Dolomites Ski Safari: 2017 Review
What are skiing conditions really like in the Dolomites?
The first of 15 scheduled Inspired ITALY Dolomites Ski Safari‘s departed Monday 2nd January 2017. Here is the Dolomites Ski Safari 2017 Review … so far!
Dolomites Ski Safari No1: NEW ITINERARY
The Farley family from the UK, Dad, Mum and their four boys 19, 21, 23 and 25 years, were on their second and third Inspired ITALY Dolomites Ski Safari.
Having experienced the Dolomites Ski Safari last season ( twice for Mum & Dad ), the Farley’s requested a bespoke itinerary for 2017. We obliged and headed straight for the rifugo! Day two and three were also new itineraries.
ARRIVAL: Sunday 1st Jan. 2017. DEPARTURE: Sunday 8th Jan. 2017. Itinerary: Bespoke Dolomites Ski Safari. Ski Leader: Tim Hudson
DAY 1: Alpes di Siusi to Kronplatz
FACTS & STATS: Total Distance: 48 miles. Ski Distance: 27 miles. Runs: 31. Vertical: 16,932 ft. Total Time: 7hrs 34mins.
COMMENT by TIM HUDSON: Skis were collected and fitted on arrival day. The safety briefing was given over a welcome Aperol Spritz in the fire side lounge of the hotel Cavallino d’Oro. The following day, everyone was on time for the departure. Skiing started just after 8.30am. The slopes were quiet and in immaculate condition. I was a little anxious that we kept time in hand for any unknowns. This is a new itinerary and a long journey. Skiing through Selva Gardena and into Corvara was extremely enjoyable. The long slope into Corvara was cold and in lovely groomed condition as was the red into La Villa. A 45 min lunch and 20 min bus transfer to Piculin set us up for some good slopes on our journey to Kronplatz and arrival at our Rifugio.
DAY 2: Kronplatz to Ciampac, Val di Fassa
FACTS & STATS: Total Distance: 50+ miles. Ski Distance: 28+ miles. Runs: 31. Vertical: 24,836 ft+. Total Time: 7hrs 27mins+.
COMMENT by TIM HUDSON: We descended the longest run on Kronplatz into the Pustaria valley and to the train station. My app has this as 4.8miles/7.8k and 4,439ft/1,353m vertical. Not a bad way to start the day! By 11am we were back at the transfer bus having tackled the main slopes of Kronplatz and its associated resorts. Crossing Alta Badia was straight forward, although a little busy. I took Mum and Dad on the new lift through Arabba to cut out the top chute on the Sellaronda. It can be an SOB when busy. The boys decided to take the chute and we successfully met up just before Pordoi. Arrival at Ciampac was timely and uneventful. In fact we had time to bag the Ciampac black as a bonus. Not bad a bad bonus either – 700m vertical and 3k as a bonus run!
DAY 3: Ciampac, Val di Fassa to Marmolada
FACTS & STATS: Total Distance: 46 miles. Ski Distance: 28.5 miles. Runs: 25. Vertical: 24,812 ft. Total Time: 7hrs 54mins.
COMMENT by TIM HUDSON: Ciampac felt isolated at 8.30am. The lift ground into life and 15 minutes later we stood at the top of one of my favourite slopes, Buffaure 1. It is long with constant gradient, great corners and an easy line. First thing and with a fully groomed surface, it will take as much speed as you are capable of throwing at it, being careful to watch your line. The slopes of Thöni, Tomba and the run into Pera never fail to put smiles on our guests faces. The curves and corners are thrilling and exciting to any intermediate skier. These are some of the best curves and corners in the Dolomites.
DAY 4, 5 and 6 followed the Classic Dolomites Ski Safari Itinerary, through Civetta, 5 Torri, Cortina, Hidden valley, through Alta Badia and returning to Ortisei via the Val Gardena.
COMMENT by TIM HUDSON: In the first three days we covered 144 miles total distance and over 73 miles skied. Vertically we skied Mount Everest 2.3 times! The new itinerary works well and we intend to introduce it for the 2018 season. The amazing infrastructure in the Dolomites Superski area means that we were able to complete the entire Ski Safari itinerary, except where we were interrupted by of strong winds which closed some lifts.
Week One: The Farley Boys Review … UNCUT …
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Dolomites Ski Safari No2: Mid-January – The Best Time for a Dolomites Ski Safari
John flew in early from New Zealand. This is his second Inspired ITALY Dolomites Ski Safari having completed his first in 2015 season with his friend Paul.
Sue and Lin, friends from the UK made up the group of 3. Yes, we ski even if there are only three in the group!
✚ Watch John & Paul ski Thöni in 2015
We have never really understood why the middle weeks of January prove to be less popular. The skiing is always excellent, the Christmas crowds have gone, ( not that the Dolomites really suffers from crowds at anytime … ), everything is open, tried and tested!
ARRIVAL: Saturday 7th Jan. 2017. DEPARTURE: Saturday 14th Jan. 2017. ITINERARY: Classic Dolomites Ski Safari. Ski Leader: Louise Anderton.
COMMENTS by LOUISE ANDERTON & TIM HUDSON: Sue, Lin and John broke the Marmolada Morning record … four circuits before 11.30am!
It’s a Record: 23,622 ft & 30 miles in 2hrs 30mins
That’s approx 23,622 ft / 7,200m vertical and just short of 30 miles / 48k skied in 2hrs 30mins which leaves an extraordinary trace on your Ski Tracks app!
Then John, not to be out done, set a new Dolomites Ski Safari Vertical Record of 40,416 ft / 12,319m. Here is his Navionics trace.
It was quite a week!
Tim “I am constantly amazed as to why the middle weeks of January are the least popular weeks for skiing. Conditions are just fantastic and there is no one here. We had Rifugio Averau to ourselves and just for other guests in Lagazuoi. Amazing!”
As if that wasn’t enough for the day, Rifugio Averau treated us to an amazing sunset …
And after the sunset, dinner. Alberto tells you about the specials …
After a full circuit through Cortina d’Ampezzo on Thursday, the evening and Friday morning brought fresh snow and great conditions.
REVIEW FROM JOHN …
“…thank you again for a great safari. It was just as good as I expected (and being second time around my expectations were high).
I was worried about the snow beforehand, thinking maybe we should be mountain biking rather than skiing. But the man-made snow was just great – far better and more extensive than I thought possible.”
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Dolomites Ski Safari No3: NEW SNOW & THE AUSSIES!
ARRIVAL: Monday 16th Jan. 2017. DEPARTURE: MONDAY 23rd Jan. 2017. ITINERARY: Classic Dolomites Ski Safari. Ski Leader: Tim Hudson ( Alastair Stuart, training week )
COMMENTS by TIM HUDSON: It is rare to find a group of seven skiers with an age span of 50 years and hardly a snowflake difference in ski ability.
Did you know that there is a ski mountain in Tasmania, Australia? Well there sure is! And by the looks of it, they breed some pretty good skiers.
“Value for money and aimed at serious skiers”
Prof. Bernie Eionder, 72 years, and one of the worlds leading orthopaedic surgeons, brought together seven friends, family and colleagues to come of the Inspired ITALY Dolomites Ski Safari. I had to ask why they chose Inspired ITALY, “It looked like the best value for money and aimed at serious skiers” said Bernie.
They chose the Classic Ski Safari itinerary.
The week produced wall to wall sunshine, with exceptionally low day time temperatures at the beginning of the week, rising towards the weekend. All in all, the skiing was just wonderful. The Women’s Downhill in Cortina was being prepared which meant that we couldn’t ski the Olympia. Instead we skied the super long, tree lined, cruisey red/blue that runs from the top of Olympia much to the delight of the group. The Forcella Rosa was in top form as was the Hidden valley the following morning. The final day was topped of by Bombardino and a round of Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport kindly laid on by the team at Annatal!
114 Ski Lifts
We took 114 ski lifts, 1 horse tow, skied around 230k in 6 days, conquered the Marmolada 3 times, Thöni twice and had coffee in the centre of Cortina! What a great bunch of sliders!
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Dolomites Ski Safari No4: Just the Four of Us
ARRIVAL: Monday 21st Jan. 2017. DEPARTURE: MONDAY 28th Jan. 2017. ITINERARY: Classic Dolomites Ski Safari. Ski Leader: Louise Anderton
Stephen and Lis are starting their third Inspired ITALY Dolomites Ski Safari, with Jane and John on their first.
COMMENTS by LOUISE ANDERTON: What a night at Rifugio Averau! We were fortunate to be there for a special culinary evening. Ten courses and ten wines meant a late night, but a very special one. We had a sleep in before descending to Cortina and watching the women take on the downhill course. The skiing has been amazing, again!
Wall to wall sunshine and quiet pistes. We all did the Marmolada twice.
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Dolomites Ski Safari No5: The Luck of the Irish
ARRIVAL: Monday 24th Jan. 2017. DEPARTURE: Monday 31st Jan. 2017. ITINERARY: Classic Dolomites Ski Safari. Ski Leader: Al Stuart
LIVE FROM THE TOP OF THE MARMOLADA
Last week, we went Live from the Top of Marmolada, with spectacular results … watch here …