Gressoney La Trinite, Italy - Resort Report

By John Lymer

Gressoney is in the Aosta Valley, a 1 hour transfer from Turin and enjoys great views of the nearby Matterhorn and Monte Rosa. The area is almost as attractive as the Dolomites and claims to have 150km of marked piste, mostly but not all interlinked. Most runs are graded red, but are good "cruisers", which might be graded blue elsewhere. The poor snow conditions (it hadn't snowed for a month when we went, but we were assured that this was unheard of) made a small number of low runs and most really steep stuff off limits, as well as the off-piste. (Some of our members have spent a week off-piste around Gressoney and the potential for this was clear for us to see.) We were restricted, then, to probably less than 70km of piste. Not for us the well known off-piste adventure to Alagna, in the next valley. Even so, 150 snow cannons can achieve a lot, given cold overnight temperatures, so conditions on the piste were impressive and enjoyable. As well as Gressoney, much good piste skiing can be had around the neighbouring resorts of Champoluc and Stafal, which you can get to on skis and lifts, or with a 10-minute bus ride. Gressoney St Jean, a 10-minute bus ride away, also provided a really good _ day skiing.

We stayed at the 3 star Hotel Du Four at Gressoney La Trinite. This was clean and rooms were comfortable. It was one of the best 3 star hotels we'd stayed at in Europe, in recent years. The hotel had been nicely refurbished and the food very good - the chef had been there for over 12 years. And .... the ski room was the best appointed and laid out we'd seen anywhere!

Nightlife is very low key and all the resorts are very small and quiet and not suited to non-skiers. We rarely found a queue at a ski lift, except for short ones in places at weekend. The lifts and buses are efficient and mostly modern and even the older 2 man chairs don't seem to cause bottlenecks. A lunch of hot drink and toasted sandwich can be had most places on the mountain for £3.00 .... and you can't say that about many resorts.

In summary then, a nice quiet ski area well suited to intermediates. Advanced and expert skiers should also be sufficiently challenged in the "right" snow conditions.