Aosta – Pila: The Most Convenient Skiing Destination

Written by on July 1, 2020 in Sport and Adventure

Aosta - Pila Telecabina - the convinient ski resort that you can reach in 20 minutes

What makes Pila the most convenient skiing destination:

Aosta is a very pleasant, down to earth town with all the services and facilities you need for everyday life. It is also connected by modern, comfortable ‘telecabina’ to Pila, one of the best ski resorts in the Aosta Valley. The telecabina is literally 10 minutes from the exit of A5 motorway, which makes it difficult to find a more convenient ski resort.

You are on the ski slopes in twenty minutes

Even after many years living here I still find it thrilling that you can jump on the ‘telecabina’ in the center of Aosta and twenty minutes later you are up on the ski slopes. Thanks to this incredibly convenient and efficient service going for a ski here is almost as simple as popping out for a pint of milk.

Ski Club routine made easy

We have two boys in local ski clubs that train up in Pila most days of the week during the season. Living in the valley as we do there is no way we could manage the logistics without the lift service from downtown. Please see our article on the ski clubs for children in the Aosta Valley.

The bigger one can get himself to the telecabina when he finishes school at 13.20. All we have to do is pick him up when he comes back down in the evening. They have ski lockers next to the entrance where they can leave their kit. There is also a changing room, although they all seem to prefer to get changed on the way up and down in the lift.

The little one’s ski group, the ‘Microbes’, go skiing on Saturday & Sunday mornings. We drop him off at the telecabina at around eight o’clock. Their instructors take them up and deliver them back down again at lunchtime.

Ski racers are getting ready for the Giant Slalom at Pila ski resort

Friends on holiday made easy 

One of the great things for us about having the telecabina station here in town is that it means we can have friends over for a holiday whilst carrying on with our normal routine. Work, getting the kids to school, going shopping etc. If they don’t have a car it is easy to drop them off at the telecabina more or less whenever they want. We are usually going that way anyway for something or other. Or we can make use of the trip by popping into the GROS CIDAC supermarket next door.

If they have their own car, they can do the 10 minute comute from where we are in Gressan to the telecabina on their own.

We can also quickly wizz up to Pila to join them whenever we get the chance, or we can shoot down early on our own for whatever reason.

Pila ski resort on a sunny winter day

Practical summer season with the telecabina to Pila 

And the telecabina doesn’t only operate in the ski season. In the summer, from June to September, it is back in service, transporting mountain bikers and hikers. And the many people who simply go up for a mountain lunch and a sunbathe. The forests and the high meadows in Pila are gorgeous during the summer, once the snow has disappeared. The bars and restaurants transform themselves for the summer season, filling their gardens and terraces with flowers, deckchairs and sun umbrellas.

Pila for biking is the most convenient and world-class destination too. g enough to host important international competitions. The downhill tracks are long and challenging enough to host important international competitions. There are even bike trails that allow you to ride from the top of the Chamole chairlift at 2,300m all the way back down to Aosta, at 579m, a ‘dislivelo’ of 1,700m.

chamolé chair lift in the summer with snowy mountains tops in the background

Season ticket

If you are living here, the key to making the most of life in Aosta is to buy a summer & winter combined season ticket. This is something we didn’t do for the first couple of years for various reasons. Looking back it was a mistake and also a false economy. With a season ticket, you don’t have to always consider whether it’s worth going up or not. You just go whenever you can, even if it’s just for a couple of hours. And you avoid having to queue up to buy a ticket every time, you just get straight on.

Car parking

Most of the time during the ski season there is plenty of car parking available at the bottom of the telecabina. Occasionally on busy weekends and national holidays, it can fill up so you have to go and park in one of the nearby overflow car parks. However, in six years I have only had to do this maybe a handful of times.

The other alternative on busy days, or whenever you feel like it really, is to drive up to Pila in the car. It’s an easy twenty minute drive on a well-maintained road. There are two big car parks up there which are very convenient for the chair lifts and the ticket office, as well as the shops, bars and restaurants.

Progetto Pila – Platta de Gevron

At the moment the Aosta to Pila telecabina stops at the low part of Pila resort, at 1800m. From there you can either ski down to ‘Chamole’ chair lift or walk twenty-five meters to the ‘Liason’ chair lift. It usually all works very well although when it’s busy there can be some big queues.

There is an exciting plan to extend the telcabina right up to the top of Couis One, at 2,700m, which makes Aosta/Pila even more favourable ski resort.

This will relieve the pressure on the lower lifts in peak periods. It will also extend the ski season by giving direct access to the higher slopes where the snow arrives earlier and lasts longer. The project has been approved and should be completed by the 2023 winter season

Progetto Pila – Cogne

The extension of the telecabina may also one day include a link from the top of Couis One to the neighbouring Cogne Valley. This is a project that has been talked about for a number of years. Ever since the Pila – Cogne tourist train project, using tunnels left behind by miners, was shelved for technical reasons.

Aperitivo time in confortable chairs up on Pila ski resort

Progetto Porta Sud

Also on the drawing board at the Aosta planning office is a project called Porta Sud. It comprises a redevelopment of the old industrial sites around the telecabina to create a new commercial area. It includes the building of a new raised Piazza over the top of the adjoining railway tracks. Plus the creation of pedestrian-only boulevard from the telecabina to Piazza Chanoux.

If these new projects do one day go ahead, they will take both Aosta and Pila to another level. But if they don’t materialise Aosta will remain special place thanks to its beloved telecabina.

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