If you know your ski touring venues well, then there’s a good chance you may have heard of Val Maira – but ski touring in Val Stura, where’s that? Well, it’s the next valley south and it’s every bit as good. This is a very quiet area, with plenty of great day tours and one small ski station that’s home to some of the best tree skiing in the Alps.
Our base for the week was a comfortable local hotel in the middle of the valley – with friendly staff, excellent regional food and a sauna, steam room and jacuzzi to ease tired ski legs each night: in short, an ideal venue for touring!
On day one we skinned up to a good summit to take in the views and enjoy a big descent, as snow was forecast the following day. Next morning we awoke to the expected blizzard, with plenty of car digging required to get moving and head up the road in order to enjoy a fantastic day of fresh powder skiing in the woods.
It was still snowing the next morning too, so we headed to Argentera, bought a lift pass and spent another amazing day lapping the trees in more deep fresh powder. This set us up for the week, as the skies cleared and we were then able to enjoy a new tour each day, with the familiar routine of a morning spent skinning, lunch and views, then finally a long fresh powder descent. Thanks to David, Paul, Paul, Nicola, Neil and Jonathan for being such a great team – we all made many new friendships during the week.
Postscript: Conditions were so good, that I actually brought my family back down here on holiday (again!) the following week and found more fresh, untracked powder to ski every day for another week – it’s so quiet and there’s so much to do that god snow stays untracked for a very long time…