The backbone of the Matterhorn: slope N.6
by Riccardo Castellaro
Our journey continues, discovering the Breuil-Cervinia and Valtournenche area, accompanied by ski masters from the ‘Scuola del Cervino’. This time we look at slope N.6 and its many facets,it is the backbone of the area, with its base at Plan Maison.
After observing various main slopes at the base of the Matterhorn, let’s now widen our prospective and let’s take a look at the center of the skiable domain, where we find three ski lifts starting at Plan Maison. This first is a homonymous 4 place ski lift, it takes us towards its sister ski lift at Fornet, which then takes us to the last ski life, the “Bontadini” that carries us to the Italian-Swiss boarder – called the Passo del Teodulo (the Teodulo’s Passage) at 3317 meters asl.
For now, let’s not take that little street that would bring us on the Swiss side of the boarder, rather, let’s turn left, at the bottom of Bontadini and take the first path. It’s a little tight and a bit of a counterslope, which after a few turns widens to a red slope of big dimensions and medium difficulty. It divides itself into two variants immediately (N. 6 and N. 46) that reconnect a few hundred meters down the slope after going through a couple of fun variations in inclinations. We find ourselves, at one point, in a wide section, always featuring beautiful winter snow at this altitude – this portion can be crossed by level 3 skiers or higher without much difficulty. The Bontandini slope continues, after crossing the other slope, still present through various inclination variations until the uphill Fornet ski lift station (both slopes are wide in dimensions) – we arrive here after crossing slope 6bis which we will talk about later on. From here on, only slope N. 6 continues – easily crossed by non-expert skiers. In fact, it’s one of the first red slopes that new skiers can securely take while bettering their technique. After the first portion of the slope, which is a bit steep, there’s a long very wide plane portion, that brings the skier towards a medium steep and very fun section. From here on out, the panorama is beautiful and one can see south of the Matterhorn, to the end of the valley. This area deserves a little pause – to give the legs a break – and take a good look at this wonderful view.
Let’s start descending again, and we’ll end up at the uphill ski lift station in Plan Maison. At this point, N. 6 becomes a blue level slope. A long and wide slope, which welcomes anyone to try it and experience sensations that can only be found in a broad area like the Matterhorn’s. A brief wall that follows a long plane which takes us to a fork on the road to slope N. 4. We can slant to the left and continue on N. 6, in a wide medium steep canyon that ends at another crossroad. No worries. Both roads have a mix of simple sections that take us to the same finish point: we, in fact, end our “journey” on the queen slope of Plan Maison. The bottleneck and corrisponding plane of the road under the ski lift tell us that we are near the end. A brief, slightly steep, section gives us some momentum to reach the start of the ski lift or at the entrance of Plan Maison station. We’ve come back to the starting point… A simple slope, but characterized by great challenges for higher-leveled skiers. This slope can be entirely crossed or crossed only by sections, with the possibility of fast repetitions, and ideal for those practicing, trying exercises, or bettering technique with the help and advice of the ski masters from the Scuola del Cervino (Mattherhorn School). Come and try it!