Heliskiing in Italy: “The crescendo of the rotors is exhilarating”

Posted December 12, 2017 under Heliskiing, Italy

Heliskiing in Italy might be on your wish list. Will Robson from Fall Line Magazine travelled to Alagna last winter to try heliskiing ‘at a cost that won’t break the bank’.

heliskiing in italy

You can read his article in this month’s magazine, or if you can’t find a copy, read on:

Spectacular heli drop-off points

‘Heliskiing needn’t be a faraway and expensive dream. The Italian Monterosa ski area offers a range of spectacular heli drop-off points that open up even more of the famed Alagna backcountry, and at a cost that won’t break the bank.’

The most challenging terrain

‘The Monterosa area includes Gressoney in the neighbouring valley and Champoluc the next one over. Alagna, with only five lifts and 13 pistes, is considered to have the most challenging terrain. It was famed for its off-piste skiing before the word ‘riding’ was co-opted into skiing parlance. A laidback but hardcore spirit still infuses Alagna, which is limited to a modest 350 tourist beds.’

The crescendo of the rotors is exhilarating

‘The rising crescendo of the rotors as they bite into the thin air, combined with the bone-tingling vibration, is exhilarating after the silence and stillness of the backcountry.’

‘We climb high above the Valle Vogna, passing over the Punto Ora (2601m), heading for the range to the east, and one of the region’s six designated landing sites, below the summit of the Pala d’Erta (2633m).’

I look down thousands of feet to the valley floor

‘The aircraft bobs about in the wind as the pilot constantly inputs control through his hands and feet. Pressed to the side of the door I look down thousands of feet to the valley floor. It’s best not to think too much about the hundreds of moving parts working in sync to keep us up where we belong.’

All is quiet

‘Our skis lie bundled in the snow and we’re still crouched down as the helicopter lifts, points its nose straight down, and powers away into the valley. All is quiet. It feels odd to be atop a mountain almost instantaneously. Not that I’m complaining.’

heliskiing in italy

There are no tracks or infrastructure other than shepherd huts

‘The terrain is ours. There are no tracks, no infrastructure other than some high alpine shepherd huts. Our guide takes us down through rolling, open terrain, with the odd steeper section cutting through rock formations.’

The combination of touring and heliskiing delivers satisfaction

‘While the helicopter is the only way to access untouched terrain quickly, this is a region where heliskiing is the exception, not the rule. Alaska may deliver more vertical feet, but in Alagna it’s the combination of touring and heliskiing that delivers the most satisfaction.’

For details of our heliskiing in Italy intro experience, please contact James Orr Heliski on 0333 006 5816