How to ski when the sky is blue, the temperature is 27C in the valley below and the hills are brown.

2 Apr

Guest Blogger: Stuart Elliott 2/4/2017
The promo material stated there was plenty of snow on the lower and upper slopes of The Dolomites Super Ski area (Italy). We arrived at our hotel at 1400 metres above sea level last Monday to be greeted with the weather of a fine English summer’s day, and not a snow flake to be seen. So it was down to the outdoor swimming pool for a swim. The ‘Wellness Centre’ at the Albion Hotel in Ortisei is nearly as large as the foyer in the Hong Kong Peninsula hotel (yes, that place where they do the afternoon tea). It takes us a couple of hours to work our way through all the various therapy rooms. We are exhausted at the end of it.

Next morning it’s off to find some snow on the slopes of Seceda, not that we really believe there is any. Two cable cars later at 2100m there it is, in all its pristine glory. Not that it fell naturally, oh no it was manufactured and then manicured into an homogenous corduroy surface. Just make sure you don’t ski off the edge or you will be skiing on grass. But there were barely any other skiers, the sun shone and it was amazingly beautiful. The Dolomites are not a Natural World Heritage Site for nothing. By lunch time the snow is soft and the Rifugios are calling, so it’s al dente pasta al fresco and a glass of chilled Sylvaner. What to do after that? Glide across the sublime 10km piste back down through the forest to the beautiful village of Ortisei. No need to do elaborate technical turns, just point the skis down hill and float.

Next day we try the Alpe Di Siusi area. Whilst the views are magnificent there is little snow. It is a sun drenched bowl and right now better suited to hiking than skiing. But we are there and make the most of it. The skiing was unremarkable, but the afternoon ‘coffee’ break somehow morphed into the best Apfel Strudel and white wine ever.Day three and another glorious day finds us up early searching for the best of the skiing on the 45 km Sella Ronda circuit. We end up roaming between Selva and Belvedere in search of quality snow; a constant challenge as the sun moves across the sky melting the snow and requiring regular coffee stops to consult maps. Ironically the best skiing is during our hurried descent to the hotel pick up van waiting for us some 1000 m below at Santa Cristina. A great way to end nearly six weeks of skiing for me and three for Sharon.

So now it’s off to the Wellness Centre to ease our weary limbs for tomorrow we walk!

Alpe Di Siusi Walking Notes (by Sharon):

Three Hour Circle walk of Mont De Bulacia (including three sustenance stops). We took the Seiser Alm bubble lift up and back for 15 euro return. Total climb 500m. Route marked in orange. Sunny, little wind but poor visibility.

Dibaita green tea stop.

Puftlasch Rifugio

Wood carving at Seiser Alm base celebrates women’s downhill ski racing.

Ortisei downtown.

Next stop Bolzano then five nights in Verona!

One Response to “How to ski when the sky is blue, the temperature is 27C in the valley below and the hills are brown.”

  1. scratchbriannm April 19, 2017 at 12:02 pm #

    Impressive guest writing Sharon.


    Sent from my Samsung GALAXY S5

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