Sauze D'Oulx Lifts

Started by Not didier in Italy - 20 Replies

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Roz FitzGerald
reply to 'Sauze D'Oulx Lifts'
posted 04-Nov

I have been skiing Sauze for nearly 20 years and have seen gradual improvements to both the town and the lift system. The incident last year was shocking and unusual but managed - yes, the red run from the top of Fraiteve was shut but the 'black' run alternative is wide and not hugely challenging, and in some ways easier than the closed red. However, I'm sure that the issue will be resolved for the coming season so don't be put off by Icemans comments.
Piste grading in Italy is slightly softer than its French counterpart and some reds are more like Meribel blues! There are 2 moving carpet chair lifts, very few drag lifts and a cable car into Sestriere if you don't want to ski in. You can ski all the way to Montgenevre for time in France for 1 day on a weekly ski pass. Plan your day and get the bus back to Sauze to make the most of your time there. You can buy a weekly discounted ticket for the ski bus from the post office but most accommodation is close enough to a lift to walk and those further out often provide a shuttle service. If conditions dictate, then yes, lifts will be closed - that happens anywhere, as for refunds - well just make sure you've got the right sort of insurance and get the issue recorded before you leave.
Sauze town is friendly, with lots of bars and eating places, English is widely spoken, there's a great wine bar where Charlie will provide an excellent vine tasting session, on the slopes there are lots of lovely places to stop and get a meal or a warming bombadino! A little further down is Jouvenceaux, its quiet old cobbled streets and tiny church with beautifully restored fresco's is charming and there is a good chairlift from here directly to the main ski school area, the lifts only get busy during the Italian holidays and weekend mornings when the locals from Turin arrive (they stop for long leisurely lunches). The pistes are well serviced overnight and there is usually a torchlight run once a week.
Transfer from Turin is about an hour by road and a little longer by train.
There is an excellent website at and Chris will answer with more detail and bang up to date info, he can also pre-book items often with good discounts. There is usually a ski club GB rep in the resort and if you like going with specialist companies take a look at Neilsons who offer a ski guiding option at some of their hotels.

Far Queue
reply to 'Sauze D'Oulx Lifts'
posted 07-Nov

I have just read the following elsewhere.

"The lift company have confirmed the runs at the top of Fraiteve, that were closed last season due to the fatal accident, will remain closed next season. The case is still in litigation.

The way down from Fraiteve will be via run 25 & Colo, both black."

Can anyone confirm this?

reply to 'Sauze D'Oulx Lifts'
posted 07-Nov

We have stayed in Sestriere twice and Sauze once and never experienced major lift closures. All said, when we were there two years ago I was chatting to a local on the Sauze side and asked him why some runs with excellent looking snow were not open because the lifts accessing these runs were closed. He said the lift system is privately owned and the owners put profit before investment and by keeping certain runs closed, it saved the cost of maintenance of the lift and slopes. He said, the lift owners treated it like a cash cow and it was all about making money whilst keeping investment to a minimum.

Cervinia is an easy drive from Turin but that has real issues with lift closures due to high winds. I like Cervinia but would only go if I had access to a car so that I can drive around the mountain or even to another resort if/when the lifts are closed.

I have not skied Gressoney but a friend who did said it was great for a few days but he did get frustrated as you have to keep skiing over the same area to get from A to Z.

Another resort which offers easy skiing and is great for a day is Pila. You park by the side of the motorway and take a 20-30 minute gondola ride up to the resort. So fun for a day, possibly two but no more than that.

Edited 1 time. Last update at 07-Nov-2019

reply to 'Sauze D'Oulx Lifts'
posted 11-Nov

Been to Sauze twice and the only lift closure was when it was extremely foggy and they were stopping people going up the lift that takes you back from Sestriere to Sauze (unless you were returning to Sauze)

However modern a lift system is you can't legislate for the weather.
Andy M

reply to 'Sauze D'Oulx Lifts'
posted 12-Nov

Stayed in MontG and really liked it but the selling point about it all being lift linked is tenuous, imv.
Sure, it is possible, but a pita.

Id treat them as 3 separate areas to all intents and purposes.
Sauze side, MontG and Sestiere, which can be bussed

It you get more than that then bonus but too many niggly issues for what should otherwise be a nice weeks location and the old lifts and shut runs compound that.
Pity but it shouldnt take months or another season to sort out.

It smacks of indifference which was my over riding impression when there and whilst id like to go back, for sure, id like to see progress or a plan in place.
Nothing wrong bar infrastructure, imv

Roz FitzGerald
reply to 'Sauze D'Oulx Lifts'
posted 13-Nov

It smacks of indifference which was my over riding impression when there and whilst id like to go back, for sure, id like to see progress or a plan in place.
Nothing wrong bar infrastructure, imv

I doubt that any prolonged closure is due to indifference but down to litigation and the slow mechanisms of the health and safety brigade, and therefore beyond the control of the Sauze community or the Vialattea lift service.
Edited 1 time. Last update at 13-Nov-2019

reply to 'Sauze D'Oulx Lifts'
posted 13-Nov

The link between Sauze and Sestriere was closed by the public prosecutor after two fatalities occurred, both of which were caused by skiers hitting the windbreaks. The first one occurred in 2018 and the second, which involved a 9-year girl occurred in January 2019. The lift company managers were already under investigation for the first one when the second one took place, so the public prosecutor decided to close the link.

Both investigations were rolled into one and the investigation was concluded in September of this year. As a result, four of the lift company managers were charged with the Italian equivalent of manslaughter. To date I haven't seen anything saying the closure order has been rescinded. I doubt that it will be until the judicial proceedings have been concluded, which could take a while if the verdict is appealed. But as it's Italy you can never be sure.

reply to 'Sauze D'Oulx Lifts'
posted 13-Nov

Video of Italian police inspecting the windbreaks can be found at:

I must admit that I do not know the area, but I would have thought that some suitable netting could stop unwanted collisions with the windbreaks, while allowing the windbreaks to do their job. Happy to be told otherwise, mind.

Topic last updated on 14-November-2019 at 06:45

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