Ski mountaineering in Alagna in spring is the best way to get to know the Monterosaski linked ski area with its vast off-piste skiing. Between Alagna and Gressoney you will find a vast range of possibilities for ski tours with sealskins and free heel, from the longest to the shorter hit and run ones. Most of the tours do not involve any particular technical difficulties but it is necessary to know how to ski off-piste and absolutely essential to have the appropriate equipment. Those who have never used skins before, can use this opportunity to learn, since the ski guides of Monte Rosa accompanying the tours are also ski and mountaineering instructors.
Tours run from late February to mid-May but it is difficult to say when the ideal period is, since tours depend on the weather and snow conditions.
One of the most popular destinations for ski touring in Italy is undoubtedly Capanna Margherita, which in its winter guise is truly magnificent, but Corno Nero at 4322 m, Pyramid Vincent at 4215, Castore at 4226 m and Punta Giordani at 4046 m that surround it are just as famous. The two-day tour of Monte Rosa is simply incomparably spectacular. It leads from Alagna to Zermatt and back from Cervinia through the Grenz glacier. A ski tour immersed in a glacial symphony of the over 4000m peaks of the Pennine Alps. And for those who do not want to climb above 3000 m, but still want to experience a high altitude tour to excite their senses, the Piani di Verra from the upper hill of the Bettolina or the circumnavigation of the Egua valley, the Quarazza valley, the Sesia valley, and the Sermenza valley under the watchful eye of Monte Rosa are routes that most certainly aim to please.
Do you want some variation? Well, practically expect it at every turn. You will be in the competent and professional hands of your guide who will lead you to the best spots, combining your skills, the conditions of the snow and the weather in virtuous harmony.
Starting from Salati pass, you can ski down using the blue piste of Gressoney for 500m. Afterwards you just have to put the skins on, and start the ascent to colle Zube. To learn the know-how that’s the best experience that you can have, especially with a local ski guides. In less than 40 minutes you will reach the top, from where, after some food and a little rest, you will be able to ski down to Alagna. You will pass through ancient villages as Otro and Pianmisura, skiing between Walser’s houses, alternatively The Jakette couloir will make you reach the Olen’s valley.
You will take the cableway to Indren, cross from there to Roccette, under Mantova Hut. There starts a walk of 30 minutes on the easiest side of the valley. The goal is on the left side of the building at 3530m. To reach the glacier of Valle Perduta, you can ski or ( in case of bad conditions of the snow) be roped down. Here comes an unforgettable slope; first in a glacial background and then in the middle of tiny woods: over 1700 height difference between the top and Staffal (Gressoney).
Just using pistes and lifts you will reach the Bettaforca, where the journey starts. Here starts the ascent to Quintino Sella Hut and Bettaforca pass at 3100m hight. That will take 1h 15′.
At the top you can rest admiring the Monterosa’s West side and his glaciers, the most important of which is Verra.
After that you can start your downhill ski in a perfect free ride terrain.
Being North side of the mountain, you can usually ski in powder snow. You go on towards Frachey where you must stay for lunch.
Whenever you like you can go back to Alagna, using cableways and pistes.
Do you have a good fitness level and want to be more daring? Why not climb Mount Castore on touring skis!
Using the Monterosaski ski lifts you can reach the Bettaforca pass, to climb to the Refuge Quintino Sella in about 3 hours. The route includes climbing a stretch of about 30 minutes on the aided ridge carrying your skis. You set off towards the Felik pass at 4,100 m. which can be reached in an hour and a half. If snow conditions at the pass are good, you can continue to Punta Fillak where you must take off your skis and skins and put on your crampons. You can reach the summit of Castore in about 20 minutes. Skiing downhill is on perfect slopes all the way and is for good skiers.
Ask for advice from the guides of Monte Rosa if you are interested in this ski touring trip!
First you must reach Bettaforca using the lifts and then go up to Sella. You must be really fit and have good technical expertise if you want to do this trail; remember the ridge leading up to Sella, which must be climbed while carrying your skis! Wearing your skis and skins continue up till under the two south-facing walls of the Lyskamm peak. Then with skis over your shoulder, you will climb the nose of the Lyskamm up to 4080 m and when you get to the top, you will see the south face of Monte Rosa on one side and the Po Valley on the other. You will find it hard to leave. The descent is extraordinary: perfect slopes with a myriad of variations.