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Selva or Arabba

 Poster: A snowHead
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Have been to Cortina years ago and skied Sella Ronda, loved the beauty of it.

Would like to go for skitrip with 4 families this year, but like to be closer to Sella Ronda as to explore more.
Don't need hectic night life, kids too small and group just need dinner together to have a party.
All are competent skiers, will probably hire a guide for some off-piste if possible, and will use ski-school for few days with kids.

Looked at Arabba and Selva because seems decent degree of difficulty , or am I wrong?
Any reasons to choose one over the other?
Help appreciated
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I stayed in a Catered Chalet with Inghams a number of years back (last minute deal booked via their website). Had a great time. Enjoyed the slopes and going round the sella ronda. Can't compare with Arabba though really as haven't stayed there. From memory (which is a bit hazy), the Arabba slopes were sunnier than the Selva ones.
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Looked at Portavescovo Hotel, Arabba
gathered from forum search that previous Birthday bash was there,
seems right on slopes, anyone know if also easy walking distance to shops for ski-hire etc. , as we wont have a car?
Thanks
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lizski, Everything is very close together in Arabba as it is a pretty small resort. Like you, I haven't stayed there, having been based in Selva or San Cassiano on previous visits, but I don't think you can go far wrong.
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lizski, I stayed in the Portavescovo Hotel in March this year. Not far to walk for ski-hire and you can indeed ski almost to the door Very Happy

Not a lot of shops/hire options in Arabba as it is quite small, but it's a good base for the Sella Ronda.
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Almost anywhere on the selle ronda is fantastic - my observation on Arabba is that it is in quite a steep valley, so can seem quite dark. Also there are 2 key red runs back down that can be quite busy. Have you considered Covara or Colfosco? Less overshadowed that Arabba and you can access the Prolongia (with some lovely rolling blues and reds and the challenging gran risa in la villa). Whatever, I am sure you'll enjoy it Toofy Grin
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Thanks all
Will look at Corvara and Colfosco also , but we have quite a few very strong skiers and thought Selva or Arabba best difficult slopes.
Somebody else has now thrown Monterosa/ Champoluc into the hat too,
have some research to do this weekend.
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I am also considering these two resorts. Leaning toward Arabba, as it seems to offer more black slopes. What about Val di Fassa area as an option? It appears that Canazei might be a nice option, and would allow easy access to Arabba but offer more night life, or? Also, we would be coming fm St Anton/Lech area. Looks like a bit of a train schlep fm St Anton via Innsbruck-Bolzano and then bus to either Val Gardena or Val Di Fasa. Anyone done this routing before? Thanks.
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Toadman, Arabba does have the more challenging skiing. I have stayed in Canazei and enjoyed it but Arabba gives much easier and direct access to the snow than much of the accommodation in Canazei. Corvara and Colfosco are also good for snow access but don't have the same nearby blacks as Arabba.
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If you are looking for nice black runs then Arabba is the place to be .
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lizski wrote:
Looked at Portavescovo Hotel, Arabba
gathered from forum search that previous Birthday bash was there,
seems right on slopes, anyone know if also easy walking distance to shops for ski-hire etc. , as we wont have a car?
Thanks


I was on the Birthday bash last year and it's a great base. There's a chair right behind the hotel which leads you one way round the circuit and a short walk to the bubble for the other way round. Great food in the Portovescovo and the Friday Seafood buffet is something to behold. It looks like the Birthday bash will be there again in early February next year.

Everything is close in Arraba, so ski hire, banks are all in walking distance. Enjoy. snowHead snowHead

ps, ask Admin whether it's ski in. Twisted Evil
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I think Selva has the biggest section outside Sella Ronda. It is formed by Santa Cristina, Ortiere and Alps d Suisi which has its own skiing loop big enough for a day to get through.

By staying in Selva one can also do a day trip to explore Corvara and Colfosco which together with La Villa and S Cassiano form Alta Badia. In the opposite direction one can do a day trip to Canazei to explode Val Di Fassa. This is additional to doing Sella Ronda in two days going clockwise and then anticlockwise.

Arabba has its own charm with the 3250m high peak Marmolada and a quick bus, 15 miles, to Area #12 Civetta. The Hidden Valley access point Lagazui is near its doorstep (need a car through a mountain pass) and there is also a scenic route skiing around the Cinque Torri. Hidden Valley and part of the Cinque Torri are also parts of the World War I skiing tour, a full day skiing going round Arabba, Civetta, Cortina (fringe area only) and Alta Badia (S Cassiano and Corvara only). It has 2 bus rides each about 15 miles long.

I personally think each of Selva and Arabba has enough skiing for one week each. The only logical selection is to do them both, one per week in one or two visits.
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Stayed in Selva last year and skied through Arabba several times. It looked good but is a much smaller place. Met people staying in Canazei who were fed up with the long queue at the cable car every morning (45mins -1hr).
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The skiing areas of Sela/Gadena (Area #4) , Canazei (Area #5), Arabba (Area #6), Alta Badia (Area #3), Civetta (Area #12) and Cortina (Area #1) have 175, 120, 62, 130, 80 and 140 km piste respectively.

Arabba will not be attractive unless one wants to use it as the spring board accessing the Hidden Valley, Civetta, Cinque Torri, Cortina or even Kronplatz (Area #2 with 105 km piste)
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lizski wrote:
Have been to Cortina years ago and skied Sella Ronda, loved the beauty of it.

Would like to go for skitrip with 4 families this year, but like to be closer to Sella Ronda as to explore more.
Don't need hectic night life, kids too small and group just need dinner together to have a party.
All are competent skiers, will probably hire a guide for some off-piste if possible, and will use ski-school for few days with kids.

Looked at Arabba and Selva because seems decent degree of difficulty , or am I wrong?
Any reasons to choose one over the other?
Help appreciated


Been to Sella Ronda area 4 times now, any of the resorts on the circuit (Selva, Colfosco, Corvara, Arabba, Canazei & Campitello) are well connected to each other, here are some plus and minus points for the ones you mentioned:

Selva + extent of skiing in the local valley (Val Gardena), liveliest apres, quality of hotels
- busy at peak times, some accommodation a long way to lifts

Arabba +most challenging slopes in the area, snow is well conserved on north facing slopes, most accom is near slopes
-very quiet of an evening, furthest away from your arrival direction, no easy runs for beginners/kids to progress to

Both are good choices but Selva seems the best bet for you, find some accommodation near the nursery slopes and you'll love it. If you are using the train and bus from Austria, it's certainly the easiest option for you.

You won't cover it all, so go back to Arabba next time when the kids are more proficient, maybe you could combine a day or so in Venice at the end as that is the best place to arrive/depart here.
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saikee, wrote
Quote:

personally think each of Selva and Arabba has enough skiing for one week each. The only logical selection is to do them both, one per week in one or two visits.

coming to the same conclusion, there is always next year.
luigi, we will use a transfer from Venice or Innsbruck, depending on flights available.
At this stage the hotel in Arabba looks like good value, Selva quite a bit more expensive for slopeside.
Luckily even some of the kids can ski a black slope, and all love reds, so will hopefully cope with Arabba.

If the Birthday bash is there again will we still be welcome there afterwards, or better not to mention I am a snowHead ...
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saikee wrote:
The skiing areas of Sela/Gadena (Area #4) , Canazei (Area #5), Arabba (Area #6), Alta Badia (Area #3), Civetta (Area #12) and Cortina (Area #1) have 175, 120, 62, 130, 80 and 140 km piste respectively.


Those are really not valid comparisons, since each of the first four is connected into the Sella Ronda and you can easily access several hundred kilometres of skiing from any of them.
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alex_heney,

Most skiers are happy if they could ski round the Sella Ronda non-stop in a circular loop in a day. To be able to enjoy each run of every linking resort requires skill and ability beyond most of us.

I did not put the information for comparison as they are are information inside the promotion brochure. The information is helpful for visitors to plan the location of the accommodation to optimize their skiing time.

As an example trying to ski say 175km piste of Selva Garden by staying at the diametrically opposite end of Arabba would not be considered as a good choice at many of us would be glad to reach from Arabba to Selva by mid day, grab a quick lunch and use the reminder of the day to make our way back to Arabba instead of exhausting what is available in Selva Gardena.
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saikee wrote:
alex_heney,

As an example trying to ski say 175km piste of Selva Garden by staying at the diametrically opposite end of Arabba would not be considered as a good choice at many of us would be glad to reach from Arabba to Selva by mid day, grab a quick lunch and use the reminder of the day to make our way back to Arabba instead of exhausting what is available in Selva Gardena.


So how long does it take to get fm Selva Gardena to Arabba? Of course this depends on the skill of the skier. So, for someone who is an expert level skier, and is up at the crack of dawn and is on slope when the lifts start spinning, how long would it take? I have read a few trip reports of people getting stuck in one area or other and needing to spend quite a few Euros on a taxi to get back to their home base.
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Toadman, A average skier can get around the Sella Ronda in under 4 hrs . From Arabba to Selva 1.5 hrs .
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Toadman wrote:
saikee wrote:
alex_heney,

As an example trying to ski say 175km piste of Selva Garden by staying at the diametrically opposite end of Arabba would not be considered as a good choice at many of us would be glad to reach from Arabba to Selva by mid day, grab a quick lunch and use the reminder of the day to make our way back to Arabba instead of exhausting what is available in Selva Gardena.


So how long does it take to get fm Selva Gardena to Arabba? Of course this depends on the skill of the skier. So, for someone who is an expert level skier, and is up at the crack of dawn and is on slope when the lifts start spinning, how long would it take? I have read a few trip reports of people getting stuck in one area or other and needing to spend quite a few Euros on a taxi to get back to their home base.


It can happen, if you are careless.

I am very much an average to slow skier, but the day I skied the circuit when I was there, I didn't feel much like skiing when I got up, so mooched around the resort for an hour or two, and didn't even get on the first lift (out of Campitello) until about 10:15. I then took a slight detour in Selva (going up to the top of Piz Sella from Plan de Gralba), and I was still back into the "home area" by about 3:30 without pushing it at all (going clockwise).

I would say an average experienced skier could get from Arabba to Selva in under 90 minutes.

But I agree that you aren't going to ski the furthest reaches of the skiing in Val Gardena if you are starting from Arabba (which is of course diametrically opposite in the Sella Ronda).
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saikee wrote:
alex_heney,

Most skiers are happy if they could ski round the Sella Ronda non-stop in a circular loop in a day. To be able to enjoy each run of every linking resort requires skill and ability beyond most of us.


Well it would be totally impossible for most of us to ski all the runs in any of the four areas in one day, even if we were based in taht area.

Quote:

I did not put the information for comparison as they are are information inside the promotion brochure. The information is helpful for visitors to plan the location of the accommodation to optimize their skiing time.


It is, but from the way you presented it (and your following comment suggesting Arabba would not be attractive) you di seem to be presenting it as a comparison.


Quote:

As an example trying to ski say 175km piste of Selva Garden by staying at the diametrically opposite end of Arabba would not be considered as a good choice at many of us would be glad to reach from Arabba to Selva by mid day, grab a quick lunch and use the reminder of the day to make our way back to Arabba instead of exhausting what is available in Selva Gardena.


Many would.

Many others would expect to be able to reach Selva with enough time to spare to be able to ski a fair few runs.

Going the other way, I know people manage to do the Marmolada in a day from Selva, and that is a significant branch off from the Sella Ronda near the furthest point from Selva.
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If you are a skier looking for challenging skiing (incl off piste) then Arabba is your best choice with close proximity to the Marmolada and the Passo Pordoi plateau. There are also several mountain guides hanging out at the local cafe and available for hire. I would not base myself anywhere else in the area.

check out the Canale Holzer:
700m long and steep

http://youtube.com/v/97M2DZfJNv4
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Thanks, if the dolomitis make it through the final groupdecision definately going with Arabba,
sure we will get to Selva and back easily. ( we skied from Falzareggo when staying in Cortina, and got round Sella Ronda and back comfortably in day.)

thankssnowman, for the tip about guides.

Anybody know much about skischool for kids in Arabba?
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snowman wrote:
If you are a skier looking for challenging skiing (incl off piste) then Arabba is your best choice with close proximity to the Marmolada and the Passo Pordoi plateau. There are also several mountain guides hanging out at the local cafe and available for hire. I would not base myself anywhere else in the area.

check out the Canale Holzer:
700m long and steep

http://youtube.com/v/97M2DZfJNv4


Thanks for that vid snoman. That looks like my kind of fun. So do these guides at the cafe have a little sign or a guide jacket that says, "Guide for hire"? Puzzled How much do they charge? I will have all my own avy gear, if that matters. Thanks for all the great tips.
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Toadman, I was in Arabba in 2004 when I skied with Francesco Tremolada, very nice guy and spoke good English. Paid 55 Euros for a full day's guiding (in a group of 4). Guides are quire easy to spot around town wearing their UIAGM badges or ask at the tourist office.

If you are keen on the couloirs and the more challenging stuff then I would leave it a bit later in the season when you are likely to have better snow coverage. I went in January and off piste conditions were not so good.

tremolada@proguide.it
0039 3391055653
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lizski, here's the website for the Arabba ski school:

http://www.scuolasciarabba.com

Arabba is a great choice, no probs if the kids can cope with reds. I misread where you were arriving from, it was Toadman coming down from Austria.

Venice is a good arrival point for Arabba, Dolomitistars do a transfer bus from the airport, but if there's a large group, it might be better to get a private transfer.

While you're there, make sure you head over to the Marmolada on a clear day, it's the highest peak in the Dolomites and the views and run down are fantastic.

You can also do the Great War Tour from Arabba, it's a long day out, but takes in some amazing scenery in Civetta and Lagazuoi:

http://www.dolomiti.org/dengl/Cortina/laga5torri/inverno/grandeguerra.html
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snowman wrote:
Toadman, I was in Arabba in 2004 when I skied with Francesco Tremolada, very nice guy and spoke good English. Paid 55 Euros for a full day's guiding (in a group of 4). Guides are quire easy to spot around town wearing their UIAGM badges or ask at the tourist office.

If you are keen on the couloirs and the more challenging stuff then I would leave it a bit later in the season when you are likely to have better snow coverage. I went in January and off piste conditions were not so good.

tremolada@proguide.it
0039 3391055653


Thanks snowman. Planning to go the second week of March. I saw a vid of a Canale Holzer run that was done in April of 2009, where they did not need to abseil the ice cliff because there had been so much snow during that season. So hopefully by then conditions will be good. Although we have not fully set on the Dolomites, and we will leave it to a last minute decision on where to go that week depending on snow conditions but the Dolomites is near the top of the list.
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Toadman, just saw that you are also planning to ski St Anton which I know very well (I probably also know most of the other places on your list). If you need info re guides/etc I would be happy to help. Guides will be much more expensive in St Anton (90euros!). You can pm me.
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Toadman,

To answer your timing question above, a reasonably good skier, going non-stop, starting at first lift, can get from Selva to Arabba in about 1 hour 15 mins - that was how long it took my wife and I last year. Really shifting, it would probably be possible to shave off ten minutes. You can be at the bottom of the Marmolada cable car in between 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 hours from Selva.

Apart from the unbelievable scenery, one of the great joys of the Dolomites is the ability to really travel around - we managed the World War 1 tour from Selva (recommended as a great day, so long as you don't mind a couple of buses) with time for lunch at Scotoni's in the Hideen Valley and back to Selva with time to spare. Hidden Valley is easily reached from either place.

For a decent skier, it would not be a challenge to do the Sella Ronda in both directions in one day with time for lunch - so if based in Arabba, explorring the Selva area is perfectly doable, as is exploring around Arabba and Marmolada if based at Selva.

Of course, one of the other great joys of the Dolomites is the fantastic range of excellent restaurants - so worth slowing down a bit too!

Either way, you'll have a blast, and there are enough fun blacks at both places to keep you amused.

Transfer from Innsbruck to Selva is really easy (just about 1 hour drive) - another consideration with kids. Just make sure you find a hotel near the slopes - Selva is a bit spread out. Arabba is a longer transfer (alhough the Venice option does give you the possibility of a day in Venice.
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rg1 wrote:
we managed the World War 1 tour from Selva (recommended as a great day, so long as you don't mind a couple of buses) with time for lunch at Scotoni's in the Hideen Valley and back to Selva with time to spare.


Phew, that's good going! Must have been quiet, 'cos lift queues could seriously mess you up on that one!
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Quote:

For a decent skier, it would not be a challenge to do the Sella Ronda in both directions in one day with time for lunch

Couple of guys on the birthday bash did exactly that last year. No idea when, where or how long they stopped for lunch.
Quote:

so if based in Arabba, exploring the Selva area is perfectly doable

couple of us started really late from Arabba, caught up with 2-3 others by Campitello (actually we overtook them by 5mins somehow), skied Selva/Ortisei, had lunch and got back with time to spare.

handy thing to remember is that the north side of the Sella Ronda is pretty quick. 1 gondola, 1 run in one direction, and Selva to Arabba is only 2 gondolas, 1 chair, and 3 blue/reds (bit more involved the other way)
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Don't forget Selva Gardena is made up by a substantial area by Apls Di Siusi Seiser Alm. It requires the skiers to walk down the Ortisei town centre on foot in order to access the chairlift on the opposite side of the valley/road. The Alps de Siusi is only linked by a bus travelling on a single track mountain road. Once the bus sets off you have to wait for it to travel both directions for the next one. All these could be entertaining if you are in a hurry to catch the last chairlift back to Arabba.
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RQ1 / Andy,

I concur. I class myself as a decent (but far from expert skier) and I've managed to do Sella Ronda both ways in one day + a visit to the Marmolada. It was also Feb half term so not quiet although the queues at any lift were barely half a dozen. It's a pity 'cos I'm sure a lot of people are put off doing the SR because they are scared of getting stuck but I reckon it's quite within the capabilities of anyone who has skied for more than two trips.

Of the two resorts I personally favour Arabba but then I don't require much in the way of night life. Younger people might want a wider variety of apres-ski places. Definitely found it cheaper that Selva but Selva has a bit more charm to it I thought.
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Cant believe it, but I have been overruled!
Suddenly its Val d Isere chalets or nothing for one family, ( of course its the husband being difficult...)
And in persuit of group and friendship harmony, trying very hard to get into next search. At least still its great skiing, right?

But all not in vain, as with all this great info, definately doing this next year when mr "I have always wanted to ski Val and going nowhere else"
not there.

For what its worth, was especially excited about skiing the area with kids, as I really think it is perfect slopes for them,
and I recall the Italians as really great and tollerant with children.
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why change plans just because of one family!

As with others, you can easily go round the SR even the extended routes and make the Marmolada or Alpe di Suisi detours in a day especially out side of peak times. Next time we'd stay in Corvarva, mainly as we've stayed in Selva, but also I find getting out or into or across Selva onto the SR is a bit of a pain as its a bit of a bottle neck at times and has the slowest lifts and involves the most walking.
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Ah, the joys of organising group trips....

If you have a stroppy b***er, then make him do the organising for Val d'Isere. He'll soon learn to go with the flow. Having organised a few over the years, I now take the view that the organiser makes the decisions - anyone doesn't like it can do it themselves. Your next difficult discussion if you are taking over a whole chalet, will be "who gets the best and worst rooms?" - again, organiser's perks!

Actually, (and despite some comments on here in the past about wall to wall Hoorays etc) Val is a great place too, but a rather different experience. Take plenty of cash for over-priced lunches and beers.

You mentioned Monterosa (Champoluc) earlier as another option, but nobody responded. It may be academic now, but that area is another of my favourites, and greatly recommended for an intermediate + group (not great for complete beginners, though, as there is little progression from travelator slopes to easy greens/blues). Again, very beautiful, with the magnificent Monte Rosa looming over, ability to travel great distances (Champoluc to Alagna and back is a fun day, with lunch in the Gugliema (sp?)), some fantastic long runs and some great off-piste, varying from nice easy intro to seriously scary (way out of my league, but looks impressive!) - and an epic heli day over to Zermatt and back. Champoluc is a nice little town with some excellent hotels - quite quiet (a bit like dolomites in that respect, but lively enough). The excellent Ski-2 (no connection beyond having used them a couple of times) has its own ski school run by the resident Simon, and we thoroughly enjoyed both our trips there (once with very small kids who used their excellent creche/nanny arrangements - to open another can of worms...).
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