North of Turin and northeast of Aosta, the Alagna Valsesia ski domaine has 5 pistes served by 3 lifts with a maximum vertical descent of 1,700m. It has amazing vertical and backcountry to explore. At Alagna, it is all about the off-piste snowboading routes and huge descents. Alagna is a small 14th-century farming village known for its off-piste freeriding within huge open bowls. As a bonus, there is heli-boarding options including Colle Ippolita, Valley of the Black Horse, and Col D'Olen. With all the backcountry available, it would be smart to hire a snowboarding guide for a couple days -- ask about exploring Col d'Olen or the La Balma descent (2000m). Snowboarders come from around the world to freeride lines like the Vitoria Couloir and the Malfatta Couloir. The Malfatta offers a 2,000m descent to the valley floor, but it usually requires a belayed drop into the top of its massive bowl (a guide is recommended). Luckily, it ends at Rifugio Pastorle for apres ski!
The Alagna Valsesia ski domain is part of the greater Monterosa Ski Consortium. Monterosa spans 20km across three major valleys to interconnect with lifts the villages of Alagna, Gressoney and Champoluc. In addition, there are several smaller ski areas that are interconnected by bus (Champorcher, Frachey, Brusson, Antagnod). With the lift and bus interconnects, there are 88 pistes totalling 180km that are served by 32 lifts and are accessible under one ski pass. While there are plenty of groomed intermediate slopes, the real attraction Monterosa to snowboarders is the extensive off-piste freeriding routes spread across the three valleys, such as the 1000m descent off Indren. Make sure to pay attention to the winds and forecasts during the day since high winds will close the interconnecting lifts between valleys.
Overall, Monterosa is not well known for deep snowpack, but it is very powdery when it comes due to the high elevation of the pistes. The villages are known to be quiet during the week with limited nightlife even on the weekends.
The villages of the Monterosa region can be a challenge to access by train and bus. While by car it only takes a couple hours from Turin or Milan, the combination of public trains and buses takes around 4 hours. When coming by air, the closer Turin airport is served by smaller European airlines, but keep in mind the train transport requires an odd change of stations in the city center. The Milan Malpensa airport is served by major international airlines and has convenient train access. The trains will get you about two-thirds of the way to the base villages and one or more buses will be needed to get the rest of the way. For overnight stay at Milan Malpensa, consider the Sheraton Hotel at Terminal 1 or the Moxy Hotel at Terminal 2.
If you are looking for some apres ski action in Alagna, try either The Bacher, Caffe del Centro or the Caffe Bar delle Guide.
The town of Alagna makes a great base and is known to be quite charming. If you are looking for an authentic dinner, try checking out either Unione Alagnese or the Montagna Di Luce in Pedemonte. The best Alagna-Valsesia snowboarding can be found during the months of January and February.
To reach the snowboarding in Alagna Valsesia by air, the two nearest airports are Turin Caselle (TRN) and Milan Malpensa (MXP). The Turin airport is served by European airlines, and the Milan Malpensa airport is served by both European and major international airlines. While a rental car is fast and convenient with a sense of independence for getting to the ski resort, it can be a huge source of stress with complex road network navigation, locating the expensive resort overnight parking, and challenges with narrow roads during poor winter weather. But, unlike the easy public train and bus options for Swiss and Austria ski resorts, the public transport options out of Milan and Turin are very complex with difficult connections from multiple non-integrated transportation companies. While driving can be a couple hours, the public transportation options stretch into 4-7 hours of additional travel.
From Milan Malpensa airport, the only train option is the Malpensa Express leading into downtown Milano Centrale (45 minute ride every 30 minutes). From Milano Centrale, take the train to Chivasso (may require a connection) where you will change trains leading up into Valle d'Aosta. The main train stops in Valle d'Aosta for public buses up to ski resorts provided by Arriva Savada (savda.it) include Pont St Martin (Alagna and Alpe di Mera). So, in all, it could take five trains plus a final bus. Alternately, if your time works right, there is bus service that skips the trains directly to the final train stations mentioned from Arriva Savada (savda.it), which runs three times a day during winter months.
From Turin Caselle airport, there is a metro train from the airport leading into downtown Turin (Madonna di Campagna). Unfortunately, the train station needed for Valle d'Aosta destinations requires a taxi or ride from Madonna di Campagna to the Torino Porta Susa or Porta Nuova train stations. Alternately, it is possible to take a bus from the airport direct to the train station. Then, there is a train to Ivrea where you'll connect for the train into Valle d'Aosta. The main train stops in Valle d'Aosta for buses up to ski resorts include Pont St Martin (Alagna and Alpe di Mera). So, in all, it could take a minimum of a bus, then two trains and a final bus. As a final option, there is a direct bus from the airport to Aosta train station Arriva Savada (savda.it), which runs three times a day during winter months. From Aosta, you can take a regular train back down the valley to the aforementioned train station to catch a bus up to the ski resorts.
BONUS TIP: Down valley from Alagna Valsesia is the bus-interlinked ski area of Alpe di Mera. It is located near the village of Pila, and has 12 pistes accessing 1000m of descent.
Overall, Alagna Valsesia is the 6th most popular snowboard & freeride destination of all 56 snowboarding resorts in Italy. Several of the better snowboarding resorts are nearby Alagna Valsesia including Gressoney, Alpe di Mera, Champorcher, Champoluc, Weissmatten and Antagnod.
Local Contacts: Alagna Tourism (+39) 163-564404; Monterosa Ski Promotion Office (+39) 0125-303-111; Alpine Guides Alagna.
Best Season: Feb. - Mar.
Average Difficulty: Difficult
Base Camp: Indren Hus, Alagna; Hotel Monterosa, Alagna
Luxury Loding: Hotel Cristallo, Alagna; Residence Mirella; Garni Casa Prati
Reference Source: click here https://www.visitmonterosa.com/
PDF Map: click here
GPS: 45.853367, 7.935154
Date Published: 1/4/2016
Date Updated: 9/12/2019
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