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Val Di Fassa.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I have taken the plunge and booked a trip to Val Di Fassa at New Year.

We are a family of four, husband (level 9), wife (level 5/6), 8 year old (level 7) and 5 year old (level 5).

http://www.insideoutskiing.com/level.html

Having never been, what is the resort like (and the wider Dolomites in general).

Are there any particular pistes that we should avoid or make a bee line for ?

We are staying in Canazei and the ski school that Crystal use is Scuola sci marmolada. Does anyone have any experience of them ?

We booked Val Di Fassa beacuse of the artificial snow making capacity as it's early season. Hard, icy pistes will teach our eldest son how to use his edges properly Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Toofy Grin
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@JoyZipper, Canazei is well situated for acess to the Sella Ronda. If you look at this Piste map you'll see that from Canazei you can take the gondola lift from Canazei to Pecol and from there up to the Belvedere area where there is some lovely skiing in its own right. The Belvedere area is also on the Sella Ronda circuit for both clockwise and anti-clockwise directions. If you take the anticlockwise direction from Belvedere you next reach the slopes above Arabba, from which it is a short connection to the Marmolada glacier. There is a 3 stage cable car to the top of the glacier, at the top of the second cable car there is an interesting free museum about the WW1 fighting there (between Austrians and Italians). There are great views from the top but best to pick a clear day for that, skiing down from the top of the glacier in poor visibility is not much fun. wink. From Canazei although it's a fair distance it's also possible to do the Hidden Valley run, see this thread for more info.

By the way, it's not just Val di Fassa but the whole Sella Ronda area that has excellent artificial snow making, the pisteurs there are masters at maintaining the pistes even if the natural snow should be on the scarce side. Very Happy

I've no experience of the ski school in Canazei.
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Check out this guide posted by CameronPhillips

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=2842844&highlight=fassa#2842844
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Thanks for the information - all food for thought. An excellent youtube clip too Cameron Phillips - thanks for taking the time.
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One thing I would say is that for your level 5 (and 5/6) then the first morning onto Belvedere plan carefully what to do. The reason is that pretty much all of the runs are actually rated red - although none of them are really difficult. Once you get up the gondola you have to take one of two other lifts (either gondola or cable car) and the cable car deposits you at a place with a reasonably steep first pitch. So, first morning out with no skiing under the belt in recent past and somebody who fits the description of "I can ski on blue runs" may not be the greatest start. In practice in the area a lot of it is graded red but might be graded blue elsewhere so it does depend on the individual as well. I think the second gondola brings you onto the plateau (albeit busy-ish) and then if you pick the shorter of the two chairs in that area you can have some nice easy warm ups before going back down to the bottom of the second gondola.

The alternative is to go up the valley from Canazei (eg via bus) to Alba and uplift there on Ciampac cable car, at the top is an easy section (but if you take the chairlift at the top of the cable car, get off at the half way point for an easy run).

You should certainly do the Skitour Panorama as well, including the lovely tree run down to Pozza di Fassa but note there is a long flat run out at the bottom. One the way back when you get above Alba, let the others download on Ciampac cable car while you enjoy the black run down that face under the cable car.
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Thanks for the information Steve.
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Oh, good, a Val di Fassa thread. I'm going in January so shall take note of the tips. snowHead
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@JoyZipper, you're most welcome.
@Cinsha, there are a few other v useful threads out here on this part of the Dolomites and there are certainly a few of us snowHeads around who know the area fairly well Happy so feel free to ask ....
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Thanks @SteveM,

I was gonna check for threads nearer the time and will do.
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I have just has a bizzare telephone conversation with the Crystal representative regarding lessons in Val Di Fassa.

Apparently the lessons for adults and children are in different places. They are at the same times, but these times alter throughout the week.

Adults in Canazei. Mon-Wed 10am-12.45pm Thu-Fri 10am-3.30pm.
Children in Alba (Ciampac (sp) lift). Mon-Wed 10am-12.45pm Thu-Fri 10am-3.30pm.
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The ski school has a new website i have noticed.

http://www.scuolascicanazei.com/en/

You could combine with private lessons. For level 9 only private, even for level 5/6 it could be a good idea.

We always used fewer but better private lessons for the child as well. (may be even to much - she is off to Japan for the second season there).
That way you can spend more time together in the area.

You do not have to go through Crystal - make a direct reservation - has always worked out or us in Canazei/Alba or other places in that area.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
JoyZipper wrote:
I have just has a bizzare telephone conversation with the Crystal representative regarding lessons in Val Di Fassa.

Apparently the lessons for adults and children are in different places. They are at the same times, but these times alter throughout the week.

Adults in Canazei. Mon-Wed 10am-12.45pm Thu-Fri 10am-3.30pm.
Children in Alba (Ciampac (sp) lift). Mon-Wed 10am-12.45pm Thu-Fri 10am-3.30pm.


That's going to be tricky, being in two different places at the same time!! Shocked

I guess it's because the area at the top of the Ciampac lift is easier (& less busy) terrain for kids to learn on.

The Belvedere area is fairly steep and busy with the Sella Ronda through traffic, but does have amazing views as its name suggests.

If you can sort out the lessons, you'll have a great time there. I've been 8 times to the Sella Ronda areas and twice stayed in Val di Fassa. 2009 in Canazei (I think there's a trip report somewhere on here) and last year with my 11yo son staying at Pera further down the valley, but we skied over to Alba and came up to Campitello & Canazei to access the Sella Ronda.

Any questions, feel free to ask.
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Here's my trip report from 2009, might be useful, we stayed in a Crystal/Thomson chalet:

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewpost.php?p=1131915
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Bumping this thread as I’m considering a family trip to the area (if I survive the PSB next week), persuaded by the many Snowheads Dolomites fans. Pencilling in w/c Sat 24 February.

Family being me (lazy, middle-aged, red run competent), the lovely Mrs HeadLikeARock (slightly rusty ‘recreational’ skier, likes wide blue runs, scenery, lunch and wine) and two of our sons aged 21 & 17 (both experienced, black run competent, haven’t skied together for five years so will likely spend the week trying to kill each other rolling eyes ). The middle one is much more sensible but he’s skiing with Uni at Easter.

I’ve done some preliminary research, a few logistical questions for the local experts:

Flights/transfers:
I’m inclined towards hiring a car for four of us given the costs of other transfers. Treviso/Venice airports are nearer but the roads look easier from Bergamo, which is the better option? With a car in resort, would you drive to the separate ski areas (how’s the parking) or rely on the ski bus?

Which village? There are seven listed, any strong views as to their pros & cons?

Accommodation:
Ideally we’d like a two bed self-catering apartment. There are hundreds listed on the official website but I can’t easily distinguish the good/bad/ugly, so any recommendations as how to choose would be greatly appreciated. There are a few on AirBnB & HomeAndAway. I realise it’s quite late to be booking for peak season. Would consider hotels if there are any compelling offers around!

Any other hints on shopping/eating out/ski routes greatly appreciated, I’ve watched the excellent video guides by CameronPhillips which are whetting the appetite already.

TIA all.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I'm there in Feb too. Champing at the bit..
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I would go for a village with direct access to the Sella Ronda. Campitello, Canazei and Alba - Of those, only Canazei has a piste allowing you to ski back to the village from the Ronda
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albob wrote:
I would go for a village with direct access to the Sella Ronda. Campitello, Canazei and Alba - Of those, only Canazei has a piste allowing you to ski back to the village from the Ronda


Being a 20yr+ veteran of the area, I wouldn't bother with anywhere other than Selva. All of the SR villages have their merits, but Selva has it all IMHO.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@head_like_a_rock, If I survive the PSB I'll be going to Sella Ronda soon afterwards. Staying in Arabba but hope to get around whole circuit as much as possible. Happy to share my thoughts after that, though realise you may have booked up by then.
We eventually got transfers included but I looked at car rental from Marco Polo and was amazed how cheap it was. Less than a third of the price an equivalent car would be in France. Whether so cheap in February I've no idea.
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Mollerski wrote:
albob wrote:
I would go for a village with direct access to the Sella Ronda. Campitello, Canazei and Alba - Of those, only Canazei has a piste allowing you to ski back to the village from the Ronda


Being a 20yr+ veteran of the area, I wouldn't bother with anywhere other than Selva. All of the SR villages have their merits, but Selva has it all IMHO.


I'm off to Campitello on the 6th Jan and can't wait, having mostly skiied in France, the SR is an area I've always wanted to visit. Doesn't look from Street view that skiing back to Campitello is possible so is it possible to ski back down to Canazei to catch the valley bus, assuming decent snow?
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
You cannot ski back to Campitello. The Canazei run is likely to be open at that stage of the season, an easy red, watch out for stones on the final section of the piste.. then a few mins walk into town, easy bus to Campitello. I recommend to you a detour into the Alba/Pozza di Fassa
sector on one of your days. It's all good in the Dolomites piste wise..enjoy!
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@head_like_a_rock,
We have been to Val di Fassa for the last two years first time was in Jan when we stayed near Alba second time we were just outside Pozza in Pera.
It's a great area that I intend to return to .
We flew to Venice and drove without difficulty though the roads through the dolomites after the motorway are not particularly quick.
In January there were no problems with queues in February uplift from some of the base stations was very crowded with Campitello being particularly busy Alba wasn't too bad. You could ski over to Alba from Pozza via the Buffaure lifts, or drive to the large carpark. At this time of the year a car was invaluable, parking was straightforward (with payment ) but the buses were very crowded.
We used the tourist website for our accommodation which seemed a fair bit cheaper than using Air BnB they have a rating system for the accommodation and ours was certainly clean comfortable and spacious with a very friendly and attentive host.
The local skiing around buffaure and pera was very pleasant and the Sella Ronda has great skiing, your sons will probably particularly appreciate the skiing on the north facing slopes above Arraa which are enjoyably challenging though not fiercely steep and mogulled the are as a whole is a delight for the competent intermediate who enjoys cruising reds and blues.
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Mollerski wrote:
albob wrote:
I would go for a village with direct access to the Sella Ronda. Campitello, Canazei and Alba - Of those, only Canazei has a piste allowing you to ski back to the village from the Ronda


Being a 20yr+ veteran of the area, I wouldn't bother with anywhere other than Selva. All of the SR villages have their merits, but Selva has it all IMHO.



I agree - but the thread title is for the Fassa area
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@T Bar, perfect that's really useful, many thanks Smile

@Schnorrr, enjoy, will be interested to know how it goes, keep me posted

@intermediate, maybe we can discuss further over half a shandy in the Loop next week snowHead
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I would stay in Canazei or Alba di Canazei.

If it is british half term/Dk winterholiday - sorry you are very late - good luck.

some routes here:
https://www.altabadia.org/en/winter-holidays/italian-alps/first-world-war-ski-tour.html

the Panorama ski tour from Alba is nice as well.

Make a overnigt tour to https://www.rifugiolagazuoi.com/index_en.php

Visit this for lunch:

https://www.google.dk/maps/place/Refuge+Friedrich+August+H%C3%BCtte/@46.501227,11.7445209,16z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x47786a4b7b441c55:0x3ca56c5d5e6e3652!8m2!3d46.5004675!4d11.7452082


https://www.google.dk/maps/place/%C3%9Ctia+de+Bioch+H%C3%BCtte/@46.5548389,11.906434,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x477838d4a25778a3:0xd82e4c634f1b30f8!8m2!3d46.5470019!4d11.90992
Reservation important.

Buy this map as soon as possible for your planning:

https://www.sportler.com/de/p/tabacco-skipistenkarte-valli-ladine-e-sellaronda-125.000-150.000-9851405?filtervariation_unit_1=1%3A25.000+%2F+1%3A50.000
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albob wrote:
I agree - but the thread title is for the Fassa area


It is, but several of the posts are from newbs looking to discover the area for the first time.

To be brutally honest, Val di Fassa is Sella Ronda on the cheap. The Val Gardena towns fetch a premium for a reason.
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@head_like_a_rock, as it happens, I will be in Alta Badia that w/c 24 Feb Happy

If you are thinking of going up the Marmolada then you probably want to start from Canazei or Alba to get a reasonably quick run over to Portavescovo above Arabba first thing in the morning. Of course if you have a car then depending on conditions you can consider the drive over to Malga Ciapela and upload to Marmolada directly from there.

As Hyst has said then the Panorama from Alba is also nice and there is a new lift up there this year (gondola replacing cable car).

I've only ever stayed in Campitello (once, the very first time there was a sH bash there) and it was a bit of a pain for access in the morning due to crowds on the single cable car from memory.
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Mollerski wrote:
albob wrote:
I agree - but the thread title is for the Fassa area


It is, but several of the posts are from newbs looking to discover the area for the first time.

To be brutally honest, Val di Fassa is Sella Ronda on the cheap. The Val Gardena towns fetch a premium for a reason.


Puzzled

Well I can agree with you when I first came to Val di Fassa in the beginning of the 80's accommodation was very different from Val Gardena, but the more Italian culture makes it more interesting than the German/ Austrian.
It should not be for the mass race Sella Ronda one should go there.
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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
@JoyZipper, How did you find your trip to Val di Fassa?
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Thread bump as it's only 10 more sleeps.... snowHead

Can any local experts suggest which area to start the week with Mrs HLAR? She hasn't skied for four seasons and would prefer a few wide cruisy blues to get the legs working again. We are staying in Vigo.

I looked into pre-ordering ski passes online but don't see much advantage over buying them in resort, any likely issues with queues at the lift pass office on a Sunday morning? Will probably be in Pozza as that's where we're picking up equipment.

Grazie tutti...
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I'm by no means a local expert but I had a week in Pozza a couple of years ago and skied the area quite extensively.
We found that the best and widest slopes tended to be the valley runs. The Vigo one is nice but the Pozza Boffara one is superb. It may mean going on reds rather than blues but well worth it. Otherwise you may have to stick to the same one or two runs to start with, or head straight to Campitello and Canazei where there are more options, but the slopes are a bit busier.

Either way you should have an awesome time. It's a fantastic area with wonderful food and even better views. Enjoy.
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@EdYarker, many thanks, I found a few YouTube videos of that long red down to Pozza last night & it does look pretty spectacular.

@Cinsha, @JoyZipper, any update on your trips?
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@head_like_a_rock, if you're thinking of heading up to Campitello/Canazei then I'd actually carry on to Alba and start from there. It will be quieter in my experience than either of the others and the run at the top of the gondola (from Sella Brunech chair) is wide and easy. After that you can ski back to Pozza. The Orsa Maggiore (run 9) is for some reason marked a red but frankly is a flat undulating blue. Then you are on fairly easy reds to come back to Pozza.

Having said that, I've not skied the runs from Vigo itself so cannot comment on them.

From Campitello the best place for cruisy blues is to head towards Piz Seteur and the chairs above that, pretty easy blue stuff to get there. Unfortunately that leaves you having to do the flat Citta dei Sassi on the way home - prepare for skating/poling/walking!
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@head_like_a_rock,

Think it is 5 weeks ago I returned. We went with Crystal (never again - flight delay, crap communicators, except the resort rep, literally just received our flight delay compo this morn in post, with not so much as an explanation or accompanying letter or email!)
But glossing over the 13 hr flight delay, missed first morning skiing due to same and no ski school for my level and having to negotiate private classes and missing most of another morning skiing, it was a great trip!

We stayed in Hotel San Nicolo in Pozza right by the Buffaure gondola. It has a fairly decent bar (Pizzeria Winkler is next door and to be recommended.) but Pozza isn't a party/apres village which didn't bother us.
Pozza is off the main ?Dolomiti road so less traffic and is a fairly pretty town that gets the sun.
We ate once at our hotel (bar breakfasts which were great) and I really enjoyed my pasta meal.
I would happily stay in Pozza and the Nicolo again.

My ski instructor gave me a tip re Mira (maybe Miro) Bar in Pozza on one of the squares, sounded like he said 'Mirror'. We liked it in there; fab reggae tunes are played and you get a decent plate of free bar snacks with your drink.

1a is the tree lined run down Buffaure, 5100m long according to the ski map and is a lovely run. Long, decent black is the 2200m black run from Ciampac down into Alba.

You mention needing wide cruise-y blues for your better half. Well I ski regularly but my mate hadn't skied for 11 years and was still snow ploughing when we arrived. Once they were off the nursery slopes their instructor took them to Carezza (locals call it that, but ski map makes more of the name Passo Costalunga) on the bus and not being too confident, she absolutely loved it. It was quiet on Buffaure but even more so there with lots of blues and lovely scenery she said.
If you are staying in Vigo then Carezza is next door. You have to pay extra for ski buses €3 a trip or €6 a week if pass bought from a hotel reception anywhere.
My mate was starting to parallel by the end of the week in lessons.

We found food and drink pretty reasonable on and off slopes as usual for Italy and after my first trip to the Dolomites I am a fan. Cool

(One thing I found rather wondrous/brilliant was that in the new gondola between Ciampac and Alba they had 10 slots inside the cabin, in the floor, down the middle for your skis. Snowboarders weren't catered for! 😳)
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Is there snow at village level?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Roguevfr wrote:
Is there snow at village level?


Pozza? -- there appears to be so

https://www.fassa.com/EN/Webcam-Val-di-Fassa--Pozza-di-Fassa-Buffaure-Val-Monzoni/

Canazei

https://www.skylinewebcams.com/en/webcam/italia/trentino-alto-adige/trento/canazei.html


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Mon 19-02-18 12:04; edited 1 time in total
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@SteveM, @Cinsha, that's all great information, many thanks. Had been thinking about day trips to the satellite areas so will add Carezza to the list. We are renting a car, would you suggest driving to those lifts or using the bus? Any hints on parking?
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@head_like_a_rock, sorry I have never been around the area with a car so don't take any notice of parking!
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@head_like_a_rock, you will be v close to Carezza if staying in Vigo so just hop on the bus.
Parking on road by Buffaure gondola in Pozza but was rather busy at times, especially when there is reduced road parking, as when we were there, due to snow on the road.
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