Valle Maira, Italy • February 20 - 24, 2017

On this year's Valle Maira ski touring extravaganza, we were joined by Gianna Zuccotti, Bill Pearson, Todd Noble, Jenny Miller and Scott Kingland.

The Alps had a very "meh" winter so fat this season. And though the snowpack was rather thin everywhere, we heard that conditions were still quite fun in this little corner of the range. And even though it had been almost 2 weeks since the last snowfall, there was still some cold wintery powder hiding in shady pockets and north-facing slopes. The trick was finding such delectable tidbits that remained unskied.

We had 5 days of skiing from our base in Marmora.

Other Trips with some of these folks

Bill Pearson

Albula - March 2014
Zermatt - May 2013
Silvretta - March 2007
Berner Oberland - May 2006

Gianna Zuccotti

Berner Oberland - May 2013
Queyras, February 2012

Todd Noble

Berner Oberland - April 2014

Scott Kingland

Chamonix off-piste - February 2016
Ortler - March 2013

Return to all recent trips


The Pensione Ceaglio in Marmora. Our home for the week.


For our first tour we started in Preit, not far from Marmora. We took an easy route up Monte Giobert. We then skied the fine NW facing couloir below the Rocca dell' Aquilla. Returning on skins back up to the pass at 2398 meters, we dropped a short ways down to the east before climbing again to the pass south of the Rocca dell'Aquilla. From there, we had access down some fine northwest facing slopes, thankfully less visited.


Bill on the good snow of our first descent.


Climbing back up towards the Rocca dell'Aquilla.


Passing around the east side of the ridge.


Great snow on our last descent.


By staying ever-left, we found the longest powdery descent back to the valley.


Kathy smiling.


And, of course, back at the hotel for a beverage of choice on the sunny terrace.


ON our second day, we decided to go for a longer tour, the Tour of Repiatetta.

For this excellent route, we start in Chialvetta. In this photo we are skiing literally through the hamlet of Pratorotondo, just as the sun arrives.


Higher we climb a steep slope to reach the Comba Emanuel Inferiore.


Working our way up to the Comba Emanuel Superiore.


And finally up to the Passo la Croche.


Todd finds some good turns off the summit.


Lower down, we swing around skier's-right to find more untracked snow.


On day three, we started near Saretto. This photo shows the impressive Rocca Provenzale above the village of Chiappera.


Starting the skin up the sunbaked snow not far from the car.


Higher, we enter the large level area near Gran Pausa.


Easy skinning.


A good track leads up to under the Rocciasetto, the rounded rock peak under the sun.


Almost to the Passo della Cavalla.


At the pass, the route passes onto the south side of the crest, into France. You can see the debris of a large avalanche on the peak in the background.


Scott takes in the view.


Jenny finds a comfortable chair on the summit of Monte Soubeyran, our high point.

From the summit, we skied down the west ridge, dropping into the NE facing down under the peak. Ever in search of untracked snow, we swung around a ridge coming off Aiguille de Barsin and skied down into the flats of the Prati Murtier. Another short skin up and to the east gave us access to the steep couloir just east of Punta Bessie.


Scott enjoying the firm snow in the couloir below Punta Bessie.


Jenny tele-turns in the same spot.


On day 4, we decided to switch tactics and ski sun-transformed snow on a south-facing aspect. Monte Ruissas was the summit of choice.

In this photo we are just starting to skin up the road near Colombata.


High clouds catch the morning light.


It was a cold and windy day, and we wondered if the firm frozen snow was going to soften at all.


Kathy has a look at the upper 400 meters of Monte Ruissas.


We stopped for a break near the summit of Monte Cappel, seeking shelter from the wind.





A panoramic view mostly to the south from Monte Cappel.

Move the scroll bar for a the panorama.


After a rather firm, but still very fun start off the summit of Ruissas, the snow starts to soften on the slopes of Monte Cappel.


It was so good, that some of us took another lap up the perfect slope.


On our last day, we climbed and skied Punta Tempesta, in the Marmora valley.

The old building of Tolosano, where we began our tour.


Skinning up the broad gentle slopes of the Comba Castellazzo.


We finally reach the crest of the ridge near Col Sibolet.


Unearthly light along the crest.


Just taking in the view.


Gianna. The touring possibilities seem to be endless.



The view to the east from the summit of Punta Tempesta.

Move the scroll bar for the panorama.


We spent a good amount of time on the top, waiting for the long SW-facing slope to soften up properly.

And it was worth it!

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