Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better!
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

TR: San Domenico, Italy; Bettmeralp, Riederalp & Belalp, CH; Madesimo, Italy (19-27 March 2017)

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
After two fantastic solo trips to San Martino di Castrozza, Dolomites, Italy last season, along with day trips to Pejo 3000, Trafoi and Solda in the South Tyrol with my girlfriend Nerys, we were keen to return to Italy for our March 2017 ski trip.

Nerys started a new job with the National Trust last November and was unable to ski Hokkaido this winter, so this would be her main ski trip of the season.

Conditions in Italy hadn't been that flash all winter and we were considering returning to Gudauri, Georgia, but 'La Dolce Vita' won the day.

With a freezing level hitting 2000m and rain forecast below that we aimed to ski San Domenico and Alpe Devero in the Piedmont region before heading to Madesimo in the Lombardy region.


DAY 1: SUNDAY 19 MARCH 2017

Travel day.

Nerys & I drove to Cardiff Airport bright and early for the 07.05 flight to Milan Malpensa with FlyBe - £141 r/t with 20kg luggage allowance.

Flown this route four times now and been impressed every time.

Picked up the rental car from Sicily by Car - £231.67 for 9-days rental all in

http://www.autoeuropa.it/rent/index.aspx


Just over an hour later we were sitting in the sun at L'Idrovolante, Stresa on the shores of Lake Maggiore having lunch and Aperol Spritzes

http://www.lidrovolante.com/index-eng.html


A shared starter, two pasta dishes, two Aperol Spritz and two coffees for 36 euros





Nerys





Isola Bella





Lake Maggiore





Nerys





On the way to our accommodation in Crodo, we passed through Mergozzo which was a very charming village with excellent views









A further hour in the car and we were at our accommodation for two nights, Albergo Edelweiss in the tiny village of Viceno above Crodo

http://www.booking.com/hotel/it/albergo-edelweiss.en-gb.html?aid=357029;label=yho748jc-hotel-XX-it-albergoNedelweiss-unspec-gb-com-L%3Aen-O%3AwindowsS10-B%3Afirefox-N%3AXX-S%3Abo-U%3AXX;sid=1ee8e0aa12941cb91c35afdd0e9d2d2b;dist=0&sb_price_type=total&type=total&


A fantastic spa hotel overlooking the valley. Excellent service, food and drink. Highly recommended.

2 Aperol Spritz
1 bottle of Prosecco
1 Grilled vegetables
1 Venison carpaccio
1 Gnocchetti with spinach and ricotta
1 Pappardelle with venison
1 bottle of sparkling water
2 Caffe Corretto (espresso with grappa)

Total of 70 euros


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Fri 31-03-17 9:23; edited 2 times in total
latest report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
DAY 2: MONDAY 20 MARCH 2017

The day dawned cold and clear with wonderful views up and down the valley from Albergo Edelweiss
























After breakfast we took the 40 minute drive on the motorway and winding mountain road up to San Domenico Ski, a small but perfectly formed resort in the Piedmont region of Italy.

http://www.sandomenicoski.com/Default.aspx



The resort offers up an impressive 1079m of vertical drop but the lower mountain was closed due to lack of snow.

There was still 563m vertical of deserted spring snow to play on, and all for the princely sum of 18 euros on what the resort calls 'Happy Monday' - a 15 euro reduction on the normal day ticket price.

Add in free underground parking and lunch for two for 35 euros - two pastas, one mixed meat plate, bottle of wine, two bottles of water, 2 coffees - and it made for the perfect first day on snow.

With top to bottom coverage San Domenico would offer up tons of great skiing above and below the treeline.

San Domenico Ski Map





Views from the top lifts

















Nerys enjoying prefect spring conditions on and off piste


http://youtube.com/v/SfsFIKg0U1Q



Yours truly enjoying corn snow off piste






http://youtube.com/v/vpG4itt51D4


A lovely drive back to the hotel and a wonderful dinner in the restaurant rounded off a great day.

4 Aperol Spritz
1 bottle of Prunent Garrone
1 Smoked Trout
1 Trout carpaccio
1 Raviolini with potato and cheese
1 Agnolotti caserecci (beef)
1 bottle of sparkling water
2 Caffe Corretto (espresso with grappa)

Total of 90 euros


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Fri 31-03-17 9:24; edited 2 times in total
snow report     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Mike Pow, where's the powder shots? 😎
snow conditions     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
BobinCH wrote:
@Mike Pow, where's the powder shots? 😎


With the weather that was thrown at us last week, we were lucky to be skiing some days let alone skiing powder Shocked
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
DAY 3: TUESDAY 21 MARCH 2017

We woke to old time 'London Fog' with rain imminent so bailed on Alpe Devero and headed to Bettmeralp, Aletsch Arena, Switzerland instead.

The skiing starts at a little over 2000m which would keep us above the 2000m freezing level if the clouds broke.

A little under 90 minutes from Crodo to Grengiols, the base area for the Bettmeralp cableway and we were on our way up the mountain.






There was a mix of a couple of cm of new snow and the spring snow which made for some tricky turns.

When the clouds broke, the views were amazing. Especially from the top of the system overlooking the Aletsch Glacier













We had lunch at Heidi's Hut - 30 CHF for two sandwiches, two glasses of wine, and one bottle of water.

Nerys skiing a mix of new snow and spring conditions


http://youtube.com/v/y5wLpfXyHVY



A great day out, especially as we avoided the rain. And some interesting and exciting runs from the top of Bergstation Bettmerhon and Bergstation Eggishorn.

But I do wonder how non-Swiss afford to ski in Switzerland. Everything was at least twice the price of Italy!

A short drive took us to the centre of Brig old town and our accommodation for the next two nights, the Schlosshotel Art Furrer

http://www.schlosshotel.ch/


Great location, great price, great breakfast, great views of Brig Castle.


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Thu 30-03-17 20:16; edited 4 times in total
ski holidays     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@Mike Pow,
Wtf are those bendy rainbows underneath your boots?

Nice report snowHead
snow report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
T Bar wrote:
@Mike Pow,
Wtf are those bendy rainbows underneath your boots?

Nice report snowHead


Ha ha Smile

That's what the 176cm Majesty Local Hero twin tip, centre mounted skis (116-82-111) look like when they're not submerged under a metre or so of Hokkaido powder Wink

The wide angle lens on my Sony action cam gives them extra curve Smile
snow report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
DAY 4: WEDNESDAY 22 MARCH 2017

After heavy rain overnight we woke to clear skies in Brig and great views of the castle





This morning we took the short drive to the Riederalp cableway under sunny skies, but by the time we got to the bottom of the Hohfluh chair we couldn't see our hands in front of our faces due to the thick fog.

I gave Nerys the option to bail, but fair play she said let's do it. We took a few wrong turns and and had a few 'am I moving or am I stationary' moments but overall we had an enjoyable 5 hours in that part of the Aletsch Arena and Bettmeralp.

Can't tell you what the views were like though! Wink

This is the best visibility we had all day. Nerys disappearing into the mist.


http://youtube.com/v/6AHbVImYJkQ



We popped into Aldi and picked up food and drink and had a quiet night in catching up with 'Billions'
snow report     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
DAY 5: THURSDAY 23 MARCH 2017

Early breakfast and packed up the car and decided to have a morning at Belalp before heading over the Simplon Pass back to Italy.

Belalp is in the Aletsch but not linked to the Aletsch Arena resorts.

http://www.belalp.ch/en/index.php


A very similar set up though.

Park the car up at Blatten, catch a gondola to the car-free village, straight on to the Kelchbach chairlift, and away we go.

Belalp has 'Meteodynamic Pricing' on its website, where the price of a day ticket fluctuates based on the severity of the weather.

https://www.tipo.ch/belalp


It was showing a 50% reduction from CHF 56 to CHF 28 due to cloud and snow, so we figured that if it was bad then at least we'd only spent CHF 28

When we showed up at the ticket office we were told that you had to purchase online and before 8am

So CHF 56 it was Sad

But worth every franc

Best day in Switzerland by a mile.

Deserted, long runs, covered chairs, and a T-Bar that went up to the Gods which led to a tunnel which accessed the 'Tunnel Westseite' black run that ran for almost 800m vertical.

Black 1 on the piste map





The tunnel

















Visibility wasn't great but there was 5-15cm of dry, velvet on and off the piste for most of the descent and Nerys took the handbrake off and let the skis run.





Nerys ripping up the Tunnel Westseite run off the Hohstock T-bar


http://youtube.com/v/zHEBK5DBJ_0




http://youtube.com/v/rRmiEk-0Hnc



We did a couple of laps here and four laps skiing the off-piste terrain from the Sparrhorngrat T-bar.

Then the sun came out as we made our way back to the cableway.





A fantastic 5 hours and after a short stop at the CO-OP for car supplies we hit the road.

Great driving on the Swiss side of the Simplon Pass, but as soon as we got over the top the heavens opened.

Heavy wet snow to start, then torrential rain as we descended to the valley floor.

The decision to ski in Switzerland had paid off.


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Tue 4-04-17 8:52; edited 1 time in total
snow report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Great report, not at all jealous😜
snow report     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
geoffknight wrote:
Great report, not at all jealous😜

Thanks. More to come
snow report     
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
DAY 5: THURSDAY 23 MARCH 2017

What should have taken 4 hrs to get from Brig to Madesimo, Lombardy, Italy ended up taking around 5 1/2 hrs beacauuse of the rain, and we arrived at our accommodation - Hotel Emet - with about 20 minutes to spare for our dinner reservation at Il Cantinone, a 1 Star Michelin Restaurant in the village.

Hotel Emet
http://www.hotelemet.com/


A call from the general manager of the Emet to say we'd be a little late, quick shower & change and 25 minutes later we were seated in the restaurant.

I'd heard about the restaurant and Madesimo itself from an excellent article by Will Robson in Fall Line magazine and the fact that it coincided with the Madesimo Freeride Festival was an added bonus.

http://www.fall-line.co.uk/madiesomo-ski-italy/


Restaurant Il Cantinone
https://www.ristorantecantinone.com/


The meal certainly wasn't cheap - £140 each - but it exceeded our expecations and was the finest 1 Star Michelin experience we'd both enjoyed.

The Gourmand tasting menu for that evening was 10 different appetizers with a glass of prosecco; followed by four courses accompanied by four pairing wines; and finished with espresso with petis fours and one glass each of our favourite wine of the evening.

APPETIZERS

Local savoy cabbage and buckwheat flour pancake, smoky trout
Fake broccoli guacamole cone, pepper, lemon
Fried eggyolk, soy mayonnaise
Marinated twice shad fish, quuinoa cialda
Freah mascarpino cheese and red beet sphere
Corn flour and scimudin cheese canolo
Rye flour blini, sour cream, fish eggs
Partridge pate, spiced meringue
Pike tartare, "carpione" jelly
Lobster bisquue, last summer nettles

COURSES

Celery root, porcino mushroom, red radish, Jeruusalem artichoke (Nerys)
Venison carpaccio, seabass, cocount, ginger and passion fruit (Me)

Crunchy corn flour and mascarpino cheese gnocchi, red prawns, salad suutee (Both)

Scallop with rosehip, amaranth polenta, dandelion flowers (Nerys)
Lamb, Jerusalem artichokes, peanuut paste, toasted sesame (Me)

Shokolato 01.2017 (Both)

Here's a selection of the dishes

snow conditions     
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
DAY 6: FRIDAY 24 MARCH 2017

After a wonderful breakfast at Hotel Emet we walked less than 5 minutes through the pedestrianised part of the town to the Larici gondola station.

The Madesimo Freeride Festival had set up a booth at the base area and we were able to pick up our 3-day Weekend Passes.

For 90 euros each we got a 3-day ski pass; a goody bag with neck warmer and vouchers to demo equipment, attend lectures, and join guided groups; and entrance to Festival events.





http://www.madesimofreeridefestival.it/


The website is all in Italian but I contacted them directly and Natalia organised everything for us. Next year they're hoping to have the site in English too.

The weather wasn't the best - cloudy and grey - with the Groppera Funiva closed all day.

So we skied most of the runs from Montalto to Motta, hitting a few of the easily accessible off-piste areas.

Great wide open pitches with about 5-10cm of new snow on a firm base.

Madesimo Piste Map













We had lunch at the Larici restaurant - 2 pasta dishes, 1 cottolette with polenta, 2 waters, bottle of wine for 34 euros - then had a mooch around the Madesimo Freeride Festival area













Powder Yoga Session





Back to the hotel to shower up and then we had a stroll around town stopping in Il Bolicine for Appertivos and Oysters

Half a dozen oysters, 2 gins and free apperetivo snacks for 44 euros





Great bar / restaurant. Claudio and Eduardo made us feel very welcome.

Then it was off to La Genuuina for one of the Festival get together's before returning to Il Bolicine for pizza and nightcaps to round off a great day.

Pizza, 2 red wines, 4 cocktails for 42.50 euros
snow report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
DAY 7: SATURDAY 25 MARCH 2017

What a difference a day makes Smile

Another wonderful breakfast at Hotel Emet followed by the short stroll through the pedestrianised part of the town to the Larici gondola station.









Then it was straight up the Larici gondola, up the Cima Sole chair and into the maze to queue for the Groppera Funiva which accesses the resort's highest point (2880m), the wonderful pisted and off-piste runs of the Val di Lei, and the 'Canalone' and 'Camosci' itineraries.

We were on the second or third ride up, and from the top station we watched as skiers & snowboarders hit the terrain under the funiva





























Then it was our turn.

Firstly the pisted runs













Then the off-piste runs between and beside the pistes. A firm base with 5-15cm of dry, light powder on top. Perfect.

















Nerys at the Ristoro Val Di Lei cafe with the morning's playground behind her





Nerys skiing the Val di Lei


http://youtube.com/v/Heu_E5tprd4



Incoming!


http://youtube.com/v/cER_sJAMTj0



Nerys skiing the Val di Lei


http://youtube.com/v/bf9fMr_Guxk



Nerys took the funiva back to the Cima Sole area as I skied the 'Camosci' itinerary.

Great wide open bowl leading to a number of chutes through the rockband, which then opened up to a wide apron that spilled out on to the Scoiattolo piste. 700 vertical metres of goodness Smile

Unknown skier in the lower apron





The Groppera Funiva base station and the mountains beyond





We had a late lunch at the Larici restaurant again - 2 pasta dishes, 1 cottolette with polenta, 1 bottle of wine for 36.50 euros - then headed down to Acquarela for the Festival apres









Back to the hotel to shower up and then we had a stroll around town stopping at a couple of bars for Aperol Spritz and apperitivos, Il Bolicine for gin and then on to Dverso for the Festival party.

Cracking local band playing everything from 'Rock Around the Clock' to Kings of Leon.

We left when the doof doof got too DOOF DOOF
snow report     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Love the trip report. Nice work making the most of the conditions/weather and ferreting out nice accommodations and restaurants in non-mega resorts. Snow is snow and when the slopes are empty and the conditions good, it doesn't matter where you are skiing.
ski holidays     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
choucas wrote:
Love the trip report. Nice work making the most of the conditions/weather and ferreting out nice accommodations and restaurants in non-mega resorts. Snow is snow and when the slopes are empty and the conditions good, it doesn't matter where you are skiing.


Cheers. Bags of great skiing to be had in the lesser known / lesser visited by the British resorts Smile
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
DAY 8: SUNDAY 26 MARCH 2017

Another sunny day, and although it was Sunday, quiet slopes again Smile

The other side of the valley (taken from the Larici restaurant)









We took the Cima Sole chair to the Groppera Funiva and spent most of the day in the Val di Lei





Nerys skiing the Val di Lei


http://youtube.com/v/-Pb6ULEpNv0




The terrain under the Groppera Funiva which I would ski later in the day (to the right of the cable car)





The ridgeline on the left peak down to the valley floor





The run under the Gropera Funiva was fun, fantastic, fatiguing, and through what I think was "the Fiammifero; this last translates as ‘matchstick’, so called because its 45° narrow slope is shaped just like one" frightening.

The chute was scraped off down to rock and ice so it was sideslipping and stepping down until I got into the apron.

Yours truly under the Groppera Funiva






http://youtube.com/v/nIe7cIFofPg


The mountains on the other side of the valley





We had a late lunch at the Larici, then back to the hotel to shower up.

A stroll around town; Aperol Spritz and apperitivos at La Genuina; then dinner & drinks at Il Bolicine watching the MotoGP motorcycle racing from Qatar.
snow report     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
DAY 9: MONDAY 27 MARCH 2017

A leisurely breakfast and drive back to Milan Malpensa and we were back at home in Wales by mid-afternoon.

2 countries, 7 days skiing, 4 different resorts, and a holiday to remember.

Madesimo is a real gem of a resort with plenty for everyone.

In conversation with the Director of the resort one evening at Il Bolicine, he told us that 2016-17 was the lowest snowfall in almost a generation.

If that's the worst it gets, then we can't wait to return when it's pumping Smile

The Madesimo Freeride Festival was really good. We didn't make use of the on-snow offerings but there were plenty - equipment demos; skills courses; free guiding.

There was a really good buzz about the place and the off-snow events were fun.

It's an annual event and if you ski solo or are in a very mixed ability group then this would be an ideal opportunity to ski with others and learn the ins and outs of some magnificent terrain.

There's bags of lift accessed off-piste and a lifetime of touring.

On a quick YouTube search, I did indeed ski the "Fiammifero" chute yesterday, but must have gone in after this guy!!! Sad


http://youtube.com/v/2cvutLDIL9g


In better snow conditions and with balls the size of cannonballs, this is what's possible Smile


http://youtube.com/v/ZUlpB3EWdGo



Here's the easily accessed off-piste in the Val di Lei


http://youtube.com/v/veAxF8A93ZU



And a step by step vid on the Angeloga itinerary


http://youtube.com/v/_bmvvAJs_5Y



Italy & Switzerland 2017 Costs (for two people)

FlyBe Flight £280.96
Cardiff Airport Parking £ 49.49
9-day car hire £231.67 (121.32 car hire; 146.50 insurance)
Diesel £ 51.10
Tolls £ 10.38
2-nights Dinner, B&B Accommodation at Hotel Edelweiss, Crodo £315.11
2-nights B&B Accommodation at Schlosshotel Art Furrer £151.00
4-nights B&B Accommodation at Hotel Emet £352.35

Lift Pass San Domenico £ 34.91 (40.00)
Lift Pass Bettmeralp £ 89.86 (CHF 56)
Lift Pass Riederalp £ 89.86 (CHF 56)
Lift Pass Belalp £ 89.86 (CHF 56)
Lift Pass Madesimo (3 days) £155.77 (30 per day)

19 Lunch in Stresa £ 31.46 (36.00)
20 Lunch in San Domenico £ 30.55 (35.00)
21 Lunch in Heidi Hut, Bettmeralp £ 25.98 (30.00)
22 Lunch in Brig £ 21.76 (CHF 26.75)
23 Lunch in Brig £ 6.00 (CHF 7.00)
23 Dinner at Il Cantinone £278.99
24 Lunch in Larici £ 29.89 (34.50)
24 Dinner & Drinks at Bollicine £ 74.94 (86.50)
25 Snack in Di Lei £ 10.38 (12.00)
25 Lunch in Larici £ 32.43 (37.50)
25 Apres in Acquarela £ 7.78 (9.00)
25 Drinks in Dverso £ 12.10 (14.00)
25 Drinks in La Genuina £ 12.10 (14.00)
25 Drinks in Band Bar £ 48.40 (56.00)
26 Lunch in Larici £ 38.05 (44.00)
26 Drinks in La Genuina £ 12.10 (14.00)
26 Dinner & Drinks in Bollicine £ 48.43 (56.00)

Food & Drink Total £709.24 (499.24 without Michelin Star meal)

Total for 8 nights accommodation (7 days skiing) £2611.56 / 3044 euros / US$ 3269.00 / AUD$ 4261.78 / JPY 363,460

per person £1305.78


To convert to your currency please use this link
http://www.xe.com/
ski holidays     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Great report, I've been eyeing up Madesimo for a while, love that part of the alps. That Val di Lei area looks incredible.
latest report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
element wrote:
Great report, I've been eyeing up Madesimo for a while, love that part of the alps. That Val di Lei area looks incredible.


Thanks.

You won't be disappointed
snow conditions     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Great report, thanks👍

Impressive planning, looked a class trip👌
snow report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
memphis04 wrote:
Great report, thanks👍

Impressive planning, looked a class trip👌


Cheers.

With a freezing level all over the charts, we had to have a plan A, B, C & D Smile
ski holidays     



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy