opportunity.
There are 38 ski lifts in the resort: drag, chair, cab, belt, gondolas and funiculars. They serve local areas and combine valleys into a single space. The general communication is carried out by a lift from Fraeci to the Colle-Bettafork ridge, and from there to the Passo dei Salati zone. These are modern high-speed lifts installed in 2005.
When purchasing a multi-day subscription (6-10 days), the tourist has the right to ride 2 days on other resorts of the Val d'Aosta region. The current cost of ski passes can be found on the resort's official website: www.monterosa-ski.com.
How to get to the resort
The distance from Torino Airport to Champoluc is 90 km, and from Milan (Milano) is 140 km.
It is inconvenient to get to the Champoluc resort on your own from these cities: you need to make 1-3 transfers from train to bus. First, get to the Veres train station, and from there every 3 hours a regular bus runs to Champoluc. Schedule options and prices in rubles can be found here: www.rome2rio.com/ru/s/Turin/Champoluc.
Train timetables and ticket purchases: www.trenitalia.com.
Transfer from the airport is not cheap, but convenient. Taxi from Milan Malpensa Airport (Aeroporto di Milano-Malpensa) to Champoluc costs 220-280 €; from Turin - 170-200 €. You can order here.
The most convenient way to get and spend your winter vacation in the Monte Rosa area is to rent a car. This will make it possible to expand the ski area at the expense of nearby resorts; visit interesting sights, go have fun if the weather is bad. You can rent a car at auto.italy4.me.
Difficult skiing on the Monte Rosa slopes requires restoration of strength and good rest, so in Champoluc ski hotels with a full range of services and comfortable rooms are in demand. There are 19 hotels in three valleys.
Relais DesGlaciers is a typical ski hotel with helpful staff, a spa and restaurant, located in the center of the resort near the ski lift. The restaurant serves local dishes.
Hotel Lo Scoiattolo
Hotel Lo Scoiattolo is located in Gressoney-la-Trinité, the central valley, at an equal distance from all difficult tracks. A sauna, a solarium, a restaurant with Waldorne cuisine will perfectly restore strength for a new sports day.
The 3-star Stadel Soussun Hotel is set in a historic building., all rooms are heated, each room has a bath and shower. A 16th-century restaurant is located in the basement.
Hotel L 'Aiglon
The 3-star Hotel L 'Aiglon is 500 meters from the ski lift on the Cross Plateau. A bathroom with a hydromassage, a bar with hot drinks and pastries, lockers for ski equipment, family rooms are a range of services offered by the hotel.
Apartments are a budget housing option that provides opportunities for sleep and relaxation. Food problems have to be addressed additionally. In the village there is, of course, a chain of restaurants and a spa center, but will there be strength and desire to visit them after a busy day with a maximum of physical activity.
This type of housing is located away from the ski lifts, so in the morning and in the evening you will have to do a march throw in full uniforms with a length of 600-1600 meters.
Champolucapartment is located 600 meters from the ski lift; it provides bedrooms, a shared living room, a kitchen, bed linen; free parking. Meals - in nearby restaurants.
Ramey Apartment - the proximity of the ski lift (100-200 m), a kitchen with an oven, a bathroom - this option is very popular among tourists.
When choosing housing, it is better to save on early booking of a quality hotel than to choose cheap apartments and suffer all week with household problems. Booking of hotels in winter is carried out for a period of not less than 6 days.
Restaurants and apres-ski
Not every tourist of Champoluc has the desire to visit the restaurant after an everyday ski marathon, but on rainy days there is where to chat with the public. Bars are especially popular: CaféRimbaud with a wide choice of cocktails; Golosone, where live music sounds every night; Bistro with weekly discos; WestRoadBar with entertainment program on Fridays.
Bars provide tourists with a “purely masculine” entertainment: tasting local wines in turn at each bar on their own day. This is really apres-ski, because Available only during the ski season, until April 30th. Some Valdostan wines are a rarity available only in this region.: red Torrette (Torret), for example, or white Blanc de Morgex (Blanc de Morge).
Fild'Fer warming punch with citrus-clove aroma, as well as Caffe valdostana coffee, a mixture of coffee, wine, grappa and seasoned with a lemon peel, are considered popular in these places.
The mountainsides are dotted with eateries and small cafes where you can calm down and refresh yourself after an adrenaline ride, having deposited your skis. Dishes of Valdostan cuisine: Fontina cheese, ham "jambon de Boss", veal chops "costoletta", the famous "ometa" - chamois ham, - the pride of local restaurants.
Many skiers who have once visited this region regret that they have not discovered it before.