The slopes

  • Extent 2 out of 5
  • Fast lifts 5 out of 5
  • Snow 4 out of 5
  • Queues 4 out of 5
  • Terrain p'ks 1 out of 5
  • Expert 4 out of 5
  • Intermediate 4 out of 5
  • Beginner 2 out of 5
  • Boarder 3 out of 5
  • X-country 2 out of 5
  • Restaurants 4 out of 5
  • Schools 2 out of 5
  • Families 2 out of 5

The resort

  • Resort charm 3 out of 5
  • Convenience 3 out of 5
  • Scenery 4 out of 5
  • Eating out 2 out of 5
  • Apres ski 1 out of 5
  • Off-slope 1 out of 5

Gallery

  • Monterosa Ski

Key facts

Resort1200-1640 m
Slopes1200-3275 m
Lifts25
Pistes73 km
Price index85

Monterosa Ski

Italy

Monterosa Ski

The upside

  • Fabulous off-piste and heli-skiing, for both intermediates and experts
  • Slopes quiet on weekdays
  • Unspoiled valleys and villages
  • Panoramic views at altitude
  • Wide variety of mountain restaurants
  • Long runs and a sensation of travel

The downside

  • Extent of pistes is modest; only one main route down each valley
  • Few challenges (or moguls) on-piste
  • High winds can close links
  • Few off-slope diversions
  • Can be very busy at weekends
  • Limited après-ski
  • Latest user reviews

    Went to Monterosa for a week in mid-March and absolutely…

    suggul 24 Aug 2014 

    My wife and I travelled independently and drove from…

    tweedyreadie 9 Feb 2011 

    The following has been copied from a posting to the…

    ResortFiler 6 Feb 2008 

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    News – 2018/19

    In Champoluc, the 35-year-old gondola from the resort to Crest at mid-mountain has been replaced. The new one carries 2400 people an hour in smart new 8-seater cabins that take just over three minutes to reach Crest – increasing the capacity and decreasing the ride time by around one-third. And the top station now meets the bottom of the Ostafa gondola which takes you higher – cutting out a tedious trek between the two.

    Snowmaking for the local Champoluc slopes has been greatly increased too, thanks a huge new snowmaking reservoir that was built this summer.

    The resort’s first 5-star hotel, campZero, opened this summer with 30 luxury two-story suites, a swimming pool, wellness facilities and a climbing wall. And another new 4-star, Charmant Petit Lac, is due to open in mid-January on the site of the old open air ice rink. It will have just 25 rooms and suites, adult and children’s pools and a wellness area.Champoluc specialist tour operator Ski 2 will feature both of these and for the 2018/19 season is offering free full day ski guiding for all its guests.

    In Gressoney, two new moving carpet lifts have been installed in the Sant’Anna beginner area.

    News – 2017/18

    Tour operator Ski2 is now offering two-centre holidays in Champoluc and Les Gets in France, with free transport between the two.

    Summary

    Monterosa Ski’s resorts – Champoluc, Gressoney and Alagna – have long been among our favourites and are popular with experts going off-piste and with Italian weekenders. Until recently they have not made much impact on the international ski market but now things are changing. Champoluc was put on the UK map on a small scale by single-resort operator Ski 2, which has been operating there for nearly 20 years and has built a great reputation. In the last few seasons Ski Total and Inghams have both taken over hotels to run as chalet hotels there. And family specialist Esprit Ski has a chalet hotel in Gressoney in the next valley.

    The resorts retain a friendly, small-scale, unspoiled ambience that we (and a growing band of readers) like a lot. They share a network of pistes that is modest in size but suits intermediates well, and areas of off-piste that suit everyone from adventurous intermediates to experts (but guidance is needed).

    THE RESORTS

    There is one main village in each of three adjacent valleys: Champoluc in the western Val d’Ayas, Gressoney in the central valley and Alagna to the east. Champoluc and Gressoney are both reached from the Aosta valley, to the south. Alagna is more remote and isolated, and approached by a quite different route from the east.

    Day trips to other resorts are hard work, but Cervinia, Courmayeur, La Thuile and Pila are reachable by car from Champoluc and Gressoney and are covered by the Aosta Valley pass.

    All three villages are small-scale (Champoluc is the largest) and pleasantly rustic, without being picture-postcard pretty. Like most Italian resorts, the villages really come to life only at weekends.

    Monterosa Ski is surrounded by a string of peaks over 4000m, and some over 4500m; the panoramic views from restaurant terraces are fabulous.


    Gressoney is in the centre valley © Stuart McWilliam

    THE MOUNTAINS

    Open slopes dominate, but there are woodland runs lower down. The writing, lifts and pistes on the map are ridiculously small and difficult to read. Signposting is adequate. It’s a shame that many runs that could be classified blue are red, leading to uncertainty for timid intermediates.

    The attraction for experts and confident intermediates is the off-piste, with great runs from the high points of the lift system and some excellent heli-skiing. The Indren cable car accesses a lovely itinerary as well as more serious routes to Alagna (a guide is essential; and when we visited on a busy weekend, a patroller was checking that everyone going up the cable car was wearing a transceiver). There are few black pistes and most are not steep.

    There is excellent intermediate piste skiing, with some notably long runs from the ridges to the villages. The run down to Alagna is 1760m vertical and 7km long, for example.

    Although the slopes span vast distances, and give a great sense of travel, they don’t add up to a huge amount of skiing. The lift company eventually accepted our view that its claimed run lengths needed, more or less, to be halved. The total for the linked area is now only 73km.

    The main three-valley network is very simple: there is basically one main way down each mountainside. Champoluc and Gressoney have worthwhile local areas of pistes in addition but Alagna does not. The main lift system is vulnerable to bad weather, but both Champoluc and Gressoney have sheltered alternatives.


    The pistes are usually delightfully quiet in midweek © Tanya Booth

    This is not a notably snowy area, but altitude helps, as does extensive snowmaking. Grooming is thorough – bumps on the pistes don’t last long.

    The important lifts are mainly fast chairs and gondolas. But sunny weekends bring crowds, and one or two queuing problems in the Champoluc and Alagna valleys.

    Mountain restaurants are listed on the piste map. They are generally simple, friendly and good value, and there are some notably good ones too.

    Blogs, features and news

    Map unavailable.

    The slopes

    • Extent 2 out of 5
    • Fast lifts 5 out of 5
    • Snow 4 out of 5
    • Queues 4 out of 5
    • Terrain p'ks 1 out of 5
    • Expert 4 out of 5
    • Intermediate 4 out of 5
    • Beginner 2 out of 5
    • Boarder 3 out of 5
    • X-country 2 out of 5
    • Restaurants 4 out of 5
    • Schools 2 out of 5
    • Families 2 out of 5

    The resort

    • Resort charm 3 out of 5
    • Convenience 3 out of 5
    • Scenery 4 out of 5
    • Eating out 2 out of 5
    • Apres ski 1 out of 5
    • Off-slope 1 out of 5

    Gallery

    • Monterosa Ski

    Key facts

    Resort1200-1640 m
    Slopes1200-3275 m
    Lifts25
    Pistes73 km
    Price index85