VALCHIAVENNAIn : Valtellina
The Valchiavenna Ski Area includes Madesimo, Campodolcino, Motta, Montespluga e la Val di Lei.
It is situated several kilometers from the Swiss border in Val San Giacomo , better known as Valle Spluga, or in local dialect – val di Giüst between Lepontine and Retiche Alps, and then
the valley river Liro marks the border between Easter and Western Alps. The local peaks are slightly above 3 000 m – Pizzo Tambò (3.279 m ), Pizzo d’Emet (3.209 m) Pizzo Stella (3.163 m) and Pizzo Suretta (3.027 m). Passo dello Spluga on the border is closed generally between 1.XI – 1.V .
The small ( 582 habitants) community Madesimo is the farthest Italian village from the sea and is located around 1.534 m above the sea level.
It is well known from the ancient times for its mineral spring of earthy-sulfate-magnesium saline, the 1729 renovation of which made Madesimo popular resort for summer vacations.
During winter the lifts take the skiers to the slopes of La Colmanetta ( 2240 m) and Cima Sole ( 2150 m) in the middle of the ski area. Here, is the beginning of Pista Vanoni 3km long with 600m of span level ( 2150 – 1550 m ).
Also from Cima Sole starts funivia Groppera, which goes up to 2880 m near Pizzo Groppera, where the group of runs (called zona Val di Lei) descent to Rifugio Val di Lei.
The village Campodolcino ( 1 066 m ) is connected with fraction Motta (1 721 m) by the Funicolare “SKY EXPRESS”, the underground cable car that can carry 2,500 people per hour.
The “SKY EXPRESS” reaches the 700 m drop in three minutes, and stops directly near the ski slopes.
25 km of runs near Madesimo, Campodolcino, Motta and Montespluga.
two slopes Canalone and Camosci from Pizzo Groppera ( 2880 -1900 m )
snowpark near rifugio Larici
[ the photo courtesy of Francesco Frederico]