Katy Balls Katy Balls

Cable cars, cheese and chic on the quieter side of the Alps

The Aosta Valley may not have all the apres-ski options of the French and Swiss Alps, but it has charm to spare

‘It sounds like you’re having an Ann Summers party up there,’ a male traveller called, as our group erupted into girlish hysterics on the viewing terrace of Punta Helbronner, a mountain in the Mont Blanc massif. Unfortunately for him there was no lingerie in sight; instead our shrieks had been brought on by the threat of a lightning storm hitting us at 3,462 metres up.

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