23 April 2019 from Danielle in Ski areas

Livigno isn't the best-known ski resort in Europe yet, but in our opinion it won't be long before it's mentioned in the same breath as giants such as Ischgl or Sölden-Hochsölden. The Italian ski area has recently invested in presenting itself as a modern, world-class ski resort with a focus on action and adrenaline. Our colleague Hannes had a chance to visit Livigno and discover everything this ski resort has to offer. See why he fell in love!

Livigno's Freeride Project

Livigno is striving to make a name for itself as a freeride destination. To this end, a group of 35 journalists from 7 different countries set off on a multi-day freeriding trip to experience the freeride project for themselves. Under the guidance of experienced local guides and a full-time avalanche expert, they set out to enjoy the Italian powder in Livigno's backcountry.

Freeride info in Livigno
Exploring the freeride terrain from Livigno's Carosello 3000 freeride station

First time ski touring with a splitboard

This was Hannes' first time on a splitboard. While splitboards have had their fair share of haters, in recent years the market has seen a resurgence of splitboards, with more and more models that are actually well-suited to ski touring and freeriding. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities, and Hannes was happy to have the chance to experience using a modern splitboard at Livigno. It can be a bit complicated at first with all the clips and bindings, but after practising a few times it was child's play.

Setting up splitboard at Livigno
Using a splitboard at Livigno

Fresh tracks in Italy's virgin powder snow

Walking with a splitboard turned out to be fine - the boots were comfortable and the "skis" were short and lightweight. Blue skies and a thick layer of fresh snow made for phenomenal views. Putting the board back together again at the summit proved a little tricky, but definitely worth it. It was finally time to tackle that fresh pow! The reward was a delicious lunch of local Italian delicacies.

Freeriding in fresh powder at Livigno
Freeriding on virgin powder snow at Livigno

Ski touring and sleeping on the mountain

The most spectacular part of the trip was yet to come. After supper at the Carosello 3000 lift station and a thorough check of the avalanche equipment, the team donned headlamps and skis and ventured out on a nighttime tour of the Monte delle Rezze (2850m). In -12°C and a light snowfall, the illuminated team of freeriders snaked its way up the mountainside, arriving at the top a few hours later where a snow-covered mountain hut awaited. It was time to warm frozen hands and dry thermal clothing while waiting for the tents to be set up.

Nighttime ski touring at Livigno
Nighttime ski touring on the Monte delle Rezze

Sleeping at 2850m above sea level

Sharing a two-person tent with three other people at an altitude of almost 3000m is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The best part is waking up in the morning - how can you beat unzipping your tent and taking in the endless white-topped mountain peaks of the Alps? The first descent of the day is also spectacular, although the sun that day was strong, making the snow a bit wetter and increasing the danger of an avalanche. The team spent the whole day exploring the various freeride areas, led by the experienced guides. After a day of backcountry ski touring, everybody was ready for the relaxation session in the Aqua Grande Active You!

Camping on mountain peak in Livigno
Packing up camp after a night in the Livigno backcountry

Taking to the pistes on a splitboard

The last day offered an opportunity to test the splitboards on the groomed slopes. Surprisingly, it wasn't too hard, after adjusting for the wider stance. With sharp edges for the icy bits, keeping control at high speeds on the slopes was very doable. While splitboards admittedly have their limitations, they're not as inconvenient as one might think.

Splitboard on freshly groomed snow
Seeing the benefits of a trusty splitboard

Avalanche beacon checkpoints and avalanche safety information boards

Livigno's innovative freeride project puts the emphasis on keeping freeriders safe in the backcountry. To this end, illuminated information boards post information about the stability of the snowpack, and there are various avalanche beacon checkpoints distributed throughout the region. When freeriding, we strongly recommend you equip yourself with the proper avalanche equipment and knowledge of what to do in an emergency, and never venture into the backcountry without a guide.

Livigno is a gorgeous ski resort with a friendly and welcoming Italian atmosphere. Strongly recommended!

Freeriding at Livigno
Ski touring with views of the Alps in Livigno

Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!