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With 70km of marked runs that includes ski routes this may not appear a resort for 'piste bashers' but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality. I have actually been visiting the area for 15 years and I could never accuse the resort of standing still. There are always improvements in the infrastructure and although not all lifts are fast, they are all boarder friendly! The snowmaking covers the vast majority of runs and the grooming is generally excellent. There are numerous eateries from rustic huts to modern chic restaurants, all serving reasonably priced good food. La Boutson does a great bbq burger on good weather days.
If you have beginners or timid intermediates then give this place a try. The progression runs are excellent. Advanced and above have some great reds to carve up and some lovely blacks at the top of the mountain along with high snowy bowls to play in. A lot of tree lined runs so snowy days should hold no fears. One of it's strengths is also what I would say is it's only weakness. All runs filter down to a common starting place making it difficult to remain lost, however this means at the end of the day the home run gets crowded. You can get down on a slow 3 man chair if crowds bother you. The only other crowds you will encounter will be at the weekend and during holiday periods. Most folk will stay down in the valley in Aosta or further afield however there are several hotels in the small purpose built resort itself. Not really enough night life to occupy the active for a week up on the hill. My stars reflect Aosta/Pila and not just Pila itself.
Pila is an amazing resort! We stayed down in Aosta and caught the gondola up every day. We went here in the first week of the easter holidays for our third ski holiday for our family of 2 adults and 2 children aged 7 and 9, after skiing at La Rosiere and Les Arc. The resort is lovely and ski lifts although not as quick as those at Les Arc were still very good. The runs are excellent with lots of lovely blues and reds and 4 or 5 blacks which were challenging in places. The food on the slopes was great and cheap! Amazing prices for pizza, spaghetti and hot sandwiches. We used Ski Evolution for ski school for the kids which has its meeting point just at the top of the gondola (which was quiet at 9am each morning in the school holidays!) - they were excellent and we had 5 days of 3 hours which gave us loads of time to ski and return to pick them up. The 5 day option (which is the only one for them), caused us concern to start with, because after a year we thought they may have struggled to ski for the first day with us, but they didn't and the 3 hours really made a difference to their skill level for the remaining 5 days. They loved the ski test at the end of the week and the snow park. We would really recommend this resort. The travel time from calais was 2 hours quicker than going to La Rosiere and Les Arcs as the roads and peage were empty, also the views of Mont Blanc were amazing.
We have just visited Pila and thought it needed a more current review. The resort represents good value in terms of food and accommodation compared to France/Switzerland/Austria, although the lift pass is expensive for the small ski area (80km) and must assume you will visit other resorts which are included. However, this is unlikely if you stay in Pila since the drive up/down is a long one.
The ski area is good in terms of variety with a large number of reds, but also enough blacks and blues for experts and beginners. There was a reasonable amount of off piste. The main issue is the small size of the resort which means you will get very bored if you stay a week and even though we had good snow they did not open several pistes. Our chalet owner did not know why since they told him they would open them - I do not think it was avalanche risk, probably not enough resources. I would advise this resort for beginners for a week or others more competent skiers a week end only.
Just back from a mid week break to Pila using Pilaski.co.uk services. What a brilliant time so quiet and superb piste and some off piste. Travelled out on Sunday and back on Saturday via Geneva (2.5hrs away by car) so missed the weekends. Told the weekend can get very busy with locals.
We stayed up the mountain with ski in/out. This misses the gondola trip up from Aosta in the valley.
Great choice of food and bars on the mountain - best food Yeti Bar in the evening. Avoid anything with Polenta in. Tip: take Italian dictionary to translate the menus. Not huge problem without as they do speak english I just like to know what I am choosing!
Happy to go again.
We booked Pila through ski club's travel agents. I must say I was pleased with the whole deal and indeed I could not find anyone who could match the price. The resort was vey compact and easy to get around and the locals proved to be very helpfull we hired our skis/boots thru Ski Set again a very pleasant experience staff friendly and helpful. We stayed at the Chalet de Alpes, i could not fault the service or the quality of the rooms or food. As regards the ski slopes, we arrived on Dec 24th and stayed until the 31st. No new snow fell but the pistes remained skiable, in no
small part due to the hard work of the resort staff with snow making going on overnight. The biggest suprise was how uncrowded the slopes seemed compared with other resorts I have been to during peak holiday
periods. All in all I felt Pila to be a real hidden gem and
would recomend it to all but andvanced skiers due to
the limited number of runs.
We've just got back from a fantastic week in Pila, we were very lucky with the weather and snow, which obviously helped. All the runs were open, apart from two outlying red runs and some short linking sections. Contrary to Lee's experience we found the runs to be well marked and beautifully kept - admittedly the sign posting isn't great, but as everything leads back to one central run its impossible to get lost. Most of the runs link up, and there are lots of fun add-ons: off-piste, linking sections through the trees, natural half-pipes and jumps, so it took us (an early and late intermediate) a week to exhaust the area. Everyone we met was incredibly friendly, especially the helpful and flexible pila ski-school. The town itself is tiny, but very convenient, and fairly picturasque for purpose built. There is very little nightlife, but if your main interest is ski-ing, eating and proppng up the hotel bar, Pila is great.
Just got back from a week in Pila 5/2/06 -Overall very disappointing. Hotel Chalet des Alp whilst basic was welcoming and had good food. However, that is where the good news stops. Despite getting more than a foot of snow in the days prior to our arrival, less than half the slopes were open. In fact the majority of slopes have not been prepared at all this year at Pila (as indicated by the lack of any marker poles and safety netting). Black runs - none open out of 4, Red runs 8 open out of a possible 18 and Blue 3 out of 3. So advanced had no good runs, intermediates had done everything in 2 days and the beginners had to cope with masses of people and severe overcrowding. When the locals joined in on the Saturday it was too dangerous and crowded to ski beyond mid-day. Two suggestions we heard were 1. that all the best people and piste equipment had gone to the Olympic resorts; 2. Pila had not sold sufficient lift passes to afford to pay people to do the work. Add to this poor equipment and a rep that didn't know the resort - and didn't care (Crystal rep) and the result was a poor holiday - completely different from that described in the brochures. We will not be returning. Maybe there is a moral to all this: Do not visit a country that is hosting the Olympics?
Pila is a great resort for beginners/intermediates. The pistes are probably the best-kept I have ever skied on and there are no drag lifts at all. Althought the terrain is compact, there is just enough to keep an upper intermediate happy for a week. The reds are fairly challenging (don't know about the blacks as they are closed at present - Jan 2006). Not being lift-linked may be frusttrating for those who like to motor about to different resorts, but the up side is the convenience of being able to ski-to-door for most of the hotels. The Hotel Pila 2000 is modern and efficient, with friendly staff and fantastic food (the best I've ever had in a ski resort), but it is in a rather soul-less complex and there are no English TV channels/newspapers available in resort. The cable car ride down to Aosta is worthwhile (note that it stops at 5pm) - best done at the weekend, when the slopes certainly fill up with Italians from Turin, making the lift queues longer and the main run back into resort very overcrowded. There are lots of British (Interski) schoolkids in resort, but they stay down in Aosta. Generally, though, the pistes are wonderfully quiet (and so is the nightlife - (do not go to Pila for anything lively in the way of apres ski!). The average temperature was very cold indeed, although the resort is probably more sheltered than others. Dress for the cold (I needed handwarmers for the first time ever).
Italians very friendly, often lift queue at Chamolé in morning, but rarely anywhere else. Ideal resort for intermediates for confidence building.
Pila is an excellent centre for skiing. We take numerous school groups there via Interski. A safe and secure hill offers something for everyone. With Le Thuile and Courmayour only half an hour up the road, the whole of Aosta is brilliant but Pila is the jewel in the crown.
Pila is a compact ski area with all most all runs leading into one central run which goes right in to the heart of pila resort. once of the main central run it is possible to ski a whole run without seeing anybody else even in busy holiday peroids. The wide gentel blue Grimond provides a great envioroment for beinginers. Pila is a resort litted with red runs mostly picking there way throgh the trees which are great for buliding intermdiates confidence. Though Pila only has 4 black runs they provdide a good challenge for advanced skiers. The wall is the challinge for experts in Pila a almost verticle 2 mile run can scare even top skiers.
We just had a great week in Pila. The Etoile de Neige is a very friendly hotel with good food (but rather firm beds!). As a relative novice it was perfect skiing with plenty of red runs at a range of levels. Pila isn't a hotbed of apres-ski activity but the Gallaghers bar is pleasant and quiet (actually a nice change not to have live football on everywhere). We were happy to drink in the hotel after dinner and avoid the hike up the hill! On the downside it isn't easy to get out to other local resorts but why would you want to anyway? Staying in Aosta might be better if you want to use other resorts. Mixed views on the schools - large groups of kids were spotted with instructors but we had 2 hours of tuition for e32/hr from Aosta ski+snowbd with no problems.
We loved it so much we bought an apartment! After a bad experience in
Andorra, I swore I would never ski again, and so we selected Pila because
of the link with Aosta. However I did ski - private lessons which were
great and gave me my confidence back. Friendly resort - very Italian,
beautiful pistes, good lifts, and surprisingly quiet.
I have skied pila for the last 3 years on the school trip, it is organised by Interski and I have had a great time all of the years. I have recently returned from a nice hotel called the mont fluery and have now skied almost everywhere on the mountain. The ski area is very varied with great veiws of the grand paradiso national park and the aosta valley. Snow conditions are improving every year and with all of the snow cannons the pistes will always have snow on them. check this resort out and see for yourself.
Pila is a very nice, compact ski area with a good variety of runs and lots of different types of terrain, including open pistes and runs down through the trees. The fast red run on the far left of the ski area is a hoot for all intermediate and up skiers and is used by ski teams as a practice run. A very nice resort.
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