For off-piste skiing enthusiasts, the Passo del Tonale-Presena Glacier ski area has deservedly become one of the most sought-after destinations in the entire Alps!
The ski area of the Passo del Tonale is definitely one of the best destinations for off-piste skiing in western Trentino thanks to a series of favourable characteristics such as elevation (ranging between 1,900 and 3,000 metres a.s.l.), exposure (mainly northerly) and the cut of the land itself which offers a range of valleys and ravines with varying slopes and difficulty levels.
Off-piste descents such as “Il Cantiere” (the Building Site) or the “Canale del Diavolo” (The Devil’s Channel), to name but a few, attract free-ride aficionados from across Europe.
A typical day’s skiing would usually start off with a warm-up descent along the Vescasa off-piste route which can be reached with the Alpino chairlift (southern exposure). This would be followed by a second descent down the narrow valley of the “Il Cantiere” which can be reached with the ski-lift facilities of the Presena glacier and the day would be topped off with a final, and steeper, descent down the “Canale del Diavolo” gully which can also be reached from the facilies of the Presena glacier after a 10 minute uphill hike (a climb of about 80 metres).
“Freeride in Lombardia” byP.MarazziandG.Bordoni, ed.Versante Sud 2010. Map“Adamello-Presanella”by 4Land, scale1:25.000, table no.138.
Remember, snowpack stability is subject to sudden and unforeseeable changes and shifts. Always check the local avalanche bulletin (www.meteotrentino.it) before departure and make sure you gather all possible information concerning current conditions at the Mountain Guides’ office. https://www.guidealpinevaldisole.it
Also remember that off-piste skiing within recognised ski areas is regulated and subject to limitations: find out about any areas that may be off-limits or inaccessible.
GPS routes are merely indicative of the more reasonable track but must not be followed blindly without first checking current slope and terrain conditions.
For all off-piste skiing activities, the proper apparel is strongly recommended. Skiers must bear in mind that temperatures can dip quickly and garments should also be suitable for snowy conditions (such as waterproof Gore-Tex jackets). Furthermore, gloves, cap, sun glasses and sun cream should also form part of every off-piste skier’s basic gear.
It’s also important to bear in mind that tight fitting or insufficiently waterproof ski boots can cause frostbite.
It’s also COMPULSARY to carry with you an avalanche rescue kit consisting of avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel (this is also available for rent).
A suitable helmet and other safety equipment are also strongly recommended (avalanche airbags etc.).
Local mountain guides:
Follow the entire Val di Sole as far as Passo del Tonale and then leave your car in the large carpark on your left from where the ski-lift facilities for the Presena glacier depart.
Plenty of parking available.