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Monterosa: Champoluc, Gressoney, Alagna

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Any updates re conditions today - how icy the pistes? How variable/crusty the off piste?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@J2R, both under the Olen, coming out past the refuge, and also into the valley ‘behind’ the top cable car station - as the chair wasn’t running, we hiked up the short piste and then off to the valley - we took the exit by an old lift station at the top of pianalunga bochetta chair.
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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?
@Dave of the Marmottes,
Everything open today! Pistes holding up ok, but icy everywhere, both in Alagna and Gressoney. O/p very variable - been quite a learning curve this week. Some proper powder today though.... blog to follow shortly!
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@hamilton, cool, never done that route before, where you come out by the top of the Bocchetta delle Pisse chair. Think it's the first bit of the Balma, or maybe Bors, off-piste routes. I've only done the stuff back towards Staffal, the Salza and Canale dell'Aquila. Was hoping to do more this trip but looks like conditions are really not going to be conducive.
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Sunny update here...
https://theaccidentalauditor.wordpress.com/2020/02/06/alagna-sunshine/
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@hamilton, great blog there, and some encouragement for me, heading out Sunday. Don't trash all the snow before I get there, will you? Smile
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Pleased to say all open today Very Happy

We did the circuit from Gressony-la-Trinte out to Alagna, to Champoluc then back home. Pistes still have good snow coverage (no mud patches like other areas we visited this week). Snow quality was pretty much as expected after recent weather, hard pack with a thin soft-ish layer on top (and better higher up). Some icy patches this morning that nervous skiers might not enjoy, but sun softened things a bit by lunch time.

However, that meant the inevitable happened late afternoon, as the surface refroze, combined with the days riders having scraped away much of the softer layer. The last hour or so returning from Champoluc was very icy, with a few scenes of carnage (not from our party, but we had to dodge them)! It would probably have been much worse if it was busier.

It's not often I'm pleased to end my skiing when lifts shut, but today we certainly were! (Though we still very much enjoyed the day).

While the off piste (well near piste!) conditions were not great, that might be preferable to the ice tomorrow afternoon. We'll see...
snow conditions
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quick update on Friday. A bluebird day - after a quick warmup run, we took the Indren, and toured for an hour to the obvious ride ‘west’ or right as you look at the map. Several pitches of soft (almost powdery) snow - VERY hot on the tour, and then a long descent through the Balma valley to refugio Pastore for a late but well earned lunch. A good end to the week... but good snow is now _at least_ an hours tour, and that time will only increase.... enjoy!
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@hamilton, thanks for the update. At the moment it all looks rather academic, as I suspect the lifts won't be running for at least the first couple of days, but if they are, I'm keen to get off-piste as much as possible. I'm not expecting any untracked powder, but how is the snow where it is tracked? Icy lumps, or OK?
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@J2R, why would the lifts not be running? They all look open and running to me...?
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The only thing closing the lifts over the last week was wind. The Monte Rosa website shows live lift status, and in practice if the gondola in Alagna isn’t running by 8am, you know there’s a problem...
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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.
Lady at the cassa this morning was warning everyone buying multiday tickets that high winds forecast Mon + Tue. Hence I'm playing tomorroe by ear. Wind picked up around 1pm at Passo Salati. Not too bad but enough to blow gloves around on the terrace. Snow a bit meh
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But pretty today.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Bagofshite.

One lift open in Stafal. Nightmare forecast rest of the week
dangly bits
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Well I'm home now Sad but for what it's worth things seemed less icy Friday and Saturday - might have been partly down to freshly sharpened edges!

Is anyone in Gressoney this week or in near future who might be able to repatriate my poles to UK? I've managed to leave them in the hotel boot room rolling eyes
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Damn. Left about 1 hr ago if I'd checked this first.... mayve a Gnarlibugger can repatriate

Weissmattten for a few hot laps this am was ok. 4 seasons in a minute though so fast was the cloud blowing over. Felt sorry for a group of seppos who obviously had paid for the full guided ski experience.
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Damn. Left about 1 hr ago if I'd checked this first.... mayve a Gnarlibugger can repatriate

Good point. Will post on the thread...
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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?
Where did you leave the poles, and where do you live in the UK?

I'm in gressoney- just now, back in Manchester at the weekend.
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TheGeneralist wrote:
Where did you leave the poles, and where do you live in the UK?

I'm in gressoney- just now, back in Manchester at the weekend.


Says Berkshire on the user profile...hmm, I think I might feel a bit of a berk if I left my ski poles in a boot room in Italy!! Shocked wink
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Pissing hellfire. What a waste of a week and three grand.....
90kmh winds today. One lift open.

Might try Weissmatten, but can't find any lift status info
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https://www.visitmonterosa.com/monterosa-ski/in-tempo-reale-winter/ gives current status for ski areas.

Very windy today in Staffal, heading to Pila. Yesterday was 15 times down the same run from the Santa Anna lift, but fun anyway.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@TheGeneralist, that's a bummer. It always irritates me when people say a bad day on the slopes is better than a good day at the office.
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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!
To be fair the lady at the ticket window was warning people buying a 6 day pass on Sunday that they were wasting their money.

My view is that it's a weather dependent sport and over a lifetime you'll have multiple write off days. The only way to have true protection is cancellable hotel bookings and a car and a willingness to relocate to other regions if necessary. And most of the time that would be serious overkill.
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Quick question on Champoluc / Monterosa, as were staying in Aosta next week so a visit for a day is a possibility, assuming the weather calms down and the winds drop.

How navigable is the area for a low intermediate? One of out party is happy on red runs as long as conditions are fine but hasn't done much black. Would she be able to make it from Champoluc / Frachey over to say Passo Salati and back? It looks like a long black is the only way back down into Stafal (or can you go into Gressoney and bus up?

Also are the green lines on the piste map green pistes or are they off piste routes or something? - not used to seeing green on a non french piste plan?

It looks an unusual resort in that you have pretty much choice of one long piste as you travel between area's / mountains, but not a lot of options if some oen gets to the top of a piste as says thats looks a bit tough, what is the alternative?
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@t4tomo, the "black" back down into Stafal is not difficult, but if it's really an obstacle you can download in the gondola. Navigation is not going to be a huge issue, there aren't that many pistes

IIRC, the green lines are ski touring tracks which have been prepped for those going uphill with skins
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thanks @nbt - I meant "navigable" in the sense "coping with". a day on all red / black runs be a bit much if they were steep narrow reds. If its all reasonable wide pistes then we might have a crack at it later in the week once she's got her ski legs back in tune.
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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.
@t4tomo, these are very much Italian gradings - the black to Stafal would be a red in most French resorts
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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
What a change for the better... Had a very lazy start and then headed to Weissmatten. Absolutely fabulous. Clearly part of that was down to low expectations, but had an amazing afternoon. There was perhaps ten to fifteen cm of fresh near the top and because the old snow underneath was still pretty soft it skied really nicely. Ok it wasn't Utah powder but it was loads of fun. We did loads of Laps through the trees jumping off treestumps everywhere.

Big thanks to Mr Norrona/Ortovox/Oakley that suggested it at Stafal yesterday. I saw you again in the lift queue today, but didn't get round to saying thanks


Incidentally, the Realtimepage is now showing all lifts open. I'm hoping that is the forecast for tomorrow rather than they opened them all this afternoon and I missed it.

Could anyone recommend a good area on the main area that has good tree skiing?
Was amazed how good Weissmatten was and looking for more of the same.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Can anyone recommend a good guide in Monte Rosa?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@TheGeneralist, best area for tree skiing (assuming you mean pistes through woods), rather than off-piste is the area served by the Seehorn and Jolanda lifts above Gressoney. Also some in Frachey bowl between Champoluc and Staffal, but not much. Not a great resort for tree-lined runs, but what there is is nice. TBH, Weissmatten is better than anything higher up the valley in this respect.


Last edited by Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name: on Tue 11-02-20 19:56; edited 1 time in total
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@f948lan, what hotel and what poles? I'm at Chalet du Lys, if that helps.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Hi J2R
Looking for off piste actually, rather than tree lined pistes. My thinking is that given the huge wind these last days the only areas relatively free of avalanches risk will be the trees. Weissmatten was lovelyoff piste today as it was sheltered. I'm guessing everything uptop will be either windscoured or avalanche hell. (Apart from in the trees)

Happy to be told otherwise though
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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?
Some stuff low down in the Seehorn lift area, and a certain amount in the Frachey bowl, off to the left from the left hand blue, and obliquely to the right from the central red (sorry, can't remember run names at tge moment). Best bet for softer snow at the moment is probably sheltered east facing areas, where blown snow is deposited, such as La Balma route off Punta Indren (this info from guides yesterday). Check Fatmap for details.
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J2R wrote:
@f948lan, what hotel and what poles? I'm at Chalet du Lys, if that helps.


The Hotel Lo Scoiattolo, it's a ~10min walk from the bottom of Punta Jolanda. They are meant to be looking them out for me, but not heard back yet. Likely the only lone leki poles in their ski room!
(Ultimately need them back in Newbury, but happy to drive, within reason, to collect!)


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Tue 11-02-20 23:06; edited 1 time in total
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luigi wrote:


Says Berkshire on the user profile...hmm, I think I might feel a bit of a berk if I left my ski poles in a boot room in Italy!! Shocked wink


Er, yeah, I do a bit!
In my defence I was a bit short changed on sleep Friday night after one of our party had need of testing out the local medical services, ultimately taking an Ambulance ride to Aosta (not skiing related, and no, not coronavirus either!)
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@t4tomo, as noted, most of the reds are wide, as are the steeper parts of that black down to Stafal (and that really isn't very steep).

From my experience last week I'd throw a word of caution depending on snow conditions though. There were one or two reds heading from Champoluc to Stafal that had 'expert skier only' signs on, and one in particular was certainly more challenging than the black. Was fine before the wind and warm temps made things icy, so if there's some fresh snow before then it should be OK.

Also, be careful of the fork on the last run down to Stafal from Champoluc, just after the fun park. It could be tempting for a timid skier to take the flatter route to the left, but ultimately that lands on a somewhat steeper black (which the sign does say, but I could see it being missed).
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
To be fair the lady at the ticket window was warning people buying a 6 day pass on Sunday that they were wasting their money.


They gave us a similar warning last week, with a reminder we could do two days elsewhere in Aosta, which we duly did snowHead

When we decided we'd get a few more hours in Saturday morning, I asked if there was any compensation for lifts being closed on Wed (when we didn't go elsewhere) and after a quick call to someone we were kindly given a free day ticket, which I thought was pretty fair.
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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!
Anyone know which ski areas are offering the best piste skiing conditions in the Aosta Valley at the moment?

Heading out on Thurs, skiing Fri-Tues. Looks like a chance of fresh snow spilling over the border from NW on Thursday night, so that might freshen it up a bit.

Based near Aosta with a car, so can hit any resort in the valley from Champoluc, Cervinia, Pila, La Thuile & Courmayeur, plus any of the smaller ones.
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f948lan wrote:
luigi wrote:


Says Berkshire on the user profile...hmm, I think I might feel a bit of a berk if I left my ski poles in a boot room in Italy!! Shocked wink


Er, yeah, I do a bit!
In my defence I was a bit short changed on sleep Friday night after one of our party had need of testing out the local medical services, ultimately taking an Ambulance ride to Aosta (not skiing related, and no, not coronavirus either!)



I live in oxford and am heading to champoluc on Saturday if helpful...
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Hooray. Sod all new snow on the main area but we had a good day anyway. Many thanks for the tree suggestions but it transpired that yesterday's fresh was restricted to Weissmatten only. So we bimbled about looking for mini cornices (very mini)
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