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A snowHead
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Location: snowHeadLand
Resort: Selva di Gardena
Country: Italy
Domain: Dolomiti Superski
Author: hoppo
Date: 9th-16th February 2008
Our holiday: HappyMouffe and I are approaching 40 and on our 13th week of skiing. We are competent on-piste skiers.
Websites :
Dolomiti Superski Website
Some webcams in the area
Val Gardena Website
Hotel Pralong Website
Snow-Forecast page for Selva-Val Gardena
Basics : The Dolomites in Northern Italy, not far from Innsbruck in Austria. We flew into Bolzano airport (with Inghams). Best transfer times should be under an hour, however on our inbound trip we hit the traffic queues at the bottom of the valley as the Italians (and Germans?) departed their half-term break and took 2.5 hours. On our outbound trip we spent about an hour picking people up around the resort.
Lift system : Hands free lift pass, modern lifts throughout. Since the introduction of a new four seat chairlift the Sella Ronda uses no draglifts in either direction. Queuing pretty minimal (in British, but not local, half-term). Maximum queue this year for us was ~10 minutes although for the cable cars up to the Marmolada glacier and the Hidden Valley queues can be rather longer. We had the Dolomiti Superski pass, which covers ~1200km of piste, although spread across unlinked areas, the size of the linked area around the Sella Group is about 500km.
You can see our route through the lift system over the week by putting my lift pass number 101/05733 into the performance checker here.
The terrain : Pretty spectacular! The Dolomites are characterised by huge chunks of craggy rock stuck all throughout the landscape, nestled around the bases of these great crags are forests, valleys and boulder fields where the skiing takes place. The Sella Group is a big chunk of rock around which the resorts of Selva, Colfosco, Corvara and Arabba are found, the resorts are linked by the Sella Ronda ski route, an on piste tour which can be completed in clockwise or anticlockwise directions - taking us about 3.5 hours. In addition to the Sella Ronda circuit we visited the Alpe di Siusi, a huge alpine meadow above Ortisei with a return to the linked lifts of the Sella Ronda via a rather exciting bus ride from Saltria to Monte Pana. The Col Raiser area above St Christina is also nice, accessed via an underground railway from the bottom of the Saslong world cup run, from this area you can drop down into Ortisei down the 11km Seceda piste with a short walk across town getting you onto the gondola up to the Alpe di Siusi area.
The area above Colfosco served by the Colfosco gondola (46) is rather good for meeting snowHeads from other parts of the circuit, it is a small, quiet area with some good restaurants.
The Hidden Valley (Lagazuoi) is also worth a visit, this requires a short bus ride from Hotel Armentarola or tour operators organise trips from resort by coach. This is probably doable on skis from Selva in a day. I understand the Marmolada glacier is worth a visit, others at the hotel we stayed in just about managed to do the trip from Selva on skis in a day (but only got back at 5:30pm!). They were at the Marmolada base station by noon.
The snow : Lovely snow for us, reasonable natural snow fall a week or so before we arrived and reasonably but not very low temperatures. Piste-ing very good, and copious snow making if necessary
Off-piste : Can't comment on this
The resort : Selva is a pleasant resort, moderate in size with a good range of shops and restaurants. It doesn't have the character of Kitzbuhel or Saas Fee but it isn't ugly like Val Thorens. It does feel like it is lived in out of the skiing season.
Food : Not sure you can go too far wrong here, we visited several places in the mountains and found you could get a plate of pasta for something between 5 euro and 10 euro and it was always very good. If you don't like pasta then there was always something else to try. We used the Rif. Valentini, near the bottom of the Ciampinoi chairlift a few times.
Accommodation : We stayed at the 3* Hotel Pralong, at the upper end of Selva, a small, pleasant family run establishment. Walk across the road (~150 metres) to the old Ciampinoi chairlift which gets you onto the ski area (Sella Ronda counterclockwise), or ski down a track from there to the Costabella chairlift for Sella Ronda clockwise. Return from the Ciampinoi side the same 150 metre walk, return from the Costabella side a bit of a walk, but avoidable by taking the newer Ciampinoi gondola back up the mountain and skiing home.
Costs: We normally managed a, rather nice, main course and a small coke on the mountain for 20-25 euro.
Conclusion: We love the Dolomites! Enormous, modern linked lift system, spectacular scenery, fine mountain food and excellent hospitality. On balance I think we prefer Selva to Arabba (which we visited this time last year), there is a bit more to the town; there is easy access to more ski areas although Arabba has good access to some harder skiing.

My photos on Picasa Web Albums

Selva Resort Report Feedback Thread

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

Last edited by A snowHead on Mon 18-02-08 20:57; edited 1 time in total
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