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Traversing Monterosa with the family

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hoping to relive one of my favourite ski days wiht the family next year - going from Champoluc to Alagna (or just above) and back this time with the family. Looking at the piste map and for the return there only seems to be a black down to Stafal in order to climb back up towards Champoluc. Wife won't consider a black no matter how smooth it may be but all the easier routes go to Gresonney end - so is there a bus back up to Stafal?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
You can ski a red down to the bottom of the Punt Jolanda lift (Gressoney la Trinité) and yes there's a bus up to Stafal. The main road is barely 50m from the bottom of the piste.
Alternatively, she could download in the bubble to Stafal.
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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?
@MHskier, the "black" to Stafal is an Italian black, it would be a not particularly difficult red in many resorts.

I know one evening we ended up in Stafal and missed the last lift so we got the bus to Punta Jolanda, so I'd imagin that if you do ski down to Punta Jolanda there will be a (perhaps not very frequent) bus up to Stafal

The ski bus timetable suggests there will be buses

https://www.visitmonterosa.com/en/ski-bus/
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@MHskier, just tell her it's a dark blue. Or download in the bubble. It's not any worse than parts of the red into Stafal from Bettaforca side.
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ok thanks all. Hadn't clocked the lift down was a bubble you could catch and yes always the opportunity for a deceptive approach on the colour Very Happy
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@MHskier, While I am not entirely unsympathetic, "I don't ski blacks" is a particularly silly starting point.

Just double checking the piste map, the run from Sant Anna into Stafal is marked "red" and I would argue is consistently steeper than "moos" from Gabiet into Stafal. Although it is a bit wider, on the whole.
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admin wrote:
You can ski a red down to the bottom of the Punt Jolanda lift (Gressoney la Trinité) and yes there's a bus up to Stafal. The main road is barely 50m from the bottom of the piste.
Alternatively, she could download in the bubble to Stafal.


That black is arguably easier than the reds down to Jolanda. Short section at the top of it, afterwards it is blue/green
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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!
@mooney058, I don't disagree but the piste poles - it's the piste poles that are difficult Wink
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MHskier wrote:
Hoping to relive one of my favourite ski days wiht the family next year - going from Champoluc to Alagna (or just above) and back this time with the family. Looking at the piste map and for the return there only seems to be a black down to Stafal in order to climb back up towards Champoluc. Wife won't consider a black no matter how smooth it may be but all the easier routes go to Gresonney end - so is there a bus back up to Stafal?


Btw, from Passo Salati towards Alagna there is also a black slope only. Unless you ski down halfway on a really easy blue and take the cable car down to Pianalunga
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admin wrote:
@mooney058, I don't disagree but the piste poles - it's the piste poles that are difficult Wink


Indeed Smile
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under a new name wrote:
@MHskier, the run from Sant Anna into Stafal is marked "red" and I would argue is consistently steeper than "moos" from Gabiet into Stafal. Although it is a bit wider, on the whole.


I would have to agree with this. The Moos run (the black down into Stafal) has a steep pitch at the beginning and then it is as flat as a blue/green run down into the valley. It's about the easiest black run that I have ever skied.

The black run from Passo Salati down into Alagna is more troublesome.
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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.
JoyZipper wrote:
under a new name wrote:
@MHskier, the run from Sant Anna into Stafal is marked "red" and I would argue is consistently steeper than "moos" from Gabiet into Stafal. Although it is a bit wider, on the whole.


The black run from Passo Salati down into Alagna is more troublesome.


Not troublesome, but more enjoyable - there is only one tight turn but in good conditions it is so much fun!
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It's not steep, bumps or icy so she'd be fine as long as she can ski steeper reds. In fact if you get her past the crossroads where it starts that's the worst bit and she might as well ski down as walk back up. The poles may be your issue though as @admin, says. If that the case how are you going to overcome the black ones to get down to Allagne? Both can be avoided by downloading in the cabin/cable car but then what's the point of the trip?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@MHskier, Forget the idea of heading down the blue from Passo Salati to the Cable Car at Cimalegna, it is a three story pylon to catch the lift and arguably more unnerving than the ski down. The black run (V3) into Col D'Olen has a steep pitch about 1/3 in on the piste map. but you can ski wide on skier's right to ease the gradient. Once you get past that pitch it is a wonderful run down to Pianalunga, no steeper then the reds on the rest of the mountain. Below that it gets a bit narrow on V1 but nothing too challenging. Try G6 on Stafal first if you can. Similar gradient. G4 on Punta Jolanda is steeper than both at the top.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@RedandWhiteFlachau, You don't typically pick up the Cimalegna cable car there these days, new chairlift instead, at least as of last season, possibly as of the previous season (they all blur into one).

It has to be said it's the weirdest set up I've ever seen; getting out of a cable car 2/3s way up, which has cables to the top, to switch to a chair. And here I thought the Swiss liked over-engineering?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
What's worse @under a new name, is that the snack bar in that top station must have been the best value stop in the Alps! It was cheap even by Italy's standards. The wee lad was gob-smacked to be given crisps, bits of salami and a spiced apple juice "for free Dad!In France they'd charge you like 10€ or something!"
I was about to pull him for exaggerating and then I thought.... Confused
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@admin, oh yes, the Mrs could even be persuaded by prosecco at €2, if they could be bothered to open the till.
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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?
You didn't say that there was prosecco at 2 euro at the top - be no problem getting her down an easy black then Laughing
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@MHskier, if still open, at the top station of the Pianalunga cable car...
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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Yeah that lift !?!
I think the gondola on the top of the hour goes all the way up to Salati.
Bar Salati is set to be there for a while...
New Toilet last year and terrace overlooking Balma.
Geo serves all sorts of winners to a loud blues sound track (if he can see a season coming on),
My tip would be a caffe corretto for a screaming sunset home run to Gressoney in a oner.
....happy days
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Off topic but given the number of aficionados present, which town do you recommend as a base for monte rosa? If charm and nice accommodation and restaurants is as important as inter connectivity? I've heard Champoluc is the nicest town but Gressoney looks to make more sense
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I would go for Champoluc, although there’s not that much between them. One of the best comments on Gressoney nightlife I’ve heard is “you can hear a garage door slam shut a mile away”.
For skiing gressoney is definitely more central.
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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!
@8611, as @jbob, says, Champoluc isn’t exactly full of hot spots, but it’s a lot livelier than any Gressoney.
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My idea of ideal nightlife these days features exquisite previously unheard of italian reds accompanied by delicious things done with venison, pigs and truffles. As long as they're in stock I'm very happy.
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@8611, I have stayed in both Gressoney and Champoluc. The hotel bar in Gressoney was deserted so we went across the street to a bar that was open. We were the only customers. A similar walk in Champoluc found a very quiet open bar. That is all I can ay about Apres Ski in both resorts or the villages themselves. To me that was OK.

Sorry I cannot questions about "charm" since I do not know what it is. To me a trip to the mountains is about the mountains not the places I sleep in.
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Well it's a combo of the two actually. Hard to enjoy staying in a beautiful mountain valley if staying in Communist style block architecture. Puts a dampener on it. If in picture postcard Alpine wooden cobbled village it's nicer. Reading about either of these it sounded lovely. But to be honest all apres cited above seems likely to meet my criteria!
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
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“ My idea of ideal nightlife these days features exquisite previously unheard of italian reds accompanied by delicious things done with venison, pigs and truffles. As long as they're in stock I'm very happy.”

Hear hear
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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
Quote:

Hard to enjoy staying in a beautiful mountain valley if staying in Communist style block architecture.

No problem for me at all. In fact I would prefer ski in/ski out over cobbled village streets any day.
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You know it makes sense.
That's true too. I wonder does anywhere combine both? Some beautiful refuges perhaps?
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@8611, i am biased but le Sapin in Champoluc is ons of our favourite restaurants in the world. I’m in Champoluc just now and not at all happy that due to les enfants in law I won’t be enjoying a steak there tonight.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
How are conditions @under a new name? Am I right in thinking doesn't open during the week until next week am considering jaunt
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@8611, extraordinary. I reckon the discussed 2m or so was about right. We have the niece and nephew so I think we did 4 very slow runs today and they’d only opened up from Frachey, but hey, lovely and sunny.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
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That looks nicely loaded alright. I'd say its a great time to be out there.
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@under a new name, so you do leave your valley....
Sitting in the sun in Sitten
Very Happy
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8611 wrote:
My idea of ideal nightlife these days features exquisite previously unheard of italian reds accompanied by delicious things done with venison, pigs and truffles. As long as they're in stock I'm very happy.


Not sure about Champoluc and Alagna but it is true what they say about the nightlife in Gressoney, if tumble weed didn't freeze this is all you would hear.

Unless you are prepared to drive...

Albertos place up in Gruba is really worth a visit and you could stay the night, he is at the consummate host and his love and knowledge of northern Italian wines has been the foundation of my nascent understanding of the vast number of small production Italian domains and cépages (maybe my Italian might improve beyond French one day)

For me Nordkapp in Saint jean is where I would visit first but there are at least three or four more which will surprise and delight like finding an old school sommelier who stocks a few of his personal favourites at the Flying Brazz, an incongruous pairing but a happy marriage anyway.

Gressoney is spread out down the valley,
Saint Jean being the largest village with plenty of old charm but is furthest from Monte Rosa although the tree skiing in Weissmatten can be very fine on a white out.
La Trinity is much smaller and dominated by a large derelict hotel that just simply needs taking away.
Staffal is pretty much a carpark with a few all inclusive hotels and although there are a few spots here they tend to be very quiet of an evening.

Gressoney is not a conventional resort which is sometimes what I hanker after...but not too often.
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