22/12/2011 | by jcattlin
- Pistes: 60
- Beginner Pistes: 18
- Advanced Pistes: 7
- Gondolas: 5
- Express Chairlifts:
- Terrain Parks: 2
- Halfpipes: 2
- Boardercross: 2
- 1 day: €38
- 6 day: €198-€258 (area)
- Season: €740-€890
Food and Drink Prices
- Pint of lager: €5
- Cheeseburger & fries: €8
- Pizza: €9
- Airport: Turin – 118km
- Train: Chatillon St Vincent – 28km
- Bus: Cervinia
Fancy That !
The name Carvinia comes from the Italian name for the Matterhorn, Monte Cervino.
Sharing a view of the Matterhorn with the Swiss resort Zermatt, Cervinia offers a fine Italian alternative to its über-expensive and lift-linked neighbour. The resort is located in Northern half of the Aosta Valley, about 120km from Turin. There was hardly anything except a church in Cervinia until 1934, when the opening of the first cable-car started a massive development phase.
The resort has 150km of mainly intermediate pistes, and you can save yourself 14 euros on a day pass by staying local rather than buying the pass that links to the 200km over in Zermatt. With pistes ranging from an altitude of 3480m down to 1524m Cervinia is a high altitude, snow-sure resort. The season opens early on limited slopes at the end of October and lasts until May. You can use it as a cheaper base to access the glacier in Zermatt in the summer.
THE PARKS (2 out of 5)
The Indian Park is now very well established and the team keep all the hits in great condition with daily shaping. It is located in the Fornet area at an altitude of around 2800m, which guarantees plenty of snow for the crew to play with, and is served by its own chairlift. The setup usually consists of two kicker lines and a jib line, and they’ll open the 16m pro kicker when they have a photo-shoot or a competition on.
At the top of the park is a small chillout hut that plays a few tunes. Helmets are compulsory, and the crew keep a good eye on you – they will happily chase you down the park shouting comments about your mother if you try and zip through without one.
THE POWDER (3 out of 5)
Cervinia is pretty much devoid of trees, and there are plenty of nice easy freeride areas easily identifiable from the lifts for intermediates to savour. Advanced riders might at first glance find much of the area a little flat with nothing to get the heart thumping. But there are some great couloirs and steep faces if you know where to look. Hire a guide and get them to show you some of the areas off the Teodulo and some of the other good spots. A good place to explore is from the Pancheron lift in the city of rocks area.
The pistes are never packed, although they do get busier during holidays. The vast majority of the slopes are wide and flat-featured, making them perfect for corduroy-loving euro-carvers. It’s safe to say that if you like massive thigh-burning runs, then Cervinia is for you. The 22km-long top-to-bottom from the Plateau Rosa to the village Valtournenche is a killer, with an ear popping 2km vertical descent! This season they’ve finished the renovations to the cable-car that takes you up to the Plateau Rosa peak.
THE PISTES (3 out of 5)
Beginners should head to the Plan Maison to get their first bruises. It’s reached by cable car from Breuil-Cervini. The pistes back to the villages aren’t very beginner-friendly, so it might be best to take the lifts back down at the end of the day. The snow conditions down to Valtournenche can be pretty sketchy especially towards the end of the season, but heading down to Breuil-Cervini should never be an issue.
THE PARTIES (3 out of 5)
Cervinia isn’t anywhere as crazy as you might expect and is even outdone by the Swiss in the partying stakes. Most of the action is centred in Breuil-Cervinia rather than the lower village of Valtournenche, although that does have a few bars and restaurants. Breuil-Cervinia isn’t particularly attractive but it’s fine when the place is covered in snow. Prices are pretty reasonable and there are quite a few well priced restaurants serving decent local food.
On the edge of the slopes in Breuil- Cervinia is the lively Yeti bar (open until 3am) which is the best place to head for if you want to watch the football. Right in the centre of the village the Dragon hotel has an English bar called the Thistles Pub – which is fine if you want an Irish beer (Thistles – Irish. Go figure!) You can test those chat up lines at the Bianconiglio nightclub. It’s a bit poncey but this is Italy – what did you expect?
“The 22km-long top-to-bottom run from the plateau Rosa to the village offers an ear popping 2km vertical descent!”