As you strap your boots on, load your skis into the back and hop into Bertha the bus in the morning, winding your way out of Champoluc a few minutes up the valley to Frachey, have you ever stopped to wonder what else is in this small village, other than the funicular that takes you up the mountain towards Bettaforca? Have you ever noticed, for example, the small chapel on the right as you pull into the Frachey funicular car park?
This area is popular with walkers and if you look around you will see why. Numerous sign posts point you in the direction of paths along, across, up and down the sides of the valley. From here, you can make your way back through the forest to Champoluc (beware the weird and wonderful wooden woodland creatures that greet you along the way) or further up the valley to the village of Saint-Jacques.
What you may not have noticed, however, is the modest chapel building inscribed with Saint Roch (San Rocco, in Italian). Originally dedicated to San Claudio by Jean-Claude Frachey, the chapel was built in 1653. By 1820, it had fallen into a state of disrepair and was restored in 1837.
In September 1860 the Ayas Valley was hit by an unexpected and catastrophic glacier melt, caused by hot torrential rain, swelling the river Evençon, destroying the road in 12 places and turning the fields into glaciers. In 1888, Frachey was once again hit, this time by an avalanche, which flattened four houses, but left the Saint Roch chapel standing.
Having survived all of this, the chapel made it to 1978, when it witnessed the construction of a chairlift next door. It then went on to outlive the chairlift when, in 2009, it was taken down and replaced by the funicular that carries you up the mountain today. The first funicular in the Valle D’Aosta dedicated to skiing, each of its two cabins can carry up to 110 people (but are rarely full).
Give us a call and we’ll happily drive you up there so that you can hop on the funicular and be on your way to a fantastic day of Monterosa skiing.
There is little doubt that Hotellerie de Mascognaz offers the most luxurious accommodation in Champoluc and whilst its location will not appeal to all, its delightful position set high above the village which gives it a massive amount of charm. Originally a hamlet of farm buildings, it has been skilfully converted to offer modern 5* accommodation, whilst still retaining the ancient charm of the property.
The location of Mascognaz means a 10 minute ski-doo or 4 wheel drive transfer to and from the village at the end of each day along a steep track through the woods. Provided, on request, by the hotel staff, these transfers and the onward connection between the bottom of the track and the main gondola (a 5 minute drive), might seem an inconvenience, but are in fact part of the adventure of staying in one of the chalets at Mascognaz.
There is a main building with a wonderful restaurant serving fine local dishes, a further large building containing an imposing ‘wellness area’ (with swimming pool, sauna, steam bath, etc).
Chalet lo Miéte has space for 12 or 14, seven comfortable rooms are furnished with wood panelling. When the whole chalet is booked out for a week, the cost is £760 per person for two sharing a double or twin room. For a group of 12 adults, there is 1 free space offered.
We’ve been organising tailor made ski holidays in Champoluc for over 17 years. Take a look at our 2016 season video. You will find out more about our team on the ground in the resort and what you can expect from a Ski 2 holiday in the beautiful Monterosa region.
We are on the lookout for a personable and qualified nanny to work in our own nursery – the Ski 2 Penguin Club in the Italian resort of Champoluc, looking after our youngest guests from December 2015 to April 2016.
Remuneration package includes accommodation, food allowance, lift pass, uniform and monthly wage.
For more details about this exciting opportunity, please email Roger Walker with a copy of your CV.
Ski classes for 3 year olds – a mixture of ski and play for young skiers in our own British Ski School and British-staffed nursery
Whilst our youngest guests are enjoying some creative play in the Penguin Club, a qualified instructor will take the 3 year olds to the top of the gondola for some fun time on the brand new mini nursery slope, with its own travellator lift.
Under the watchful eye of a member of our staff, this time on skis will be a perfect introduction to this exciting sport and a good step towards joining group lessons with the Ski 2 Kids Ski School in future years.
The amount of time spent on skis will depend on weather and snow conditions, but will likely be an hour each day, with full supervision between the nursery and the slopes, ski instruction whilst on the slope and ski equipment hire included.
The rest of the day will be spend enjoying the activities of the Penguin Club, leaving parents free to spend the full day on the pistes of the Monterosa ski area.
Open to – Any child who has the strength and determination to spend a little time on skis each day. We would suggest children should be at least 3 years old to take this option, although children aged 4 or over are recommend to join our group Kids Ski School (Monday to Friday – 1000 to 1500 hours)
Times – 0830 to 1800 hours, on any day of the season
Cost – Bookable by the day, this exciting new option is £67 per person, per day
Finding reliable snow forecasts for the Alps can be a challenge. During the season keep an eye on this account to see the most up-to-date weather information we have for Champoluc. This will be updated from forecasts we trust and from staff in the resort.
Do you help to arrange ski trips for your school, college or other educational institution? We regularly welcome large groups to Champoluc and we've started this account to help promote and market this service.