Northwest of Torino and west of Aosta, the La Thuile ski area has 34 runs served by 18 lifts with a maximum vertical drop of 1,465m. This family-friendly ski area is truly a hidden gem in the Alps for snowboarding with no crowds.
The La Thuile ski domaine is connected to the La Rosiere ski domaine in Italy over Petit San Bernard Pass. The combined ski region is known as Espace San Bernardo. But, keep in mind that the Petit San Bernard Pass interlink is known to close regularly due to weather especially since it is way above treeline (expect high winds and scoured slopes). Overall, the Espace San Bernardo has 160km of pistes served by 38 lifts with a maximum vertical descent of 1,430m (4,700 feet).
This region is not really known for its challenging slopes. Matter of fact, even the red pistes are over rated and should be blue. About 45% of the runs are marked as easy. But, make sure to check out the 600m vertical drop through the glades just to the right of the Franco Berthod run. The best steep runs are under the top of the Les Suches cable car. While the so-called longest run, #7 is 11km long, you may have to walk about 2km of it!
If you like glades, try the Diretta area. But if you are searching for powder, head across Petit San Bernard Pass to discover the numerous Snow Cross areas in the La Rosiere ski domaine where there is plenty of controlled, off-piste powder to explore.
Also, there are plenty of heli-skiing opportunities in this region, such as on Mont Miraidi and Mont Ouille from Heli Ski Valgrisenche or Guide Monterosa.
If you are looking to rip up the parks, there are three terrain parks in La Thuile including a new one in the Les Suches area next to the Piloni piste (#12), called the Wazimu Snowpark. The Wazimu Snowpark is accessible via the DMC cable car or the Bosco Express lift. The snowpark has 4 kickers in series, a small box, two large boxes and a 6m t-box.
After a long morning of shredding, there are several great options for on-mountain lunch including Restaurant Berthod on Piste #28, Chalet du Cantamont on Piste #6, and the Maison Carrel on Piste #30.
For apres ski action, hopefully you're not expecting much. You're best bet is Les Cage Aux Folles at the base. La Thuile is not really known for its nightlife. But if you really are looking for some nightlife, try checking out La Bricole disco bar, La Cage aux Folles, Konver and Bar La Buvette.
To get to the snowboarding at La Thuile, you can either fly in Geneva and drive through the Mt Blanc tunnel (about 2.5 hours), or you can take a train into the nearby Pre-St-Didier train station (4.5km) from Turin Airport. Also, as of the winter 2014, there is a SAVDA bus that runs nine times a day between La Thuile and Courmayeur. To help get around town and up to the lift base area, there is a free ski bus looping the villages every 25 minutes.
Overall, La Thuile is the 4th most popular snowboard & freeride destination of all 40 snowboarding resorts in Italy.