Resort Profile: Sauze d'Oulx
|By adamrowden, 12 Dec '12 at 11:16
Sauze d'Oulx, pronounced Sow-zee-doo was one of the most successful Italian ski resorts in the 1970s and '80s, expanding rapidly. Located on a high sunny 'balcony' in the Susa Valley, the resort is surrounded by larch forest above.
The trails cut down through this natural amphitheatre have an excellent snow record. Its success resulted from its large and varied ski area, linked to Sestriere, its lively nightlife and reasonable prices. The resulting growth has led to the construction of a large number of rectangular concrete apartment blocks, mirroring its French partner, Montgenèvre, now lift-linked to Sauze at the other end of the long Milky Way circuit.
Although Sauze still has a delightful ancient heart of stone buildings, narrow streets and a cobbled square with water fountain, as well as locals prepared to dress in traditional attire for ancient festivals, these are all somewhat swamped by the newer developments all around. In the 1990s Sauze d'Oulx has matured to some extent, and although the resort is still one of the liveliest ski centres in the world, the occasionally unpleasant 'rowdy' element has moved on. It remains a very popular destination nonetheless, with most of the major international tour operators including it in their resort lists.
Skiing has been popular here for over a century and world champions like Piero Gros, a gold medalist of the 1976 Olympics, have been based here. Skiing first began on the local slopes at the end of the last century when a Swiss engineer, Adolfo Kind, taught skiing to locals and guests using wooden boards strapped to the feet.
On the Slopes
Beginners can enjoy the village nursery slopes that are located at the bottom of the Clotes chairlift, however, the main area that will attract the beginners is Sportinia. This has a wide and open plateau which has plenty of nice and easy runs.
Intermediate riders will be able to take the parallel Rocce Nere chairlifts from Sportinia to Monte Triplex where there are plenty of awesome red runs which link you to Rocce Nere. It is on these runs that you can develop your skills and have a nice time riding around at a leisurely pace. There is also the Rio Nero drag lift that will link you to Sansicario, which leads you on to the famous Milky Way system which houses Sestriere, Sansicario, Cesena and Claviere.
For the more advanced skiers and snowboarders, Sauze d'Oulx has plenty to offer. The Moncrons area is pretty challenging and is a good place to test yourself as is the Genevris area, where there are some cool off-piste possibilities. You can also take the Basset 4-seater chair to Sestriere and hurtle down the World Championship Kandahar run in Sestriere or some long challenging red runs in Sansicario.
- Good nightlife
- Reasonable prices
- You can have fun on skidoos
- Decent range of skiing
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