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Aosta valley park and ski next week

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Will be staying in Aosta for a few days late next week.

Going to ski 1 day in Pila. Then planning to drive to some other resorts. Keen to maximize time on the slopes - so ease of parking is key. Happy to get up really early if needed. Ski level? Eternal intermediate British dad skier (you know the type) + improving teenager.

Any recommendations on where to go and where to park? La Thuile? Courmayeur?

Any other Snowheads in the area?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@frejul,

Courmayeur - park at Dolonne, lift rises from carpark.

likewise Frachey above Champoluc
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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?
In La Thuile there's a car park ("Parcheggio Piazza del mercato") in Frazione Entreves between the river and the back of the Planibel centre. It's maybe 200m walk from the gondola.
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Agree with both the above, and would add, take the autostrada and pay the small toll from Aosta rather than the non toll road which takes ages, on the toll road it’s probably 25-30 mins to Courmayuer and 10 more to La Thuile as you need to go up the mountain with a few hairpins.
There’s a free car park at Dolonne less than 5 mins walk from the gondola, apart from Wednesday when’s its market day.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thanks for the tips. To speed things up I may even drop by these places the night before, scope out the parking and grab lift passes from the vending machines.
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@frejul, I wouldn’t bother, the map app on your phone will take you there easily, and there won’t be much of a wait to get your pass. There is an Aosta valley pass that allows you to ski any resort any day, have a look on the valleys website, it may be more expensive than buying daily pass at each resort though.
What I would do is spend some time looking at the piste maps, for me the best skiing is away from the centre runs in La Thuile, and at the top of Courmayuer bubble lift.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I had a week doing this in 2020. You obviously need to be up early to factor in the drive to resorts (except Pila), but we had a great week.

Courmayeur was least favourite, but found easy free parking near Dolonne lift. La Thuile is great, loads of skiing, and big car park near gondola. Champoluc also for Monterosa, although Frachey maybe work the extra 5 mins drive to the funicular (both have parking near lift) which saves having to do the black run from Champ to Frachey, which has a steep narrow bit at the top - depending on how improving your teenager is or how eternal your inter skills! Great resort, worth the extra driving time, but avoid if windy.
Cervinia also a longer drive, but you may think worth it. we didn't go there so cant advise on parking. Pila is decent resort too and you can park free near gondal base to save tramping in Ski boots from Aosta town.

We found buying passes on the day cheaper than the Aosta Valley pass.
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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!
t44tomo wrote:
I had a week doing this in 2020. You obviously need to be up early to factor in the drive to resorts (except Pila), but we had a great week.

Courmayeur was least favourite, but found easy free parking near Dolonne lift. La Thuile is great, loads of skiing, and big car park near gondola. Champoluc also for Monterosa, although Frachey maybe work the extra 5 mins drive to the funicular (both have parking near lift) which saves having to do the black run from Champ to Frachey, which has a steep narrow bit at the top - depending on how improving your teenager is or how eternal your inter skills! Great resort, worth the extra driving time, but avoid if windy.
Cervinia also a longer drive, but you may think worth it. we didn't go there so cant advise on parking. Pila is decent resort too and you can park free near gondal base to save tramping in Ski boots from Aosta town.

We found buying passes on the day cheaper than the Aosta Valley pass.

Thanks for the tips. Yes - I'd noticed that individual passes seemed cheaper than the valley pass.

My eternal intermediate skills have always got me down any black in unglamourous style. Teenager already has better technique but is as yet largely untested on lumpy black runs. So will watch out for the one you mentioned.

Teenager is used to me dragging him out earler - doing something similar in the Tarantaise one year - had him out of a studio in Champagny in time to drive (30 mins) and get the first lift up out of La Tania.
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geoffknight wrote:
@frejul, I wouldn’t bother, the map app on your phone will take you there easily, and there won’t be much of a wait to get your pass. There is an Aosta valley pass that allows you to ski any resort any day, have a look on the valleys website, it may be more expensive than buying daily pass at each resort though.
What I would do is spend some time looking at the piste maps, for me the best skiing is away from the centre runs in La Thuile, and at the top of Courmayuer bubble lift.


Thanks. But am stuck in essentially what looks a lot like a Premier Inn on an industrial estate with a teenager who no doubt will be glued to his phone in the evenings. A meandering drive to neighbouring towns in the evenings may be a nice diversion!
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frejul wrote:


My eternal intermediate skills have always got me down any black in unglamourous style. Teenager already has better technique but is as yet largely untested on lumpy black runs. So will watch out for the one you mentioned.
.


In that case you'll be fine, it was classed as a red until a year or two ago. Its only one short narrow section is where the biggest challenge is weaving between those who decided to give it a go but really shouldn't have, so either stood in the way plucking up the courage or picking themselves up after a slip. A slide slip and a couple of unglamourous turns sees you out of trouble to enjoy what is then a lovely wide flowing red run.


http://youtube.com/v/Wnf_HFzFs1s
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
t44tomo wrote:
frejul wrote:


My eternal intermediate skills have always got me down any black in unglamourous style. Teenager already has better technique but is as yet largely untested on lumpy black runs. So will watch out for the one you mentioned.
.


In that case you'll be fine, it was classed as a red until a year or two ago. Its only one short narrow section is where the biggest challenge is weaving between those who decided to give it a go but really shouldn't have, so either stood in the way plucking up the courage or picking themselves up after a slip. A slide slip and a couple of unglamourous turns sees you out of trouble to enjoy what is then a lovely wide flowing red run.


Ooohh - that looks nice. I think even teenager should be OK with that.

And promise we won't block the narrow bit!
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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.
@frejul, I'll be staying in Aosta not far from the gondola for a week from Wednesday night this week. Probably get Pila skipass and then get two away days in the Aosta Valley. Was thinking La Thuile and maybe Courmayeur. Will have to assess weather situation for away days and best skiing in low visibility. But starting in Pila, Thurs and Friday I reckon. Will have wife and 4 year old son also along. I'm a fairly confident skier. Anyway happy to meet up when you are in Pila, pm me your itinerary.
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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
Don’t bother parking in Champoluc itself if you do that area. Drive straight to Frachey, parking is much closer to the lift. And it’s quicker to access the whole area from there. Don’t know why anyone would suggest staring from Champoluc, other than they don’t know much about the area tbh.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Re lift passes. You don’t necessarily need the whole valley pass.
A “Pila” pass valid for 3-5 days will give you one day in another resort. 6-(I think)11 gives you 2 days.
They don’t always tell you this at the ticket office.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Oops. Sorry. Just read more carefully and realised you’ve worked this out anyway!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Well we've been, we've skied and now are back - skied Pila, La Thuile and Breuil-Cervinia. Thanks again for all the tips.

Some good conditions at altitude in both La Thuile and Cervinia. However, below about 1700m things got a bit "tate and lyle" (sugary / granular stuff). Although we managed the runs all the way down to both La Thuile and Valtournenche.

Quick tip - Valtournenche lift pass office were really picky about wanting to see passport for youth (<18 skier) pass. La Thuile didn't care. Did manage to use the app for Pila but it kept crashing for the others so ended up queuing.

First time skiing in Italy - and noticed the black pistes were more frequently groomed than in France. Hardly saw a mogul.

Didn't like all those little orange speed cameras on the roads! Half the time it wasn't clear what the speed limit was.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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@frejul - I'm thinking of doing a very similar trip in the next week or two, flying in / out of Milan, so this thread is proving very helpful.

Did you drive from the UK or hire a car locally? I'm assuming chains weren't necessary, but winter tyres still were?

I was thinking of staying in Aosta too. Would you recommend where you stayed or do you wish you'd sorted out something less industrial?
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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?
@jebroni3_16, I doubt if the average hired car from Milan has winter tyres. Depending on the forecast, you might well need chains. Though unlikely for Aosta. The town doesn't feel particularly "industrial" - it's quite an interesting place and the centre is nice to wander around.
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Rented car via Autoeurope at Milan MXP. Went for Budget/Avis who weren't the cheapest but pick up is practically in the terminal and they didn't push the extras hard.

Autoeurope do a rental package including chains - but you may need to remind the folks at the airport desk that you've paid for them. However, chances of needing to put them on are pretty low. If there was a big dump of snow making access to La Thuile or Cervinia difficult - you'd probably be better off staying put and skiing Pila anyway. If the roads are snowed up and you need chains to get in - it would probably eat up most of the morning getting in into La Thuile or Cervinia and parking.

Aosta itself is only at 600m - and there's a gondola right up to Pila. I would recommend getting there before 8:30 to avoid the rush.

We stayed at Hotel Express Aosta. If you want somewhere functional - so you can hit the slopes early it's fine.
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