The Monterosa ski area has a wonderfully genuine Italian atmosphere with a friendly local ambiance and stunning scenery. It is accessed from three charming alpine villages; Alagna, Champoluc, and Gressoney, which are all linked by 200 km of pistes.
The off-piste skiing is awesome with great runs from the top of all the lifts and the slopes are usually completely deserted. The highest lifts give you 2,000m of vertical. There are also some excellent heli-skiing options and day tours to Zermatt and Cervinia. The slopes are usually very quiet and the resorts of Gressoney, Alagna, and Champoluc have maintained their distinctive Italian alpine charm. With lifts taking you up to 3,700m in altitude the runs are some of the longest (and breathtaking!) in Europe. This is a highly recommended week for good skiers looking to challenge themselves.
Our Off-Piste Performance Plus courses are ideal progression courses for skiers who have previously participated in an introductory off-piste course (or similar) and want to improve their skills and boost their confidence on an instructional off-piste course. The courses have been carefully designed by our team to help you achieve your personal goals and enjoy a superb holiday!
The courses are 5 full days of off-piste skiing instruction with a maximum of 6 in the group. This ensures you get lots of individual attention and time to learn and improve your skiing plus have a safer, more enjoyable experience on the mountain with our instructors who have the very highest level of instructor qualifications and a real passion for teaching off-piste skills.
And the course doesn’t finish when the skiing stops: we do our best to ensure your group will really gel over the week. In Gressoney we use a comfortable family-run hotel with excellent communal areas where you can gather, relax and socialize and where we eat all meals as a group. Plus the courses include video analysis and sessions on avalanche safety and awareness.
We keep the actual skiing program entirely flexible and your instructors will decide on the best itinerary for each day depending on the composition of the group and the weather and snow conditions.
THIS COURSE INCLUDES RETURN AIRPORT TRANSFER FROM TURIN AIRPORT
You should aim to arrive in Gressoney by late afternoon. There will be a welcome meeting and briefing at 7pm in the hotel
The Off-Piste Development courses are 5 full days of off-piste skiing instruction with maximum of 6 in the group. This ensures you get lots of individual attention and time to learn and improve your skiing plus have a safer, more enjoyable experience on the mountain with our instructors who have the very highest level of instructor qualifications and a real passion for teaching off-piste skills.
The programme includes 5 full days of off-piste skiing instruction. During the week there is 1 'freeskiing' day when no instruction is provided.
The course starts with a welcome meeting on the first evening. This is an opportunity to meet the instructors and the rest of the group and to discuss the plans for the week. The skiing will start on the following morning.
The principal aims of this week are:
To provide first class ski instruction from professional, friendly ski instructors to radically improve your off-piste skiing technique and style
To give practical mountain awareness training on the hazards and risks associated with skiing off-piste
To provide the opportunity to ski the best off-piste in the Monte Rosa ski area
And the course doesn’t finish when the skiing stops: we do our best to ensure your group will really gel over the week. In Gressoney we use a comfortable family run hotel with excellent communal areas where you can gather, relax and socialize and where we eat all meals as a group. Plus the courses include video analysis and sessions on avalanche safety and awareness.
We keep the actual skiing programme entirely flexible and your instructors will decide on the best itinerary for each day depending on the composition of the group and the weather and snow conditions.
The price includes off-piste course fees and 7 nights half-board hotel accommodation, all guide fees, and expenses during the course, and return airport transfers between Turin Airport and the hotel. Trip duration is 7 days with 5 full days off-piste instruction plus 1 'freeskiing' day when no instruction is provided.
The price does not include: lift pass, lunches, beverages, personal insurance, equipment hire. Single room occupancy will incur additional charges. Contact our office for details.
Here at the Mountain Tracks, we give you our word that we will fully refund every part of your package holiday if it is not able to run due to COVID-19.
Our Mountain Tracks and holiday teams are monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak guidance and advice while communicating closely with our suppliers to make sure everything is in place to keep you safe.
Read more: Frequently Asked Questions.
We are proud to offer all of our returning customers a £50 discount.
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Ski Club Winter Arrangements limited (trading as Mountain Tracks)
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This is an extensive list of the recommended clothing and equipment you will need if you are coming on one of our Off-Piste Coaching courses. On these courses you’ll be staying in a comfortable catered chalet or hotels. When skiing you need to carry just a small day pack, which contains your safety equipment and any personal items you may need.
We continue to see big changes in ski, boot and binding design and technology, which make off-piste skiing and ski touring much more accessible.
For our Off-Piste Coaching courses, good downhill ski and boot are required.
This winter our lead guides are using Salomon Explore MTN and Salomon QST touring skis. The MTN 95 is an award-winning ski with great stability at high speeds whilst the MTN 88 is a best-selling lightweight touring ski. The QST’s are slightly heavier and therefore suited to charging; perfect for day-touring.
Lockwoods Ski and Outdoor are supporting our guides and we suggest that if you’re interested in any of the MTN or QST skis, you should make Lockwoods your first point of call.
There are many ‘all-mountain’ skis to choose from and we highly recommend skis from Salomon, Dynastar, Movement, Black Crows, Trab Skis, Scott and Volkl. Look for a ski that is the right size for your height, typically the tip of the ski should be somewhere around your nose height. As for the width of the ski or “side cut” a mid-fat ski – 90-100mm under the foot - is perfect for getting to grips skiing off-piste and these skis give you floatation in powder snow but are still easy to handle and carve on the piste.
Dynastar Skis: www.dynastar.com
Movement Skis: www.movementskis.com
Black Crows Skis: www.blackcrows-skis.com/
Trab Skis: www.skitrab.com/en-us/
Scott Skis: http://www.scott-sports.com
Volkl Skis: http://www.voelkl.com
There are plenty of other great skis to choose from so if you’re planning on buying skis for ski touring or general skiing and have any questions do not hesitate to call us, or Lockwoods, to discuss the options available.
For off-piste performance courses, standard downhill ski boots are ideal, they offer rigidity, responsiveness and flex depending on the snow conditions. If you have ski touring boots or a pair of the hybrid freeride/touring boots with a walk mode, then these are fine too, bring them with you. We do not recommend you come on a trip with brand new boots.
These days many manufacturers offer ‘thermo-fit’ liners as standard equipment. You may also want to consider a custom liner. Heated and moulded to your foot and boot for a perfect fit, they can make all the difference especially if you have trouble finding really comfortable ‘off-the-shelf¹ boots. Zipfit liners are a great option for anyone seeking total customisation in fit and comfort. They will replace the original liner.
Essential kit – to provide additional comfort and ski control. If you want to get footbeds made or a pair of new boots fitted then we suggest you visit somewhere like Profeet for a professional fitting.
Standard downhill bindings.
The “Safety Trilogy” - applicable for all our off-piste courses
We recommend Simple and intuitive ORTOVOX AVALANCHE RESCUE KIT 3+
Avalanche airbags/rucksacks – if you wish to ski with one of these on our courses you are welcome to do so, they are not mandatory but we always support the use of available safety items.
You can hire avalanche rucksacks in a lot of resorts, makes are usually Snowpulse/Mammut, ABS or Ortovox Avabag. Prices vary from shop to shop and resort to resort but a guide line price would be from €30 / CHF 35 per day
Remember it is not enough just to carry this equipment; you have to know how to use it.
How about joining one of our specialist avalanche courses – check out http://mountaintracks.co.uk/discipline/winter-mountaincraft
The Italian resort of Gressoney is part of the Monte Rosa ski region and is an emerging resort with a reputation for some superb off-piste skiing. Huge, deserted off-piste snowfields and scenic, wooded descents are all set in impressive scenery. The area has some great heli-skiing opportunities too.
The resort itself is very small and split between the main village of Gressoney St Jean and Gressoney La Trinite, which is where the main lifts are found. Nightlife in the area centres around a handful of restaurants and the hotel bars.
The resort is situated at 1,625m and the highest lift takes you to 3,550m.
Gressoney, together with Champoluc and Alagna make up the Monterosa ski area, one of the largest linked ski areas in Italy.
Our top reasons for visiting Gressoney
Resort height: 1,625m
Highest Lift: 3,275m
Nearest Airport: Turin or Milan Malpensa
Accommodation in Gressoney
We work with a number of hotels in Gressoney La Trinite these are all comfortable 3* hotels located a short walk from the village centre and next to the Bedemie-Seehorn chairlift so access to the main ski area is fast. You can also ski back to the hotel via the red piste.
We also work with the Hotel Nordend in Staffal Hotel Nordend another comfortable 3* hotel in a good location next to the main ski lifts and pistes in Staffal.
Recommended Travel Options
The nearest airport is Turin with a 90 minute transfer time by road to the resort. Easyjet from Luton, Ryanair from Stansted and BA from Gatwick are the most convenient flights. Indirect flights are available from other UK airports.
The trip includes a return group transfer from Turin Airport.
Milan Malpensa is slightly further away but can also be used. Public transport to the resort is possible by bus or a combination of train and bus. Some travel information is available here Travel from Turin Airport
Bus timetables for the Aosta Valley can be found here Aosta Valley Bus timetables
Pont St. Martin is the town at the bottom of the Gressoney valley, from here you can get the bus to the resort a copy of the timetable is available here Pont St Martin - Gressoney - Pont St Martin Timetable
To get to Pont St. Martin from Turin Airport or City Centre you can use this link to find bus and train links and timetables Turin - Pont St. Martin - Turin Travel
Car hire from the airport is also an options, journey time is 1hr 30mins. There is parking available close to both hotels.
It is a condition of booking that you are insured for your chosen activity and the cover must include medical expenses, personal accident, personal liability, third party risks and rescue (including helicopter rescue). You are strongly advised also to take out cover against cancellation and curtailment.
For more details and to purchase a policy online visit http://www.skiclubinsurance.co.uk/
If you need assistance arranging your personal insurance please let us know.
You want to arrange to arrive in Gressoney by late afternoon on the first day.
At the end of the week the course finishes after breakfast on the last day and we recommend that you arrange your return/onward flight for midday onwards to give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport without having to rush!
New for winter 2019/20 - inclusive group transfers from Turin Airport to the hotel door.
The most convenient airport is Turin a 1.5hrs by road or you have a choice of Milan Malpensa (2hrs by road) or Milan Linate airports. There are train connections from all the airports to the town of Pont Saint Martin, which is in the main Aosta valley at the point where the road towards Gressoney turns off the motorway. Journey time to Pont Saint Martin from Turin is approximately 1hr 20mins by train. For train connections visit www.trenitalia.it
At Point Saint Martin you can catch the bus to Gressoney. There are several services during the day and the line is run by VITA . A copy of the timetable can be found from this page.
Savda also operate buses from Turin and Milan airports www.savda.it/
Our Introductory level is suitable for people who can ski red and black pistes in resorts without problems and you can deal with moguls and some ice. You will be new to off-piste skiing or maybe have dabbled a little on the sides of the piste or even attended a previous off-piste specific course. You would like to ski powder snow with confidence and learn to link turns off-piste in a variety of terrain as well as being able to control your speed and adjust your turn radius.
Introductory level ski touring trips are appropriate for people looking for their first touring experience. The pace is relaxed and typically we skin for 2-4hrs per day so ascents are about 500 - 800m vertical. You need to be a reasonable off-piste skier (at our Off-Piste Development level), able to link controlled parallel turns in powder snow and ski through trees in control. You need to be prepared to hike short sections on foot carrying your skis on your rucksack (though you won’t need any specific mountaineering knowledge, so crampons and an ice axe are usually not required).
Off-Piste Coaching and Adventure
For our Intermediate graded off-piste ski courses and trips you will have at least a couple of weeks off-piste skiing experience and /or received some previous instructions on an off-piste specific course. You can link 10-12 turns together in reasonable control, speed and style, following the fall line in most conditions. If you’re looking to improve your technique in deeper snow and steeper slopes then our Off-Piste Coaching Development trips are for you. These are instructor-led courses.
If you want to get some miles under your skis then look at our Off-Piste Adventure Intermediate trips which are led by our team of Mountain Guides. On the Adventure courses you can expect to hike or ski tour short distances to get to better snow and terrain, although no previous ski touring experience is required.
These tours will involve around 3-5hrs of skinning per day, achieving around 800 – 1000m of vertical ascent. We would expect you to be able skin to a pace of 300m of vertical ascent per hour. You need to be able to execute good uphill kick turns on steeper slopes and have some familiarity with use of crampons and ice axe. You need to be a reasonably strong off-piste skier able to deal with a variety of snow conditions (powder, crust, slush) and able to ski on steeper and narrower slopes with the requisite ability and confidence for exposed sections.
For our Advanced Off-Piste Coaching courses you should be an excellent piste skier and have many years experience of skiing off-piste. You should be able to ski off-piste in most conditions linking controlled parallel turns, ski bumpy terrain, trees, narrow gullies and enjoy pushing yourself to achieve new things. Your skiing should be reasonably fluid and autonomous i.e. you can already adapt your turn radius and speed to the terrain and snow conditions off-piste. This course will focus on the technical and tactical skills to ski steep terrain, jump turns and line choice as well as refreshing your avalanche skills and mountain safety. The mission is for your skiing to become more dynamic and reactive!
You are an experienced and confident off-piste skier able to handle most snow types and conditions, you can ski steep slopes (30 degrees+) and make short turns in gullies and ski through trees. These skills have been learned over a number of years of skiing off-piste with mountain guides or experienced groups of friends. You are happy to ski tour to access descents and better snow, so you will have previously used ski touring equipment and can do effective and safe uphill kick turns. You aspire to ski the best snow available and are happy to push yourself to reach the best snow and terrain.
Advanced-level tours are for experienced ski tourers who’ve previously completed another hut-to-hut trip or multiple day tours. A large proportion of the terrain may be steep and exposed; thus confidence in your uphill kick turns on 35+ degree slopes is a must, as is your ability to ski slopes of 40 degrees. You will be a strong, fluid off-piste skier able to handle all conditions. You will be confident of using crampons and an ice axe and happy scrambling/climbing on snow and rock on short climbs to summits, and in gullies to gain a col.
You can ski fluidly and autonomously on all terrain. You often ski couloirs and gullies and seek out steep slopes and you can jump turn in narrow couloirs and have experience of abseiling and sideslipping on steep terrain. You can ski fast with fluid ‘freeride’ style turns and can jump off small rocks and ski trees with no fear or problems. You are happy to ski tour and hike to reach the best snow and terrain and you should have some basic knowledge of using crampons and ice axe. Your aims are to push your skills and challenge yourself further.
Expert level ski tours are pure ski mountaineering journeys in the high mountains. You must be confident skiing steep exposed terrain and ski touring for at least 5 hours per day with long ascents. You will be expected to climb on your feet carrying your skis on your pack to summit mountains above 4000m in altitude. You must be completely confident with your crampon placement and use of an ice axe and you will have some basic rope skills and be happy walking along exposed ridges on mixed terrain to gain the summits of peaks.
You can ski all day comfortably off-piste with only short stops for food and drink, you can do this for multiple days on your holiday. If necessary you can ski tour for around 1-2 hrs up hill plus your happy to do a few short hikes to access good snow with your skis on your shoulder or rucksack. Your stamina and endurance fitness is good and you work hard to maintain a good level of fitness. You will be exercising 3-4 times a week and also at the weekend; thus running a half marathon, doing a 50 mile cycle ride, 3-4 hours on a mountain bike or a full day’s hill walk would all prove possible with this stamina level.
You can ski all day comfortably and will be expected to ascend on skis at around 400m/hr and be able to skin for at least 5hrs with up to 1000m to 1300m of ascent per day. Your stamina and endurance fitness is good and you work hard to maintain a good level of fitness. You will be exercising 3-4 times a week and also at the weekend; thus running a half marathon, doing a 50 mile cycle ride, 3-4 hours on a mountain bike or a full day’s hill walk would all prove possible with this stamina level.
IFMGA / UIAGM / IVBV
The IFMGA / UIAGM / IVBV symbol is the logo of the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association.
Nick, Olly and Matt are all fully-qualified UIAGM Mountain Guides and members of the British Mountain Guides Association.
The International Ski Instructors Association is the world body for professional ski instructors.
The ISIA was formed in 1971 and there are currently 39 member nations representing the very best in ski instruction around the world.