AVOIDING THE CROWDS IN THE AOSTA VALLEY: TORGNON
20th February 2020
Last modified on February 24th, 2020
In half-term week many resorts across the Alps suffer from busy slopes and long lift queues. Er, not where PlanetSKI has been skiing.
We are shunning the main resorts in the Aosta Valley and heading off the beaten track.
A couple of days ago it was Crevacol, which is now a personal favourite and where I am heading back at the earliest opportunity.
Today it is Torgnon.
It lies about 40-minutes from the city of Aosta where we are living for the rest of the winter and up the road towards Cervinia.
It was fabulous to see an old friend from the road on the way up.
But… shock and horror at the car park.
If the car park was full then the slopes might be.
In fact there was plenty of parking space just, this being Italy, no-one had bothered to move the barrier or take the sign down.
We parked a few metres from the lift ticket office where a day pass will set you back a modest €31.
It has double the number of lifts as Crevacol – four lifts grace the slopes of Torgnon.
And the main one up though old and a bit rickety, comes with a modern facility all gondolas should have in my view – new or old.
A place inside to put your skis.
So, simple and yet so good.
So, what greeted us at the top?
Well, first a spot of breakfast – €3.
There was no need to go off in some sort of skiing feeding frenzy, the pistes were deserted and would likely remain so for some time to come.
There were a few people around, but not many.
The resort has 23km of slopes and there was more than enough for a full day’s skiing.
The are 1 black, 6 reds and 2 blues.
The alpine skiing starts at just under 1,500m and goes up to 2,400m.
It also has a host of other activities from cross-county skiing and snow-shoeing that I will be coming back for later in the winter.
There’s more than 20kms of cross-country skiing tracks through some stunning scenery on a mainly south-facing plateau.
I filed a snow report for PlanetSKI and have already decided to be back this weekend.
It really is that good here.
At the top was another glimpse of my old friend.
In resorts like this you are not gobbling up the piste miles and trying to cover as much terrain as possible.
You are doing something much more pleasurable altogether.
Well, no booking required.
And this for under €10.
Torgnon, Aosta Valley, Italy
A Valpellinetze – a local dish that is a sort of piping hot cheese and bread affair.
I went to food heaven (as my friend Cathy Murphy would say).
The afternoon was spent simply cruising the slopes, lapping a few lifts and feeling utterly relaxed and chilled out.
I wondered why more people don’t ski these sort of resorts at the busy times of the winter.
I have already had personal messages from friends teaching and working across the mega-sized French resorts.
Suffice to say I can’t post what they have told me about the crowds and the attitudes of a small minority.
Other readers have sent me messages asking for recommendations for next year – I have plenty.
Under half an hour away from here is Cervinia which is likely teeming with thousands upon thousands of people.
It could be a million miles away for all I care.
And after skiing I thought a little stroll around the village of Torgnon was in order as I headed down with the most massive grin on my face and contentment in my head.
It was a true high-alpine village and a total treasure.
And as I finish off this article and prepare to post from the comfort of my sofa in my apartment in Aosta I feel utterly relaxed and at peace with the world.
I look out the window at views across the wonderful Italian city of Aosta city and up to my beloved mountains.
I am scratching my head trying to think of a better all-round alpine day I have had this winter.
No, nothing springs immediately to mind.