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Pila

Pila Ski Resort, whose official name is Pila Snowland, is the largest of 15 ski resorts in the Aosta Valley region of northwestern Italy. The main feature of Pila Ski Resort is that it is the home resort for the town of Aosta. Pila consists of two high peaks: Piatta de Grévon (2,752 m / 9,028 ft) and Pointe du Couis (2,661 m / 8,730 ft), from which you can descend 1,200 m (3,937 ft) of vertical. The resort also offers spectacular views of Mont Blanc (4,808 m / 15,774 ft). Pila has 37 runs of 50 km (31 mi) and 17 ski lifts. It is more suitable for intermediate skiers (most runs are red), and the ski season lasts from late November to mid-April.

Pila Ski Resort, Italy

Location

Pila Ski Resort is in the municipality of Gressa in the northwestern Italian region of Aosta Valley.

Pila’s pistes meander down the slopes of the Gran Paradiso Massif within the Graian Alps subrange of the Western Alps. The lifts reach the peaks of Piatta de Grévon (2,752 m / 9,028 ft) and Pointe du Couis (2,661 m / 8,730 ft). Skiing in Pila, you can also take in views of nearby Monte Grivola (3,969 m / 13,021 ft) and Pointe Valletta (2,803 m / 9,196 ft), Mont Blanc (4,808 m / 15,774 ft), Grandes Jorasses (4,208 m / 13,805 ft), Monte Rosa (4,633 m / 15,200 ft), Gran Paradiso (4,061 m / 13,323 ft), Matterhorn (4,478 m / 14,691 ft), and many others. The astonishing views are some of the best in the Alps.

Pila Ski Resort, Italy

The resort is just next to the Gran Paradiso National Park, with incredible hiking, biking, and mountaineering options in all seasons.

Getting to Pila Ski Resort

There are several main ways to reach Pila Ski Resort. Here’s a quick breakdown of how to get there.

Nearest Airports

There are four airports near Pila: Milano Malpensa (MXP), Torino Caselle (TRN), Milano Bergamo Orio al Serio (BGY), and Geneva (GVA). Milano Malpensa and Geneva will likely have the cheapest and most direct international flight options.

Driving Directions

From Italy, drive to Pila by A5 Torino-Aosta motorway, exit at Aosta Est, and continue on the regional road following directions to Pollein-Charvensod-Pila. From Switzerland, go through the Great St. Bernard tunnel along the state highway SS27 to Aosta. From France, use the Mont Blanc Tunnel first, then go along the state highway SS26 to Aosta. Be aware that it is costly to cross through the tunnel (~70 euros round trip). In Aosta Valley itself, follow signs towards Gressan-Pila.

Pila Ski Resort, Italy

Shuttles and Public Transportation

You can also get to Pila using various public transportation options.

By train: Take the Milano-Torino line, served by the leading local company Trenitalia, and change at Chivasso to reach Aosta. From Aosta, you can get to the Aosta-Pila cable car within five minutes via an underground passage from the train station.

By bus: An Arriva bus from Milano Malpensa (MXP) travels directly to the Aosta Valley. Flixbus offers several departures from Milan to Aosta in the morning and one in the afternoon. You can also use it to get to Pila from Turin. If you miss the last bus of the day or detest buses, you can carpool with anyone on Blablacar. Rides are easy to come by from Torino and Milan (less so from other cities).

Pila Ski Resort, Italy

Moving Around Pila

There’s a regular SAP bus between Aosta and Pila. It takes 45 minutes to complete the line from the Pila Parking stop to the Aosta Bus Station stop (also a train station).

Season

The Pila ski season is generally from the end of November to mid-April. For example, in the 2022–23 season, Pila opened from the 26th of November to the 16th of April.

Snow and weather conditions

Pila is a north-facing ski resort, well-known for its reliable snow cover during the winter, thanks to its location in a natural Aosta Valley, protecting it from winds and adverse weather conditions. The resort usually receives around 5 to 6 m (200 to 240 inches) of snowfall per season, compensated by 480 snow cannons covering 80% of the resort’s slopes.

Pila Ski Resort, Italy

Pila Ski Map

The town of Gressan or Pila is two settlements. The lower one is by the river at an altitude of 626 m (2,054 ft). The upper settlement is the base station of the resort, at an altitude of 1,800 m (5,905 ft). However, you can also ski down to 1,540 m (4,934 ft) and further down to 574 m (1,883 ft) — the lowest point of the resort (by an unofficial slope).

From Aosta, the Aosta-Les Fleurs ski lift leads to a height of 1,373 m (4,504 ft). You continue up with the Pila-Gorraz chairlift to the base station. Eventually, you’ll reach the upper mountain by the resort’s main lift, the Gorraz-G. Gimod gondola. The Couis 1 and 2 chairlifts take skiers from the gondola to the mountain’s summit ridgeline. The Couis lifts are the only ones accessing alpine skiing at Pila. Options to hike along the ridgeline exist to the left and right of Couis 1 and 2.

To the skiers’ right of the gondola, La Nouva and Chamole access a plethora of red pistes below the treeline, with plenty of options to ski amongst the trees if conditions allow. To the skiers’ left of the gondola, the Grimonet chair offers the chance to run laps on the upper mountain, with some of the best tree skiing available at Pila.

Pila Slopes and Ski Lifts

Pila has 37 runs of 50 km (31 mi) and 17 ski lifts. Around 70% of the slopes are a mix of challenging reds, ranging from meandering tree-lined runs and wide, open slopes, perfect for intermediate skiers. Although most of the runs are red, there are also many blue slopes at the Gorraz area at the top of the Aosta-Pila cable car, providing the perfect place for beginners to find their feet away from more experienced skiers.

It is important to note that the blue runs aren’t limited to a beginner's area. There are also several higher up the mountain in the Grimod area, where you can take the Grimod piste, the longest of the resort at 5.8 km (mi), all the way back down to the bottom of the ski area.

Intermediates and beginners can also find a mix of red and blue runs at the top of the La Nuova and Chamolé lifts.

Here you’ll also find the snowpark along the entire length of the Grimod slope, complete with funboxes, rails, and ramps for all levels. It was the first snowpark in Aosta Valley and is rated one of the best in Italy, so don’t miss out when you’re in Pila.

A handful of challenging advanced black runs await expert skiers at the top of Pointe de Grévon and Pointe du Couis peaks via the Couis 1 and Couis 2 chairlifts. These are the most challenging slopes in the resort. But don’t worry if you get cold feet and change your mind at the top of the lift; there are usually several red runs alongside them if you want to opt-out.

You can also find a freeride area and off-piste skiing on wooded north-facing slopes and higher bowls. Some of the higher lines require a hike along the ridge.

Pila is yet another example of an Italian ski resort that could use some serious upgrades in lift infrastructure. The Couis chairs are both painfully slow - although the upper mountain gets tracked out slower as a result. Worse is the Pila-Gorraz lift, which connects the Aosta gondola and the Gorraz-G. Grimod gondola. The morning bottleneck here can be awful on weekends.

Pila Ski Resort, Italy

Slopes

  • Total slopes: 37
  • Slopes total length: 50 km (31 mi)
  • Types of slopes: easy (blue) — 8.3 km (5.1 mi), 16%; intermediate (red) — 35.5 km (21.9 mi), 70%; advanced (black) — 6.5 km (4 mi), 14%
  • Longest slopes: easy Grimod (5.8 km / 3.6 mi) and intermediate Couis 1 (4.2 km / 2.6 mi)
  • Popular slopes: Grimod, Grimondet, Gorraz

Ski lifts

  • Total lifts: 17 (4 gondolas, 8 chair lifts, 5 magic carpets)
  • Lifts operating hours: 8 am to 5 pm in general
  • Top station: Piatta de Grévon (2,752 m / 9,028 ft)
  • Base station: Pila (1,800 m / 5,905 ft)
  • Difference between stations (max vertical drop): 1,200 m (3,937 ft)
  • Lifts capacity: 22,154 skiers per hour

Other features and services

  • Artificial snow: Yes
  • Night skiing: No
  • Cross-country ski trails: 80 km (50 mi)
  • Snowshoe trails: Yes
  • Snowboard park: Yes
  • Sled slopes: Yes
  • Snow tubing: Yes
  • Ice-skating field: Yes
  • Heliskiing: Yes
  • Outdoor stores: No
  • Ski rentals and boot fitting: Yes
  • Ski school: Yes
  • Ski guide and ski tours: Yes
  • Kindergarten: No, but there are fun parks for kids
  • Hot air balloon: Yes

Pila Ski Resort, Italy

Pila Cross-country Skiing

From Pila, you can easily access Cogne Valley, Aosta’s inner valley. Cogne is the principal local cross-country skiing area with its own small Cogne Ski Resort. In just under 30 minutes, you’ll find 80 km (50 mi) of trails running under the mountains of Grivola (3,969 m / 13,021 ft) and Gran Paradiso (4061 m / 13,323 ft) into the heart of the Gran Paradiso National Park. There are a variety of trails to suit all levels, with a mix of lengths from 1.5 km (0.9 mi) to epic 40 km (25 mi) loops.

There is also snowshoeing at Pila, with at least three main routes leading to the east of the resort. The routes are not for the faint of heart; they are several kilometers long (2–3 hours of hiking).

Pila Backcountry Skiing

There are several options for off-piste skiing within the boundary of Pila Ski Resort. Serious backcountry skiers can also pursue freeride skiing off the backside of the Couis 1 lift into the Cogne Valley.

First, you can take the Couis 1 chairlift to the top of Piatta de Grévon. You can start at 2,700 m (8,858 ft) as you wind down to the Alpeggio Plan de l’Eyve (2,149 m / 7,050 ft) in the off-piste freeriding area, while enjoying incredible views over the neighboring Cogne Valley.

There are three great routes for ski mountaineering. Two ​lead to two other peaks in the resort that ski lifts cannot reach: Pointe du Drinc (2,662 m / ft) and Col Tsa Sétse (2,815 m / 5,954 ft). These routes involve hiking along the resort’s summit ridge. The third route is much less steep and leads almost horizontally far to the east from the Grimondet ski lift base station. All three of these routes are technically within the bounds of the ski area, although it will take backcountry technique to access them.

The most serious missions at Pila involve dropping off the backside of the Couis 1 into the Cogne Valley, a 1300m (4,265 ft) descent. The slopes here are genuinely severe and unsecured backcountry terrain. It’s steep, the exposure is southern, and daytime heating can cause problems, especially in spring. As the sun gets higher in the sky, go early to catch the best corn skiing. In recent years the south-facing slopes have been increasingly bare due to dry, warm winters. You’ll end up in the Cogne Valley, so you need to have a ride planned to get back to Aosta.

If you’re new to off-piste skiing, we recommend booking a guide to show you the best local areas securely and safely.

Pila Ski Resort, Italy

Ski Pass and Discount

There are several different ski passes to choose from at Pila Ski Resort.

The day pass is €50 or €45 for a half day (four hours of skiing). For 14 days, a ski pass costs €451.50. The season pass is €838. Of course, there are discounts for those over 65, and under 18, with further discounts for those under 14. Under 8’s ski for free.

You can also purchase a seasonal Aosta Valley Ski Pass, which gives access to other resorts in the valley: Breuil-Cervinia, Monterosa, Valtournenche-Cime Bianche, Chamois, Torgnon, and others, or an Aosta Valley Ski Pass plus Zermatt. The full rate is €1,518, with discounts across the same categories as the other passes. Without Zermatt, the full rate is €1,286.

Tourist Information

Visit the official tourist office of the Aosta Valley for in-depth information on Pila Ski Resort and the surrounding area. Don’t worry; they speak perfect English if your Italian is rusty.

Aosta Tourist Office

Piazza Porta Praetoria, 3, Aosta, 11100, Italy

Daily from 9 am to 7 pm

+390165236627

aosta@turismo.vda.it

Lovevda.it

Pila Ski Resort, Italy

Dining

While at Pila Ski Resort, discover the delicious local tastes of the Aosta Valley. Here are some of the top restaurants to enjoy during your stay:

  • Yeti Bar & Restaurant is at the top of the Aosta-Pila gondola lift, so you can easily reach it by foot or ski (or even by car). This family-run restaurant is open every day for lunch and from Thursday to Sunday for dinner — and it’s always worth booking to ensure a spot. You’ll begin with a mix of local cured meats and cheeses, followed by pasta, polenta, local soups, and traditional meat dishes.
  • Brasserie du Grimod is an excellent spot for local pizza in the heart of the action. Set by the slopes, the aperitivo kicks off at 4 p.m. The warm and welcoming atmosphere makes it a staple for unfussy and delicious food. Pick from various pizzas and mountain specialties such as fondue, raclette, and tartiflette.
  • Osteria da Nando is for those who are looking for fine dining. It is a Michelin Star restaurant in Aosta at the bottom of the valley. The restaurant provides a simple and elegant setting, offering a glimpse into the local food culture with a menu based around cured meats, polenta, and fondue, using only the best local ingredients.

Pila Ski Resort, Italy

Pila Accommodation

There are plenty of places to stay in Pila, including hotels and apartments on the slopes. Here are some of the top picks for every budget:

  • Hotel Tivet has cozy rooms in the typical style of the Aosta Valley. The hotel also has an underground spa with a jacuzzi, sauna, and mood shower to help soothe tired legs and clear the mind. An onsite restaurant provides a buffet breakfast and a delicious dinner in the evening, offering a wide choice of local cuisine with a daily menu.
  • Hotel La Chance, with endless views over snowy peaks and a hearty breakfast, is another excellent option. The hotel is just 20 minutes away from Aosta, and its cable car that takes you to the slopes. Unwind in the hotel’s wellness spa, indulge in delicious local cuisine at Lo Tzacard restaurant, or relax in modern, eco-friendly rooms.
  • Fleurs de Neige apartments are ideal for ski-to-door access and ample ski storage. They are located next to the Pila gondola for instant access to the slopes. The friendly and helpful staff will greet you and ensure everything you need for a comfortable stay.

Pila Ski Resort, Italy

Events and Après-ski

At Pila Ski Resort, several bars on the slopes offer aperitivo and drinks from 4 p.m. until late. The good thing is that if you stay late, a free shuttle bus is available upon request. It runs after the Asota-Pila lift closes at 5 pm, meaning you can enjoy a meal on the slopes or an extra drink without worrying about missing the last lift down to Aosta.

As for events, the resort holds a standard set of feasts. There are Christmas and New Year celebrations, as well as Valentine’s Night under the stars for an alternative romantic evening out - what more could you expect from the Italians?

Pila Ski Resort, Italy

Towns and Cities

Pila is the main town for the namesake ski resort, but Aosta gets most of the attention.

Aosta

The town of Aosta is at the intersection of several sub-valleys within the expanse of the greater Aosta Valley. Here you’ll find a much more comprehensive selection of restaurants and bars than at the resort and some ancient Roman ruins, such as a Roman theater and the Arch of Augustus. There is also Pré Saint Didier Thermal Spa. The entire valley is also famous for its fairytale castles. From Aosta, you can quickly get to the nearby ski resorts of La Thuile, Courmayeur, and others.

Aosta, Aosta Valley, Italy

Courmayeur

Courmayeur is just 30 minutes from Aosta. It is the perfect spot for people-watching and luxury shopping. This quaint town is a favorite of the well-heeled Milanese escaping the city for a fashionable weekend in the mountains. You’ll find livelier nightlife than in Pila and Aosta and a fantastic array of local restaurants to sample. The town is right next to the Mont Blanc Skyway lift, taking you up to Helbronner’s Point for incredible views across the snowy peaks of the Alps (as well as some serious big mountain skiing).

Courmayeur, Aosta Valley, Italy

mountain lifts
Status Type Name
Opening Hours
Aosta - Les Fleurs
08:30-16:45
08:30-16:45
Status
unknown
Opening hours
08:30-16:45
Schedule period
4.17.2024 - 4.24.2024
Start - End
569 m - 1 795 m
close
Baby Gorraz
08:30-16:45
08:30-16:45
Status
closed
Opening hours
08:30-16:45
Schedule period
4.17.2024 - 4.24.2024
Start - End
1 831 m - 1 862 m
close
Baby Pila 1
08:30-16:45
08:30-16:45
Status
closed
Opening hours
08:30-16:45
Schedule period
4.17.2024 - 4.24.2024
Start - End
1 768 m - 1 781 m
close
Baby Pila 2
08:30-16:45
08:30-16:45
Status
closed
Opening hours
08:30-16:45
Schedule period
4.17.2024 - 4.24.2024
Start - End
1 781 m - 1 789 m
Chamolé
08:30-16:45
08:30-16:45
Status
unknown
Opening hours
08:30-16:45
Schedule period
4.17.2024 - 4.24.2024
Start - End
1 766 m - 2 309 m
close
Couis 1
08:30-16:45
08:30-16:45
Status
closed
Opening hours
08:30-16:45
Schedule period
4.17.2024 - 4.24.2024
Start - End
2 162 m - 2 700 m
close
Couis 2
08:30-16:45
08:30-16:45
Status
closed
Opening hours
08:30-16:45
Schedule period
4.17.2024 - 4.24.2024
Start - End
2 150 m - 2 602 m
Gorraz - Grand Grimod
08:30-16:45
08:30-16:45
Status
unknown
Opening hours
08:30-16:45
Schedule period
4.17.2024 - 4.24.2024
Start - End
1 860 m - 2 229 m
close
Grimod
08:30-16:45
08:30-16:45
Status
closed
Opening hours
08:30-16:45
Schedule period
4.17.2024 - 4.24.2024
Start - End
2 120 m - 2 251 m
close
Grimondet
08:30-16:45
08:30-16:45
Status
closed
Opening hours
08:30-16:45
Schedule period
4.17.2024 - 4.24.2024
Start - End
1 975 m - 2 341 m
close
La Nouva
08:30-16:45
08:30-16:45
Status
closed
Opening hours
08:30-16:45
Schedule period
4.17.2024 - 4.24.2024
Start - End
1 953 m - 2 253 m
close
Leissé
08:30-16:45
08:30-16:45
Status
closed
Opening hours
08:30-16:45
Schedule period
4.17.2024 - 4.24.2024
Start - End
1 869 m - 2 359 m
Les Fleurs - Plan Praz
08:30-16:45
08:30-16:45
Status
unknown
Opening hours
08:30-16:45
Schedule period
4.17.2024 - 4.24.2024
Piatta de Grévon
08:30-16:45
08:30-16:45
Status
unknown
Opening hours
08:30-16:45
Schedule period
4.17.2024 - 4.24.2024
Start - End
2 697 m - 2 718 m
close
Pila - Gorraz (Liaison)
08:30-16:45
08:30-16:45
Status
closed
Opening hours
08:30-16:45
Schedule period
4.17.2024 - 4.24.2024
Start - End
1 800 m - 1 873 m
Plan Praz - Pila
08:30-16:45
08:30-16:45
Status
unknown
Opening hours
08:30-16:45
Schedule period
4.17.2024 - 4.24.2024
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