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Monterosa

Monterosa has one of the world’s highest lift-served verticals, endless off-piste and views of 4 of the world’s mega mountains, yet it sees a tenth of the crowds you can find elsewhere. Don’t blame us for hoping it stays that way. The peaks are high but the costs low, the slopes blissfully quiet and the villages so gorgeously rustic you’ll feel like an original mountain settler.

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

At a glance: • Off Piste • Quiet villages • Three stunning valleys

Great for: • Experts • Off-piste • Intermediates

Monterosa has one of the world’s highest lift-served verticals, endless off-piste and views of 4 of the world’s mega mountains, yet it sees a tenth of the crowds you can find elsewhere. Don’t blame us for hoping it stays that way. The peaks are high but the costs low, the slopes blissfully quiet and the villages so gorgeously rustic you’ll feel like an original mountain settler.

Monterosa Resort

It takes a while to get your bearings with a Monterosa piste map. Row upon row of 3 and 4000m summits gulf the page, drawn up into tight ranks by three (and a half) glacial valleys. See if you can spot Monte Rosa, Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn and Gran Paradiso – in an area where it’s definitely mountain, not man, that rules the roost, the best of the Swiss, French and Italian Alps rub shoulders here.

Squint enough and you can make out the villages in the valleys in between, just as numerous as the peaks, if a millionth of the size. The biggest are Champoluc in the Aya valley, Gressoney in the middle and Alagna over the hill to the west. These have been interconnected by lifts since 2010 and progress from tame to terrifying as you move west. Alagna is really a hard-core skiers’ settlement, up there with Chamonix and La Grave. Red intermediate runs link the resorts and working from one to another is seriously satisfying - not least because you’re sure to have plenty of “man meets mountain” moments, with the run to yourself. These may technically be “3 Valleys”, but they’re nothing like the buzzing French ski area.

Hemmed by mountains and pleasingly rustic, these villages are the kind of places iPads and iPhones feel incongruous, though the church steeples would be a good spot for signal... “Sleepy” just about sums up life during the week, but like most Italian resorts, they spring awake at weekends – Milan’s only about 2 hours away. Even on Saturday and Sunday, relaxed is probably the best word for the vibe here. These aren’t the valleys you turn to for state-of-the-art snowmobiles or keg draining competitions. Visitors and locals are quite content with laid-back weeks spent resort hopping on varied, extensive terrain.

Stats & FAQ

Location: Aosta valley, Italy

Established:

Open: December - April

Downhill: 180km / 93 runs

View our detailed Monterosa snow forecast or snow report and see all live webcams, piste maps, road and travel maps and lift pass prices. For a picture of historic snow conditions see the snow depths month by month with our Monterosa snow history.

Nearest Airport & Transfer Time:
Turin Caselle Airport (TRN)107km, 90 minutes
Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP)170km, 2 hours
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • 17%

  • 72%

  • 11%

Top Altitude:3275m
Bottom Altitude:1212m
Resort Altitude:1212m
Longest run:8km
Slope Orientation:W SW E SE
Vertical Drop:1118m
Skiable Vertical:
Night Skiing:
Glacier:

Snow Report

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Web Cam

Monterosa web cams
Downhill Runs:180km / 93 runs
Beginner slopes:17%
Intermediate:72%
Advanced slopes:11%
Lift Pass Price: €200 (adult 6 day)
Nearby resorts: Champoluc, Gressoney

Skiing/BoardingSkiing in Monterosa

Each of the Champoluc, Gressoney and Alagna ski areas are connected by Monterosa lifts and a single ski pass, making up a substantial ski area of 180km with everything from friendly, forested runs to crazy cliffs and 60 degree drops. Cruising between resorts is easy as pizza pie, but keep an eye on the time. Buses don’t connect the villages and if you miss the last lift, it’s an expensive taxi back to base.

Champoluc puts up the gentlest terrain and has plenty of sheltered runs and meeting and eating points on the mountain, plus the excellent British-run Ski 2 School. Two magic carpet lifts at the top of the Crest gondola are the place to start – and deck chairs and coffees left, right and centre are there for parents watching little ones (or to keep you from straining yourself…).

For an intermediate, the pick of the valleys’ 90 odd runs is yours. Gressoney, the central valley, is possibly the best place for you to stay, with quickest access to both of the neighbouring valleys so you’re less likely to get caught out on a limb when lifts close. Punta Jolanda above the village of Gressoney La Trinité is a haven of reds. If, or when, you run out of new stuff, trips to satellite villages Antagnod, Estoul and Bieltschoke provide a change of scenery.

The on-piste skiing here includes only 17km of black runs, none of which will make experts break a sweat. Off-piste terrain, however, is another matter entirely. Deep snow skiers worth their salt will likely have heard of Alagna and the region keeps plenty of mountain guides in business. The routes down from Punta Indren above Alagna have some of the area's steepest couloirs, and one of the world’s largest verticals with gradients between 45 and 60 degrees, slicing through the cliffs above the Bors Glacier. Overkill, perhaps, but who’s complaining – all this is backed up by heli-skiing heaven on the Monterosa massif, home to ten peaks over 4000m.

Old-fashioned, yes, but not behind the times, check out this ski domain’s “chip-skipass”, letting you check daily on your performance online, with details like which runs and lifts you’ve taken, how far you’ve schussed and the altitude you’ve covered – pretty neat.

Monterosa Apres Ski

50 bars and restaurants sure sounds like a good haul, but spread them out across three vast valleys and they start to lose their potency. Champoluc, the biggest of the villages, musters the closest thing to après antics, with cocktails and live music at Bruno’s and quite a hearty night at the Hotel Castor.

A quiet dinner and a bombardino under an authentic Walser roof are the way evenings generally work here - and that’s just fine with us. Between Il Balivo in Champoluc, Capanna Carla in the Gressoney valley and Alagna’s Montagna di Luce, the wood-and-stone vibes will make you want to knock together a cabin of your own here. Stay in Champoluc for the most and the best options and see how many exotic meats you manage to eat through the week… starting with Chamois Salami.

Each of the resorts has gift shops (for the essential wooden clogs and animal figurines to take home) and hotel pools are plentiful and usually open to all. Gressoney and Champoluc both have an ice skating rink. Though getting between resorts when lifts close is surprisingly difficult, day trips elsewhere aren’t. The nearby Savoy Castle looks like something straight out of a film and is only 20 minutes’ walk from Gressoney-St-Jean. From Champoluc, it’s easy to take a half day out for the Antagnod ski area, where Maison Fournier was once the stronghold of the counts of Challant.

Best time to go

Best time to ski Monterosa

When is the best time to ski Monterosa?

Snow tends to come to the Monterosa region in glorious spells of never-ending powder, or not at all. Thanks to 95% snow-cannon coverage and meticulous overnight grooming, that doesn’t cause too much trouble for a piste skier. Off-pisters, however, need to keep one eye on the snow reports if they want waist-deep snow to go with Alagna’s impressive verticals. Altitudes this high and valley sides this steep make this a particularly cold place throughout the season, wrap up warm to make the most of it.

Peak Dates

Browse the markets at Brusson, attend Mass in one of the local churches and generally enjoy an authentic Italian mountain experience for Christmas in Monterosa, when a mix of high elevation and impeccable snowmaking ensures it’ll be a white Christmas.

Traditional torchlight processions are the norm for New Year in Monterosa, after which you can party it up in a hotel bar or hit the hay early to have these wonderful views to yourself on the 1st.

As if quiet slopes for Half Term in Monterosa weren’t enough, Italian prices and sleepy mountain villages give you plenty of reason to put your usual French resort aside for the season.

With any luck, this ski area will still be handing out lift pass offers over Easter in Monterosa taking value for money to the extremes. If warm weather leaves your corn snow a little worse for wear, we can think of worse places to spend the afternoon than the historical towns at La Trinite, Saint Jean and Champoluc.

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Families in Monterosa

Champoluc has Monterosa’s best beginner runs and generally the most going on for families who have young ones still in the uniform years. The Ski2 British ski school is full of native English-speakers, and British-qualified nannies tend the Ski2 Penguin Club, looking after children from 3 months to skiing age. Other local schools do other ski packages, so you can shop around for the best for you. As this is Italy, prices are going to be pleasing.

Despite a quick and painless journey from Turin, Champoluc feels worlds away and is the kind of place you’ll end up with runs to yourselves. The quality time continues pottering about the village at night, dining on pizzas in the land they were invented (try Churen’s) and hot chocolates so fabulously thick it’s hard to get your spoon through. There’s also the ice skating rink and Adventure Park if energy is still running high.

GroupsGroup Holidays Monterosa

Major mountains like these deserve a wide audience and groups who’ve graduated from the beginner slopes will have the time of their lives at Monterosa, where your party’s likely to be the biggest in the region. Whether you’re going well and truly off-piste, sharing the cost of a heliski trip on the Monterosa massif, or enjoying all that the areas around the resorts have to offer, this place is unlikely to disappoint. Hard-core off-pisters should head to Alagna, but a bigger group will be better off in Gressoney for the variety of the eats, more of a nightlife and prime spot for adventures around Champoluc and Alagna. It really doesn’t get more atmospheric than skiing between renovated old barns for disgestifs, Savoyarde specials and Italian hot chocolates. Top tip: don’t miss L’Aroula.

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