Courmayeur Lifts & Terrain

http://www.powderhounds.com/site/DefaultSite/filesystem/images/Europe/Italy/Courmayeur/liftsterrain/01.jpg

Courmayeur Lifts & Terrain

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

Nearby Ski Resort

Aosta Valley
Chamonix
La-Thuile

    Courmayeur Piste & Trail Map
  • Courmayeur Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    Courmayeur
    1,210m - 2,755m (1,545m)

    Skyway Monte Bianco
    1,306 - 3,466 (2,160m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    5 to 15m
  • Lifts (20)
    Courmayeur
    6 Gondolas / cable cars
    8 Chairs

    Skyway Monte Bianco
    2 Gondolas / cable cars
  • Opening Dates & Times
    Courmayeur
    Late Nov to mid-April
    8:25am to 5:00pm
    Courmayeur cable car until midnight

    Skyway Monte Bianco
    Dec to Late May
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 42km
    Longest piste run - 7.5km
    Advanced (piste) - 14%
    Intermediate (piste) - 55%
    Beginner (piste) - 31%

    Off piste routes - 100km
    Longest off-piste run - 8 to 22km
  • Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 21/22
    Courmayeur only
    Adult - €51 to 56
    Child - €35.50 to 39
    Child u/8yr - Free

    Skyway Monte Bianco only
    Adult - €56
    Child - €31
    Child u/8yr - Free

    Courmayeur + Skyway Monte Bianco
    Adult - €61 to 66
    Child - €42.50 to 46
    Child u/8yr - Free

    Courmayeur Checrouit Sector Ski Trail Map
  • Checrouit Sector Ski Trail Map
    Courmayeur Val Veny Sector Ski Trail Map
  • Val Veny Sector Ski Trail Map
    Vallee Blanche route map
  • Vallee Blanche Route Map

Courmayeur Skiing & Snowboarding

There are two quite different sides to skiing & snowboarding at Courmayeur ski resort. One side of the equation is the broad, top to bottom perfect on-piste with vertical descents of 1,545m possible on groomed trails from Arp (2,755m) & Youla (2,624m altitude) to the base at Dolonne (1,210m). The other side of the equation at Courmayeur is the fun off-piste tree skiing & huge alpine to valley freeride backcountry descents of over 1,550m vertical from the extreme top of the resort at Arp.

Whatever your poison, Courmayeur is ready made for fun-loving families & serious snow adventurers alike. With the amazing Skyway Monte Bianco nearby, Courmayeur adventure goes to another level all together! For more detailed information see the Skiing Skyway Monte Bianco page.

Snowboarders will need to be wary of several long flat traverses within the resort. The bottom of the valley run into Dolonne & the link between the Bertolini chair & Zerotta being two of the worst. Exiting the backcountry route into Val Veny to Zerotta will involve walking for all snowboarders - but it is worth it!

Skiing Highlights

The Courmayeur skiing highlights are a basic rite of passage according to Powderhounds. They are only to be undertaken when there is no powder because skiing powder ALWAYS takes priority. Tick off the following when at Courmayeur.

  • Complete a quick 'Ski Tour of Courmayeur'. Start at the Courmayeur cable car & ascend to Plan Checrouit. Ride the Pra Neyron chair & descend into Zerotta. Lap the Zerotta & Peindent chairs then traverse to the Bertolini chair. Ski into Gabba & lap a tree run under the chair. Ascend the Youla cable car, then ski down into the main ski resort face all the way through Plan Checrouit & down to the Dolonne gondola base. Orientation should now be complete!
  • Challenge yourself to ski the top to bottom run from Arp (2,755m) all the way down to Dolonne (1,210m) without stopping. Bravo if you can do it. Be careful of the humanity around Plan Chécrouit.
  • Ski the larch tree glades under the Gabba chairlift.
  • Enjoy the wide-open spaces of the intermediate pistes under the Checrouit gondola and then ascend the Pra Neyron chair to have a delicious lunch in one of the many superb mountain huts dotted throughout the area.
  • Take the whole family & choose a run for all abilities down to sheltered Zerotta. Enjoy coffee & cake at the bottom, plus watch the sweaty & exhausted skiers returning from the off-piste Val Veny routes.
  • Rip the advanced trails & off piste into the Bertolini chair.
  • Go the backcountry routes into Dolonne or Zerotta in the Val Veny via the ancient Arp cable car. Check snow conditions before attempting the Valonne Arpetta. Be prepared to push a bit on the last bit to Zerotta (snowboarders – you are walking!)
  • Ski directly to the door of the best après location in Courmayeur at the Super G Hotel, Plan Chécrouit. Afterward, ski the valley trail down or download on the lifts.
  • Ride the Skyway Monte Bianco & complete the classic ski descents from Punta Helbronner on the Toula Glacier & Vallee Blanche. Get a guide if in ANY doubt!

Ski Lifts

Courmayeur has a wonderful set of cable cars and gondolas that extend the 1,550m vertical from base to summit. The age of the lift systems increases significantly the further up the mountain one journeys. It is like a history lesson with the tiny Arp cable car as the final chapter. Stepping out of the Arp lift provides superb views of the mountains & access to some sensational backcountry skiing, as well as a groomed trail back into the resort for full vertical descents.

Access to the Courmayeur ski resort from town is excellent. For the Checrouit sector, a short distance from the town-centre, the Courmayeur cable car cuts across the valley up to Plan Checrouit. Running in parallel but starting across the river at a slightly lower elevation in Dolonne, the gondola of the same name also terminates at Plan Checrouit next to the cable car top station. A third access is to the Val Veny sector via the old Val Veny cable car. With a valley station 3km up the valley in the small village of Entreves. The Val Veny cable car is the least utilised of all the lifts so provides some sneaky powder day access!

Of the remaining chairlifts, unless you are into the romance of a long slow chairlift ride, the only one that should be avoided for its lack of velocity is the Maison Vielle. It doesn’t serve any terrain that isn’t accessible from another lift.

Lift Passes & Tickets

A massive variety of lift pass options exist at Courmayeur, however that variety is based simply on the number of ski areas included in the pass.

Simply put, Courmayeur single day or multi-day lift passes include the following options:

  • Courmayeur only.
  • Courmayeur + Skyway Monte Bianco.
  • Skyway Monte Bianco only.

Multi-day options also include the Aosta Valley lift pass (valid in all Valle d'Aosta ski resorts plus La Rosiere in France) & the Mont Blanc Unlimited pass [includes the resorts of Chamonix, Verbier (but with serious limitations - read the fine print!) & Evasion Mont Blanc (Megeve, Les Contamines, Portes du Mont Blanc)].

Unless planning to spend a lot of time skiing the resorts around Chamonix France, we do NOT recommend getting the expensive Mont Blanc Unlimited Pass.

Trail Maps

The Courmayeur ski trail map is a reasonable representation of the ski area but should not be relied upon when skiing off-piste or backcountry routes.

Due to its topography, the ski trails and lift placements are best represented on the two sector maps - one for the Checrouit Sector, the other for the Val Veny Sector.

Check out the Courmayeur Checrouit Sector and Courmayeur Val Veny Sector ski trail maps.

On-Piste Terrain

Most visitors are a little surprised to find that Courmayeur has only 42km of piste trails counted amongst its terrain. We were. Thankfully, there is enough scope & diversity over its huge skiable vertical to ensure enthusiasm & interest is easily maintained. And if ever in doubt, go and enjoy a long lunch at one of the rifugi.

Novices & Beginners

Novice & beginner terrain is not Courmayeur’s strong suit, but it has at least three learn-to-ski areas. A low elevation novice area in Dolonne has two long surface conveyor lifts and a broad open slope which is great for bad weather days, but not great if temperatures are high on those bad weather days! Further up the hill small areas exist at Plan Checrouit & a quieter one at Pre-de-Pascal near the top of the Val Veny cable car. Progression is on trails across and below tree line areas of the ski resort, but it is mainly traversing ‘cat tracks’ of little real skiing interest and certainly not good for beginner snowboarders.

Intermediates

The majority of Courmayeur’s on-piste terrain is rated intermediate, however with only around 22km of red trails, the resort may become limiting after only a few days. A day trip to nearby La Thuile is worth it. The best concentrations of trails are in the upper mountain off the Aretu chair in the Checrouit sector and around the Gabba chair on the Val Veny side. Strong intermediates should be able to negotiate most of the resort's advanced piste trails, particularly when freshly groomed.

Advanced Terrain

Several fun but not too challenging advanced trails run down the shaded north side of the ski resort. The best is into Zerotta, but it gets hit remarkably quick on a powder day. A new advanced trail put in since our visit connects the Arp cable top station to the resort, something previously requiring an interesting off-piste descent. Can’t wait to see how they did it.

Off Piste, Freeride & Backcountry

We loved the off-piste skiing at Courmayeur. Whilst some areas got smashed quickly on a weekend, others remained fresh for days. The shaded bowl off the Youla cable car, the larch trees under Gabba & the various lines into the Bertolini were all a great lark. Serious tree skiing can be undertaken on steep lines in the Zerotta area, but good cover & terrain scoping is required.

The backcountry ski-routes from the top of the resort at Arp (into Val Veny or Dolonne) and Youla (into Val Veny to Zerotta) are serious undertakings requiring a requisite knowledge & experience in big mountain terrain (but are not potentially hazardous as the glacier descents on Monte Bianco). All the terrain from the Skyway Monte Bianco (described here) has the highest level of alpine snow hazards including crevasses but is simply stunning in its scope. Safety matters aside, there is scope for massive backcountry adventure in & around Courmayeur. There are around 100km of recognised ski routes in the immediate vicinity, plus countless others.

Heliskiing at Courmayeur

At least one major heliskiing company is based in Courmayeur. Single run, full day & multi day options are available on a vast number of peaks in Val Ferret & Veny. More information will come in future .... maybe or maybe not!