Pila has beautifully-groomed pistes which, mid-week especially, are all but deserted. However, given there are only 70km of them on offer, we wouldn’t counsel coming here for a full week. A short break will do the trick, UNLESS you’re confident and competent enough to have a crack at the unpisted bowls higher up. Not many people ski them, and if they’re open you’ll find powder here days after a dump.
The only problem with the nursery slopes is the amount of traffic
There’s lots of easy beginner’s terrain here, but the problem is, it’s often full of beginners, as British tour operator Interski runs a very successful business here, bringing in school parties from the UK. We’d suggest going somewhere else to learn (unless, that is, you’re on one of those school parties).
Intermediate skiing is what it’s all about – the lure of wide-open pistes. Midweek they’re all but empty and we rate them amongst the best in the Alps. On a short, sharp, three-day break here, you’ll have a blast.
Our favourites are the two reds, on the skier’s right of the resort – Red 2 and Red 3, accessed from the Chamolé chair. There are big queues here mid-morning and after lunch, so ski these runs hard first thing and then again while everyone’s at lunch. Then, mid-morning and after lunch, move higher up the resort.
Another thing to love about Pila is the price of private, one-on-one ski lessons. Here, they cost roughly half the price of the cheapest equivalents in an A-list French resort. Private tuition can make a considerable difference to your skiing – at this price, you can’t afford NOT to try them.
One of the problems is the lack of frequent snowfalls
If you do luck into a storm, you’ll love this place – and love the fact that no-one else seems interested in skiing the powder. But beware: all those inviting bowls at the top of the resort are very avalanche-prone – you might want to hire a guide to help you explore them, which in Pila is cheaper than most resorts we know, through Pila’s ski school.
This isn’t really an expert skier’s destination. But if, say, you were passing, or you were staying in nearby Champoluc-Gressoney, and all the powder was skied out – then you could nip over to Pila and have a lot of fun up high. Bear in mind, also, that the hugely-underrated, and underpriced, heliskiing in Valgrisenche is near here.
At least the terrain park provides some back up
Unusually for an Italian resort, there’s a terrain park here – home to a substantial half-pipe, and two lines of kickers, plus a separate line of rails and boxes.