In this section we outline the opportunities for downhill skiing.
Biella's ski-stations are Bielmonte and Oropa; two resorts with different features and both capable of satisfying your needs for sports, nature and a well-proven tradition of hospitality.
DOWNHILL SKIING AT BIELMONTE:
Geographically this is the highest resort in the Biella area (1,500m approx.). It resembles a large balcony facing onto the Padana Plain, thus enjoying total exposure to the sun. It is the gateway to the "Upper Valsessera", an unspoilt kingdom of nature at its wildest.
In winter Bielmonte is a well-equipped ski-resort and it does not present any dangers so it is particularly suited to children and to all those who wish to practise the various sporting disciplines whilst being immersed in the spectacular scenery of the Biella Alps. The southern slopes enjoy optimum exposure to the sun while those to the north are particularly suited to the more expert skier. Also, thanks to snow-making installations, high quality snow is guaranteed throughout the entire winter season.
The wide slopes of the Bielmonte ski-resort are also suitable to accommodate snowboard enthusiasts safely, from beginners to the more expert.
Moreover, in fresh snow and at a safe distance from any cable installations, the new sport of kite-skiing can be practised both on skis and on snowboards, towed by kites.
Excursions on skis towards Valsesia and also the ascent to the summit of the "Asnass" are truly fascinating . In the company of Alpine Guides, one can experience the excitement of the mountains and the beauty of their scenery.
Alternatively , to get to know the locality and its scenery not only by day but also under the starry evening skies, excursions with snowshoes can be undertaken in the company of professional Guides.
Bielmonte offers a rich calendar of events for the enjoyment of all, and in the evenings its southern slope is illuminated.
Spacious car parks are located right next to the slopes.
20km of slopes provide everything necessary for good skiing, even at night, thanks to an innovative system of illumination. There are 10 skilifts, including a surface lift for beginners. You can choose easy, sun-drenched slopes or challenging "black slopes" such as the "Scheggiola" and the "Dosso Grande", where there is a new chairlift with a capacity of 1,200 rides per hour.
The "Oasi Zegna" Schools were created to promote sport in their local surroundings and to guarantee a high level of expertise to lovers of the various sporting disciplines.
The following are operational during the winter season:
The Bielmonte Ski School.
The Freevola Kiteski Team of Instructors.
An Office with responsibility for Competitions and Slopes which is at the disposal of Ski Clubs as well as of those practising sports in general. Two ski-hire points.
The Cross-country Skiing Centre at "Bocchetto Sessera" is fully equipped for lovers of this discipline.
For the very young, there is a Kinder Point and beginners can use the travelator.
The Information Centre and the Mountain Rescue Station, both expressly signposted, are open all year round. The "Aula Verde" (Green Hall), a multifunctional educational centre, is available at all times.
Refreshment and hospitality facilities such as hotels, restaurants, snack bars, eco-tourist facilities, bars and entertainment premises are all easy to find as they are situated close to the car-parks and slopes.
Bielmonte Information Centre::
tel. 015.744102 - fax 015.744104
Tel. 015 756129
Mondays-Sundays 9:00/12:00 am
Tel. 015 351128
Mondays-Saturdays 8:30/12:30 - 14:30/17:30
June –September also Sundays, 8:30/12:30 - 14:30/17:30
DOWNHILL SKIING AT OROPA:
Skiers can take time out from enjoying their sport at Oropa, and visit the ‘Sacro Monte' (Holy Mount). This Holy Mount is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site,and boasts a wealth of biodiversity as well as artistic and architectural beauty.
To reach Lake Mucrone at 1,900 metres, and the "Busancano" down hill ski slope, skiers need to take the cable car which depart from behind the Oropa New Basilica.
This lift system is the successor to Italy's first-ever cable car and it is the point of access to the wonderful hills and valleys which encircle the Holy Mount, a true winter paradise when it comes to ski-touring.
Both the "Rosazza" Refuge and the "Savoia" Hotel, situated right at the arrival point of the cable car, are ideal points of departure for ski-touring excursions towards Monte Mucrone and Monte Rosso. From the same altitude you can take the telecabin skilift to Monte Camino where, at 2,390m, you reach the "Serralunga" ski slope. In winter, the "Pietro Micca" Association operates a cross-country skiing circuit , about 5km in length, through the meadows and woods which surround the new Church.
Downhill Slopes: 2 of medium difficulty
During the winter season there are various services available to skiers:
Refuges, ski-hire, bars and restaurants, and ski-hire at the "Savoia" Refuge.
"Funivie Oropa SpA": (Oropa Cablecars)
Tel. 015 2455929
"Scuola Italiana Sci": (Ski School)
Tel. 015 592143
Guide Alpine "Tike Saab": (Alpine Guides)
Tel. 015 541088
"Santuario di Oropa": (Oropa Sanctuary)
Tel. 015 25551200
ATL Biella (Biella Tourism)
Mondays -Saturdays 8.30-13.00, 14.30-18.00
June-September also Sundays 8.30-12.30, 14.30-17.30
Tel. +39 015 351128
Fax. +39 015 34612
Toll Free: 800 811 800