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Courmayeur

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I've booked to go to Courmayeur end of march 21, i've never been before so what can i expect? also any tips or advice?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
There is a free bus to La Thuile
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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?
your wallet emptied
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ski wise?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I'm meant to be going back for the third time in January but that is looking doubtful. Piste-wise it's all pretty cruisey I would say, though some easily accessible and fun OP depending on conditions. I don't go back for the skiing per-se, but if you take the terrain in hand with the amazing restaurants and lovely town then it's one of my favourite resorts for a more chilled break. I've not got involved (yet) with the proper off-piste routes that abound but others more competent than me can comment on those. We do always get a taxi or bus to La Thuile for a day though to break things up otherwise you might find you are skiing the same runs a few too many times. La Thuile has some nice long and steepish pistes lower down through the trees which are usually enjoyable and it's defo worth the 30mins or so trip to get there (lift pass included with your Courmayeur pass I think if you buy enough consecutive days).
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Re "wallet being emptied" not sure where that comes from - Maybe the glitzier restairants and fasdhion shops but we had a good time drinking and eating for not much money. That was one day as part of a wider Aosta valley trip and the good value for money was v notable everywhere. Post brexit may be different! Lift pass isn't bad value although it is a small ski area so echo the above recommendation to go to la Thuile as well. Also the monte bianco skyway was great afternoon out.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@mmcla, do you mean you’ve not skied before? Or just not been to Courmayeur before?

If you’ve skied before, what level are you and what do you like/dislike? 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!
Re wallets. If that's happening to you, 1. they saw you coming, 2. you just lapped it up right? rolling eyes rolling eyes

That said, amd it's a few years since we were last there but Ciecco was (certainly at the time) just excellent. Not the biggest of resorts, ski wise. Not a lot on piste that's particularly challenging.
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Is it worth skiing it late in the season, say early April ?
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FrediKanoute wrote:
Is it worth skiing it late in the season, say early April ?


not really, best skiing is Jan/Feb. If you are lucky with the snow maybe Xmas New Year. Late season is unpredictable. BTW I've been skiing Aosta valley for decades.
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PeakyB wrote:
@mmcla, do you mean you’ve not skied before? Or just not been to Courmayeur before?

If you’ve skied before, what level are you and what do you like/dislike? snowHead


oh no i've plenty of experience skiing, just never in courmayeur. and i'd say i'm a good intermediate. i have two days in la thuile so that will mix it up if courmayeur gets stale.
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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.
@mmcla, if you don't mind the skiing area being small, roughly 40-50 km of piste, Courmayeur may suit you well as a base. Many of the pistes are decent red standard. Even some of the blues can be challenging in icy or hardpack conditions. Not somewhere for beginners I'd say. Some tree cover for flat light or snowy days. Usually does OK for snow and on the sunnier more sheltered side of Mont Blanc.

The village is quite large, easy to walk around and usually lively, but who knows this season? I don't remember prices being alarmingly high and there's plenty of competition. Food quality both on the mountain and in the village were very good. I don't think it has a swimming pool or sports centre, unless that's changed recently. I paid a silly amount to swim in a private hotel pool one evening.

Two days in La Thuile sounds good. As you probably know, you can usually get a bus through the Mont Blanc tunnel to Chamonix valley. Assuming that's possible this season it opens up more challenging terrain, if wanted. We used it to access an unforgettable day up and around the Aiguille du Midi. Also did a guided day from Courmayeur down the Valle Blanche, Mer de Glace, not difficult but dangerous without a guide.

Overall, although the skiing at Courmayeur isn't extensive, as a base it has plenty going for it. Fingers crossed you'll get to enjoy it.
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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
all that sounds perfect, it will do me nicely Very Happy thanks for the tips
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
It's quite a few years since I went, somewhere around 2006, and I would only have been about 15.

Memories of the place were, I came down really ill with a sickness bug just before we went so only skied half days.
We were able to leave our skis and boots up the top of the cable car rather than lugging them down the hill in to town every day.
There was a bar in the town which I want to say was called Bar Roma, if you went in to have a drink, they laid on a load of snacks. Might not be the case this season due to covid though.
It started snowing on the Wednesday and didn't stop by the time we left on Saturday, and it's some of the most snow i've seen, but that can happen anywhere at any time.
It's not a particularly big ski area, but I think the off piste is decent, especially with a guide, and as has been said, La Thuile for a day trip, and i'm not sure if Chamonix or Pila are included or not, but it wouldn't take too long to get to either of them as well.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
mmcla wrote:
I've booked to go to Courmayeur end of march 21, i've never been before so what can i expect? also any tips or advice?


I loved it for a short break, when it was literally the only place open near Geneva pre xmas...! If you've a week then you'll definitely need to use the bus to La Thuile, which is great, particularly the runs into resort - so you don't have to go too far into the La Thuile resort. La Thuile gets closed for wind at a drop of a hat so check that out. You get a "free" day there on your pass (on our 4 day pass). Not sure how many you get for a 6 day. Didn't go to the other resorts that you can visit.

Classy town (imo). We had a free shuttle to Dolonne gondola, which seems the best lift to go up rather than the main large one.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I last skied in Courmayeur in 1997 but remember really enjoying it. Whilst it is not an extensive ski area there were some enjoyable runs and it was very scenic with fab mountain restaurants. I did the Vallee Blanche day trip which is one of my most memorable days in 30 years of skiing. There were also day trips available to La Thuile and Argentiere for eg.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@mmcla, we’ve been going for the last few years, and really like, or we wouldn’t go back. It is a smallish area on piste as others say, we’re not off piste skiers so can’t comment on that side of things. It’s good value on the mountain and in town unless you hunt out one of the glitzier places, €1.50 for a coffee on the mountain is good for me.
Having been for a few years, the last two we have got the Aosta valley pass and spent a few days in La Thuile and one in Pila also ( we have a hire car).
I we use the Dolonne lift which is an 8 man gondola, and free car parking, you may need to use the overflow car park a the weekend which is a couple of euro, may be reduced this year, and we use the hire shop and it’s lockers to store our stuff overnight, the other lift from town is a monster 120 people lift, but no free parking, one goes up as one comes down so can be a bit of a wait in the morning and at end of day. It’s a nice walk through town if your accommodation isn’t too far away. The town is nice to stroll around after a meal, Bar Roma is the bar with free food under normal circumstances.
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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?
FrediKanoute wrote:
Is it worth skiing it late in the season, say early April ?


Skied once early April, it was superb
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I'm a 20yr Val Gardena veteran. Gave Courmayeur a whirl with my daughter back in Jan this year. Came away decidedly underwhelmed. Tiny ski area (skied it out by 3pm on day one) which is disconnected from the town. The disconnect kills apres and also the fact that there's no busy part of town. The few bars which are apres orientated are strung out along a mile long 'high street'. It doesn't really work IMO. The trip to La Ros/La Thuile was the highlight of the week. Bar Roma does free pretty ropey bar food to offset the astronomic bar prices. Then there's SuperG Mountain Club. 10 Euro for a tiny beer! The barman apologised for charging me 20 Euro for two small beers. He said that the management were 'crazy'. The place was unsurprisingly quiet.


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Wed 16-12-20 20:54; edited 1 time in total
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Save up and go to Chiecco on the mountain for a long lunch. Simply superb.
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Mollerski wrote:
I'm a 20yr Val Gardena veteran. Gave Courmayeur a whirl with my daughter back in Jan this year. Came away decidedly underwhelmed. Tiny ski area (skied it out by 3pm on day one) which is disconnected from the town. The disconnect kills apres and also the fact that there's no busy part of town. The few bars that are loosely apres orientated are strung out along a mile long 'high street'. It just doesn't work IMHO. The trip to La Ros/La Thuile was the highlight of the week. Bar Roma does free pretty ropey bar food to offset the astronomic bar prices. Then there's SuperG Mountain Club. 10 Euro for a tiny beer! The barman apologised for charging me 20 Euro for two small beers. He said that the management were 'crazy'. The place was unsurprisingly dead.


Had 4 pints with mates after day’s skiing. They brought a full plate of superb snacks - nice salami, cured meat, good cheese, bread, bread sticks. A pint 4-5 eur, snacks for free. 4 years ago a week ski with family - superb pizzas in a central pizza place - guess 8-14 eur for a huge superb pizza. Food on the mountain was delicious, not your average polenta in Dollies. I am OK’ish skier, could ski the area for a week with no problems
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Courmayeur is sort of Italian version of Chamonix ... bit smaller, town is more interesting, food is better and the "official" ski area is nothing to crave about ...

However, being in the shadows of the great Mont Blanc it provides good skiers with almost endless options ... If you are good off piste skier - this is one of the top 5 places in the world !!!

And yes, it attracts well to do crowds from Torino/Milano and does have a certain whiff of snobbery ...

Our family went on a ski trip there few years back (2017 and 2018) and while my wife and two daughters had massive amounts of fun skiing groomers and enjoying on mountain lunches/snacks/views - I've had blast skiing some of the most interesting off piste terrain ...
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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!
The Hellbronner lift on the Mont Blanc side is an amazing lift that opens up all sorts of options including steep couloirs, glacier runs in the sunshine and the Vallée Noire back down to Chamonix. There’s also some good off piste on the other side in the trees.
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@mooney058, I'll accept your opinion re. Courmayeur, but sh!te food in the Dolomites? Are you having a laugh?? Dodge the polenta, I do. Madeye-Smiley
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@mmcla, after reading this thread full of snowhead critique, I ask myself why I've ever skied there. TBH, Courmayeur is my go to resort for a short/couple of days skiing. Don't expect anything other than chi-chi in town, half decent pistes on the mountain, very decent restos both in town and on the mountain, drop-dead gorgeous views of Monte Bianco. Be prepared to get to the local lifts, or stay just out of town, have your skis left up the mountain, and defo post-ski in town. Bar Roma is a must, so is Maison di Filipo in Entreves, opposite possibly the best hotel in the valley (Maison de l'Auberge). But please do not expect to get the best out of the resort in just one trip. It takes years to access the joys of Courmayeur. I first went there in the 1980's, and it's magical draw (which now extends the Aosta Valley) is still very strong.

Otherwise I would give it a miss.
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Mollerski wrote:
@mooney058, I'll accept your opinion re. Courmayeur, but sh!te food in the Dolomites? Are you having a laugh?? Dodge the polenta, I do. Madeye-Smiley

It is Italy, so certainly ain’t sh!te Smile just I preder FR/IT border for the food than AT/IT border. Hardly a “problem” as such on either part of IT, just a matter of personal taste. I also stayed in Courmayer in summer in summer when doing TMB. Excellent experience overall and would happily spend a month now rather than dreaming about it Sad
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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.
Its another place you can ski, its not a raucus place like the Austrain alchol driven apres.
But you have to at least tick it off the list.

But Bar Roma is (or was[2010]) fabulous .. we asked for an Irish Coffee and we had the best one we had ever had before that.

My wife loved the ear ring shop along the Via Roma.
We didnt go to Aosta or La Thuile while on that trip, but we did go over to Chamonix one miserable foggy day.
The bus took us up to Argentia ... but it may as well have been the nursery slope at Neiderau.
We should have stayed back on the sunny side.
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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
mooney058 wrote:
Mollerski wrote:
@mooney058, I'll accept your opinion re. Courmayeur, but sh!te food in the Dolomites? Are you having a laugh?? Dodge the polenta, I do. Madeye-Smiley

It is Italy, so certainly ain’t sh!te Smile just I preder FR/IT border for the food than AT/IT border. Hardly a “problem” as such on either part of IT, just a matter of personal taste. I also stayed in Courmayer in summer in summer when doing TMB. Excellent experience overall and would happily spend a month now rather than dreaming about it Sad


Polenta is more common in NW Italy (it is a staple in Piedmont), than NE Italy, more likely to be offered Austrian-style Dumplings in South Tyrol/Dolomites...both are easily avoided though!! Laughing

Fresh pasta with various fillings or sauces or grilled meats are delicious across all of N Italy, hardly ever had bad food anywhere.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I visited Courmayeur in Feb. It is a stunning setting with amazing views of the Mont Blanc range and its glaciers. It is a varied ski area, but a bit small for a week if you can't take advantage of the guided off-piste terrain. Probably best combined with other areas in the valley like La Thuile and Pila.

I stayed mid-valley near Aosta and drove each day to a different ski area...Courmayeur, La Thuile/LaRosiere, Pila, Cervinia/Zermatt, Champoluc/MonteRosa. Not many places you can ski 3 different countries on successive days! snowHead
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