Let’s forget about alpine skiing, freeride and cross-country skiing for a moment. What other types of winter sports can be practiced in Courmayeur? The territory of Courmayeur is vast and articulated. We recall, in fact, that it has a main valley on which side valleys converge, and which at the end forks into two large terminal valleys, Val Veny and Val Ferret. In this way, the suitable terrains for the most varied sports are determined. Some are practiced outdoors and are dependent on snow and weather conditions. Others are practiced indoors and throughout the year. And with the Courmayeur Sport Center, Courmayeur certainly boasts a first-rate structure.
Winter mountaineering and ice fallsMany think that the winter period is not suitable for mountaineering. In fact, the temperatures are cold and the days are still short. In addition, in particular periods, the instability of the snow masses can cause the danger of avalanches … In reality, not even these difficulties stop the mountaineer. On the contrary, in winter the ideal conditions can be created for making certain itineraries. This is demonstrated by some of the most important exploits in the history of mountaineering, which took place in the winter in the Mont Blanc massif. For winter mountaineering enthusiasts, all the refuges have winter premises, open all year round. In addition, the Società delle Guide di Courmayeur provides detailed information on conditions at high altitudes (danger of avalanches, ground stability, presence of marked paths, etc.). The rigidity of temperatures creates the ideal conditions for the ascent of ice falls and frozen gullies. They exist both in Val Ferret and in Val Veny, paying the maximum attention to the danger of avalanches.
Ski mountaineeringVal Ferret and Val Veny are among the favorite destinations of ski mountaineering enthusiasts. Popular itineraries are the climbs to Testa Bernarda, Col du Malatrà and Col du Grand Ferret. The climbs to Becca du Malatrà and Mont Dolent are more demanding. The choice of high-altitude itineraries in the Mont Blanc massif is infinite, taking advantage of the Skyway and starting from Punta Helbronner. From the didactic point of view, at the intermediate station of the Skyway at the Pavillon, the Fondazione Montagna Sicura, in collaboration with the Mont Blanc cableways, has created the “ARTVA training camp”. It consists of a system of transmitters buried under the snow managed by a control unit, to teach how to identify any people buried under an avalanche.
Excursions with snowshoesThe wealth of summer hiking trails is also reflected in the great possibilities for snowshoeing lovers. Val Ferret, Val Veny and Val Sapin offer all kinds. From the simple ones at the bottom of the valley, next to the cross-country skiing tracks, to the longer and more demanding ones on the slopes in front of the Mont Blanc group. Typical, when there is no danger of avalanches, the climbs to the refuges (Bonatti, Bertone, Elisa) and huts in Val Ferret. Going with the Skyway up to Punta Helbronner, you can also take suggestive itineraries at high altitude, on the Gigante glacier. Courmayeur allows both to rent equipment (if necessary, supplemented by the essential anti-avalanche equipment), and to make excursions accompanied by guides and / or instructors.
Dog sleddingDog sledding is driving a sled pulled by dogs in the snow. For this fascinating sport, Courmayeur is one of the most important centers in the Aosta Valley and in Europe. In fact, Entrèves is home to Grandes Jorasses Adventures (“www.dogsledman.com/“), the team of Fabrizio Lovati, one of the strongest trainers (“musher”) in the world. Grandes Jorasses Adventures offers various types of experiences for individuals and groups. First of all, the “Baptism of dog sledding”, or the thrill of personally driving a husky sled. The meetings are held in Val Veny, on the plain in front of the winter base, and near Colle San Carlo.
Snowpark and sleddingLike every famous winter resort, Courmayeur also has a snow park and downhill slopes for sleds. A small snow park is in operation in Dolonne, where there are also toboggan runs for sledding. Others slopes for sledding are in Planpincieux, in Val Ferret. Truly special is the Snowpark at Plan Checrouit, equipped with rafts and descents for “freestyle”, including equipment to try out big jumps.
As for alpine skiing and cross-country skiing, the location of the Hotel Aigle makes it a perfect solution to enjoy all kinds of winter sports. There are various sports that can be practiced in Val Ferret and the shuttle bus departure is almost in front of the hotel. So, you don’t even need to move your car. For all other destinations in Courmayeur or in the other nearby towns, in a whisper you take the state road to reach Morgex and La Thuile or the tunnel to Chamonix. In an equally simple way, you can take the motorway to reach Aosta, Pila and more distant locations. For those who need to rent equipment or book lessons for a particular sport, the staff of Hotel Aigle is always ready to provide information and, if necessary, to solve any problems.
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