Homeland Montespluga Madesimo
A project by ASSO Orobica ASD & Spiagames Outdoor Agency
ASSO Orobica ASD — Via Borgo Palazzo, 272, 24126 Bergamo (BG) Italy — P.IVA 02740310160

France Trois cameras in Montespluga, interest in the project continues to grow in France too

“A laboratory to develop skiing”: we discover the first station without ski lifts in Europe

France Trois cameras in Montespluga, interest in the project continues to grow in France too
The “Homeland” resort, nestled in a small village in Italy, is the first ski area in Europe without ski lifts. It only offers ski mountaineering itineraries. A way to combat the depopulation of mountain villages and to offer an alternative to traditional locations. Immersion in this laboratory of the skiing of the future.

It's a great white paradise perched almost 2,000 meters above sea level in the Italian Alps. In the heart of Lombardy, the Italian village of Montespluga appears as an anomaly in the panorama of ski resorts. For good reason the ski area does not have any ski lifts.

The village is the first resort of its kind in Europe: an area entirely reserved for the practice of ski mountaineering, a sport practiced with sealskins to climb snow-capped peaks.

This morning Lorenzo, a ski instructor, is light-hearted in having the mountain all to himself: "Here for us it is truly a great amusement park. Everyone can trace their own route tackling all the varieties of relief on more or less steep slopes . Everything is possible."

The town of Montespluga was abandoned for a certain period and then returned to prominence in recent years thanks to the practice of ski mountaineering.

"Such an environment gives a feeling of great freedom. I can ski alone in its purest form. Without always having to go through the same canyons, the same slopes, the same descents", says Elia, an aspiring guide, who accompanies.

Ski mountaineering and numerous services
The “Homeland” station was born in 2023 in Montespluga, a historic village, born on the ancient passage from the Mediterranean to northern Europe. It is here that the first ski mountaineering resort in the world has just grown: “Homeland aims to bring people together around the practice of ski mountaineering and offers services and training to those who already know this discipline”, indicates the station's website.

Walter Bossi, director of "Homeland" explains: "We offer for rent a complete ski mountaineering kit with ARTVA (avalanche victim detector, ed.), but above all many activities: excursions or courses for three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Our goal is to really change people's vision, educate about the mountains through ski mountaineering."

Nights in tents at high altitude, training courses in case of avalanches... All the proposed activities are supervised by four local high mountain guides.

A niche market?
"In recent years, Italy has seen the closure of around 200 small and medium-sized mountain resorts. From this data we asked ourselves: but what will the skiing of the future be like? Homeland wants to be a laboratory, a test bench to create the skiing will evolve based on the climate changes that will occur,” explains Alberto Orlandi, one of the creators of the project.

In total the station offers 11 signposted ascent routes. The descent is free for skiers in an off-piste area of 36 square kilometers.

The town of Montespluga is dominated by Pizzo Tambo, whose peak rises to 3,279 meters above sea level. ​

About 400 meters further down, in the valley, some skiers are not necessarily ready to take these routes: "I started ski mountaineering during childbirth. But it's really too tiring", reacts a skier from the Madesimo Valchiavenna resort.

"Ski mountaineering will always remain a niche market, because it is selective. You have to be fit and know the mountains. Having said this, people increasingly tend to look for escape, tranquility and contact with nature", explains his director Marco Garbin.

Against the depopulation of the mountains
If the "Homeland" initiative proposes a transition project, it also allows us to fight against the desertification of some mountain regions of Italy: "It is with projects like that of Homeland that we have chosen to fight the depopulation of our mountains. The first The the result is that we now have five permanent residents here in Montespluga, two of which are recent, who arrive directly from the big cities", testifies Davide Trussoni, president of the Valchiavenna mountain community.

In two winters, the small resort welcomed more than a thousand skiers. But is this enough to guarantee the sustainability of Montespluga? Only time will tell. A resort in Colorado, in the United States, had already tried to propose an offer without ski lifts. But American customers didn't respond, and the Bluebird station finally closed its doors in 2023.
JavaScript appears to be disabled in your browser settings.
This website may not work properly.