Text and photos by The Pill Outdoor Magazine
The first snows have arrived, and the world of ski mountaineering is back in full swing, so here are some of our tips.
After a year’s stop due to the pandemic, the mountains are full of snow again and the ski lifts are once again welcoming skiers who don’t want to miss a single second of this new and eagerly awaited season. But what better way to enjoy the mountains than by slowly traversing them on skis and skins? To inaugurate the first ski trips of the season, here are six resorts in Italy where you can enjoy ski mountaineering in complete relaxation.
Piedmont, Val Sesia
Let’s start in Piedmont and on the slopes of Monterosa, in Val Sesia, for a holiday based on a far-sighted recovery project. The story of the Pietre Gemelle Resort began in 2005, with the vision of architects Claudio Cola and Davide Gavinelli, who decided to focus on renovating some old buildings to allow tourists to repopulate the area. In just two years, the four old wooden chalets have been refurbished and, in a warm alpine atmosphere, offer their guests a range of services, from spa to wellness centre, to make their holidays as complete and comfortable as possible. Although it is only two kilometres from the ski lifts, the best way to enjoy these mountains is certainly by putting on your skins and going on one of the countless skialp tours up Monterosa, which is already the “piste” for one of the most famous night-time ski-mountaineering events in Italy.
Lombardy, Stelvio National Park
We continue our journey in Lombardy and climb to an altitude of 2700 metres, in the heart of the Stelvio National Park, and arrive at the Sunny Valley Kelo Mountain Resort. The structure, which is located at the top of the Santa Caterina Vallalpe cable car, was created as a destination for those who want to dedicate a holiday to relaxation but above all to skiing. The combination of modern and classic alpine style, together with the breathtaking panorama offered by the three peaks of Ortler-Cevedale-Adamello, allows ski mountaineers of all ages to indulge in trails and tours. Whether you choose to walk to the resort on skis and skins from the cable car or head directly to the nearby Monte Sobretta, this resort is ready to meet your every need.
Trentino-Alto Adige, Valdaora
Moving on to Trentino-Alto Adige, to Valdaora, where the Olangerhof Resort has become a reference point for holidays dedicated to snow and relaxation. With a completely new look, the new hotel is once again able to accommodate skiers and mountain enthusiasts in a completely sustainable structure to give even more value to the place in which it is immersed: photovoltaic systems for energy, biodegradable detergents, furnishings and equipment completely plastic free put the protection of nature even more at the centre. In addition, sporting activities take place in the surrounding mountains in both summer and winter. Especially in the cold season, the ski slopes of Plan de Corones allow all fans to cross white forests and snow-covered slopes to reach some of the ski tours such as Piz da Peres and Cima Tre Dita.
Trentino-Alto Adige, Val Ridanna
Let’s stay in Alto Adige, but let’s move to Val Ridanna, to get to know a new environment that, between alpine decor and breathtaking views, will make you spend unforgettable days. Thanks to its versatility, Val Ridanna is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and the Taljörgele Resort is the right place, especially in winter, to explore the mountains on skis. There are many tours starting from this area, ideal for beginners as well as for those who want to push themselves to the limit: the Piccola Punta di Montecroce and Punta Altacroce tours, the Fastnachter and Saxner peaks or the simpler Monte Fumaiolo are just some of the many routes you can take on skins in search of breathtaking views.
Trentino-Alto Adige, Valbona
Also in South Tyrol, the Cyprianerhof – Dolomit Resort is ready to welcome all sports enthusiasts who are also looking for relaxation at the end of the day. Away from the hustle and bustle and a stone’s throw from the Catinaccio massif, this resort is a place where wellness and nature come together. Ski mountaineering is also at home here and climbs the most breathtaking walls and trails in the valley: starting from the Angelwiese, the wall of King Laurin, and moving on to the Vajont Pass, the trails in Valbona and the many refuges dotting the area.
Trentino-Alto Adige, Gitschberg Jochtal
Last but not least, the Tyrolean Hotel Masl, under the management of the Messner family for four generations, has been carrying on alpine tradition and customer care in every detail. Here, too, the range of winter activities on offer does not disappoint: walking, snowshoeing and ski touring are the order of the day. The best ski tours start in the Gitschberg Jochtal ski area and reach the surrounding passes and peaks on specially created winter hiking trails. The hike to Malga Fane, a characteristic village of alpine huts, is a must for all those who want to immerse themselves in the true heart of South Tyrol.