End-of-season budget tip: Passo Tonale

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Passo Tonale’s skiarea sits above the town settling at 1883m with top heights of well over 3000 meter. It is one of the highest skiresorts in Italy and snow is pretty much guaranteed throughout the season here. As is lots of sunshine. This Alpine resort is generally one of the last left open in April.

The wide range of gentle slopes makes Passo Tonale a wonderful skiresort for beginners and timid intermediates. It’s a more interesting destination for the more adventurous now that it is linked to the slopes of Ponte di Legno, at the other end of the mountain pass.

Passo Tonale’s skiarea is divided into three main areas. The main area is served by a series of lifts that stretch along the main road that passes through Passo Tonale. The runs are all easy blue and red. Fairly short in general. This makes this resort ideal for beginners and intermediates looking to progress however for the majority of skiers the runs are flatteringly easy.

A greater challenge can be found on the Presena glacier. Here there are a couple of black runs which do offer a challenge however the area is limited in extent. For experts and off piste die-hards, the 3km Paradiso black is amazing, with a vertical drop of 700m. If you make your way up to Cima Presena at 3015m you can descend 1215m on blacks and reds down into the valley.

A few years ago, a modern gondola lift and a red slope were built in order to connect Passo Tonale to Ponte di Legno, a characteristic town at a height of 1200 meters, and also to the Corno d’Aola and Temù slopes. The slopes here are predominantly red runs and present more of a challenge than the red runs in the main Passo area.

If you’re a good intermediate there’s just enough skiing to keep you entertained for a week.

The village is fairly small and lacks traditional Alpine charm but the people are very friendly. It buzzes during the winter season, drawing scores of families every year. Passo Tonale is one of the more affordable skiresorts, with options to cater to all budgets; it’s definitely one of the better family-friendly ski destinations. And a great way to end the skiseason. Not at least for the southern Alps.

Written by skiweather on Sunday April 12, 2015

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