Chamois is the most isolated village in the Val d’Aosta. In the hanging country at the foot of the Matterhorn, the cars are off limits because there are no roads to reach this hamlet of Valtournenche virtually invisible from the valley floor and at the base of a spectacular mountain amphitheater.
Neither car nor stress
In Chamois, the true oasis of peace and relaxation, ever disturbed by the rust of an engine, you arrive exclusively on a cable car or on foot. The cable car from Buisson (Cableway Buisson-Chamois – +39 0166 519890) up to 1815 meters of Chamois is the only link. The alternative is the tortuous mule track from Antey-Saint-André plain, which climbs up for the woods, totaling a record of 93 curves for 700 meters in altitude, with breathtaking slopes that can only be traced by the snow cat.
When you arrive and walk in the silence still more muffled by the snow, the feeling of being back in time is real. So, because here you live with other rhythms, you walk on foot or at best with the skis.
The only way to go is that of the cable car, running from seven in the morning to ten in the evening. Then nothing, absolute isolation until the next day.
Looking around, among the Heidi-style chalets, while the little church dedicated to San Pantaleone with the bell tower marks the hours, it is abducted by the ancient village atmosphere.
Here the tradition ranges from the rural architecture of the rascard and the grenier, typical wood and stone constructions, to the Provencal language, the patois, and the typical valdostan-based carbonada, a tasty plate of meat of beef cooked in red wine, and polenta concia with cheeses.
The only bazaar store that sells everything from food and drink is the Maison Communale, where we came in to browse through the stuffed shelf shelves before giving us a steaming coffee alla valdostana from the grolla of friendship at the bar Chamois.
It’s easy to visit the country, surrounded by a corollary of “hameaux”, the fractions scattered on the plateau: in addition to Corgnolaz, Luissel, Crépin, Suisse, Callià and La Ville.
Alongside the tradition, there is the modernity of the first lightweight Italian freighter, built in 1967 and open to aircraft and ultralight aircraft, as well as paragliding and hang gliding.
For those who love skiing, several slopes wind up in a lovely setting, between woods and slopes. The Chamois area does not exceed 15 kilometers of downhill skiing, suitable for all types of skiers, even the less experienced ones. But, most importantly, without code and perfectly snowed from November to April thanks to the modern programmed snow plant.
From Corgnolaz square, a two-sections chairlift rises up to Lake Lod, at 2020 meters, and then reaches 2500 meters of Colle Fontanafredda, where the most experienced skiers can embark on thrilling off-piste slopes along the northwest slope , towards the basin of Cheneil and Valtournenche, linked, skiing at the foot, with 200 kilometers of slopes in the Breuil-Cervinia area. So close, yet so far from Chamois’s rarefied atmospheres.