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Courmayeur ski resort near Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco), Italy
Courmayeur ski resort near Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco), Italy (1980)
(Photographs of the Italian Alps taken in 1980)

We were on our way for a week's climbing, walking and trekking holiday in the Italian Alps. After passing through the Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco) tunnel that connects France to Italy, we stopped for a break at Courmayeur.

The mountains surrounding Courmayeur are so photogenic that a photograph was mandatory. The tower like peak in the centre of the photograph is the Dente del Gigante - the Giant's tooth - and to it's left the Colle del Gigante (Col du Géant) which can be reached by a ski cable car.

Courmayeur is a great place for climbing and skiing, and as a result can get very crowded, especially at winter weekends when the "Valdostana" locals throng the ski resort. Voldostana refers to people born in the Aosta Valley. Fortunately for ski aficionados, climbers, and other visitors, they tend to be bilingual, speaking Italian and French with equal facility. A considerable number also know English.

The Mont Blanc range around Courmayeur offers good ski facilites. There are plenty of easy cruising pistes, with high mountain ski runs and harder blacks. Plus of course the usual après ski, local bars, and restaurants.

It was summer when we were in Courmayeur and we found it an ideal place to buy walking boots, etc. The prices of climbing and ski gear were considerably cheaper than what we were used to in the UK.