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Dolomiti Superski - Italy

Hawk

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Any of you people have experience skiing the Dolimites? Looks like a big adventure next winter for us as we will be headed to Arabba in February. Thanks IKON! I have done some research and have a good idea of the area but would love some intel on what not to miss.
 

Kingslug20

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My wife did..but all she cared about was the good food and coffee...apparantly much better than in Switzerland...
 

catskillman

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tough to get around. we had vans for our group. The pass covers an enormous area. Some resorts they do not even speak Italian as it was part of Austria at one time, so they only speak Greman.

We stopped at some resorts had only 1 run and a crazy lift contraption. But great. Some areas were unbelievably crowed in the am at the base (like Hunter these days), but once 1 o'clock came along, it was the on slope restaurants that were packed.

Totally different vibe than the us, cheaper, and just so relaxed. make the trip anytime I can to Europe. Never had a bad trip, even in an iffy snow year.
 

crank

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We were there in March.

All groomer skiing, not a single bump, but if there had been more and fresher snow there would have been a good amount of easily accessible and safe off piste.

Make time, take time to relax and enjoy leisurely lunches at mountain huts / refuges. At one place at the San Pellegrino area we got a fresh, made in front of us pizza, a full carafe of red wine and a good sized salad bar for 26 Euros.

The sellaronda areas, Arabba is one, can get crowded in the mornings because that is when everyone sets off to ski the sellaronda. We did it in the afternoon and though a bit rushed had no lift lines to speak of. It

We went with our ski club and stayed at a hotel in a smaller town called Vigo di Fassa. They provided 2 guides and a couple of big vans for our group and we skied several different areas. It was nice to play follow the leader and not have to think or worry about navigation or where to find decent snow. We skied at at least 7 different resorts. Arabba, Careza, Val Gardena and Alta Badia, if not more just on the day we skied the sellaronda. We did the sellaronda unguided and found it easy to navigate due to plenty of clearly marked signage. Other resorts skied were Alpe Lucia, Campiede, San Pellegrino

We took a bunch of lifts, cable cars, gondolas and such to get to the top of Marmolada the Dolomites' highest peak where there is a WW1 era artillery piece still standing guard. Had a super-long run from there down to some valley and went from midwinder/high altitude snow to heavy spring slush.

Food is a mix of Austrian and Italian.

You have to order a Bombardino!

Did not find it difficult the one time we left our group and had to take a bus home. The are free ski busses circulation as well as regular busses.

Food and drink in general cost a lot less then 'round here.

Really fun trip, unique and beautiful mountains, quaint villages, interesting, cool lifts
 

Hawk

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We are staying in Arabba in the Sport Hotel and can hit any of the lifts out of town about 100 yards away. So just a couple of lifts to Marmolada, Alta Badia and the outer reaches of Val Gardinia over the Pordoi Pass and through Belvedere/Canazei. We plan to hit the lfts early, get out of town and avoid any early morning crowds. I was looking for any can't miss places. I am hearing that with a guide and a short hike, the Val de Mezdi down to Calfosch at Alta Badia is epic. Also something called the Hidden Valley and the chuch at Rifugio Santa Croce at the top of the lift near Alta Badia. I am exporing and want to hit everything I can. We will have an SUV rental so we plan to drive to areas that can not be reached in a reasonable amount of time.

Thanks CranK for the response. Sounds like you had fun. We plan to spend every afternoon drinking and eating after skiing hard every morning.
 

crank

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Also, was it Covid crazy over there? Any issues or special requirements?

People were still wearing masks in enclosed lifts and in stores, hotel lobby etc. We had to show our CDC cards when we got our Dolomiti Superski passes and that was it. We used our Ikon passes; they looked at those and then issued us 5-day Superski passes. We should have gotten 7-day passes but as we only had 5 days to ski we didn't care.

We had to get tested on Thursday in order to fly back home to USA on Saturday. We had to fill out some EU personal locator form online prior to travelling, which was a PITA. They asked for things like address of hotel, flights, airlines, etc. They even asked for your seat number which all of us just made up as we couldn't get actual seat assignments until 24 hours before flying.

I've heard Cortina is the most beautiful area of all so if I had a car I would consider driving there for a day. Some friends who did have a car rented went to a town, can't remember name, but they went to a museum that had that "Leatherman" guy they found frozen in a glacier thousands of years ago. Looked like a charming town with lots of shopping and dining.

The WW1 tours look interesting but you will pass by some sites like the cannon I mentioned and we also saw, from a lift, some caves where soldiers were stationed. Alpe Lucia was a nice area and they have a ski jumping facility where the next Winter Olympics are holding some events. I think they plan to rebuild it.

We did a lot of loong lunches where we might just ski a run or 2 after or even just take a tram down. Was not much going on in our little village so once back at hotel, other than strolling around a bit we mostly hung out at hotel's bar or partied in or rooms. We had a great time. Were I to do it again I would stay at a bigger resort with more to do at night. Our hotel included breakfast and dinner. Hotel's food was good, but not nearly as good as the place's reviews made it out to be. Beer is better here, but I drank a lot of local wine.
 
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abc

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Not to miss: Marmolada, Cinqa Torri (sp?), it stands for "5 towers". Best scenery even by Sella Ronda standard. Hidden Valley is part of the it.

- Head straight to Marmolada first thing. The line for the cable car gets long quick as the day goes by.

- Hidden Valley/Cinqa Torri is a full day trip. It's been some years so don't know if things changed. There's a "horse tow" to get back. Worth doing for the novelty. But don't get the front row position, or you'll get all the dirty snow spray from the hoofs. Yuck!
 
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abc

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All groomer skiing, not a single bump, but if there had been more and fresher snow there would have been a good amount of easily accessible and safe off piste.
I went in late February. Managed to find one single bump run and did a couple of repeats. (just because it's such a rarity). Also some trees can be found if one look out for it.

The "piste" down Marmalarda is a "snake" down the side of the mountain like a giant cat track. There's the obvious line of cutting through the technically "off-piste" between the tracks.

But be careful about skiing anything that's not a marked "run". I heard Italy made skiing off-piste without guide to be illegal or something like that. Don't know if it's true. But god forbids if you set off an avalanche onto other people.
 

Hawk

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I've been reading about some of that. Varied accounts from different places. We are thinking of a guide for at least 2 days. I am sure we can find some safe places and such a vast area.

The Hidden Valley/Cinqa Torri is on the road to Cortina. We have a car so it might be something we try.

Thanks for the info.
 

abc

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We are thinking of a guide for at least 2 days. I am sure we can find some safe places and such a vast area.
There're safe off piste if you have a off-piste qualified guide.

I found the on piste skiing kind of same'ish all over the Sella Ronda. I can't say one area is any better than the other. It really is more a place to do sightseeing on skis. So an off piste guiding day or two would spice up things a lot. That said, Italians seem to not just groom their runs, they manicure it with the same care as Italian men groom their hair! So the groomer cruising can be quite an enjoyable experience we don't get here often.

I would go back in a heartbeat, if only for the food and scenery. The skiing is decent enough to use as an excuse. ;)
 
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Hawk

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No I understand. It's going to be a great experience no matter what. I have done some research and talked to a few people that have been. With the guide we will get to ski some fairly chalenging areas off of the Sella Massif and the Marmolada. So if there is decent snow, a few days of that should be just enough to have a well rounded trip. To be honest, I am really psyched to just go on a trip with my wife and relax, eat and drink. My last few trips have been with other people and the agenda was full on all the time. Always a race to get to the next thing. She remided me that we missed out 25th aniversery durring covid so this is our gift to each other. ;-)
 
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