- Fabulous intermediate and advanced off-piste, including heli-skiing
- Slopes usually very quiet weekdays
- Panoramic views
- Good snow reliability and grooming
- Quiet, unspoiled village, with a good range of hotels
- Three-valley lift/piste network gives a sensation of travel, but ...
- Village strung out along the valley road and lacks a central focus
- Virtually no choice of route when touring the three valleys on-piste
- Few challenging pistes; mainly easy cruising
- High winds can close links
- Few off-slope diversions
- Limited après-ski
Latest user reviews
suggul 24 Aug 2014
Hugh P 5 Mar 2012
peter woodhead 26 Jan 2011
If you have visited this resort not too long ago, why not add your own short review to this page?
News – 2015/16
UK tour operator Inghams took over the 3-star Champoluc hotel, right by the gondola, and now runs it as a chalet hotel.
Champoluc is popular with Italian weekenders from Milan and Turin, but is hardly heard of on the international market. As a result, it retains a friendly, small-scale, unspoiled Italian ambience. The village is a pleasant but not notably pretty place. The three-valley network of lifts and pistes is anything but small-scale. Champoluc at one end and Alagna at the other are 17km apart and it’s around a four-hour trip by road if you miss the last lift. Gressoney is in the central valley. Outside the piste network is a lot of great off-piste terrain, some lift-served, which has long attracted experts.
Champoluc is the largest of the resort villages and, although it has drawbacks, it’s an attractive all-round base. The village is strung out along a one-way street running from the centre past various hotels to the gondola base station, where a cluster of shops and bars forms a kind of distinct micro-resort. About 3km up the valley, a short funicular goes up from Frachey (with parking right at the base).
Champoluc is the largest of the Monterosa villages and an attractive base © Marco Spataro
Down-valley from Champoluc are Antagnod and Brusson. Antagnod is a good alternative for bad-weather days, and has some decent off-piste.
There is a group of bars and restaurants at the lift base but the village lacks a real focus. But we like the low-key ambience.
The village is not compact, but everything is walkable. Some hotels are a 10-minute walk from the gondola base station but some have lockers near there to leave your kit in. There are free buses to and from Frachey and Antagnod. You have to pay for the Brusson bus. And Ski 2 ferries its guests around town.
The gondola from Champoluc goes up to Crest, a mid-mountain nursery area with a further gondola followed by a slow quad chairlift going on to Colle Sarezza. This area is linked to the runs above Frachey via a steep, narrow, bumpy red run, commonly known as the Goat, because of the statue at the top; timid intermediates are better off starting at Frachey. From there, you ride lifts to Colle Bettaforca, for the descent to Gressoney.
Most lifts are fast chairs and gondolas, but the link with Frachey involves slow chairs. You can avoid these by using the Frachey funicular.
Mostly blissfully queue-free. But there are two problems at Frachey. The Alpe Mandria chair above the funicular is an unavoidable bottleneck. And the old double chair that links to the home slopes of Champoluc cannot cope with afternoon demand.
There isn’t one.
Off-piste is the main draw. There are few tough on-piste runs. In bad weather, head for the excellent Mandria forest area above Frachey.
The Mandria forest area above Frachey is great for tree skiing when it’s snowing © Roger Walker
There is a good mix of varied pistes that suit confident intermediates. But Champoluc has drawbacks for timid intermediates – as well as the Goat run, the red descent to Champoluc (excellent if you can hack it) can be too much for many. Some people find it worth going to the separate Antagnod area.
The high nursery slopes at Crest above Champoluc, served by two moving carpets, are excellent. For longer gentle runs, though, you need to go up the valley to Frachey. Or down the valley to Antagnod.
Great off-piste for experts but not ideal for intermediates or beginners (see above). No drag lifts to worry about though.
There are 16km of trails in Champoluc; but Brusson, down-valley, has the best loops (30km).
Tour operator Ski 2 has all kinds of schemes to keep children happy. And it runs Ski 2 Racing courses for would-be Olympians).
Blogs, features and news
- Tour operator Ski 2 launches in Les Gets
- Corporate ski trips
- High temperatures give way to fresh snow in Monterosa
- Inghams opens Chalet Hotel in Champoluc
- Decent piste skiing in Monterosa