Skiing Pila in the Aosta Valley

August 26th, 2012


Easy groomed ski run Pilau Aosta Valley Skiing Pila in the Aosta Valley

Ski the Alps in the shadow of Mont Blanc in the beautiful Aosta Valley. Situated on the Italian side of the  French/Italian border, it features the separate resorts of La Thuile, Courmayeur and the subject of this report, Pila. La Thuile and Courmayeur are more typical of small alpine towns whereas Pila is situated above the town of Aosta where much of the accommodation for Pila resort can be found. Aosta is an important cultural centre with an impressive central plaza. It also has some heavy industry But don’t let that put you off; we have stayed in Aosta  on three occasions, travelling twice by air and once by coach. The town is very impressive with some fine old buildings.

Balloon Launch Pilau Aosta Valley Skiing Pila in the Aosta Valley

In Pila, beginners are catered for on wide gentle sloping alpine pastures. This safe environment allows English speaking instructors to quickly progress clients to steeper intermediate slopes. Experts will enjoy the top runs from Couis 1 and 2 peaks, and there is some off piste skiing that will challenge the best of skiers. With 70 km of piste, it is not a large skiing area. But for a mixed ability group, it is ideal for each to ski to their ability and still remain in contact with other group members.

Conditions on piste are excellent, with snow grooming tractors working to maintain the snow to a very high standard. There are snow cannon in the resort but natural snow cover is usually plentiful. The weather too has a good sunshine record in winter but when the sun dips behind the mountains in the early afternoon, it can become very cold!

The pistes are well supported with great uplift capacity that ensures queuing at ski lifts is kept to a minimum, even during February half term. There is a varied selection of restaurants in the traditional Alpine style with sun decks and sufficient capacity so that they do not appear overcrowded.

Family friendly pistes nigel carr skiing Skiing Pila in the Aosta Valley

Accommodation is of a very high standard although do not expect Alpine style chalets in Aosta, where most hotels are central and only a short walk to the Gondola station.

We travelled with Interski, a company that was created to cater for school skiing trips. But their Classics package is especially for families and the school parties stay in separate hotels with dedicated representatives. Interski is a small company with a huge strength of purpose. From office staff in the UK to resort staff abroad, everything seems to be geared to the comfort of the client.

Ski Hire is provided from their own purpose built workshop, situated by the uplift Gondola. The cost of travelling with Interski includes insurance and the all important lift pass. It also includes some evening entertainment. Check out their website.

Sunrise Shadows Pilau Aosta ski resort Skiing Pila in the Aosta Valley


Alpine Perfection in the Shadow of the Matterhorn

May 16th, 2012
19d241c9fd0d3f67dc19a353aa9f48c7 Alpine Perfection in the Shadow of the Matterhorn

The Alpinist’s early morning view of a wintry Matterhorn

Tragic Beginnings Lead to Adventure Tourist Goldmine

There would scarcely be a single mountaineer who has not heard of the Matterhorn. Many will know of the tragedy that struck after the first ascent in July 1865 when an accident befell the descending first conquerors resulting in the death of four of the party including Chamonix mountain guide Michael Croz and leaving the leader, Edward Whymper, to carry the legacy of the climb. Many others will recognise the iconic shape of this fantastic Alpine 4000 meter peak.

Iconic Swiss Resort – With Eco Credentials!

At its foot, over a mile and a half lower in altitude, lies the equally iconic Swiss mountain village of Zermatt: a busy ski and summer mountain resort since the Victorian boom in travel.  This explosion in tourism of all grades of adventurousness was partly triggered by a newly mobile public’s irrepressible fascination with high mountains and glaciers. Many hundreds of thousands come to experience the clear air and pure water found here, every year.

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“Hi Tech” Hay Munching Transport for getting around this ski resort

In more modern times Zermatt has been ahead of many in its environmental credentials having been mostly car-free for many years. The protective nature of Swiss planning authorities regarding building development and land ownership has extended to allowing only pedestrian, cycle or electric taxi and bus transport in the town for years. More recently, with the advent of practical and competitively priced electric bikes, these are becoming very common in making light the work of getting up and along the steep byways of the town.

Zermatt is unparalleled for views. Several majestic glaciers converge in the steep sided valleys of the area. The “chocolate box” cuteness of the old chalets only occasionally jarred with more modern structures of glass and wood, framed by encircling backdrops of 4000 metre peaks are all dominated by the jagged intrusion of the dominating Matterhorn into the southern skyline.

Zermatt’s Adventure Cocktail

Adventure of all kinds abounds. In summer gorge walking, trekking, mountain biking, and of course climbing for all levels of ability can be practised unassisted or with local guides, the latter frequently demonstrating a jealous ownership of their “patch”. In winter, snow and ice make the three areas of Sunnega, Gornergrat and the Trockner Steg a playground of ample opportunity and variety for skiers and ice climbers. The high glacial terrain from Klein Matterhorn (3800m) down to Schwarzee at the very foot of the Matterhorn can be exposed to the elements but it is snow sure.

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Skiers setting off from the Gornergrat ski station overlooking Zermatt and overlooked in turn by the snow plastered Matterhorn.

Gornergrat is served by a classic mountain railway taking thirty minutes to access from the town and Sunnega is reached quickly using a tunnelled funicular. These two areas are connected by a mountain cable car and provide less exposed skiing in bad weather with tree-protected runs which are especially good in mid-season. A long cable car takes one to the glacier skiing above Trockner Steg

For the more adventurous, ski-touring routes take the experts away from the crowds. Zermatt is the normal finishing pointy of the classic Haute Route commencing in Chamonix and sometimes being extended to Saas Fee, Day tours, even half day tours are all possible especially the satisfying quick ascent of the Breithorn from the Klein Matterhorn telecabine.

Feeding the Inner Adventurer’s Body and Soul

Food and drink are of high quality. Expensive Swiss prices are compensated with exceptional cuisine in the many mountain restaurants and town eateries. Traditional dishes such as Rosti are cooked to perfection. Cheeses and wines are a gourmet’s delight.

A visit to Zermatt would not be complete without some retail therapy. High quality fashion stores butt against functional sports and the obligatory souvenir shops without any problem. Days off the hill can be spent wandering the quaint alleys admiring the old buildings – a few still used for overwintering black faced sheep or goats. The new museum in the town centre is outstanding. Very hands-on with a wide selection of displays explaining the history, wildlife and culture of the valley. If nothing else, a day lounging on a chalet or hotel balcony is most rewarding. After all, it seems that every house in Zermatt has the best view of the famous peak.

Phil Tinning, April 2012

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Powderwhore Are Breaking Trails Again

October 8th, 2011

As the first snows fall in Scotland and the powder hounds and whores start breaking out the snow tools, so the rash of new ski movies and trailers proliferates round the tube. Powderwhore productions have been out and about, ignoring mechanised up lift and breaking trail in very unusual locations. Possibly the most exotic of their venues was the island of Svalbard, where Philip Pullman set his trilogy of novels based on His Dark Materials. Despite the unfortunate death of the English schoolboy earlier this year, the powder whores seem to have got off lightly, with no armoured fighting bears being sighted.

The main trailer released back in August gives a hint of beautiful untracked powder and vertiginous gullies raked by self triggered slab avalanches.

The excursion to Svalbard looked exceptionally beautiful. Many years ago I had my heart set on a visit to Svalbard where we were going to climb in the King Olaf Mountains. Sadly despite being patronised by the Duke of Westminster, one of the richest men in the UK, it didn’t help us raise the necessary cash and we weren’t able to go. Despite the unfortunate incidents of this summer, seeing this trailer has really given me the itch again. This next video details the time spent sailing around the fjord is of this icy land and the visual juxtaposition of peak, glacier, couloir and ocean is very compelling. You will see what I mean.

This is one film I want to see. It seems to have got rid of the usual carnival of posers and ponces. A lot more environmentally friendly than some of the helicopter heroics which we’ve seen in previous years movies from others in the genre.  Keep it going Powderwhore; breaking trails to a slightly less destructive version of skiing.


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What would you do if you were stuck on a ski lift like they were in Frozen?

June 12th, 2011

I want to hear some really imaginative suggestions! I personally would swing my coat over the wire and go down like a zip line. How about you guys? And also, what did you think of the movie?

I thought the movie was actually pretty good. Most movies that involve people being stuck in one spot for a couple days, tend to suck (Open Water, Phone booth) But this one was pretty good. And not to knock your idea, but the wire in the movie cut through his gloves pretty fast, so it would probably tear causing you to fall, break your legs, and get eaten by wolves haha. I would have had the same idea…but i would have either used the Snowboard, or one of that guy’s ski poles. At least that is metal and might last longer. Or maybe even use one of their boots? those seem pretty durable. I for SURE would not have Jumped!

What is the name of the movie?

June 5th, 2011

The movie is about a kid who’s father died at Chamonix (ski resort) and then he goes back to ski the same run that killed his father. It’s a big mountain ski movie. I can’t remember what the movies is called. All I remember is that the kid goes to Chamonix and he’s about 14 years old or something when he does.

The Edge of Never

What are some 1980′s movies similar to these ones?

May 28th, 2011

what are some good 80′s movies similar to these titles
Summer school(1987)
north shore(1987)
ski school(1900) i know its not 80′s

Summer School:
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Moving Violations
One Crazy Summer
The Breakfast Club
Stand and Deliver
Armed and Dangerous

North Shore:
Gleaming the Cube
The Karate Kid
Girls Just Want To Have Fun
Teen Wolf
Vision Quest
Valley Girl
Secret Admirer
Just One of the Guys

Ski School:
Johnny Be Good
Can’t Stop the Music

Chateau Heavenly Review (Revised 12.12.07)

May 20th, 2011

0 Chateau Heavenly Review (Revised 12.12.07)Chateau Heavenly Resort

Duration : 0:0:30

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Dream Trips by WorldVentures

May 18th, 2011

0 Dream Trips by WorldVenturesVideo 3 of 5

Introducing Dream Trips by WorldVentures. We have taken the bulk buying concept and applied it to travel.

If you have any questions or would like additional information please visit feel free to email us at

Check out the other videos in this series

Video 1 Introduction of WorldVentures
Video 2 Business of WorldVentures
Video 3 Dream Trips
Video 4 Leisure Travel Consultant
Video 5 – Take it to the Next Level

Duration : 0:2:34

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North Lake Tahoe – Seven World-Class Ski Resorts

May 18th, 2011

0 North Lake Tahoe   Seven World Class Ski ResortsNorth Lake Tahoe’s world-class ski resorts offer unprecedented variety and something for everyone – and all are accessible with one convenient Interchangeable Lift ticket. Resorts include Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe, Diamond Peak, Northstar at Tahoe, Sugar Bowl, Squaw Valley USA, Alpine Meadows, and Homewood Mountain Resort. This video compares these destinations by vertical elevation, number of lifts, acreage, and percentage of beginner, intermediate, and black diamond runs.

Duration : 0:3:49

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movie about some friends who live on a mountain and ski with beer in their mouth?

May 18th, 2011

i want to watch that movie again but i can’t remember the name or any actors. i remember that the main character, a guy, was in love with a short haired girl and that a blonde friend of his was in love with him. and something about a statue of some guy. any ideas?

the movie is called Out Cold