Champoluc Woodland Sculpture Trail

champoluc woodlandAt just 2 miles long this lovely flat circular walk can easily be done in under an hour even with little ones. Plus, if you are staying at Hotel California, Le Petit Tournalin or Le Campagnol it’s right on your doorstep. If you are starting from Champoluc centre we recommend starting by heading up the private road next to the Penguin Club as this way around you get the sun on your back at the start of the walk and save the magical sculptures, which are usually in a bit of shade, until last.

The directions here start and end at the Thermal Spa by the main carpark at the end of the village as it’s nice and easy for everyone to find:

Facing the spa look left and cross over the road bridge, on your right you’ll see a private road, ‘strada privata’, at the top of it there is a large stone house with a pretty garden, this is our Ski 2 Penguin Club for the tots during your stay. Head straight up the road and keep going up the valley with the River Ayasse on your right. After 10-15 minutes you’ll see Frachey over the river and the funicular going up the mountain. A few minutes later cross the wooden bridge, don’t forget to pause and look at the view up the valley!

Take the path back down the river and through the woods on the other side (behind the bus stop), you can’t miss it and the sunlight through the trees is enchanting. Here you’ll pass behind the Hotel California and Le Petit Tournalin, and start to spot the wooden sculptures.

More sculptures appear every year and the woodland creatures, cheeky faces and fairies are sure to capture the imagination of children and adults alike. You’ll pop out next to the thermal spa, and from here you can walk straight down the road, which takes you back to Ski 2 office, where you can tell us what fun you’ve had. If you have really young kids with you, you could always just do a short there and back through the sculptures!

Facts about Frachey

As you strap your boots on, load your skis into the back and hop into Bertha the bus in the morning, winding your way out of Champoluc a few minutes up the valley to Frachey, have you ever stopped to wonder what else is in this small village, other than the funicular that takes you up the mountain towards Bettaforca? Have you ever noticed, for example, the small chapel on the right as you pull into the Frachey funicular car park?

Saint Roch chapel in Frachey

This area is popular with walkers and if you look around you will see why. Numerous sign posts point you in the direction of paths along, across, up and down the sides of the valley. From here, you can make your way back through the forest to Champoluc (beware the weird and wonderful wooden woodland creatures that greet you along the way) or further up the valley to the village of Saint-Jacques.

What you may not have noticed, however, is the modest chapel building inscribed with Saint Roch (San Rocco, in Italian). Originally dedicated to San Claudio by Jean-Claude Frachey, the chapel was built in 1653. By 1820, it had fallen into a state of disrepair and was restored in 1837.

In September 1860 the Ayas Valley was hit by an unexpected and catastrophic glacier melt, caused by hot torrential rain, swelling the river Evençon, destroying the road in 12 places and turning the fields into glaciers. In 1888, Frachey was once again hit, this time by an avalanche, which flattened four houses, but left the Saint Roch chapel standing.

Having survived all of this, the chapel made it to 1978, when it witnessed the construction of a chairlift next door. It then went on to outlive the chairlift when, in 2009, it was taken down and replaced by the funicular that carries you up the mountain today. The first funicular in the Valle D’Aosta dedicated to skiing, each of its two cabins can carry up to 110 people (but are rarely full).

Give us a call and we’ll happily drive you up there so that you can hop on the funicular and be on your way to a fantastic day of Monterosa skiing.

Chalet lo Miéte at Mascognaz

There is little doubt that Hotellerie de Mascognaz offers the most luxurious accommodation in Champoluc and whilst its location will not appeal to all, its delightful position set high above the village which gives it a massive amount of charm. Originally a hamlet of farm buildings, it has been skilfully converted to offer modern 5* accommodation, whilst still retaining the ancient charm of the property.

Chalet Lo Miete

The location of Mascognaz means a 10 minute ski-doo or 4 wheel drive transfer to and from the village at the end of each day along a steep track through the woods. Provided, on request, by the hotel staff, these transfers and the onward connection between the bottom of the track and the main gondola (a 5 minute drive), might seem an inconvenience, but are in fact part of the adventure of staying in one of the chalets at Mascognaz.

There is a main building with a wonderful restaurant serving fine local dishes, a further large building containing an imposing ‘wellness area’ (with swimming pool, sauna, steam bath, etc).

Chalet lo Miéte has space for 12 or 14, seven comfortable rooms are furnished with wood panelling. When the whole chalet is booked out for a week, the cost is £760 per person for two sharing a double or twin room. For a group of 12 adults, there is 1 free space offered.

Call 01962 713330 for details or email info@ski-2.com with details of your group for a no-obligation personalised quotation.

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Ski 2 in Champoluc 2016 Season Video

We’ve been organising tailor made ski holidays in Champoluc for over 17 years. Take a look at our 2016 season video. You will find out more about our team on the ground in the resort and what you can expect from a Ski 2 holiday in the beautiful Monterosa region.

Work with us in Champoluc

We are on the lookout for a personable and qualified nanny to work in our own nursery – the Ski 2 Penguin Club in the Italian resort of Champoluc,  looking after our youngest guests from December 2015 to April 2016.

Remuneration package includes accommodation, food allowance, lift pass, uniform and monthly wage.

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For more details about this exciting opportunity, please email Roger Walker with a copy of your CV.