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Monterosa: Champoluc, Gressoney, Alagna

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Anyone in Champluc at the moment and can give an update on conditions?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
best to go on the website and look at the webcams etc.
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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?
Yep, done all the usual stuff, just wondered if anyone was there at the moment. We'll be there from from the weekend so I'll be posting myself after that Very Happy
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Heading out next week too...doesn’t look great from what I can read. Not snowed for a while, warm temps, no snow forecast
Was planning a lift served off piste week, might look to go touring instead
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Coming out on the 28th, was really hoping for some pow Sad

Can anyone guide me on desired lift pass? Never been to the area, group of 7 intermediate-advanced skiers, there for 4 days
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@coconuttommo, sorry noone's been back to you. Here's the link to the ski pass page on the monterosa website https://www.visitmonterosa.com/en/comprensorio-monterosa-ski/. I would suggest a monterosa pass rather than individual areas as you'll ski all over. We've been here since Saturday and although not in anyway the mega snow of last year I don't think there are any pistes closed and the cover is pretty good and we've skied just about everywhere in resort. Light snow due from tomorrow through next week, so we'll see what happens......
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@coconuttommo, assuming you haven't already bought passes, I don't think you can buy individual resort passes for the main MR circuit.

It's not really the right place for powder either - I mean, they installed cannons on the col between Frachey and Stafal because of likely wind damage...

Great off piste though if the snow's good!
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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!
So we arrived with sibling and in-laws for the week on Saturday.

Amazing the difference in snow pack between here and Chamonix (MB understandably making the difference).

But pistes immaculately groomed. Wall to wall sunshine. Main objective is to get (well, tbh she's there already) #2 niece back up to speed.

What's not to like?

And new favourite on hill restaurant, on Col du Bettaforca, now managed by Alberto who used to run the lamented Rifugio Guglielmina. Top lamb shank, interesting wine list, girls had a rather excellent octopus... lovely.

Oh and if it was snow heads in the Alagna bowl shouting, "It's Lovely",

No, no, it was not lovely.

... "dust on crust".
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Sort of weather related... Anyone been to Monterosa in mid December? It seems the resort usually opens around 7/8th and the ski for free deal several hotels do seems to offer a really good short break opportunity. Say 4/5nights from 8th Dec this coming season. Does anyone have any knowledge or experience of how many lifts across the main 3 areas would be open? I know it is still weather and snow related but if conditions allowed it do all the lifts open at that time or especially midweek would it be only skeleton type service whatever the snow levels? I have a vision that most lifts would open at the weekend for local day trippers but then Monday to Thursday very little could open.
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@toyah807, we’ve had some great (if mostly on piste) early Dec weekends but it’s hardly guaranteed snow and who knows what dates Giorgio will choose to open.
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I've done a couple of pre Xmas trips staying in the Alagna Valley and both times all lifts running/runs complete. One time with very little natural lower down, the home black piste down to Alagna 'officially' closed but still pisted and skiable. Did lose a day in the bigger area due to wind closing gondola but that's another issue!
There will be plenty of milage on piste at worst case scenario I'd say, they open every year at that time.
Enjoy, I'll be there myself the week after you most likely.
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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.
Had a lovely mountain day yesterday. Azure blue sky, chilly. Didn't do so much skiing as the niblings were viraemic but, hey.

Must say though, probably the most snow we've seen in the area ever at this time of year and snowing like a good 'un as we cam back thru the tunnel today. To the extent that one can predict, absolutely set up for the season.

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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
Day 3 In Gressoney-la-Trinité
Hardly seen a cloud
Pistes in fantastic nick... packed powder and it’s been cold so no melt or spring snow unfortunately !
Offpisteskiing is crap - guides and heli pilots said save your money ! Went down the valley and gulley today - south face valley was frozen wind blown crust ... gulley was good.


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 Tue 14-01-20 21:32; edited 1 time in total
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Hotel Dufour superb ... great food and spa superb
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Any update on conditions? How is half term looking? Excited!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Snowysarah,
I'm headed out to Gressoney tomorrow, will try and add some updates through the week.
Having spent the last week webcam watching, seems there's been about 20cm top up this week after the dry spell in January.
Looks like the coming week could be a week of all seasons.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
So how are the conditions @f948lan ?
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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?
spent today in Alagna with guides. Vis and weather are awful. Top of cable car wind was 'strong', and precipitation was just about freezing. lower down it was rain. did a couple of offpiste pitches, going about half way back to Alagna. Vis in higher areas down to 50m. lower o/p was sticky and difficult to ski. pistes were soft and also sticky. at the bottom, it is slushy.
Really was a day to be indoors.
Forecast for Monday is gale force wind at top.
Link to Gressoney officially closed, although it was accesible.
Freeride lift closed.
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Well, on the Gressoney side we made the most of it.
As above, Alagna link closed (and wasn't very pleasant at the top of the gondola this morning - poor vis + windy + snowing) so we headed across to Champoluc instead.
In general, pistes in good condition, and snow cover has survived dry January very well.
Was light precipitation most of the day, with the line between snow and rain @ about 2000m, so we spent some time in both. Gear was damp, but not soaked by the end. Certainly not enough rain to hurt the snow or make us seek shelter. The top of the higher runs had a nice layer of fresh snow on this afternoon, but below that the falling snow was quite wet (very frequent goggle wiping needed), so the going a bit heavy. No slush though. Vis seemed better on the Champoluc side this afternoon, and still had some enjoyabke skiing.

Lifties advising a good chance the wind will close a lot of lifts here over next 2 days, so we're planning to use our Skipasses 2 days in other Aosta resorts and try and find somewhere calmer - might be wishful thinking, we'll see.

Certainly wouldn't worry about bad snow for half term, pistes are in good shape (even the village around our hotel still has a 1m+base). The off piste looks like it needs some freshening up (didn't venture off piste in todays vis). Let's see what snow Tuesday brings, with hopefully clear skies Wed.
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Interested in updates as I'm out for 2/3 days over weekend. Particularly on state of piste/offpiste - need to decide which skis to take from a wide selection and fairly pointless taking something floaty if OP is going to be "challenging" or worse (which wet snow/rain followed by a cold refreeze might indicate)
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Thank you for updates. That’s really helpful. Hope you get some good visibility soon!!!
Can anyone recommend a good (by which I mean good value) ski shop in champoluc?
Our apartment is in antagnod but imagine places to rent are in champoluc?
We are going with some beginners. We are reasonable skiers (happiest on red runs) but don’t need flash skis
Presumably cheaper to book ahead on internet?
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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!
Tako Ski (recommended by others on here) were excellent - staff were patient and knowledgeable and more than happy to swap skis in the week if any issues. Spoke flawless English too, which is always a bonus
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Ooo thanks. They look reasonably priced too
Last question.
Our beginner friends will not be covering miles. What is best lift pass for them? They are having lessons.
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Ooo thanks. They look reasonably priced too
Last question.
Our beginner friends will not be covering miles. What is best lift pass for them? They are having lessons.
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@Snowysarah, we like Tako. Ivan is a top chap

I don't think you can buy anything other than a Monterosa pass? Back in the dim days of the past when the Mrs was learning there was a Champoluc pass but I don't think it exists anymore...
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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.
some live updates...
https://wp.me/P17ci2-1y

offpiste is very variable... icy and hard higher up, slushy and sticky lower down. no need for powder skis, im happy on my 95's.

spent today at Alpe di Mera, 25 mins from Alagna.
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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
We left early and drove to Courmayeur today - turned out to be a good plan, as (according to web site) all lifts in Monterosa were closed in the morning for wind, and one they did start opening it was only the low ones.
The 'two days anywhere in Aosta valley' feature on the Monterosa 6day pass works quite well. Straight on the lifts with the same pass (no need to queue for a supplementary pass like I seen in other areas that do this).
The unseasonable warmth today was clear. 10C when we left Gressoney around 7.00, driving past Aosta an hour or so later the car was reporting 21C. We decided to get a cheap room in Aosta tonight and cross our fingers Pila will have some skiing tomorrow, as the wind back in Monterosa doesn't look set to abate. I write this in shorts and t-shirt with the balcony door wide open, that's how warm it is!

We arrived at Courmayeur this morning to light rain, and signs reporting only 2 running chairs, strong winds and poor vis, so our expectations weren't great. But in fact pistes were, for the most part, shielded from the wind, and vis was great. We took an early lunch, and by 12 all but the top 2/3 lifts were running, the rain stopped and the sun even made occasional appearances Smile
They had clearly had more rain than Monterosa, which, combined with the high temps, had taken it's toll. The odd muddy patch was starting to show in places. Evidence of a few slides around - a couple had made it 1/2way across blue pistes. Very spring like piste conditions. The small amount of off piste we ventured onto was crusty and not enjoyable. Seems the signs and forecasts also put a lot of people off, as the area was dead once the morning ski schools had ended, and there were no queues at any point, despite the limited lift selection open early on.

All said, a good day and we're pleased we made the effort to drive there, though, when open, piste conditions are definitely better in Monterosa.

@Dave of the Marmottes, We'll see what snow the next 48h brings, but it's not looking likely there'll be enough snow to make much difference, and currently I'd agree powder skis are certainly not required.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@f948lan, very keen to hear an update on the snow conditions after what looks like decent snow today.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
All closed by wind again today (as expected), so staying in Pila was a good choice. They managed to open all but the top lifts, and the Pila bowl seemed to keep out the worst of the wind. There was some fresh snow in Pila, but not as much as forecast and what there was was very windswept.
Suspect similar applies here, as driving back up to Gressoney there was a sprinkling of snow on the road (and sides of road) but only a few mm. At least temps are back below freezing, and the closures mean no one was out wearing out the piste here when it was warm.
Pistes in Pila were hard (refrozen) and a bit lumpy, with chunks of frozen crud thrown in. Got some shallow fresh tracks first thing, but skiers+wind soon removed the soft layer.
Winds should be dropping off tomorrow, so hope to get up the hill here again. Will report back tomorrow.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
hamilton wrote:
some live updates...
https://wp.me/P17ci2-1y
.


A superb trip report with the exactly correct balance between skiing, conditions and italian charm, food and wine. A reminder of how wonderful it is skiing in Italy.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Live updates from Alagna. 10 am, sunny in the valley, and lower lift just about to open. fingers crossed for a bit of soft touring.
Yesterday in Merla the pistes were boilerplate all day, we did a very short o/p run from the top lift down to the South and a 20 min skin back up ... about an hour of flurries during lunch, but no apparent change in conditions. another nice lunch in the Agriturismo!
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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?
@hamilton, thanks for the report. Having trouble finding a place called Merla. Do you mean Alpe di Mera, at Scopello? I wouldn't be surprised with icy conditions there, as it's at a pretty low elevation, so freeze-thaw will really have kicked in.
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er, that'll be the one. spoll chucking error!
would not have been the choice destination.... but the lifts were open...
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
quick update from today... so the lifts finally opened all the way up at Alagna... and the sun shone. Offpiste was some of the most challenging, a mix of shallow windblown powder, crust, ice etc frequently within a single turn. full concentration required.
Got a couple of nice runs in... will update the blog.
Nice to finally get a sense of what is possible here.... also nice to hook up with some of the piste patrol at the apres bar...
no fresh snow tho. none in the short term forecast.
pistes are icy... but a decent depth higher up, but thin Lower down
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@8611, thanks for the kind comments.... will keep at it.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
It reminded me of my favourite article of all time:

https://www.ft.com/content/27c38f96-7c0a-11e4-a7b8-00144feabdc0
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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!
@hamilton, you were lucky to be on Alagna side. Was still all shut in Gressoney (after initial signs at least some lifts would open, they decided not to, even in the afternoon when wind calmed) - we were told 'it was a bit of a mess' on the mountain after the wind. Not sure exactly what that meant, but bashers were out in force on the mountain tonight, so hopefully that's a good sign for tomorrow.

But at least the sun was shining, so we enjoyed exploring the valley on foot instead.
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@8611, As a fan of the Dolomites I must thank you for the link - a good read.. Smile
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@f948lan, bad luck for you there. I'm aware that high winds can pose a particular problem for the Monterosa area. I've been there many times, and the first couple of times we were based in Champoluc, but then we started going to Gressoney (Staffal), on the basis that there's a little more choice in adverse weather conditions. The only time since there have been high winds when we were there, though, resulting in all the local lifts being closed, we were able to hop on the bus down the valley to Gressoney St Jean, which was much more sheltered and had the lifts running. I was surprised to see that all the lifts there were apparently closed yesterday, which suggests REALLY adverse weather.

@hamilton, what off-piste did you explore? Did you venture into that area off to the right of the Olen black piste, under the Col d'Olen? That often has pretty good snow long after a storm because of its elevation and aspect. Curious to know how that is holding up.
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