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first time i have done one of these so please bear with me!
About an hour and a half hour trasfer from innsbruck - we travelled there from Venice by car via Cortina - about 3.5 hours although could be a lot worse in heavy traffic as long stretches of the road are narrow and windy - that doesnt stop mental italians overtaking you on the blind bends though!
immense - not a t bar or button in site and very few chairs - i would say 75% of the lifts are high speed bubble/gondolas - we did very little waiting
I'm a reasonably confident intermediate piste basher so i am not qualified to say what it would be like for an expert! in my view the mountain is quite impressive - kronplatz is basically a large dome shaped mountain with lots of nice wide runs in all directions from the top - within a few hundred meters you are into nice long cruising tree lined runs. There is a nice mix of blues reds and blacks - i would say this is a perfect resort for a mixed group - we found that the less confident skiers and intermediates had plenty there to practice on (very long wide and gentle blue into st vigilio is perfect for beginners) with lots of great cruising blue runs that were on the steepish side but very wide - my wife isnt that confident but found these slopes perfect to get some practice on and improve her technique. there are a few great long reds (two good ones on the slightly challengin side into olang valdoara) and a number of good blacks - the best two are runs 4 and 1 (sylvester) which both drop into riscone (just outside brunico) - the two blacks are both around 5k long with a drop of around 1250m. they are on the shady side of the mountain in the aftrenoon though so i would suggest skiing them around lunchtime for the best conditions. for the stepping up skier there is also the perfect run to do your first black - a run near st vigilio (in think it is 32r) has a red which runs virtually parallell to a black down the same strecth of slope - intermediates can ski the red and if happy with it then do the only slightly harder black on the other side of the fence.
we were there for three days with bright sunny skies and without any recent snow although i understand that they have had some good recent dumps prior to us getting there. we found conditions to be fine with pretty well groomed nicely packed pistes - didnt encounter too much icy bits and the slopes only really got cut up in places on the well tracked runs at the end of the day - not bad considering it was fairly warm at resort level. kronplatz claims to have 100% snow cannon coverage - we went there for new years day in 2007 and every run there was open despite us not seeing any snow at all on the way until we reached the slopes! i believe last year it was ther first major resort to be 100% open (but i may be wrong on that!
as said above i cannot comment on this at all - didnt see too much that looked obvious although there were warnings around about the risk of avalanches for off piste
you can stay in one of a few villages at the base of the mountain including st vigilio, riscone, brunico, olang vadaora and others further afield. we stayed about a 20 minute drive away in a village called terenten - it was VERY quiet but we only paid 75 euros for an aprtment for three nights
the apartment was fantastic. we drove but it is on the ski bus route - one a day!
The whole south tyrol although in italy is very german with most people there speaking german as their first language. we got by as we were with italian speaking friends but you can tell that british popel do not get there too often - menus were not in english and few people spoke english - that all adds to the fun though.
we didn't see too much apres because we had the car but it looked pretty good.
I loved the food - a mixture of italian foiod whcih is always good and more traditional tyrolian food - mountain restaurants are good and typically not too busy - we were a group of five and always got a table together even on sunday which was pretty busy on the slopes. We tended to pay about 15-17 euros for a couple of bowls of pasta and some drinks.
pretty reasonable - we flew into venice on a cheapie easyjet flight and then hired a car fr the drive - ¬£100 for the four days we had it - lift pass was about 110 euros for the three days (its 194 for six) but you can pay more (about 15 euros extra) and have the dolomiti superski which covers the whole region (1220 km of pistes)
we loved it - its off the beaten track for a lot of british skiers but in my view well worth the visit.
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