Monterosa, Italy Conditions Report: 6,000-Vertical-Foot Runs, Sunshine, Powder, & Grappa…

Miles Clark | | Conditions ReportConditions Report

[brought to you by Intuition Liners]

Zeb Blais and some serious background music. image: snowbrains

I arrived in Italy on March 29th with by good buddy and fellow guide, Zeb Blais.

We got up to Monterosa ski resort in Alagna, Italy the next day.

(Why have we come to Italy? Because they’re having a record snow year.  Most in 10 years…)

Miles laying it out in Alagna on April 1st. image: zeb blais

That night, we accidentally ran into the rowdiest Rat Pack I’ve ever skied with. 

We ate pizza, drank beers, and talked shit about everything skiing, Italy, and Alagna.

Miles on a spiny thingy in Alagna on April 1st. image: zeb blais

March 31st, 2018:

The next morning, March 31st, the Rat Pack took us under their wing and we ended up on first tram with these crazies at 9:30am in a blinding snowstorm with low visibility and terrific powder snow.

Monterosa ski resort is mostly above treeline and it’s tough to see when a storm is hitting, but these guys know the mountain inside and out. 

Miles ripping the runout to a big couloir. image: zeb blais

Our ridiculous Rat Pack of eleven charged into the brilliant darkness – weaving in and out of one another, slashing snow, hooting, tumbling, screaming, jumping, crashing, and drinking life in by the pitcher-full.

Lift rides up found us making monkey calls, distributing high fives, recalling the perfect powder snow, and one another’s hilarity.

Zeb ripping up high on April 1st. image: snowbrains

After a few runs of this we dropped over to the Gressoney side of the mountain (this ski resort spans 3 valleys and is about the size of 20 Squaw Valley’s) and we found some sunshine.  

We skied chutes and drops in complex, lower elevation terrain in Gressoney for a few laps before returning to the high country and skiing some stunning alpine chutes in decent visibility and terrific snow.

Miles heading up on April 1st. image: zeb blais

April 1st, 2018:

The following day, April 1st, brought sunshine and wind.

We gathered on the 1st tram of the day once again and went straight into the high country’s chutes.  

The wind had pressed the snow and it was punchy in exposed areas.

Alex Ferro charging as per usual. image: snowbrains

We chased lower, less wind affected snow for a few runs before returning to the high country and skiing some big lines off the Tram.  The zone we descended was big, unruly, complex, gorgeous, and overwhelming.  The terrain here is so big and easy to access that it can make you dizzy…

On this 6,000-vertical-foot run we found every kind of snow with the highlight being two playful chutes with a treasure trove of freeride features about halfway down the run.

Lorenzo and the glide. image: zeb blais

This was Easter Sunday and as we descended lower and lower, we found more and more people, hikers, ski-mo people in spandex, snowshoers, and skiers.

We ended up in a summer village made of stone houses for shepherds before skiing a trail right down to a bustling restaurant serving grappa and pizza in the middle of nowhere with no roads and a huge waterfall.

Zeb all alone on April 2nd. image: snowbrains

We threw down coffee’s, grappa, and snacks before continuing across a footbridge and down a trail then a road to a beginners ski area called Wold.

We skipped the bus and walked the 10 minutes into town and went straight to the Cafe Della Guida (Guide’s cafe) for sparkling beers in the shimmering sunshine.

Miles and trees. image: zeb blais

Boots off, jackets off, pants off, people watching on.

The day was fine.  The day was warm.  The people were beautiful.

Celebratory beers at Cafe della Guida in Alagna after a big day up high on April 1st. image: snowbrains

April 2nd, 2018:

Another stunning sunshine day.

The Rat Pack broke up a bit this day (likely due to big Easter night celebrations…).

Downtown Alagna is ancient and gorgeous. image: snowbrains

We ended up with Hugo and his sub-pack.

Straight to the Gressoney side, straight to skins, straight up.

Zeb and vistas. image: snowbrains

We reached a col with mind bending views but dropped in the way we’d come up down into a gully, then a chute, then a freeride feature paradise in high quality, wind-pressed, powder snow.

This may have been the best snow we’d found between these two sunny days.  Lots of hooting.

Alagna, Italy. image: zeb blais

Then up to the very top of the ski area at 11,000 feet for a skin up and a wild view.  We gazed upon the glacier with awe and the 3 huts that surround it including the highest hut in the alps:  Margahrita.

From this view point we skied fun hot powder down into the Salsa valley via some of the most interesting terrain I’ve ever laid ski on.  

Alex laying into one. image: snowbrains

A long, jolly trail out lead us right to a bar – as per usual.

A drink or two then back up to the top where we took a 6,000-vertical-foot groomer down to another hut just above Alagna where Zeb and I had a powerful grappa and left the boys to eat pasta, drink wine, and be happy.

Zeb with the old Alta Elbow in Alagna, Italy on April 1st. image: snowbrains

Grazie, Italia!

There is nothing like Alagna.  There is nothing like the Italian people.

The highlight of this trip so far has been the Italians and their perpetually good vibe. 

We can’t thank Monterosa nor the Rat Pack nor Alagna for taking us in so warmly. 

We’re honored to be here and we can’t wait to see what the rest of our 3 weeks here has in store for us.

Thanks for supporting this trip, Intuition Liners!


Lots more snow on the way to Alagna, Italy this week…

image:, today

Photo Tour:

Zeb Blais charging a big, steep couloir on March 31st. image: snowbrains
Miles in big terrain. image: zeb blais
Miles stoked in Alagna on April 1st. image: zeb blais
Zeb and some insane scenery and 15,000′ peaks on April 2nd. image: snowbrains
Alagna, Italy. image: zeb blais
Alex hucking meat. image: snowbrains
Breakfast in Alagna, Italy. image: snowbrains
Zeb up. April 2nd. image: snowbrains
Hugo our guide at the pass on April 2nd. image: snowbrains
Random summer shepard villages all over… image: snowbrains
Zeb. Ridge. image: snowbrains
Cafe e grappa. Gressoney, Italy. image: snowbrains

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2 thoughts on “Monterosa, Italy Conditions Report: 6,000-Vertical-Foot Runs, Sunshine, Powder, & Grappa…

  1. Dude.

    But how good was the snow….

    After the Bariloche reports, I don’t know if it was good or GOOOODDDD!

  2. Great photos and narrative…that place looks awesome. Great to see you have a local guide.

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