Skiing takes place on both sides of the valley, and a piste bridge links the two. Montgenevre’s own area, beneath 2680m Le Chalvet, holds considerable charm and challenge, with runs for all standards leading back down to the village at 1850m and across the border to Claviere (on a long and easy path from the bottom of the Tremplin chair) and onwards to Sestriere and Sauze d’Oulx in Italy. A more direct link across the Rochet de l’Aigle/Colletto Verde has been closed for a couple of years and is scheduled to reopen for 2018/19.
Overall, this is an area that suits beginners, intermediates and families best, with wide runs between the trees and good ski tuition. The huge nursery slope area is served by five lifts and one magic carpet and is right by the front de neige.
Montgenevre’s skiing is roughly divided into three sectors, all of them linked. The highest and the best for good intermediates upwards is l’Aigle sector with a long red piste down. One of the best for skiers finding their confidence is the Gondrans area featuring Les Poussins, a gentle blue cruising run through the trees. The third area is Chalvet where there is a boardercross couse.
The main drawback of the skiing in Montgenvre is the slow lifts. There are a few long poma lifts, one fast six-seater ‘chondola’, but nearly all the others are fixed four-seater chairs. The lifts are in the throes of being updated, with one being replaced for the 2018/19 season and more to follow in the next three years.
The local Montgenevre lift pass covers a couple of lifts in Claviere, but it’s worth being extra vigilant and not ending up too far into Italy with the wrong lift pass. Lift attendants are not at all flexible, and will just point in the direction of the nearest lift that’s covered by your pass and tell you to walk there.
Montgenevre tends to get different weather from the resorts further north. Sometimes, this is a curse. But when storm systems bubble up from the Med, rather than sweeping down from the Atlantic, then it can get lots of snow – whilst places like Tignes sit beneath clear skies. What’s more, if there’s powder, you won’t find much competition for fresh tracks: this is not known as a powder-pig’s resort.
There is lots of free-riding above the treeline. For example, La Plane, Le Janus, Vallon de la Doire, Le Chenaillet are all excellent and easily accessible off-piste descents. If you ski Vallon de la Vachette or Cerviere you’ll need to take a bus or taxi back to Montgenevre at the end of the run, and Grand Charvia is a descent that takes in both the French and Italian sides of the Milky Way.