Sauze d’Oulx ski resort
About Sauze d’Oulx
Sauze d’Oulx is perhaps the best place to stay in the Via Lattea (Milky Way) ski region, a vast region with more than 400km (250 miles) of inter-connecting pistes, which continue across the Italian border into France.
While other Italian villages, like Cesana and Claviere, may be more centrally located, they’re smaller with far fewer facilities. There are also bigger, higher resorts like Montgenevre on the French side and Sestriere on the Italian, which are more snowsure and have lots of amenities, but they lack the character and ambience of Sauze d’Oulx.
So Sauze d’Oulx offers the best compromise between character and a good-sized resort. Chosen as a venue for the 2006 Winter Olympics, the resort benefited enormously from improved access and infrastructure on the slopes, which continue to pay off to this day.
Once seen in British tabloids as the ‘Ibiza’ of the ski world, mainly due to its lively (and allegedly excessive) nightlife, it’s calmed down since. It still has a strong British contingent, though, and a better than average après ski scene.
Sauze d’Oulx ski resort is located in the Susa Valley, within the Piedmont region of the northwestern Italian Alps, very close to the border with France.
On the slopes
Most snow sports enthusiasts will begin their day on one of the lifts to the usually snowsure Sportinia Plateau, from which ski lifts and runs radiate in all directions.
Beginners are likely to find their first lessons are staged at the nursery slopes on the Sportinia Plateau, while those with a bit mroe confidence can head back down to the base where there is a slightly more challenging run to explore. Overall, however, the resort is more suited to intermediate and experts skiers.
Intermediates will be tempted to head over to the massive snowy bowl around neighbouring Sestriere, or take the exciting long blues and reds back down to Sauze d’Oulx. The trip to Montgenèvre has been made easier with better connections and faster, more comfortable chairlifts replacing rickety old drags, but it’s still a good idea to set off as early as possible and leave plenty of time for the return journey to be able to ski down to the village.
Amongst the more exciting runs for intermediate and advanced skiers is the Gran Pista to Prariond, which descends 650m (1,950ft) and has hosted downhill races in the past. The same applies to run 29, which leads down from the Capanna Mollino, winding its way between forests of ancient pines and larch trees. Another notable run, the Canale Colò, is named after famous Italian racer Zeno Colò, who won many international races in the 1940s and 1950s.
The ski season generally runs from early December until late April.