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Vialattea Milky Way Sauze Sestriere

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Arriving this Saturday in a posse of 9. It's looking good. snowHead
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@sequoiaboard, ooh...where are you gonna be? we are arriving on Sunday (and I need some ski buddies whilst missus has lessons).
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Rishie, We're going to be in Sestriere.

A couple of young ex-seasonaires, me (intermediate) and some beginner/intermediates.

Not planning anything too gnarly but hoping for some next to piste off piste. Some lovely runs through the trees there.
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Im going to be in Sestriere is well from sunday, I hope if snow don't hit Gatwick airport lol
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@sequoiaboard, love the tree runs. So good. Can't wait!
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Pistes in perfect condition, been gently snowing all day apart from an hour or two early afternoon when it chucked it down. Masses of next to piste untracked, with the accumulated snowfall of the last few days, well rather tasty. Very Happy Rest of week predicted to be below freezing and cloud free. Not unhappy.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Just to add to the above the last two days have been mostly sunny and pistes have been in great condition due to the very cold temps.
They have had so much snow that even for those coming right at the end of the season it should still be fantastic.
There is some soft snow off piste/side piste which I haven’t seen so late in a season without rock dodging.
I had a two hour freeride lesson with Carlo from Snowmaxx skischool (80 pounds) booked after he did a piste lesson with my girlfriend the day before. There is still untracked powder in some hidden places. I can’t recommend Carlo enough and as freeride is his forte I am sure I had the most qualified person for the job. I was buzzing afterwards.
(He was great for my girlfriend’s piste lesson).
Last day tomorrow. A tickle of snow is predicted overnight and it will be sunny again.
Oh on a side note there are some high speed dangerous muppets about. On heavy set chap was travelling about 100kph and nearly ploughed into my girlfriend during her lesson. When challenged he started off in a tirade of foul language at the ski instructor. When the gf said there is no need for that language he used the c word on her. British chap from London area. Bright Blue jacket, black trousers, dark beard, black helmet. Travelling with a group with ribbons on their helmets.
To avoid people like that and busy pistes around Sportinia try Sansicario where we have found lush wide reds where due to the lack of people you can ski how you like without threatening someone else’s safety.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Did they have big pink ribbons on their helmets, a mixed group of adults and kids? If so I think I encountered the same crowd...

Agree Sansicario is great!
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Looks like the last day of the season for Sestriere / Via Lattea is the 8th April.

Does anyone know if they might extend it? Looks like they ran until the 17th last winter.

There's more than enough snow and lots of more in forecast for next week!
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I was told by my guide that this was highly unlikely as the owner doesn't see the value in extending opening. A bit of a shame really as there is just so much snow lying around!
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
We were there last week, the welsh Easter break is a week earlier. Deserted pistes, and plus one for San Sicario, most people on the pistes were going to Claviere. We didn’t take the trip as needed to get to back to Pragelato for lunch. Great varied terrain, not your normal wide featureless pistes. All the family love it and would recommend. Don’t understand why they won’t extend, as it was heaving in Easter Saturday and they have enough snow for weeks.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Just had Easter week in Sestriere and the pistes were lovely with lots of fresh snow. On the last day (Fri 6th) it was warm and very sunny so anything below 2000 m was a bit heavy (e.g. low down near Sauze) but Sestriere was in great condition. Our guide took us off-piste mid week and it was superb 2200-2800m and ok below that. No queues other than Easter Sunday and the holiday Monday and they were 5-6 mins.

Sadly, we also heard that the closing date was remaining as planned despite masses of snow. Apparently Montgenevre is open for 2 weeks more. The explanation I got was that electricity is very expensive in Italy (certainly true!) but much, much, cheaper in France, so the economics of keeping Montgenevre open are much more favourable. Also, the Italian side is privately owned whereas the French State owns or underwrites Montgenevre. Sounds plausible, but I’ve not tried to verify it.

I read an Italian report detailing €20m investment in (Italian side) Via Lattea before 2020. I could see that some of the things listed had been done (new snow lances (unused!), new turn styles, piste to Pragelato etc) so hopefully we will see more improvements in the next 2 years. It’s a lovely area, with a nice mix of pistes - it just needs a new lift to get back to Mt Frative when heading back to Sestriere (on the investment list). My real regret was not having my off piste skis ready - there was a lot of safe but untracked powder.

A lot of snow is due in Piedmont this week, and if I read the website correctly, Prali (13 laghi) is open till the end of April. It’s due 1m snow and is apparently great for powder through larch forests. If you try it, please report back.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Almost tempted for a short trip out to Prali for some end of season powder - heavy snow pretty much all week Monday - Saturday! As much as 150cm possible.

Freezing level mostly around 1600-1800m, so the snow will be a bit wet at resort level (1500m) but should be fantastic in the trees 1800-2200m.

Unfortunately flights are expensive and there seems to be a lack of available accommodation in/near Prali
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@musehead, just a minor detail is Prali open ?

Sestriere etc all closed last weekend - not that we're bothered as we'll be touring, just trying to work some plans out.

Mate currently driving over Montgenevre in heavy snow
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Weathercam, It looks like it's open. I can't find the information about opening dates (or when it might close) on the website, but it's open today at least.

The webcams show still images updated every 5 minutes so you can compare them to confirm the lifts are moving. Looks very quiet but I did see a single skier on the 11:55 capture!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
musehead wrote:
@Weathercam,....I can't find the information about opening dates (or when it might close) on the website.......


Typically Italian Toofy Grin

Though think it was this time last year or the year before, and Prali was open when the others were indeed shut.

Long hack over there as I was dropping a mate off in Turin to ski stodge
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Looks good in Prali - and the retour d'est has not properly begun yet...

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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Weathercam and Musehead,
If you look at the Prali site, below the webcam feeds is a ticker tape which presently states that Prali is open till the end of the month, 0830 till 1630. I am not able to read Italian, so I used Chrome to open it and it translates it well for me.
Wepowder now forecasting 151cm at the top over the next few days. Freezing level up and down in relation to base station, but perhaps the actual snow level will be low enough to avoid rain. Snow Forecast suggests snow even at 1470m until Friday lunchtime, at which point the freezing level moves upwards.
Hope this is helpful.
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Thanks, can see the notice now. Unfortunately I won't make it out there this time. Would love to ski Prali sometime though - maybe next winter!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Me too. Wepowder mentions it a lot and it does seem to have charm and freakish dumps of snow. Looking up the valley from Perosa Argentina as I drive past, it looks like it could be very beautiful too.

On the accommodation front, I have not been down there yet but I doubt there are any hotels. However, there will be B&B and apartments to rent. I find that almost nothing is advertised in English in this part of Italy (which is nice) so I translate the search terms and use chrome to translate the web pages. That way, things like B&Bs can be found. There are definitely quite a few small apartment blocks in Grigio/Prali.

I may see you there next season!
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@Game of Snows, @musehead, plans change and guess where I'm heading tomorrow after dropping the Mrs off at Turin airport at 08:30 Cool

Updates in the Retour D'Est thread as Prali is not really in the Via Lattea
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I am so envious. Look at the webcams!
I’m switching to the other thread and look forward to the photos and YouTube video of you up to your neck in powder Very Happy
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Prali is opening this weekend apparently. Quite amazing that they can stretch the season right out to the start of June!

There's no snow at the bottom now (1450m) so presumably you'd have to download on the chairlift after skiing.

View from the top of the top lift today @ 2540m:

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Seems like the Colletto Verde / Col Saurel lift and corresponding link at altitude between France and Italy is still closed long term, since 2016 and some juridical problems caused as I know by two unfortunate teenager deaths on the hill.

Does anybody know where this is heading ? Will it ever be put in operation again ? I would rather see this put back into safe operation than having the "planned" (? suggested --?) lift connection between Montgenevre and Serre Che.
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@Geh, Somewhat complicated situation... the last update I was aware of suggested that all remediary work on piste 100 would be completed by 30th June 2018. Once this was signed off and acceptable, this would reopen the altitude link from France to Italy but from Italy to France would still involve the low level link at 91 bis and 91 tris.

All going well, it was scheduled to open this season. (im not holding my breath!!)

I believe the work on piste 104 was also to be completed at this time although there are no plans to reopen Col Saurel for at least 5 years with the likely action being to move the entire lift structure elsewhere. This was a part I couldn't quite wrap my head around, but at least it was progress...
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I found some information on this earlier this year by translating some search terms into Italian and then using Chrome to search and translate. My information was not as authoritative as letsgetpiste’s but indicated that the work was ongoing as explained above. Glad to hear it appears to be going well!

Letsgetpiste, do you have any other info about developments in Via Lattea for the coming season? Any information welcome as I do find it hard to get much information on the area.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Game of Snows, tell me about it!! It's like getting blood from a stone! I fear that a lot of planned work for the area will have been put on the back burner. While the legal wrangles surrounding the the link from Montgenevre to Claviere appear to have gone away, a new beast has reared its head. Giovanni Brasso has declared that he has no kids or heirs interested in taking over from him, so at 70, hes trying to offload the ski areas infrastructure. He bought it all following the 2006 winter olympics and the local area (not sure how thats made up, local businesses or councils?) have been looking at buying it back off him.
It's getting nearer the winter season, so I have some friends and contacts beginning to move back towards the area. I'll certainly update here if I get any more information!
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I read some forum posts too that suggested he was putting it up for sale, speculating that the commune might buy it, one of the mega resort companies or perhaps even the French company that owns the Montgenevre side might buy it. I think there was some Italian resistance to the l2nd and 3rd options.

Either way, whilst there have been notable improvements over recent years, I hope that a new buyer may want to further improve and develop the area. Personally, I’d like to see Pragelato revived and linked-in, perhaps completing a circuit with Sauze. Perhaps some more use could be made of Moncrons and the high areas on Mt Motta and Sises? I would have thought both could accommodate some more pistes and itineraries, which would help in the “top trumps” stats that some people use to choose resorts from their armchairs (lift heights, number of black runs or itineraries, % of runs above 2500m etc).

I also wonder if it was once envisaged that pistes would run from Sestriere, down through Grangesises and then perhaps link across to Mt Luna? Grangesises looks as if if was built strategically for expansion in that area.

Sorry to ramble on. I like that Via Lattea does not oversell itself, but I do also think that Is sometimes a little laid back in the face of competition from some of the uber-commercial mega resorts.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Game of Snows, Just been announced that the link back from Montgenevre will be open this season.

http://www.valsusaoggi.it/sci-in-vialattea-riapre-la-pista-del-colletto-verde-che-collega-la-valsusa-alla-francia/
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