A chain of mountains runs for 25km on the edge of 4000m high and this is the Rosa massif. Below is the Monterosa Ski domain with three valleys and studded with secular traditions. For the skier there are 180kms of slopes and start from Champoluc and Frachey in the Ayas Valley; from Gressoney-la-Trinite in the Gressoney valley and from Alagna in Valsesia. But in this large area linked with lifts, there are slopes to suit everyone.
New for last winter's season was the 3-seat Gabiet-Lago chairlift in the skiing area of Gabiet. The lift has a capacity of 1200 people p/hour and will be best suited for children and beginners learning their first turns. On the Champoulac side the Tzeccon chair will disappear but skiers can reach Ciarcerio from the departure area of the Mandria chair.
Located at an altitude range of 1570m - 3550m at Monterosa in north west Italy, the village of Champoluc is an attractive ski resort at the head of the Ayas Valley and can be accessed either by air (Turin 90 miles distance) or by car (11 hour journey).
There is extensive skiing at the resort with 41 lifts comprising a mixture of chairs and gondolas and although there are some good gentle slopes for beginners, it has a high rating for both intermediate and advanced skiers alike. The longest pisted run is 9km with a total of 200km of pisted slopes around the area. Indeed it has been likened to France's "Three Valleys" although with only 200km of pistes, it is obviously not quite so extensive!
The whole area enjoys a good snow record but just in case there are state of the art snow-making and a total of 220 snow cannons to ensure a "top-up" if and when required. With Champoluc being located at an altitude of nearly 1600m it is not often you cannot ski back to the resort.
The skiing area suits all needs from beginners through to the more advanced enthusiasts and two lifts from the village offer good alternatives. For example beginners can use the nursery area at Crest at the top of the main lift while intermediate and good skiers can take the lift from Frachey which then gives access to Gressoney and then on to Alagna which is an area with excellent choice for the more advanced skier.
If you are an advanced skier there is the choice of staying on piste and using the excellent well groomed 200km of runs or having a day heli-skiing with an Italian guide as an escort to superb off-piste areas.
At the end of each day there is a delightful red run back through the trees to the village of Champoluc where the village offers a selection of hotels, bars, shops and restaurants together with chemist, banks, supermarket and ski shops. But do not go to Champoluc expecting a huge number of discos and lots of night life. The village is certainly "lively" but apres ski tends to be concentrated village bars, both before and after dinner. If you are seeking something relaxing then the pine panelled bar at the Hotel Castor is popular with its comfy chairs whilst the Hotel Breithorn provides a cosy open fire.
Reaching the Monterosa ski region is comparatively easy, whether you are driving yourself by car or flying to Italy. The car journey will be around 10/11hours via the Mont Blanc Tunnel into the Aosta Valley and you turn off the Aosta - Turin highway to Gressoney. If you are flying, there is a choice of flights to Turin or Milan but there is also an airport at Aosta with limited flight connections.