Best Champoluc Snowboarding

The 22nd most popular snowboarding destination in Italy.

  Monterosa, Aosta, Italy


  January 23, 2020

North of Turin and northeast of Aosta, the Champoluc ski domaine is well known with local freeriders for its massive, legal off-piste snowboarding. The Champoluc ski domaine is known as the highest ski area in the Alps and is over 16km wide. When heading off-piste, you'll want to start by hiring a guide -- ask them about Col d'Olen. In addition to the lift-accessed off-piste, there are heli-ski opportunties. The best Champoluc snowboarding can be found during the months of January and February.

A main draw to Champoluc are the popular off-piste lines that start from the top station of the Indren cable car (extra fee required). Oddly, the off-piste lines are shown with green lines on the map (ski routes), such as those from Passo Salati and Coll Betta Forca.

The Champoluc ski domain is situated on the western side 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 80km 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 and slopes are known to be quiet during the week with limited nightlife even on the weekends. If you're looking for a long warmup run, try the piste from Passo Sacati down 1760m over 7km into Alagna.

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 5 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.

After a long morning of shredding at Champoluc, grab lunch on-mountain at Rifugio Guglielmina, Aroula above Crest, or Frantze Le Rascard below Crest. For apres ski action, check out Atelher Gourmand. For nightlife, you can check out Pachamama.

Located in the Ayas Valley, the village of Champoluc is a purpose-built resort, which is not nearly as charming as those in the Gressoney valley. It is interconnected by bus with several smaller ski areas located in Frachey, Brusson and Antagnod, which is nice on those days when Champoluc's high lifts are closed. A six-day ski pass for Monterosa includes 2 days at other Aosta Valley ski areas in case you feel like taking the long bus ride back down valley.

To reach the snowboarding in Champuloc 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 ( include Verres train station for Brusson and Champoluc ski areas. 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 station mentioned from Arriva Savada (, which runs three times a day during winter months. From the train station in Verres, there is a bus heading to Champoluc (1 hour).

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 Verres for Brusson and Champoluc. 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 (, 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. From the train station in Verres, there is a bus heading to Champoluc (1 hour).

PRO TIP: There is a proposal to interconnect Champoluc to Valtournenche to the northwest via a gondola. Make sure to check with the ski areas before coming about this proposed interconnect.

Overall, Champoluc is the 22nd most popular snowboard & freeride destination of all 57 snowboarding resorts in Italy. Several of the better snowboarding resorts are nearby Champoluc including Gressoney, Alagna Valsesia, Alpe di Mera, Champorcher, Weissmatten and Antagnod.

Local Contacts:  Champoluc Tourism (+39) 125-307113; Monterosa Ski Promotion Office (+39) 0125-303-111.

Best Season:  Feb. - Mar.

Average Difficulty:  Moderate

Base Camp:  Levieux Rascard; Hotel Campagnol

Luxury Loding:  Breithorn Hotel

Reference Source:  click here

PDF Map:  click here

GPS:  45.836701, 7.73151

Date Published:  12/29/2015

Date Updated:  1/23/2020

ID:  24326

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