Heliski Over The Monterosa

Jul 1, 2023
5 min read

Areas including 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 the snow conditions each ski area has its own merit and the altitude of the drop off point can vary between 2500m and 4200m.

The guides will advise on the day of the ski which options will be best, based on the weather and snow conditions 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.

Each mountain guide can have up to a maximum of 4 people with them. In Alagna, Gressoney and Champoluc there are places for 4 guests + 1 guide in the helicopter.

Some of the main drop off points in the area include Val Quarazza, Cavallo, Giardino e Fornale, Colle del Lys, Sella and passo di Verra.

Val Quarazza

In Val Quarazza there are 3 different landing places: Bottigia, Piccolo Altare and Colle del Turlo. All three of these drop off points 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 runback 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 landing places. 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 verybig slopes, accessible 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 as well, none of which 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 4559m). In the lower parts different morains allow 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 heliskiing.

Giardino, 2700m, is in the Otro valley just above the Corno Bianca – 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 2600m into the valley and the slopes where you ski are North facing. The terrain is quite intricate with some incredible sections which are not to be missed.

From Sant’Antonio, where the run finishes, you can return back to Alagna with just a short taxi journey.

Colle del Lys

With an altitude of 4260m, 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 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 3500m, 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, 3950m, 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!


You will need the following personal safety equipment for your heliskiing trip:

  • Transceiver
  • Snow probe
  • Snow shovel
  • Backpack

If you go heliskiing it is now obligatory for you to have an ABS backpack. 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. If you are not certain how to use this equipment it would be advisable to spend some time with the guide prior to the day of your trip. Under certain circumstances, depending on the snow conditions, your mountain guide may stipulate that they also require you to wear an ABS backpack even for normal off-piste skiing.


  • Heliskiing is very weather dependant, both for flying conditions on which the pilot has the final say, and on the 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.
  • Be sure you make a reservation!
  • For customers wishing to Heliski is the 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 your 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 the conditions are good. If the conditions are not and the helicopter cannot fly, it does not cost you any money.

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