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A snowHead
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Location: snowHeadLand
Resort: Arabba
Country: Italy
Domain: Dolomiti Superski
Author: Hoppo
Date: 10-17th February 2007
Our holiday: Mrs Hoppo (HappyMouffe) and I are thirty-something skiers with 11 weeks skiing experience. Our first UK half-term skiing holiday. We booked through Inghams.
Website : http://www.dolomitisuperski.com/ is the Dolomites Superski website, http://www.altabadiaski.info/ has a fine range of webcams - I used this a lot, the village website is http://www.arabba.it/
Basics : Arabba is in north-eastern Italy, in the Dolomites. We flew from Manchester into Bolzano, the tiniest airport I've ever used. Outbound transfer, by taxi, took just under two hours passing through Ortesi, Selva, Colfosco and Corvara and involved several high passes and twisty roads. Return transfer was by small coach, taking 2.5 hours, avoiding most of the twisty roads.
Lift system : We skied mainly on the area around the Sella Group, which is an interlinked area about the size of the 3 valleys. Nearly all modern lifts, some cute little gondolas with a central pillar with ski holders, number of big cable cars, a limited number of drag lifts - although a parallel poma / t-bar combination lie on the Sella Ronda circuit. The Dolomitisuperski pass covers 1200km of pistes across the Dolomites.
The terrain : Down from the cable car, gondola and old 2 seater chairlift are a great set of reds and blacks on a north facing slope, if you get off the gondola at the mid-station there a couple of nice blues and a link to the Marmolada glacier over the Passo Padon. Taking the 4-seater chairlift quickly brings you to a big blue run area above Corvara. Sits right on the Sella Ronda route, took us about 3 hours to get to Selva in the clockwise direction and about 1.5 hours in the anticlockwise direction, about an hour to Hotel Armentarola for the ski bus up to the Hidden Valley.
The snow : On piste conditions were very good, a small amount of new snow fell before we arrived and a small amount fell on the third day of our stay. South facing slopes (off-piste) were looking quite bare, which I wouldn't have expected in mid-February.
Off-piste : Can't comment on this
The resort : A small village served by a fast detachable 4 seater chairlift, an old 2 seater chairlift, a big gondola and a cable car. The village is pretty small, there are a couple of tiny supermarkets, a butcher, a baker and two small ski shops. Beautiful location.
Food : We ate frequently at the Albergo Pordoi in Arabba - 20euro for two main courses and 2 large cokes, relatively quiet and a pleasant break at lunchtime. Pizza and pasta common, chips and sausage also available! 20euro seemed to be a fairly standard price for lunch across the area.
Accommodation : We stayed at the Hotel Olympia, a three star hotel about 0.5km from the village centre, set a little way up the valleyside. Generous sized room and bathroom, pleasant staff, good food, very quiet at night. The key feature though is the hotel ski room which is located about 10m from the Burz chairlift and 200m from the cable car and gondola. Hotel staff will take your ski gear down on arrival, individual lockers for each room.
Costs: We paid the half-term bonus, which only applies to the UK. Mountainside food was a bit cheaper than France. Lift pass was comparable in price to the 3V's (although in theory it covers a much bigger area)
Conclusion: Loved it! The scenery is fantastic, the skiing is excellent and the list system modern and efficient. Skiing the Sella Ronda is definitely more fun than skiing out across the 3V's and back. Definitely want to return to the area, quite possibly to Arabba - good access to great skiing, loads of uplift from a small village. It is really a very small quiet place though.

agavin has written an excellent report on Arabba here

Pictures here

Arabba Resort Report Feedback Thread

_________________
Ian Hopkinson - Contains extended scenes of peril - Me & Mrs H
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