Italian Alps

The boys and I headed to Courmayeur, just over the Italian border to the south of Mont Blanc for a week skiing.

Cresta D'Arp, Italian Alps

  Cresta D’Arp, Italian Alps

Courmayeur is only an hour and half drive from Geneva if the Mont Blanc tunnel is flowing smoothly. After the fire in the tunnel that killed quite a few people, they now regulate the traffic to flow at 70 km/hour separated by 100m.  Works well when traffic density is low, but last summer we waited 2 hours in a queue to enter the tunnel,

The highest point that can be reached by telecabine from the ski area is Cresta d’Arp (2755m or 9,040 ft) with spectacular views of Mont Blanc to the north and the Italian Alps all around.

DSCN5101

Mont Blanc de Courmayeur

Mont Blanc looms to the north from Cresta d’Arp. The peak in  the above photo is actually Mont Blanc de Courmayeur which joins by a ridge to the main summit (not visible here). The two glaciers on the south face are Glacier du Breuillat and to its right Glacier de Frêney. The ridge on the left is one of the more difficult routes to climb Mont Blanc, usually taking 2 or 3 days.

DSCN5110To the south of Mont Blanc is the Glacier de Miages which flows around towards Courmayeur to the right.

DSCN5124Skiers (towards bottom left) descending from Cresta d’Arp towards the Glacier de Miages.

DSCN5086DSCN5098Looking east from Cresta d’Arp. There is an off-piste ski route down this valley also.

DSCN5106A view from Cresta d’Arp towards the north-east.

We have had several days of perfect weather. Blue sky and bright sun, no wind. I have been skiing without gloves or parka wearing just two layers and was not at all cold.

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