Courmayeur is the capital of Italian mountain tourism, dating back to 1908. Situated an hour-and-a-half north of Turin, down the stunning Aosta Valley, it is a sophisticated resort that has endless terrain for snowboarders.
- Highest Point: 2,755m
- Descent: 1,210m
- No. lifts: 18
If you hate coffee, pizza, powder, wine and smiling, carry on travelling. Chamonix folk can make a day trip across the border via the Mont Blanc tunnel, but while the high mountains and steep terrain are familiar, the cultural contrast couldn’t be greater. Courmayeur is blessedly free of crowds – especially off piste – and with more tree runs and, at times, very different weather (it can be cloudy in Cham but sunny over the mountain). This really is the yin to Chamonix’s yang.
The Parks – 3/5
The solitary snow park is located between the Colle and Aretu ski runs. There’s nothing massive, but features such as wallrides and cannon rails will keep even the experts happy. For newbies there’s a great array of ride-on features and progressive jumps.
“The Absinthe crew hit the backcountry here for their film Dopamine“
You can hit the giant kicker into the airbag for around two euros a go – well worth it for big air thrills without the hospital bills. In coming years, there are plans for a stash area similar to Avoriaz, with north shore, logs, jams and berms.
However, there’s nothing set in stone when it comes to snowboarding and the Mont Blanc region is historically maligned for its lack of decent snowparks. Nevertheless the natural terrain offers plenty of freestyle potential – the Absinthe crew hit the backcountry here for their film Dopamine.