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LIVE TR: Ponte di Legno / Passo Tonale, Pejo, Monte Altissimo, Aprica, 20-26/3/18 - now with photos

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
That's right, it's the moment no-one's been waiting for - I'm again going to write a live TR of our ski trip, this time to Ponte di Legno, Italy. This is the first time we've been able to organise a second ski trip of the season, helped by a fortunate last-minute alignment of leave / days off for myself and my partner (which hardly ever happens!). The dates (Tuesday to Monday) aren't conventional for a ski trip, but it was surprisingly easy to find reasonably priced accommodation despite only booking last week. Thanks to good flight times we're hoping to ski on both arrival and departure day, so 7 days skiing in total.

Ponte di Legno is a valley town at 1250m above sea level, linked by lift and piste to the better-known resort of Passo Tonale (1900m). Slopes go from 1150m - in the connected village of Temu - up to over 3000m on the Presena Glacier. You can find a piste map here. 100 km of pistes is small for a week, but we'll have a hire car and plan to visit nearby resorts. Conditions are looking encouraging - it's been snowing heavily for the last few days and it's forecast to stop just before we arrive, leaving sunshine and snow showers with low temperatures for late March: about -10C forecast for mid-mountain during the daytime! This is of course following an excellent season for snow anyway.

It's our first time skiing in Italy, so we're looking forward to perfectly groomed pistes, flattering run grading, excellent restaurants with good prices, early lift opening times and crazy Italian driving - or so the stereotypes go. Oh, and neither of us speak Italian! Should be interesting... Toofy Grin

View over Ponte di Legno (from Saturday evening):



Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Thu 29-03-18 1:12; edited 7 times in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Tuesday - arrival day transfer

A 2am alarm isn't the most relaxing way to start a holiday, but we had to get across to Edinburgh for a 6.40am flight. With some of the M8 turning out to be shut overnight, we needed all the time too!

Ryanair flight to Bergamo left almost on time; as usual, the seat allocation system pointlessly put us at opposite ends of the plane. After picking up our (brand new - gulp) hire car it was a case of following the SS42 all the way to Passo Tonale with a quick supermarket stop en route.

The road is entirely single carriageway after the first couple of miles. The first third is through a load of congested towns, the middle third a good, fast road with lots of long tunnels, and the last section is a more winding route, especially after Ponte di Legno. Total driving time about 2 hours, and very scenic in weak sunshine.

We booked ski hire in Passo Tonale rather than Ponte di Legno as it was £50 cheaper. Arrived about 1.45pm, bought a 3 hour ski pass and collected skis just as the ski hire shop re-opened after their lunch break.


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Thu 29-03-18 1:14; edited 3 times in total
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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?
Tuesday (continued) - Tonale: "The Lecht, but better..."

Spent the afternoon on the mainly gentle slopes directly above Tonale on the south-facing side. A row of short lifts along a road pass - shades of The Lecht in Scotland but with better lifts. Loads of snow including some fresh, but a bit heavy in places (above freezing - warmer than forecast). Fairly busy but not unpleasantly so. Early thoughts about this sector of the slopes: the lift system is excellent (almost all fast chairs with bubbles) but the runs are all a bit similar. The weather gradually closed in and the temperature dropped, with heavy snow by the end of the day! So we left the higher lifts for later in the week.

Check-in time so a short drive back down to Ponte di Legno - thankfully the road was still snow-free. Ponte is a lovely, sizeable and well-heeled valley town at a confluence of rushing rivers; a proper settlement, without the claustrophobic feel you sometimes get in ski resorts. There are several car parks - all free - including a massive underground one in the centre. Excellent!

We've rented a studio near the town square, just over 5 mins walk from the car park (feels longer carrying skis boots!), small supermarket 8 mins away and the lifts / slopes 10-15 mins away. Not the most convenient but not too bad, and the studio is large and very smart indeed.

Dinner in the pizzeria opposite - €5-10 for a large and delicious pizza sets the bar high for the rest of the week! Heavy snow has stopped now and it's already melting from the streets.

Run of the day: 34 (blue) - a bit longer than the runs directly above Tonale, and with different views, down a quiet valley. Gentle gradient which was ideal for flat light.

Lower slopes of Tonale on arrival day:



Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Wed 28-03-18 21:55; edited 4 times in total
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@denfinella, can recommend cafe del'Alpe in PT itself for lunch - on the other side of the main street so skis off and a short walk fro the slopes
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Keep them coming @denfinella, we are interested in the area. Thanks!
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You get about @denfinella!

Looking forward to following!
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@denfinella, I may not of been waiting for this but after the first installment I'm looking forward to tomorrows report.
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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!
Hi Denfinella, our clan will descend upon Passo Tonale on Saturday so looking forward to the reports..

We love Italian skiing especially the Sella Ronda area but this will be our first visit to PT (kids club stopped in Canazei Crying or Very sad , thanks Crystal) so all the heads up we can get the better...
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Thanks all - nice to know someone's reading this wink

@nbt, will try to find this later in the week!
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
Wednesday - Pejo: "Ascents of epic proportions"

Pejo piste map here.

The temperature had apparently dropped to -10C in Ponte di Legno after the snow stopped yesterday evening, and it was still -7C when we got in the car at 7.30am to drive to Pejo. A bluebird day ahead!

Pejo's on the other side of the Passo Tonale, and we hadn't accounted for some rather snowy roads above about 1400 metres. This turned the journey over the pass (for us, with little experience of winter driving) into a bit of an epic one - there was only a dusting so not really enough for chains, but it certainly made the numerous hairpins interesting. Shocked The descent on the other side of the pass was also white(-knuckled?), before we turned off onto the smaller road up to Pejo. More hairpins, but happily the snow plough had been through and the road was snow free. Arrived at about 8.40am and paid €3 for underground parking, plus €33 each for a day pass.

The ski area has 20km of south-facing slopes (seems bigger), but the obvious highlight is a newish and dramatic cable car ascent to 3000m, with a red run all the way back to the base at 1400m. South-east facing into the morning sun, a few cm of powder on top of corduroy and very low temperatures made for some of the best snow we've ever skied on, and one of our favourite ever runs. The rest of the area's runs are all pleasant, often tree-lined and very pretty though fairly short, served by slow but modern chairlifts. We particularly liked red 7 off the quad chair on the far right of the piste map, and the new ski cross in the same area, which includes a piano keyboard you ski across. You could ski all the runs in half a day if you wanted to.

There are three mountain restaurants. The top two are self service, but we went to a table service one low down on the home run, with resident cats wandering the tables. 1 Carbonara and 1 platter of meat / cheese / courgette came to about €20.

Snow stayed great all afternoon except for the last 500 metres to the gondola base, which was slushy for a while mid-afternoon before refreezing (worse). Drive back was straightforward on dry roads.

This evening we went for a longer wander around town. We also found a second, *much* larger supermarket (Migross) near the lift base in Ponte di Legno, with normal prices rather than ski resort prices. All the sandwiches are €1 for example, so you could have a very cheap lunch if you wanted...

Given the good snow for the time of year, we've hatched a slightly unusual plan for tomorrow. Watch this space...

Run of the day: No contest: Red 12/4/1 from top to bottom. Epic.

View from the cable car:





Red 12 from the summit:





Home run:





Mid mountain:















Lunch:



Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Thu 29-03-18 1:28; edited 8 times in total
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Great to hear Pejo delivered 👍
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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.
@denfinella, I'm not particularly comfortably driving in snow but the missus was bought up in a fairly snowy area of southern Germany so laps it up. I take it the hire car doesn't have winters?

Pejo sounds a fun little place. I doubt there's many SH's been there!
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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
@Mike Pow, it did indeed! We were very impressed.

@Layne, actually, I think the hire car does have winter tyres (a legal requirement?). Don't get me wrong, we weren't sliding about all over the place. There were just a few moments where we'd lose traction for a second, which is a bit unnerving when there are cars behind you. Edit: no, it didn't have winters!


Last edited by 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 on Mon 16-09-19 15:45; edited 1 time in total
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Thursday - Monte Altissimo: "Err, where?"

Monte Altissimo piste map here.

Given the current excellent snow conditions, sunny forecast and cold temperatures, we hatched a plan to visit one of Italy's really low resorts today - of the kind that residents of Milan probably go for the day. Monte Altissimo fit the bill: a little over an hour's drive south, with 20km of wooded slopes above the town of Borno.

Even colder at leaving time this morning than the previous day (-11C!) but a straightforward journey to Monte Altissimo, though including a load more hairpins to get to Borno. The hillside looked suspiciously devoid of snow until the last minute, when we rounded the corner into a shady bowl. A pristine strip of manmade snow extended below the snow line to the lift base. About 20 cars in the car park, and probably another 20 arrived later in the day - so we must have been sharing the slopes with about 100 people. Lift pass was amazing value at €22 for the day!

A long, slow quad chair goes up from the car park at 900m to mid mountain at about 1300m, serving an (easy) black as the solitary home run. Above this a similarly long quad takes you to the top, just above the tree line at 1700m, with about 7 runs (one black, all the rest red) back to mid mountain. A drag lift doubles the top half of the chair. It doesn't sound like much, but almost all the pistes were genuinely interesting, fairly long and very scenic. The region must have caught a snow shower overnight as the trees were much whiter than in Ponte di Legno. 90% of the slopes have snowmaking and they pretty much all face north, but the low elevation means the ski area doesn't always stay open this late in March. No such problems this year - all runs open and mostly with packed, winter powder Very Happy

A refugio in the woods advertised an attractively cheap menu: garlic ciabatta, primo piatti, secondo piatti, bread and drink ALL for €14. A language barrier issue though: there was no written-down menu and the waitress who listed the choices for each course didn't speak English - and we don't speak Italian. We didn't mind what we got but I think she selected the safest option for each course, so nothing particularly exciting. A few other prices: coffee €1, pastas €6, paninis €3...

After lunch we repeated some of the best runs and had a few goes at the small snow park and longer ski cross. Like in the morning, it was very quiet and we often had whole runs to ourselves. In fact some of the lifts were so quiet that they were turned off while no-one was on them!

Called it a day at 4pm; dinner back at our apartment again. Another excellent day: low-key Monte Altissimo was very different to flashy Pejo, but the snow was just as good, and the runs nearly as interesting too.

Run of the day: Red A - a long and gentle cruise through the forest, away from all the lifts. Complete silence when we stopped to listen.





















Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Mon 16-09-19 15:45; edited 4 times in total
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Excellent review thanks, it is good to hear of ski areas off the beaten track, incl low mileage ones

low mileage ski areas do a have a certain charm and benefit : quiet pistes

It reminds me on a super quiet ski area in the Spanish Pyrenees , Val Di Nuria, not a huge amount of pistes , but very quiet, ideal for one day
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@denfinella, sounds fab. You can't beat that feeling of being alone on the mountain without the whine and hum of lifts Happy
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
denfinella wrote:
@Mike Pow, it did indeed! We were very impressed.


Great potential for off-piste when the conditions are right.

Cool little village to base yourself too.

Short drive up to Passo Tonale, down to Maddonna circuit.

Val Senales not too far away.
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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?
Keep the updates coming! Very interesting reading of an area I know nothing about
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@dublin2, thanks, and agree about the quiet pistes. Still haven't been to the Pyrenees (it was one of the options for this trip, but flights to Bergamo were at better times), but must try them some day!

@mgrolf, too right!

@Mike Pow, yeah off piste looked good and there was plenty of untracked powder too. However, lots of signs within the ski area saying off piste is forbidden...?

Ponte di Legno shaping up quite well as a base too.

@jesus, thanks, will do!
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Friday - Aprica: "Not just a 1980's school trip destination"

Aprica piste map here.

Another decent weather outlook for today, and in fact not even the forecast afternoon snow showers materialised: skies were completely cloudless. As our last day involving driving, we headed to Aprica. Only 40 mins drive away (though partly on a narrow road featuring near-misses with speeding lorries to get the pulse racing) and 50km of slopes, but reports on Snowheads are strangely absent apart from people reminiscing about 1980's school trips there.

The lifts start spinning at 8.10am(!), so another early start for us. €33 for a day pass seems great value. The pistes are mostly wooded and all north facing, and split into 3 sectors linked by blue traversing runs. Each sector has a lift base in town at roughly 1200m, with a large nursery area in between two of the areas. At the west end, the Baradello area is served by a single, fast quad of over 800m vertical - great for racking up vertical with blue, red and black options. The other two sectors both have a gondola up to mid-mountain, with slower chairs and drags eventually getting up above the tree line. The hillside is quite steep so only the blacks go straight down the fall line; reds and blues zigzag to and fro but are mostly still wide with lots of fun, sharp bends. Good long runs but not a huge number of them, and I think we'd be bored spending more than a couple of days here.

Snow was great, only becoming slushy at the flat lift junctions in the afternoon. All runs were open and no bare patches despite less comprehensive snowmaking. And it was exceptionally quiet away from the top of the middle gondola - we probably had every other piste to ourselves. Great views of the green Valtellina to the west, and some snowy bowls with a high alpine feel at the top, otherwise scenery was unexceptional.

Quite a few self-service restaurants with higher prices than we've been used to this week. Finally found an "agriturismo" refugio in the top right corner of the piste map, and ordered randomly off the menu as we couldn't understand half the dishes and fancied something interesting. I ended up with a bowl of melted cheese, while my partner got a cured sausage (possibly donkey) and two hard cheeses each about the size of a foot! About €10 each, and we've definitely had enough cheese to last the rest of the holiday Laughing

A notable absence of school groups, so perhaps Aprica's matured since the 1980's. Interestingly some of the restaurant menus were dual language - but in Italian and ?Polish. Similarly to our days in Pejo and Monte Altissimo, we didn't hear any English voices at all.

Run of the day: Lots of candidates, but perfect snow and high mountain scenery off the highest lift in the area: a drag serving Red F and Black G. Plus the long Baradello runs were long and deserted first thing in the morning.

Deserted nursery slopes!



Blue S (Baradello sector):



Red F (Palabione sector):





Black C (Magnolta sector):



Blue A (Magnolta sector):





Black G (Palabione sector):



Linking runs blue A1 & E1:



Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Thu 29-03-18 1:40; edited 5 times in total
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Saturday: Passo Tonale finally delivers

Passo Tonale piste map here.

With light snow forecast throughout the day we were expecting to be skiing the local tree runs today. But the weather had other ideas: cloud was approaching Ponte di Legno from the west as we left the apartment, making it overcast here all day. The cloud didn't get any further than the Tonale pass though, so the higher slopes were sunny for most of the day.

Bought a 3 day area pass (€109) and straight onto the gondola, which opens at 8am!! And it doesn't close til 5.15pm, meaning an impressive 9 1/4 hours skiing if you're keen enough. Again, all runs open except those closed for competitions. We headed straight up to the glacier, which is quite a journey: 3 successive gondolas, two of them with mid stations. Takes ages! Spotted several deer from the lower gondola. The gondolas from Tonale to the glacier were busy, but it turned out that 90% of the occupants were headed for off piste routes off the back, leaving the runs quiet. Actually, the runs on this side of the valley are a bit flat (apart from a good, shady black to the valley), but are worth it for the views. We also explored the higher runs on the sunny side of the pass, which had been in cloud on our arrival day. The pistes off fast chairs 14, 25 and 26 were excellent - probably the best in Tonale - and very easy for reds.

Lunch at the bottom of lift 24 broke my first rule of mountain restaurants: avoid self-service restaurants (the other being: avoid tourist traps at key lift hubs). But the pizza and mixed grill were actually cooked to order and pretty good. €8 and €18 respectively, with pastas from €6.

Headed down the long run to Ponte di Legno towards the end of the day (over 1700m vertical if you start from the glacier). The valley part consists of an almost flat blue followed by a tricky red, with steep and narrow sections and slushy / sugary snow piles (it faces west). Snow above Ponte di Legno for the last 30mins wasn't great either (unlike the runs above Tonale, which were very good). Hopefully better tomorrow once the pisteurs work their magic!

Took the free shuttle bus back into town, but missed our stop and the next stop was ages away at the top of a massive hill! On the plus side, we got some lovely views over the town and ski slopes from up there Little Angel

Trying to use up an intimidatingly large amount of surplus food in the apartment tonight - the pasta bowls mightn't be big enough Shocked There's also night skiing in Ponte di Legno tonight (and Wednesdays, all included in lift passes of 3+ days, plus 2 other nights in Tonale) but not sure we'll bother.

Run of the day: Red 36 from Passo Contrabbandieri, and all the other high runs which aren't directly above Tonale!

Glacier:







Passo Contrabbandieri sector:





Tonale from red 38 below the glacier:



Bleis sector:







Above Ponte di Legno:





End of black 14 into Ponte di Legno:



Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Thu 29-03-18 1:49; edited 9 times in total
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Fascinating reading, @denfinella. snowHead
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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!
@pam w, not sure it'll win the Pulitzer Prize, but thanks.
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Sunday: Ponte di Legno / Temu / Tonale - Spring arrives... and so do the English!

Ponte di Legno piste map here.

A fifth consecutive day of sunshine in Lombardy - isn't life hard? Our last full day of skiing and finally we got around to skiing Ponte di Legno's local slopes (linked with Temu): mostly wooded, north facing, low and steep - i.e. the complete opposite of Tonale's pistes.

The runs are about equally split between red and black (the only blue is a short road linking two reds), and all deserve their gradings - in fact many are on the steep side by Italian standards. The temperature has been creeping up over the last few days (though still not warm), and without fresh snow, spring conditions finally made an appearance. The home runs to Ponte di Legno and especially Temu were quite icy in places, with piles of sugar by the end of the day and some slush around the flat lift bases.

Lunch was at a mid-mountain restaurant above Temu, and included my first (and probably last) try of polenta. Mains about €8-12.

Fast lifts and steep pistes were good fun for the morning, but it's not a massive area so we headed to Tonale about 2pm to revisit some of the pistes we'd done on arrival day in the snow. In the gondola up to Tonale we finally heard English voices (the first time in 6 days skiing!), and suddenly, they were everywhere. It was noticeably busier today too - presumably the start of the Easter hols?

Caught the shuttle bus back to the apartment from the gondola base in Ponte di Legno. This time we remembered to press the bell, but the driver still didn't stop! For dinner we drove up a tiny mountain road to Pota Mountain Burger, which I'd spotted on TripAdvisor. Excellent burgers (had to guess a bit as to what was in them when ordering) from €8-€12 with a huge bucket of chips. And *very* cheap (and large) pizzas for under €7: a bit doughy but you can't complain when it's €4.50 for a massive Margherita!

Run of the day: Red 15 followed by black 15, from the top of the Ponte di Legno area at 2120m back to the lift base at 1250m. Increasingly steep and twisting as you descend, and a great blast when perfectly groomed first thing.

Black 10 (Casola sector):



View from red 15 at the top of Ponte di Legno's local slopes:



Red 7 (Casola sector):



Black 1 to Temu - probably the steepest piste in the domain:



Valbione:



Back up at the glacier:





Start of the very easy black 32 above Tonale:



Ponte di Legno town centre:



View over Ponte di Legno from Pota Mountain Burger:



Lunchtime bombardino:



Dinner:



Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Tue 16-10-18 12:11; edited 4 times in total
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Monday: last day in Tonale - the grand tour

Blue skies again today, for our last morning skiing before leaving for the airport. We had to return our skis to the shop in Tonale before they closed for lunch at 12.30, so we checked out of our apartment in Ponte di Legno and drove up to the top of the pass to ski from there.

We'd expected the slopes to be as busy as yesterday, but yesterday's visitors must have mostly been weekend trippers - the slopes were very quiet again today, though plenty of English voices about. With about 3 1/2 hours skiing time, we decided to do a "grand tour" of the whole area: up to the glacier, down to Ponte di Legno, over to Temu via the various high points, back up to Tonale, then up the highest lifts at each end of the south facing slopes above the pass. Lovely snow again and no bumps forming (unlike yesterday).

Plenty of time to drive back to the airport, so we took a slightly different route along the east bank of Lago d'Iseo. Even prettier than the normal route, at least when not in one of the dozens of tunnels! Then cross country through Clusane and Capriolo, avoiding the toll motorway back to the airport. Filled up with fuel a few miles away (2/3 of a tank used for the whole week), and arrived at Bergamo airport 3 hours before the flight. After the bag drop, we walked across to the Oriocenter on the other side of the motorway (there's an underpass!). This is a massive shopping mall with loads of places to eat and normal prices - much better than overpriced airport food. Back at the airport, security was busy but swift, though it was a bit of a trek to the gate. Flight left on time, followed by an uneventful drive back along the M8.

Run of the day: Black 1 to Temu - probably the steepest run in the domain, deserted and hard packed (verging on icy), but immaculately pisted.

Deserted glacier at 10am!



Black 32 (west variant):



Goodbye Tonale!



Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Thu 29-03-18 1:55; edited 3 times in total
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Aah Polenta... We found we ski faster after Polenta lunch... Wind assisted 😉
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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.
Summary:

- A wonderful week skiing in a varied handful of resorts, all in perfect weather (except arrival day) and excellent snow conditions. It's nice not needing to worry about rain avoidance. Certainly one of the very best skiing trips we've had, and driving to different ski areas for some of the days was an interesting experience rather than a chore.
- The ski areas: Pejo (probably the most impressive ski area), Monte Altissimo and Aprica were all great fun, especially for their small size. Ponte di Legno is good as long as you can ski blacks. Some of Tonale's skiing was a bit dull - not a huge number of interesting pistes, and too many similar, short runs just above the resort.
- Things we especially liked: excellent piste grooming, long lift opening hours (8.30am onwards or earlier), fantastic scenery, even cheaper food prices than anticipated (especially in town), very quiet pistes, lift passes generally good value, got lucky with snow and weather
- Things we weren't so keen on: piste signposting a bit sparse, lack of toilets (also not marked on piste maps, and some had a charge), expensive 3 hour pass at Tonale on arrival day (more expensive than whole day passes at Pejo, Monte Altissimo and Aprica!), language barrier in restaurants (our fault for not learning any Italian!)

Costs (total for 2 adults, 7 days):

Flights (Ryanair EDI-BGY, incl. 1 hold bag): £130
Car hire (Enterprise, incl. chains / fuel - no toll roads): £141
Accommodation (2-person studio in Ponte di Legno town centre): £278
Lift passes (Ponte di Legno / Tonale 3hrs, Pejo 1 day, Monte Altissimo 1 day, Aprica 1 day, Ponte di Legno / Tonale 3 days): £405
Ski & boot hire (7 days): £89
Total: £1043

Comparison with previous trips:

This is our 6th ski trip together (discounting Scotland day trips). Previous trip reports are linked below if I wrote one. Prices are in total for 2 people, for flights (incl. baggage) + transfer (incl. petrol, tolls, snow chains etc. if hiring a car) + accommodation + lift passes + ski & boot hire. Food is excluded. Trips have all been DIY except 2014 (Crystal) & 2017 (Sunweb for accommodation and passes only). All have been 7 days skiing except 2014 & 2015 (6 days).

Feb 2014: Soll (SkiWelt), Austria £1125
Jan 2015: Alpe d'Huez, France (+ day trips to Les 2 Alpes) £1098
Jan 2016: Les Carroz (Grand Massif), France £1036
Mar 2017: Belle Plagne (Paradiski), France £1148
Jan 2018: Notre Dame de Bellecombe 1150 (Espace Diamant), France £1094
Mar 2018: Ponte di Legno (Passo Tonale), Italy (+ day trips to Pejo, Monte Altissimo & Aprica) £1043


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Mon 28-01-19 18:48; edited 1 time in total
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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
Excellent
So much snow 👍
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Another place worth staying is Commezzadura , or any of the towns between Passo and Commezzadura . Some reasonably priced hotels there , and with a hire car, not fair from MDC Domain (Folgarida) using Daolasa lift, Pejo and Passo.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Holy moly, that was a cheap trip!

Well done. I've always wondered about Altiissimo as you can see it from the highway.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Mike Pow, probably the best week-long conditions we've ever skied.

@dublin2, thanks. Would probably head to a different set of ski areas for a future trip, but useful for anyone else having a look!

@Pasigal, haven't quite managed to get under the £1k mark yet... Altissimo was excellent for a day. Not sure how often the snow's as good as that, but there's plenty of snowmaking...
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quite the most definitive report I have had the pleasure to read!

Costings we pretty interesting (notwithstanding inflation), not that much difference between DIY and T/O. Benefits of going outside school hols?

From what I have read and seen here and in other reports Pejo looks quite interesting. As we are a family we don't do multi-site day trips, as the admin to move about is too much to bother (even for day trips) so I wonder if its large enough for 4-5 days. We dont need loads of kms as happy to ski the same stuff but did you pretty much cover all the runs in a day? We dont do off-piste.

And did you notice accommodation in passing there, a decent amount and near to the lifts/slopes to not need to drive to them?
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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?
@denfinella, what an absolutely fantastic report, thank you so much! And marvellous photos too. Very Happy Very Happy
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For Pejo, accom in Pejo,cojolo, Ossana, Commezzadura etc. Off season hotels will do half board, and lift pass (entire area) six nights, for 500 to 700 e. Off season mid Dec, Jan, latter part of Mar. Don't use booking. Com etc... Ring or email hotel directly. Google maps can be useful..... Type in the town you want to stay in, press enter, now type hotel. You should see hotels on the map. Pejo is nice, but low mileage
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
denfinella wrote:
@Mike Pow, probably the best week-long conditions we've ever skied.


Fantastic Smile
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You'll need to Register first of course.
ster wrote:
Quite the most definitive report I have had the pleasure to read!

Costings we pretty interesting (notwithstanding inflation), not that much difference between DIY and T/O. Benefits of going outside school hols?

From what I have read and seen here and in other reports Pejo looks quite interesting. As we are a family we don't do multi-site day trips, as the admin to move about is too much to bother (even for day trips) so I wonder if its large enough for 4-5 days. We dont need loads of kms as happy to ski the same stuff but did you pretty much cover all the runs in a day? We dont do off-piste.

And did you notice accommodation in passing there, a decent amount and near to the lifts/slopes to not need to drive to them?


We stayed at Hotel Zanella in March 2016, a short walk from the base area and were lucky enough to check in before we went to skiing.

Hotel Zanella (1-night HB for 2 people with a bottle of wine at dinner, 94.20 euros booked through booking.com)
http://www.hotelzanella.it/


If you don't ski off-piste there are resorts with far more piste at a similar price point and vibe

e.g. Madesimo; San Martino di Castrozza, Solda
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@dublin2 @Mike_Pow, thanks for the info and suggestions. Would really like to get to Italy next season so gives me something to research over the summer. Cheers.

@Mike_Pow I see the 2018 Telegraph ski show is starting to be plugged. R u going to be at the London one again?
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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!
ster wrote:
@dublin2 @Mike_Pow, thanks for the info and suggestions. Would really like to get to Italy next season so gives me something to research over the summer. Cheers.

@Mike_Pow I see the 2018 Telegraph ski show is starting to be plugged. R u going to be at the London one again?


My pleasure.

Not sure at this stage. My mate Ian is no longer head of Ski Operations at Kiroro.

I'll be visiting for one of the days at least.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Thanks all.

@ster, actually I'd say DIY has tended to be significantly cheaper than TO. 2014 with Crystal was the most expensive trip despite only having a 6 day pass - and in particular it was before the Brexit announcement so the exchange rate was much better. Since then DIY all the way... Sunweb was an exception, but that was only accommodation + lift pass, i.e. we sorted travel and everything else separately.

As for Pejo, yes we skied all the runs in a day (except the two closed ones) - in fact, we could've skied them all in the morning alone if we'd wanted to. I think it's too small for 4-5 days if you're staying on piste, as others have said. Accommodation close to the lifts is available though.

Biggest variable in cost seems to be flights so that's always our starting point for booking a trip - and flight times so we can ski on departure and/or arrival day. After that, car hire seems to be cheap in Italy / Spain but expensive elsewhere, so public transport or shared transfers in France / Switzerland / Austria / Germany for a week's trip.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
denfinella wrote:


@ster, actually I'd say DIY has tended to be significantly cheaper than TO. 2014 with Crystal was the most expensive trip despite only having a 6 day pass - and in particular it was before the Brexit announcement so the exchange rate was much better. Since then DIY all the way... Sunweb was an exception, but that was only accommodation + lift pass, i.e. we sorted travel and everything else separately.

As for Pejo, yes we skied all the runs in a day (except the two closed ones) - in fact, we could've skied them all in the morning alone if we'd wanted to. I think it's too small for 4-5 days if you're staying on piste, as others have said. Accommodation close to the lifts is available though.

Biggest variable in cost seems to be flights so that's always our starting point for booking a trip - and flight times so we can ski on departure and/or arrival day. After that, car hire seems to be cheap in Italy / Spain but expensive elsewhere, so public transport or shared transfers in France / Switzerland / Austria / Germany for a week's trip.


Thats what I have found with TO vs DIY comparisons with TOs much more expensive than seems warranted so was a bit surprised at first glance unless your was impacted by not going during school hols but understand now.

Pejo may be a bit small then, but I quite like compact more personal resorts so we'll see. Will check out Mike_Pows suggestions as well.

Cheers!
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