Looking for Italian charm combined with reasonable prices and a varied ski area with great off-piste? Then read this review of Champoluc snowboarding holiday in Monterosa at CampZero.
Based in the Aosta Valley, Champoluc is the largest town in the Monterosa ski area that also includes Gressoney and Alagna. The ski area covers three valleys offering an impressive 180 km of slopes.
Champoluc itself is a traditional village spread along a valley with an access road running through the middle. Nothing is too far from the town centre, and most of the town is walkable.
I didn’t experience the apres ski, but passing through the centre it was fairly busy. An English couple I met on a chairlift – who visited Champoluc every year – said the apres is lively with a good atmosphere but not crazy.
Unfortunately we only had a one day on the slopes of Champoluc. However we had a very fast guide intent on showing us the best of the ski area. We also had a beautifully sunny day to enjoy it.
The immediate Champoluc ski area is mostly made up of red runs. Running from 1579m up to 2727m there is plenty of terrain to enjoy in the valley. You can either access the ski area from the gondola in Champoluc or the lift in Frachy slightly further up the valley.
At the top of the gondola from town there is a fairly good looking beginner area or a red back to the base station. Alternatively, you can also take two chairs higher for a couple of very long red runs back to town, or another red that links up with the Frachy side of the ski area.
You’ll find the Champoluc snowpark on the run down to the Frachy side accessed by the Ostafa-Colle Sarezza chairlift. There are numerous rails, a six metre halfpipe, a four metre wall and eight jumps of various sizes.
In the Frachy area there is no run back to the base station. However there are a couple more chairlifts one of which gives you access to a good blue and a couple more reds.
The other chair takes you up to the Colle Bettaforca which gives access to the Gressoney Valley. There is also a very long green and an excellent long red heading back down into Frachy.
During this review of Champoluc snowboarding holiday in Monterosa we pretty much covered all of the pistes in the Champoluc Valley. I found the pistes to be long, varied, fun and very well maintained.
As part of the Monterosa, Champoluc has access to much more than just it’s immediate slopes. We spent the morning making our way through Gressoney and over to Alagna. For fast skiers and snowboarders this is not a problem, just be sure to allow enough time to get back.
There are no generic boring slopes here. Every run feels like it is taking you somewhere as they work their way around the mountains. Each sweeping corner opens up a different vista and there are plenty of trees lower down and rocks higher up to keep it interesting.
We snowboarded all the way down into Alagna. I had been there before a few years before to review of Alagna freeride snowboarding holidays. During this visit the off-piste was icy and no fun, but the long run into Alagna with 1800m of vertical is fantastic.
Alagna is know as the Freeride Paradise. You can reach up to 3200m and snowboard all the way down to 1200m. There is only one top to bottom piste with the rest left to freeriders. It also seems to get more than it’s fair share of snow – just unfortunately not when we were there!
There is a 300m long snow park just below the Alagna peak on the Gressoney side of the slopes. It’s easy to lap via a chairlift and there are 14 rails, six jumps ranging from 3 to 15 metres, two table jumps and two fun boxes.
On our way back to Champoluc we again covered the three different valleys doing a couple of extra runs in the Gressoney area. Although there are some beginner slopes the majority are reds. Consequently, a snowboarding holiday in Monterosa is best suited to confident intermediates and above.
During this review of Champoluc snowboarding holiday we stayed at the stunning five star CampZero hotel. Located on the edge of Champoluc it only opened for the 2018/19 season.
It is a stunning complex that incorporates both an outdoor ice climbing wall and very impressive indoor climbing. I wanted to have a go at both but having been struggling with a wrist injury I had to give it a miss.
From the hotel they also offer heli skiing with guides to explore some of the amazing terrain available in the Monterosa. They can also arrange ice driving at a nearby track. Plus the spa is amazing! It includes a gorgeous 25m pool, hot tub, sauna and steam room.
Beyond the exciting activities CampZero is also a stunning hotel. The service and reception were friendly and helpful, and the communal areas light airy and inspiring. I particularly liked the big walkway overlooking the climbing.
My room was incredible and split over two floors. Downstairs I had a living area and bathroom, while upstairs was the bedroom and another bathroom. I’d say no expense has been spared by CampZero in order to ensure the comfort of their guests.
The hotel includes a cocktail bar and two restaurants: Summit and Cliffhanger’s Grill. We started with drinks at the Boulder Bar and followed it up with an exquisite meal at Cliffhanger’s. I loved the traditional Italian mountain food with a modern twist.
The CampZero hotel is a lovely twenty minute walk through the woods to town. Consequently, they run shuttles to and from the ski lifts to help their guests reach the ski area.
Although we stayed at an expensive five star hotel there are plenty of low cost options in Champoluc. There is something for all budgets and the cost of food, drink and everything else is less here than in much of the Alps.
Having snowboarded in the Monterosa before I know and love the ski area. I was fortunate on another visit to have thigh deep powder to fully enjoy this freeride paradise. If you like powder then get a guide to explore as there are few better destinations to freeride in Europe.
Looking at the piste map the ski area does not look very big, but this is deceptive. Runs here are long, interesting and scenic with plenty to keep you interested. Add the two snowparks and the off-piste and all bases are covered.
I didn’t experience the centre of Champoluc, but it seemed busy and I’ve heard it has a good atmosphere. The CampZero hotel is one of my favourites, I would love to return and try everything else they offer.
To conclude this review of Champoluc snowboarding holiday in Monterosa I’d say it’s best suited to experienced snowboarders. The large area is mainly reds and while there are beginner slopes and blues it’s a steep learning curve to the rest of the area.
However, if you are a good snowboarder you will love it in Champoluc. The wider Monterosa has plenty of off-piste, two good snow parks and 180 km of well maintained pistes to enjoy. I plan to return and highly recommend it.
I hope you found this review of Champoluc snowboarding holiday in Monterosa and review of CampZero Hotel useful. For more information about Champoluc go to: www.aosta-valley.co.uk/champoluc