Christian Wolmar on The Dolomites Ski Safari
Christian Wolmar, London Mayoral candidate, Labour candidate for the London Richmond Park By-Election and Britain’s leading independent transport correspondent experiences The Dolomites Ski Safari
A few Dolomites Ski Safariers arrive by train.
Only one has taken the train all the way from London.
Christian Wolmar is, first and foremost, the UK’s go-to correspondent on anything ‘trains’. So it was no surprise that this was his chosen mode of arrival. Neither were we surprised when Christian announced his candidature for the 2016 London Mayoral elections.
A Dramatic and Perfect a Setting
Snow was falling heavily as we met Christian and Deborah, Christian’s partner, from the train. Cars littered the roadside on the climb to Castelrotto. Driving through the elliptical arch that is the entry to the Market Place, reveals the golden walls of the Cavalino D’Oro hotel which stands in the shadow of the enormous bell tower. The snow continued to steadily fall, carpeting the cobbles; it was as dramatic and perfect a setting for the beginning of any Dolomites Ski Safari week.
A Natural, Exuberant Confidence
Christian, a self taught skier, has skied since he was a boy. His natural, exuberant confidence, coordination and surprising level of fitness – he would not immediately strike you as the sporty type – combine to create an effective and self-styled skier.
Each Dolomite Ski Safari day was marked by highlights of long, quiet, perfectly pisted slopes, lunches and dinners of extraordinary cuisine accompanied by local wines and the occasional, unforeseen event.
Up-Close and Personal with Your Environment
“The Ski Safari early starts and late finishes are every skiers dream! You’re on empty slopes, with the mountains tranquility, in the middle of a soft adventure and the great sense of being up-close and personal with your environment”, said Christian.
I’ve Never Skied as Fast!
Stepping out of the Rifugio at 8.30am into -8C accompanied by brilliant sunshine to gaze down Buffaure 1 slope, a long wide, constant piste and perfectly prepared, is a wonderful treat for any skier. At the bottom of the piste, his face delighted in the experience as he recounted his run down, “The Buffaure piste was spectacular! I’m guessing that I’ve never skied as fast!”
At Lagazuoi, arriving in time to take the 4.40pm cable car, the final one of the day, is a critical link in the Ski Safari. More often than not, there are only a few other skiers joining you for the 700m ride to the Rifugio. This day was no exception. There were five of us. A voice from the back of the box exclaimed,”Christian Wolmar, is that you?” A couple of weeks prior to his Dolomites Ski Safari, Christian was guest speaker at a cycling event in the UK. Here, in the Lagazuoi cable car, was one of the organisers!
A Roll in the Snow
Christian has a great sense of fun, too! Sitting in the Finnish sauna one evening on the darkened terrace at 2200m with remarkable views of the Val di Fassa available through the steamy windows, was only surpassed by the boys subsequent snow ball ambush. Dashing out of the sauna to ‘roll in the snow’ with only a towel covering ones modesty, I was greeted with a large snow ball to the right ear! There is no need, I suspect to tell the rest! You can guess.
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