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Moena? Or elsewhere in Italy?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

It's summer, so of course I'm day-dreaming about skiing. Work is much more tolerable when I can plan ski trips in my head.

 

I've never been to Italy, skiing or otherwise, so maybe I'll give it a go this year. The parameters:

 

  • Good Advanced/Expert skiing. Like steep skiing, don't like jumping off things.
  • Easily accessed off-piste a plus, reasonably priced guiding better. I'll likely take a Level 1 Avi course in January.
  • Need to have good nordic skiing as well.
  • Nightlife not important. Perfectly happy with no more than a place to have a couple beers at the end of the day.
  • Don't want to spend a lot of money.
  • Prefer "real places" with some local culture.
  • Don't want to rent a car. Able to fly in to Venice or Milan.

 

One way or another Meona popped up as a possible destination. It seems to tick a lot of those boxes. Does anyone have any first hand experience there, or any other suggestions?

 

The winter is looking to be:

  • Early trip to Washington State and Mammoth in late Nov/early Dec. Will ski if there's snow, but mainly a family trip
  • Garmisch for New Years
  • January week in Chamonix incl. Avi course.
  • week somewhere in late Feb/March (thinking Italy)
  • maybe Easter in Engelberg
post #2 of 25

The Monterosa area might work for you. I've always stayed in Champoluc, but Gressoney and Alagna would be easier for you to get to from Milan. Alagna would have the most charm, though the others are also nice.

 

The area is pretty big, but it's not clogged up with too many pistes, which leaves a lot of space to explore. If you don't want to pay for a guide, you could just hang around the top of Alagna and follow one of the Scandinavians. That said, the guides aren't all that expensive from what I've seen. Lastly, the crowds are generally small, especially during the week.

 

The weakest link would probably be the Nordic side. I saw a couple of trails listed in Champoluc, but the best stuff was down in Brusson, which was a short bus ride away. I'm not sure what's available in Gressoney or Alagna because I never really looked around.

 

Here's the TR that WTFH did last year: http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/90671/tr-champoluc-8th-15th-january-2010.

post #3 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by CerebralVortex View Post

 

The weakest link would probably be the Nordic side. I saw a couple of trails listed in Champoluc, but the best stuff was down in Brusson, which was a short bus ride away. I'm not sure what's available in Gressoney or Alagna because I never really looked around.

 

 

 

So, I was thumbing through some brochures and maps last night, and I stumbled on a map with all the CC trails for Ayas (Champoluc and surrounding villages) and Brusson. I have no idea why I have that since I'm not really into running on skis. Anyways, it looks like Ayas has 14 km, and Brusson has about 30 km. They show the two areas as being connected, but the connection is marked as randonee, so I'd take that with a grain of salt.

 

You can get some of the details from www.aiatmonterosa.com, though they don't show the actual layout of the trails on their site.

post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the feedback. Monterosa looks great for my purposes; not sure about my other half (the Nordic skier). Val di Fiemme looks great for her, not sure if it fills my alpine needs, though.

 

It turns out I have a new colleague frmo Verona who started on Monday and says he's a keen skier, so I'll have to pick his brain as well.

post #5 of 25
If you want to look for steeps and off pistew skiing in Val di Fiemme/Fassa (dolomites) you might need more guiding than in the Monterosa ski area, but it can be done...need to do your homework well in advance though, runs there are mostly high intermediate (I learned reading here that the area is so considered, personally I disagree, but to each his own) but one can really "travel" (literally, from one valley to the next) on skis there.
post #6 of 25

I love the Dolomites. Can't be beaten for scenery. And there are some really pretty villages. 

 

Courchevel ski transfers, transfers from Geneva to the Three Valleys - www.theskibug.fr

post #7 of 25

The best nordic skiing by far around here is in St. Moritz, which is closer to Milan than a lot of Italian resorts. It's not cheap, of course.

post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 

Have looked at St. Moritz. But sadly the insanely strong Franc is likely to keep us out of Switzerland this year. It's not cheap at the best of times, and I'd have a really hard time justifying it now.

post #9 of 25

I'd guess that cross country ski setups would be better in the easternmost part of the Italian Alps, the Dolomites for example, than here in the central ranges or to the west, but I don't really know. Problem further east is that the snow is very dodgy to begin with; x-country taking place at lower elevations could  be problematic.


Edited by prickly - 8/19/11 at 5:43am
post #10 of 25

On the Ski Club of GB site, the only two resorts that come up in Italy when I check the box for running on skis are Canazei and Livigno.

post #11 of 25

Livigno is nice and high. Or high, anyway.

post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post

Livigno is nice and high. Or high, anyway.

Indeed, it's not the prettiest Italian resort I've seen, but it has a certain indescribable something to it.
 


Not sure if Livigno has enough expert terrain for ami, but I remember some very steep ( and narrow! ) black runs. If it's still a taxfree region at least it should still be cheap.

post #13 of 25

It is also Italy's telemark capital, for what that's worth.

post #14 of 25

The St. Moritz (Ober Engadin) nordic layout is fantastic.  You can cut costs by staying in one of the outlying villages.   Pontresina (on the Bernina Pass road) is particularly nice, not too expensive (by Swiss standards) and has easy access to great nordic skiing as well as terrific alpine skiing.  Bus system lets you access all nordic and alpine venues.  Great, easily accessed, under-used off piste throughout the valley.  Italy will be cheaper.

post #15 of 25

Courmayeur

 

Train (then short bus ride) or bus from Milan or Turin airports

 

Lots of sidecountry and between the pistes stuff if you are exploring by yourself. Guided stuff as adventurous as it gets for lift served.

 

Nordic - Val Ferret is a 10-15min bus ride away - one of the best nordic areas attached to s a ski resort anywhere.

 

Yes when you are skiing the pistes it is populated by the residents of Milan and Turin

 

Great cheap (for a ski resort) coffee.

 

As a Chamonix resident, I spend a LOT of time skiing Courmayeur

post #16 of 25

Another vote for Courmayeur. Very enjoyable town, not big nightlife but interesting for the daily walk, nice vibe, and you can do the famous Vallee Blanche across Mt Blanc down to Chamonix. Mountain is not too challenging but there are supposed to be some other good descents with guides. We had a car and used it as a base to hit a number of areas - La Thuile, Cervinia/Zermatt, and Verbier.

post #17 of 25

I saw an article last night about the resorts around Aosta, and it said the Gressoney valley has over 20 miles of CC trails. I looked it up online, and it appears to be true. http://www.gressoneymonterosa.it/sezione.asp?idsezione=161&lang=ENG&title=Cross-country-ski

 

So, the Monterosa area might work for you if you stay in the Gressoney valley.

post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by CerebralVortex View Post

I saw an article last night about the resorts around Aosta, and it said the Gressoney valley has over 20 miles of CC trails. I looked it up online, and it appears to be true. http://www.gressoneymonterosa.it/sezione.asp?idsezione=161&lang=ENG&title=Cross-country-ski

 

So, the Monterosa area might work for you if you stay in the Gressoney valley.



I used to ski the Monterosaski area a lot in the past.
Unlike the Sella Ronda (dolomiti superski), though, it's not a round trip. It's more like..three parallel valleys linked across ridgelines by lifts. So pay attention to lift closing times.
To find yourself in the wrong valley at closing time might mean either to find sleeping accomodations, or a long trip by taxi till the plains and up again to the right valley..
In the case of finding yourself in the ValSesia valley area (Alagna) and your hotel being in Champoluc (Ayas valley)...well..it could mean a long and costly journey (nearly 200 km down and up the valleys..check on google maps)
post #19 of 25

i did the same thinking as you and came ups with Cervinia so i get the cruises in the Italian side then cross over to Zermat for the steeper runs!!!

post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottydonald View Post

i did the same thinking as you and came ups with Cervinia so i get the cruises in the Italian side then cross over to Zermat for the steeper runs!!!


That can be problematic, just a warning. The link closes due to wind sometimes and to get to the best of Zermatt from Cervinia, you need to ski all the way down to village level, cross the village by foot, bus or taxi and take a lift up the other side. Cervinia gets a bad rap as a village, mostly 'cause it's not Zermatt, but what is? They have awesome snow at Cervinia, BTW. 


I echo what Nobody said about the link situation at Monterosa. There I'd recommend staying in Gressoney, which is in the middle of the area, to minimize the problem, or stay in Alagna and basically forget about skiing all the way to Champoluc. Of the three towns, I like Alagna best.

IMV, St Moritz is the resort for the OP here, pricing aside. 

 

 I personally find Courmayeur annoying, mostly because I want less of Milan, not more, when I'm in the mountains (this is true about St. Moritz too). But they have a lot of very good offpiste. (Note to self: look for Idris next time you're in Courmayeur.)

post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the input. This particular trip is now firmly in the back of my mind, as first I need to get the time off and let my bank balance recover a little.

 

I'd love to go to St. Moritz, but see the comment above regarding my bank balance.

 

I also probably need to do a more xc-focused trip after having just subjected my nordic skiing significant other to a few days in Utah and 10 days in Chamonix in January. 20 km in Montarosa ain't gonna cut it, especially not when she can come back with a list of places with hundreds of km.

 

If it's a decent snow year here in the northeast of Central Europe, might just do a week of village to village skiing in Czech Rep, Poland, or eastern Germany. Certainly would be cheaper.

 

But then, St. Moritz does sound awfuly nice.

 

 

post #22 of 25
I went to Monte Rosa this year and got skunked ( http://powderbible.com/2011/03/24/tr-days-20-21-road-trip-monte-rosa/ ) but left with a really good feeling and definitely want to go back. My guide felt the same way and is going back there this January for some reconnaissance.

I also vote for Courmayeur, great place to ski and the Helbronner is pure magic. Some of my best days ever have been off there. TRs:

http://powderbible.com/2011/03/15/tr-chamonix-day-14-couloir-marbrees/
http://powderbible.com/2011/03/16/tr-chamonix-day-16-glacier-de-toule-courmayeur/
http://powderbible.com/2010/06/15/tr-glacier-de-toule-italy/
post #23 of 25

Ami, as you know there's 2600 km of xc tracks in Oslo - but it'll certainly be more expensive than eastern Europe. Oslo Winterpark have 60 % more skiable area this year, but so far only the beginner area + 1 slope is open. The forecast predicts colder weather starting Saturday, maybe they'll have enough time to make snow for the whole resort. At least the after-ski in Oslo is difficult to beat beercheer.gif.

post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 

Oslo's great: easy and cheap to get to from Berlin, and accomidation in winter isn't too expensive either. Apres in Oslo is also fun, but after spending $80 for a hamburger, a club sandwich, and two beers last winter, I think we'll be giving it a pass this winter. We'll defintely be back, just not this year. This may be a surprise given that I live in Germany, but I love the beer in Norway (there are some great micro-brews). Pity that it's so damn expensive.

 

Thanks for the tips on Courmayeur. We'll be in Chamonix for ten days in January, so I'm sure we'll nip over for a day at least. If we're impressed, maybe come back and base ourselves there in March.

 

When taking the bus from Chamonix, how easy is it to get to the xc trails? Is there a central transit hub (or is that far too organised for Italy)?

 

I've looked for info on the website, but let's just say it isn't very informative.

 

Thanks

post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ami in berlin View Post

 

 

Thanks for the tips on Courmayeur. We'll be in Chamonix for ten days in January, so I'm sure we'll nip over for a day at least. If we're impressed, maybe come back and base ourselves there in March.

 

When taking the bus from Chamonix, how easy is it to get to the xc trails? Is there a central transit hub (or is that far too organised for Italy)?

 

I've looked for info on the website, but let's just say it isn't very informative.

 

Thanks


xc trails in Courmayeur are in Val Ferret. Get off at Palud, which is just out of the tunnel exit - ask for the Helbronner cable car.

A 5 min bus ride from there up to the xc pistes at Planpinceux.

If you end up at the bus station in Central Courmayeur then you can always take the bus back up from there 

 

 

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