- Featured in: Alpine Heliskiing
There are many opportunities for heliskiing in and around the Monterosa ski area including the Valle Anzasca (Macugnaga), the Valsesia (Alagna), the Valle del Lys (Gressoney) and Val d'Ayas (Champoluc) with over 20 drop zones in the region. Depending on the weather and snow conditions each has its own merit and the altitude of the drop off point varies from between 2500m and 4200m.
Usually the guides will leave it until the day of the ski to decide on which options would be best, based on both weather and snow conditions prevailing at the time. Slopes face in different directions so if there has been wind guides may decide to ski slopes that were sheltered to avoid wind pack and crust etc. Decisions will be taken by the guides based on safety in different locations too. Obviously both the guides and clients prefer to ski the best conditions.
In these valleys, Alagna, Gressoney and Champoluc there are places for 4 guests + 1 guide in the helicopter.
Each mountain guide can have up to a max of 4 people with them and strict adherence to this ratio of 4:1 must be followed.
The guides cannot guarantee that they will have other guests to fill up the helicopter if there are more of less people than than the 4 maximum. Equally other clients may wish to fly to a different drop of point. It is best therefore that you plan to be with your own group.
The day before you are due to fly they will know if there is an opportunity to mix other people together.
The map below shows the some of the main drop off points around the area. There are over 60 different routes that can be taken from these points depending on the snow conditions and the weather.
As usual you will need the following personal safety equipment:
- Snow probe
- Snow shovel
- Back pack
If you go heli skiing it is obligatory now for you to have ABS back packs.
If you do not have any of these items they can be rented locally. We will provide you with a link which will enable you to pre advise the local rental shop of your requirements. Note if you are not certain as to how to use this equipment it would be advisable to spend some time with the guide prior to the day of flight.
Under certain circumstances, depending on the snow conditions your mountain guide may stipulate that they also require you to wear an ABS back pack even for just normal off piste skiing.
Moving across the area from East to West, here is a brief overview of some of the main drop off points in the area:
In Val Quarazza there are 3 different landing places: Bottigia, Piccolo Altare and Colle del Turlo. All three drop offs allow for around 1000 meters of vertical. If you want to ski here you will need a second flight back to the ridge so that you can ski another run back down into the Alagna valley, as the end of the Val Quarazza is a very very long way from the other Monte Rosa valleys.
- Bottigia, 2500m, (NW facing) is quite easy with wide slopes in the upper part and a final forest with some short steep sections.
- Piccolo Altare, 2500m, (N facing) is quite easy with wide slopes in the upper part and a final forest with some short steep sections.
- Colle del Turlo, 2700m, (NE facing) is a bit more difficult than the other two. There are two different decents from this place: a steep couloir (only possible with very safe conditions) or the more regular route. This one again has some short steep sections and very big slopes. Again this is accesible with safe snow conditions. From Turlo it is also possible to ski the south facing mountain back to Alagna. This run is quite easy with regular gradient and wide slopes; the final forest section is easily skiable along the summer path.
Cavallo, 3400m, is one of the most popular landing place in Valsesia. It gives you the chance to ski a long run starting from the high glaciers of the Monte Rosa and finishing directly in Alagna Village (snow conditions permitting). There are various routes from here also - none of these are too difficult.
In the upper part you will ski above impressive glaciers and seracs (looking across the skyline you will see the Capanna Margherita 4559 m). In the lower parts different morains permit you to find your personal line to ski down. Lower down in the valley you simply follow the summer path in order to return to the village.
GIARDINO E FORNALE
These two places are normally combined for a long day of heliski. Giardino, 2700m, is in Otro valley just above the Corno Bianco - this is one of the most significant mountains around Alagna; when snow conditions are good it is really great skiing the first section of wide and open terrain. Fornale, 2500m, is located in Val Vogna - a few kilometres further south from Alagna. There is a pass at 2600 m into the the valley and the slopes where you ski are N facing. The terrain is quite intricate with some incredible sections which are not to be missed. From Sant'Antonio, where this run finishes you can return back to Alagna with just a short taxi journey.
COLLE DEL LYS
With an altitude of 4260 m, Colle del Lys is the highest point where you can land in the Monte Rosa area. From here there are two main runs with some alternative routes then possible. If you go south, along the Lys Glacier, you ski back to Gressoney or Alagna, and in the lower part you reach some classic off-piste itineraries like "Valle Perduta", "Salza", "Balma" or "Malfatta". If you go North, you will ski the impressive Grenz Glacier, going down to Zermatt (Switzerland). From there you can make your way back to Gressoney or Alagna taking the Klein Matterhorn lift and the Cime Bianche Valley; This tour is the famous and renowned 'Zermatt Tour', and is one of the longest ski days you can have in our region!
This landing place is situated at 3500 meters, where you can find the Q. Sella Mountain Hut. From here an enjoyable east facing run goes down to Gressoney. Two main runs are possible from here where the first and last sections are the same. The easiest one goes right along a wide valley with only one short steep and narrow section. The second goes left in a narrow gully that needs good and safe snow conditions. Both itineraries have incredible views over the Lys Glacier.
PASSO DI VERRA
This Mountain pass is high up (3950 m) in the Monte Rosa glacier. From here you can ski south along the Verra Glacier to Champoluc or you can go north along the Schwarztor Glacier down to Zermatt. This one is a really great ski, quite difficult, along an impressive glacier with many seracs and crevasses and a superb view of some of the most popular 4000m peaks in the Alps (the Matterhorn is framed in the valley and dominates the view).
- Heliskiing is very weather dependant, both for flying conditions on which the pilot has the final say and on snow conditions particularly on the glaciers.
- Bad visibility and high winds will prevent the helicopter flying and setting down.
- Lack of snow and the development of snow bridges on the crevasses will dictate whether it is safe to ski, the guide will have the final say.
- Make sure you make a reservation!
- For clients wishing to Heliski if conditions are good during their trip it is very important to reserve your heli-lifts with Zuba Ski well in advance. If the conditions are good and you have not reserved a place, you will probably not be able to reserve a place the day before or the same day you wish to fly!!!
- If you reserve a place well a head of time, you get a flight if conditions are good. If conditions are not good and the helicopter cannot fly, it does not cost you any money.
- Please contact the knowledgeable Zuba Ski team to discuss you heliski requirements