Montgenevre; the best free ride destination you’ve never heard of
Tags: Montgenevre/ Freeride/
Montgenevre is one of the most snow sure ski resorts in the Alps, just over an hour away from Turin.
The area, with easy access to the whole Via Lattea (Milky Way) ski area, it’s fast becoming a Freeride destination, for those that know the secrets of the area.
Go soon though. Thanks to recent high profile visitors like Candide Thovex, Powder Magazine, the Quiksilver team, and Ski Sunday’s own Ed Leigh, the area won’t stay so secret for ever and there’s never been a better time to go, as the area is recording record snow falls this season. In fact, it’s so good, it’s hard to imagine a better place to find untracked powder, anywhere in Europe right now.
So why is there no one here in this freeride paradise? Well, it’s not known as a big mountain resort, and with ‘only’ 2700 feet of vertical drop it’s not surprising people have overlooked it for busier more well known areas in the alps for so long, but look behind the numbers and you’ll find chutes, couloirs, mini-golf and trees galore. Most of it is lift accessible or available with a short hike, and the area enjoys some of the best snowfalls in Europe, thanks to a weather system called Retour D’est.
Despite the world class snow and easy accessibility, you’ll still find steep untracked trees and north facing couloirs with perfectly preserved snow all day with no one there to track it out, with some spots still untouched days after snow.
The mixed and varied terrain is part of the reason the area is unique. Something that adds to the magic is the unusually deciduous trees which lose their leaves. The absence of leaves means snow can reach the ground easily, unlike the more familiar evergreen trees in the more well known areas.
The unique geographic position of Montgenevre means the area benefits from a phenomena called the Retour D’est, which means the same storm can hit the resort two or even three times.
The weather comes in from the East, gets pushed back by winds from the west, with snowfalls from one storm finding it’s way to the valleys and peaks twice or even three times evidenced by the frequent cornices on both east and west facing aspects.
Patrolled free ride in resort offer easy access to fresh powder in resort, and trees line the many runs into the valley, and for the more adventurous who want to work out why Candide Thovex spent six weeks here last season, the ski schools in the village all offer guided skiing for safe off piste and freeride adventuring. The friendly, knowledgable and open nature of the locals in the village are always happy to help out with advice about where to go and where to avoid, if you’re more expert.