Five reasons why freeriding in Livigno is awesome

By Arjen on 10 January 2018 · 0

Livigno has been one of our favorite areas in the Alps for years. Sometimes it is difficult to explain why something is your favorite, but in this case it is much easier to substantiate than just 'the vibe is good' when you are in Livigno to ski or board.

1) Isolated location

Livigno is not exactly the most easily accessible village in the Alps. It is located in the middle of the main alpine ridge and enjoys a tax-free status since 1805. It's location was so remote that people were stimulated to live and work there by offering them the tax advantage. 'Piccolo Tibet' still has that tax-free status nowadays, which means you don't have to pay VAT and that results in cheap liquor and gas. Anyway, the most important thing is that people choose to go to Livigno. That means hardly any day-trippers, a very good vibe, a close-knit community and slightly less competition in the powder than elsewhere.

2) The Freeride Project

Not even that long ago it was forbidden to ride out of bounds in Livigno. That policy has been set aside and now Livigno is perhaps one of the most progressive villages in the Alps in their approach to freeriding. My friend Fabiano Monti started the Freeride Project, which is about informing skiers and snowboarders about everything that has to do with freeriding. This varies from areas where you can practice with your avalanche beacon to free lectures where you will learn the basics of snow safety. In addition, there are many off-piste routes and Livigno even has its own avalanche forecast!

3) Heliski

One of the assets of Livigno is that you can heliski or heliboard. Heliski in Livigno is allowed in two valleys. Not entirely coincidentally, these are two valleys that are not part of a national park. The helicopter will take you to the challenging slopes of the Valle delle Mine or the Valle delle Monte. Two drops with the heli cost you € 275.00 and this makes it very accessible for skiers and boarders to mark this experience off their bucket list.

Freeride lines in Livigno via wePowder Pro
Freeride lines in Livigno via wePowder Pro

4) Lots of freeride lines

Thanks to the Freeride Project, the most accessible freeride routes in the area have already been mapped. These are the routes where you as a beginner can get acquainted with freeriding in a very accessible way. When you're more advanced then there are really a lot of possibilities in Livigno. It may not have the really steep faces like in Chamonix or the vertical of an area like Les 4 Vallées, but you can easily find beautiful lines where you quickly reach 1000 meters vertical. Because Livigno is so isolated, it is also a great area for touring. You really are in the mountains and won't directly see another ski area in the next valley.

5) Own avalanche forecast

What makes Livigno truly unique is the fact that they publish their own avalanche forecast every day. As you may know, avalanche forecasts are almost always issued at regional/province level. Fabiano worked for years for the Swiss SLF and brought that knowledge back to Livigno. He and his colleagues make an analysis of the snow cover every morning (when you probably are still asleep) and incorporates that into a very clear avalanche forecast (not only in Italian, but also in English). You have all the information available to make the right decisions this way.


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