8 not to miss ski tours in the Dolomites
Tuesday 24, August 2010
With breathtaking panoramic views, rich history, endless outdoor activities and gourmet food fit for the gods, the Dolomites offer something for everyone to enjoy. One of the most popular activities of this area is, of course, skiing.
DolomiteMountains.com announced their seven ski tours offered in the Dolomites for 2010.
The Sella Ronda
Considered somewhat of a “merry-go-round” for skiers, this unique circular connection of lifts and runs was once the only way the ancient inhabitants of the Ladin villages could maintain a connection with each other. Nowadays it’s a modern day carousel that connects 4 Dolomite passes, 4 Ladin valleys and 3 districts. Skiers who want to try this unique circuit can start in one of the four villages surrounding the Sella mountain (Corvara, Canazei, Arabba, or Selva), and it can be covered clockwise, by following the orange arrow signs, or counter-clockwise by following the green arrows.
The Sella Ronda is a relatively short run, with a length of just under 40 km, but skiers should be cautious of weather conditions prior to attempting this tour, since it reaches so high up into the mountains where weather can be quite volatile and dangerous. It is also recommended that skiers begin this circuit no later than 10:00 in the morning and last pass by 15:30, as the ski lifts close down between 16:00 and 16:30. The average time spent on ski lifts for this tour is approximately 2 hours.
The Great War Ski Tour
Grande Guerra – This sub-tour takes skiers through the walls of some of the most amazing Dolomites summits (Marmolada, Sella, Sassongher, Conturines, Fanis, Lagazuoi, Tofane, 5 Torri, Nuvolao-Averau, Pelmo, Civetta) and offers breathtaking panoramic views unmatched anywhere in the world. A wonderful contrast is drawn between the pristine and silent slopes and the rich history of the various war-findings that can be found in this area. In between ski runs, let your experienced guide show you long-forgotten ditches, tunnels and bunkers that once served as shelter for Italian and German soldiers. There’s even a museum to visit, which is located in Marmolada and is currently the highest in all of Europe: The Museum of the Great War. And skiers marvel at the incredible ice walls of the “Great Canyon” of the Serrai of Sottoguda, at the foot of Marmolada.
The Freedom Tour – This sub-tour takes on the theme of The First World War, and serves as a sobering reminder of the struggles that took place in this now-peaceful setting so many years ago. The tour proceeds under the cliff walls of such peaks as Civetta, Monte Pelmo, Tofana, Lagazuoi, Conturines, Settsass, Sassongher, Sella and Marmolada, and runs through Col di Lana, the epicenter of the battles between Austrian, German and Italian troups. Skiers will experience the spectacular views on the Punta Rocca run (over the Marmolada glacier) and the run from Lagazuoi to Armentarola. The tour can be launched from the Civetta ski resort, S. Cassiano, Corvara, Arabba, or Malga Ciapela.
This area also boasts one of the most unique bars in the world. Located on the Fertazza plateau, it’s fashioned completely from ice and is equipped with 100 different flavors of schnapps to sample.
Ski Tour Olympia
In 1956, the winter Olympics took place in Cortina and were broadcast on television for the first time, right on these very slopes:
This tour allows highly skilled skiers to experience those very same tracks, while other less challenging slopes are available for those who feel a little less like an Olympian but still wish to participate in this historic and unique ski arena.
The Olympia tour can be tackled in either one or two days, and offers a variety of slopes to suit skiers of differing skill levels. The Tofana and the run from Pomedes to Rumerlo offer lighting fast slopes amid unusual rock formations. Stop in and see the Duca d’Aosta hut, which housed the Olympic flame before the opening ceremonies. Advanced skiers will enjoy the challenge of the Vitelli slope, Stratondi, Canalone Franchetti, Tondi Normale and Slittone, with the ultimate run of the Canalone Staunies available only for the most experienced skiers. There are also romantic ski tours on some of the more moderately difficult slopes.
Finally, aside from skiing, this tour offers other exciting activities such as a trip over the trail of Eugenio Monti via Taxi Bob sleigh.
The aptly named “Queen of the Dolomites”, this mountain boasts the highest peak of all the mountains in this region, reaching a height of 3,342 meters and provides some of the most spectacular skiing experiences on earth. This tour begins in Arabba and moves on to Porta Vescovo, which offers mesmerizing views of the Marmolada glacier. Next, skiers continue on the Ornella run to Pescoi, over the ridge of Passo Padon, on through the Passo Fedaia and to Punta Rocca. An incredible tour, it covers over 1,300 meters in height and offers an astonishing 12 km long run. The Marmolada tour not only offers amazing ski adventures, but also provides some of the most beautiful views in the world.
Also known as a “Tour of Emotions”, this tour is set in such natural beauty that it often evokes strong feelings from those who partake. It begins at the famous Tre Valli ski resort and offers a tour of several villages and the natural park of Paneveggio, where there are several traditional wooden huts, chalets and ski bars to stop and rest. Multiple fast chairlifts provide skiers with access to various peaks and runs, such as Col Margherita, from which there are incredible 360° panoramic views of the Civetta, the south side of the Marmolada, the mountain chain of the Catinaccio and other well known summits. Ground travel between runs is free, in the form of a skibus.
The 1970 Gardena World Championship Tour
Located primarily in the Gröden Valley, this tour consists of some of the most amazing ski slopes in the world. The home of several winners, the tour got its name, in part from Karl Schranz becoming world champion of giant slalom run, where the tour now winds today on the way to Selva Gardena. Annerösli Zryd, also bore the title of world champion for conquering Dantecepies. The Gardena tour also contains one of the most popular runs for skiing enthusiasts: the Saslong, where Swiss Bernard Russi was also crowned champion in 1970. Skiers of this tour will traverse through Col Raiser and finish with a 9 km run to Ortisei.
Alpe di Siusi – The Witches’ Tour
This unique tour has routes dating back to the 1600’s, when Castle Prösels was the setting of many witch trials. History states that the majority of the mysterious supernatural events leading up to these trials happened on Alpe di Siusi. There are 7 stations to see during this tour, and a variety of activities such as the fun park, the witches’ humpback run, a witch’s chimney, which is an obstacle course made of snow, and the witches’ park, containing life-size figurines. This tour is certainly packed with fun for the whole family.
Santa Croce Ski Tour (Gourmet Tour)
Perhaps the best has been saved for last, as this tour offers the best of everything in the Dolomites. Ski slopes that vary from easy to moderate offer enjoyment for families and skiers looking for a day of relaxation, enjoying the culture and natural beauty of the region.
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