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Trip Report Dolomites 2018

Discussion in 'Europe' started by XTREMO, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Snow holidays can be prone to "this is the best place ever" syndrome, whereby the current location is always the prettiest, most fun and most spectacular that one has ever been to. After spending a glorious week based in Selva, Val Gardena, its my view that the Dolomites is legit the most beautiful ski region that I have ever encountered. The distinctive craggy finish of the rock formations that comprise the imposing Sella range, are unique (so far as I'm aware) to this part of the world.

    Selva is a beautiful village with a picturesque church and long winding main street that stretches a few km's. The architecture is gorgeous, the quality of accomodation seems to be high, the people are friendly and the vibe is well the vibe. Being in South Tyrol, there's a half Austrian influence. Each location has both an Italian and German name. Selva (Italian) is known as Wolkenstein in German. The main station where I alighted was Bressanone; Brixen in German.

    With the best snow season in a decade and a 15-20cm dusting before we arrived, the week was perfectly set up. We had pure sunshine probably 60% of the time, a motley mix 35% of the time, and one or two pea soup fog experiences. Unfortuantely our trip to Marmolada was the peasoup. Couldn't see a thing on what should have been an eye feast on the way down. Oh well. We were happy to get down in one piece. No blizzard or wind. Just really heavy fog.

    We explored many of the nearby ski areas; Corvara, Colfusco, Alta Badia etc and some that I can't name because I just rode and didn't take notice of where we were going. We did the Sella Ronda route clockwise and anticlockwise. Clockwise (orange) was probably the better of the two routes but both were fun. Crowds weren't too bad. Even when there were queues, they moved swiftly and efficiently. You can definitely feel the Austrian influence when comparing this with a resort like Courmayeur (the only other "pure" Italian resort I've been to). One can easily get around the Sella Ronda in either direction in 2 and a bit hours if there are no queues.

    We also visited Lagazuoi (The Hidden Valley) which was a bit of a mission, but probably worth it for the spectactular run down and the interesting ice waterfalls near the bottom (see pics).

    Met a handful of Aussies, some of whom were absolutely gun skiers and fun to ride with.

    Food was predictably great. Venison pasta dishes were abundant and never disappointed.

    Apres ski was alright. Luiskellar in Selva was the main place we frequented. 98% men, but a good proper Austrian vibe and the Turkish German DJ was fantastic. New favourite Austrian apre ski song with ridiculous lyrics: "Wie heist die Mutter von Niki Lauda?" ("What's the name of the mother of Niki Lauda? Mother Lauda, Mother Lauda!") :thumbs:

    @Heinz & @Kletterer & @DidSurfNowSki will love and possibly know? Did you hear in Saalbach? I'm sure it'll be a staple for years to come...



    Some pics:

     
    #1 XTREMO, Feb 12, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
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  2. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Djoko was in town at the same time

     
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  3. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Here's a pano
     

    Attached Files:

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  4. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator

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    Excellent. Those photos bring back fond memories. Did you ski Seceda area ?
     
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  5. person s

    person s Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    fantastic
    I loved that ride down from Lagazuoi past the frozen waterfalls
    is there still a horse-drawn rope tow at the bottom?
     
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  6. person s

    person s Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    person a at the same spot, early 2004 - a bit more ice that year



    we found some more on an old frozen road below Marmolada near Sottoguda I think, with actual people climbing up
    person a still tells me this was her best ski trip ever
     
  7. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    If you look closely at my pic, you'll see that there are two climbers on there...
     
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  8. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

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    Awesome!
     
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  9. gaz35

    gaz35 One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    i'm there in two weeks - you've properly whet my appetitie
     
  10. person s

    person s Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    yep
    was looking on phone so very tiny people
    good indicator for scale
     
  11. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'm not sure. We did St Cristina and surrounding area on our first day and may well have gone there. What should I be remembering?
     
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  12. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Nice report and lovely photos.
    I expect to be there about the same time next year. Of course the chance of a low snow year after this epic season is high. I will go with low expectations. I believe the extensive snow-making will ensure that we will have something to slide around on.

    Did you do the 'First World War Tour'? I was thinking of basing my family in Arraba so we could access that tour, the Marmolada glacier etc easily.
    How long did it take to get from Selva to Arabba? We would want to check out the western area of the circuit and have enough time to get back.
     
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  13. Sadie

    Sadie Chk Chk Boom Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Omg, I am so missing that place. Best experience I have had. Loved every minute. Yes the horse drawn rope tow is still there. We did it a day before we left. We will be back for sure
     
  14. person s

    person s Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    this is the problem: everywhere I go, I want to go back
     
  15. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator

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    Its the opposite side to Seiser Alm at St. Christina . Not as busy and 2 really nice small wooden huts/ restaurants. The 10.5 km run down to St. Urlich is awesome and great for scooting fast.
     
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  16. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    We didn't do a WW tour. Saw some WW landmarks and cannons etc as we went around. I didn't see Arraba town but it has a reputation as a good base I think.

    I'd allow 2 hour or so to get from Selva to Arraba. You can maybe get there in 1.5. Just depends on the crowds. As a general rule, I think that if you're in this region and want to explore somewhere that is not the region you're staying in, the best option is to start early, get over there, do your exploring and allow time for a lunch and non rushed journey home. Even if you do all this, you'll probably find that toward the end of the day you are fighting the clock to some extent because the crowds on the Sella Ronda circuit lifts increase steadily throughout the day 'cos everyone need to get back to where they're staying.
     
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  17. Sadie

    Sadie Chk Chk Boom Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    I should have added, great trip report @XTREMO . Gahhhhh I wish I was back there
     
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  18. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    There are some negatives (IMO) of this region, one of which is alluded to above. You do always seem to be wrestling the clock, unless you ride only in the vicinity of where you're staying.

    Selva itself is a very spread out town. Much of the accomodation is set 20 mins walk from the main lift access points and main apres bars. Its a long-ish and cold walk on a February night. And an annoying walk (I'd imagine) in ski boots. We were lucky enough to be staying at the base of the bunny slope (Nives) and could ride to within 10m of our front door, and in the mornings we could go up the Nives poma and another poma to have instant access to the Dantercepies or Ciampinoi gondolas.

    Part of our group stayed elsewhere and had a long walk to lifts; too much for the one skier - so they had to rely on buses - of which therer were few and all the early ones were full and they couldn't get on. Long story short, the earliest they could get to the gondolas each morning was about 09:30, unless they did the walk.

    Another negative would be the traverses and flat spots for boarders. Not quite so many as the Arlberg and not so drastic but still noticeable. You're always going to get this in a wide expansive region with many interlinked resorts. comes with the territory I guess.

    In other major resorts, you tend to take a gondola up in the morning and then another 2,3,4 lifts and get as high and as far as you can from the village level runs - and you can stay high all day, before descending in the afternoon and catching a gondola down, avoiding the shitfight of the chopped up home trails. This strategy doesn't really work in the Dolomites, unless you ski in the immediate viciinity of your accomodation. To get home, you always have to ski down into each town and then lift up into the next one and ride down into the next one and so on, until you get back to your base. Home trail navigation is unavoidable and a bit painful.
     
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  19. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator

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    Mostly agree. Dantercepies gets very busy coming back from that side in the arvo. Also getting to that Gondola in the am from upper town involves that slow crowded old chairlift. Getting over to Arraba is also a slow process ( needs high speed Gondola) Still more pleasant and scenic than Kronplatz which seems too plastic a resort for my liking.
     
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  20. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yep we did that! Loved it!
     
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  21. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  22. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator

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  23. NewTurns

    NewTurns One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Love Selva. Been 3 times. Love to do a season or two. Food is iconic Austrian Italian mix and the skiing and vistas are superb.... favourite lunch is on the big sunny deck of Hotel Armentarola after the long glacier run and then the horse drawn rope tow out!
    #1 for me....
     
  24. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I had liked the idea ever since that James Bond movie which featured the Dolomites near Cortina and even thought of doing it in 2006 but canned the idea as there was no snow. Might get to do some Autumn hiking with my son. The scenery reminds me of driving from the Hawksbury to past Gosford through the craggy sandstone and I saw somewhere that the Dolomites are part of an ancient sea bed hence the limestone and differential weathering. Magnificent and a very nice read and pics.
     
  25. Slide Sideways

    Slide Sideways One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Dolomiti..... absolutely incredible place.
    Sadie and I just returned from our Dolomiti experience, our first trip to Europe and it was just outstanding.
    We were based in Colfosco, a easy 6 minute walk from our wonderful apartment and we were ready to ride. Definitely the most picturesque destination I've been, the food was amazing, the lift system outstanding.
    Excellent trip report Xtremo
     
    #25 Slide Sideways, Feb 14, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  26. Kimski

    Kimski One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Love the area. I do have some fun memories of having to get my elbows out to progress through lift lines at times :D
     
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  27. Johnny Come Lately

    Johnny Come Lately One of Us

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    Thanks for the report Xtremo.

    We’ll be back there for the first time since 2005. Last time we stayed in Campitello; thinking of Val Gardena or Alta Badia this time, definitely want something very close to lift access, if not on it.

    Anyone have recommendations?
     
  28. person s

    person s Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    the time issue is why the guided deals are popular
    it’s a long while since I was there, but staying in Campitello meant a morning ride in the big gondola to Col Rodella [?] and back late arvo
    it was an easy walk to and from the terminal
     
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  29. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator

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    Around the Bottom of Dantercepies Gondola is good for getting on the hill before the morning rush but further from town.
     
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  30. Izzy

    Izzy One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Campitello was too small for my liking with poor access I thought to the ski area. My wife and I did a season in Canazei, which is just down the road. It is a bigger town with good facilities and decent access to the Sella Ronda. However, if I went back I would choose Selva or Arraba.
     
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  31. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Doesn't quite work mate. Its a bit confusing 'cos its one of the two main gondolas that serve the resort but Dantercepies' base is reached by a couple of rope tows. I don't think there's any accomodation near it, but there may be one or two places.

    Our accom was excellent for avoiding walks in ski boots. Adjacent to the Nives beginners slope. Walked out the door and straight onto the Nives poma, and then up another poma to get to Dantercepies. Or skip the second poma and ski down to the main road and cross it to go up Ciampinoi (the other main gondola that serves the other side). And a ski straight back to the door. It was a 10 minute brisk walk into town.

    The other option would be to look for accom around the base of Ciampinoi, with decent proximity to the Costabella chair. You need to go up that one to ski down to Dantercepies' base.
     
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  32. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator

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    There is accomodation at the top of Streda Dantercepies (street) close to Gondola base. I walked past them from my place in Larcunei street. If i went back i would stay in centre of town near the base of Costabella lift- this give quick acces to Dantercepies as well.
     
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  33. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Cool, I suspected I may not be correct! You're right - Dantercepiestraße has numerous hotels.

    Agree - best location would be around Costabella base.
     
  34. person s

    person s Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I agree re Canazei as better variety, though access to ski area is similar?
     
  35. Jacko4650

    Jacko4650 One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I also agree. You get great flexibility near the Costabella area - easy walk in boots to various lifts and easy to get back to at the end of the day. Lots of restaurants and bars to visit and ski buses to move you to other towns if need be. I stayed in a single room in Garni Flurida, which was very nicely priced and very well appointed, lovely hosts etc. It was right on the narrow trail that starts at the the base of Dantercepies and stops at the road near Champinoi. It was very humorous watching those affected by alcoholic beverages skiing down the trail, dodging the groomer well into the evening! I'm not sure why, but there was a bump that developed each afternoon and by 7pm or so the stack rate was about 50%.
     
  36. Izzy

    Izzy One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not from my experience, admittedly over 10 years ago though. The gondola out of Canazei moves far more people than the Campitello cable car, plus you can ski back into Canazei.