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TR - San Cassiano - Alta Badia - 2/24-3/2/2019

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
This was my 4th big ski trip. I've previously been to Hopfgarten / Ski Welt (1992), Park City, Utah (2003), and Kitzbuhel (2005). I've enjoyed them all but wanted to try someplace new.

I had the first of my two children in 2006 and haven't been able to take an extended trip until this year. My kids picked up skiing pretty quickly last winter at our local Southwestern PA resorts and I was more than ready to get back into the sport and take them on their first ski trip (and first trip out of the US for that matter). We picked the Alta Badia region for the easy blues, scenery and numerous day trip and tobogganing options.

Flew into Munich on 2/24 - cramped flight w/ little sleep. Painlessly rented an Audi A4 wagon from Sixt and headed towards San Cassiano. Some navigational foul ups (partly my fault and partly my 13 yo navigator using the car GPS) added about 3 hours to our trip. I didn't *really* mind though - it was an adventure and at least I wasn't sitting a desk. Our GPS was taking us to a different Corvara and we ended up in St. Leonardo before I realized we were completely off track (dumb I know) but I had my hands full driving a new car on the mountain roads and w/ 2 kids 11 and 13. Arrived at Plang Farmhouse in San Cassiano around 8pm. Wonderful lodging and breakfast, friendly staff. The decor and style of Plang is beautifully conceived and executed - couldn't have designed it better myself Smile. Had a late pizza dinner at La Sieia.

Day 1 - It's an easy walk to the Piz Sorega gondola and our ski rental shop where our gear was stored. One of the selling points of the trip for my kids was the tobogganing since we don't have any lift served toboggan runs nearby (are there any in US?). The Tru Liosa Foram run above San Cassiano is really great - well maintained w/ a fun variety of terrain and scenery. These trails will really tear up any nylon gloves though- def. recommend leather palms and fingers if you intend to do a lot of tobogganing like we did. We did 3 or 4 runs and then skied on the easy blues above San Cassiano. Dinner was at the Alderkeller in Corvara - it was good but I was a little underwhelmed. I had the spinach ravioli and it was just too buttery and rich. I really liked the atmosphere of the restaurant though and the desert was amazing.

Day 2 - Drove to Seiser Alm - Alps Di Siusi for a day of tobogganing. The drive took a little longer than anticipated but the scenery was stunning. We all had a great time even though we didn't have any cash (our bank screwed up our ATM access but that's another story...) to take the bus to the other toboggan runs. The toboggan rental shop saved the day by giving us some cash back w/ our rental so that we could pay the parking exit fee. So we just did the same 2 runs all afternoon... no one complained though. It looked like you could walk to some of the other runs from the main gondola - but they were too far away for my two young kids... Dinner at Tubladel in Ortisei - my daughter and I were really looking forward to the ribs. Again like the night before food was good but not remarkable. Excellent service and atmosphere though.

Day 3 - Skied above San Cassiano - encouraged my daughter to ski her first Red - the long one under the Piz Sorega gondola. Everyone was progressing nicely and getting more confident on the slopes. Excellent lunch at Pralongia.

Day 4 - Hidden Valley - Lagazuoi - this was super fun. Glad we went early. There was a long-ish wait for the gondola but the slope itself wasn't too crowded. The horse tow operator kept yelling at my kids to keep their skis parallel - it was kinda funny and unnerving at the same time. Afterwards they said they were afraid of running into the back of the sleigh - so they kept a wider stance in case they had to snowplow. Anyhow - this turned out to be the hottest of our days - maybe up to 16 C! Great lunch at La Utia. We skied the rest of the afternoon above San Cassiano but it got pretty slushy. Dinner at Osteria Ciastel and night sledding in St. Vigilio. This was easily our best dinner on the whole trip - just perfect environment, food and service. I'd consider staying here if I planned a trip to Kronplatz. Fun times night sledding afterwards and the town is very beautiful and lively. Best day of the trip for sure.

Day 5 - Cinque Torres and Cortina - Kids were confident on the reds at Cinque Torres. The snow was better here - colder and more powdery. The kids really enjoyed the long red heading over towards the Lagazuoi lift - it felt like a mini- Hidden Valley run - some steep-ish parts but also some rolling parts for schussing. Cortina had some bare patches - but my daughter especially loved the easy blues here. It was really cool to stumble on the ruins of the Olympic bobsled course half buried in the woods. We had a blast wondering around Cortina in the evening people watching. Another wonderful day.

Day 6 - Alta Badia - Colfosco - Everyone was skiing their best by this point. I loved the Red Forcelles run at Colfosco. Excellent lunch at Edelweiss - best bratwurst and sauerkraut. The kids liked the slalom course here. We skied down into Selva and back to San Cassiano via Corvara. Great final day of skiing. The kids didn't want to commit to the Sellaronda - but they want to come back and do it sometime now that they have more confidence. Very good dinner at Pre Da Costa. I had deer medallions, my kids had lamb chops and pumpkin raviloi. 2nd best dinner of the trip.

We spent the next afternoon in Innsbruck and two days in Munich sightseeing before heading back.

Hopefully we can take another trip in 2020 - but we might have to wait until 2021. Not sure where yet - but ideally somewhere w/ a lot of blues/reds and several toboggan runs (maybe Ski Amade, Saalbach or Madonna di Campiglio....)

Here's some photos
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_scratchy_esq/albums
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@mr_scratchy_esq, what a fab and rather jolly report.
Thanks for sharing.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
We were there in Feb and your report makes us want to sack off work and get back out there tomorrow . Thanks for posting!
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@mr_scratchy_esq, great report, thank you. Very Happy
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Great report. You fitted a lot into your week and it sounds like you all had a great time. Thanks for sharing it.
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Yes, we crammed a lot into our six days. I wouldn't have changed anything, but next trip I'd like to not worry about the hassle of driving and renting a car. We were on the go so much that the trip just flew by - never got that settled in feeling.

Another funny anecdote - on the last day we took one final toboggan run on the Tru Liosa Foram. I was waiting for my kids right after the little bridge next to the cliff, when my son comes down and says he heard his sister yell "no, not my sled!" Turns out she crashed and the sled got away without her and kept going down the trail and around a few bends. My son waited for her while I finished the run and took the gondola back up to look for the sled. I looked on the downhill side all the way down- no sign of it. We then all walked up from the cliff looking on the uphill side - finally found it a little depression about 50+ ft away from the trail (near the area w/ the little sheds...). I should have stayed behind my kids at all times (I was pretty good about this while skiing), but they were getting pretty good on the toboggans at this point I didn't think there'd be any problems... Glad we didn't have to pay for a sled!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@mr_scratchy_esq, Tobogganing is infinitely more dangerous than skiing, in my experience.
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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!
@mr_scratchy_esq, great report. We were in Colfosco that same week. As you say, it was hot at times!
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I had to buy a new ski jacket right before the trip due to the projected high temps. My old insulated Columbia would have been unbearably hot. I picked up a North Face 3-1 and only wore the shell w/ a smartwool base layer - had the zipper vents open most days too.
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