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Selva vs Corvara with an elderly beginner in tow?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
TLDR: Where would you stay around the Sella Ronda if you had an elderly beginner in tow? (I realize the parameters might be the same as for the typical family with small children and a non-skiing parent, but with the wrinkle that the quality of the kids' program is not my concern here!!)

The long version: My family have been to Ortisei and Corvara several times for hiking, but I'm planning our first ski trip to the area for late January & realizing that hotels which are convenient in the summer might not feel the same way in skiboots & with skis on my shoulder! Looking for suggestions of which towns within Val Gardena or Alta Badia might work best as a base, and where within each town I should be narrowing my search for maximum convenience, in light of the following:

I am meeting up with my parents. My dad is a healthy 80yo who only started skiing in the past decade. Whistler is our home mountain (I live in Vancouver, my parents in Hong Kong....so it's an equal length flight to Munich as Vancouver for them) and he can ski the greens there with reasonable confidence but very slowly - he's not going to progress beyond something like a stem christie given his late start to skiing. I'm hoping that those impeccably groomed pistes and cheap(ish) private lessons in the Dolomites will let him get the taste of a proper ski holiday before he gets too old

So I'm trying to narrow down which areas within either Val Gardena or Alta Badia would have the best set of easy blues that people progress to from nursery slopes, so that he can actually enjoy getting around a bit. At Whistler he's stuck at Olympic most of the time, maybe the Emerald chair towards the end of his stay when he's gotten his ski legs back.

1) I've been looking at Corvara & San Cassiano on the assumption that the Pralongia plateau meets this criteria, and at Ortisei, assuming that dad would end up at Alpe di Suisi. Is this a reasonable assumption? If we ended up in Selva (which would suit me & my sister better!) - where is the equivalent area - Monte Pana? Plan de Galba?

2) Would love to hear from anyone who learned to ski in any of the towns around Sella Ronda & how they felt about the runs they encountered after leaving the nursery slopes. I will probably just sign dad up with a 2-3hr private lesson most days - they're downright cheap vs Whistler - but even so, would like to optimize his time on slopes and ensure he doesn't have to spend too long on the skibus to meet up with his instructor etc by picking the right location. (Would particularly like to hear from anyone who took private lessons!)

3) Logistics: Given most accommodation is not ski in/out, do most people just walk to the lifts/take the ski bus in their skiboots? Or are lockers readily available in the gondola stations (and/or do you use the ski rental shops as your base? ) It's amazing what you don't notice when you take the gondolas in the summer!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@BlueIce, Corvara has the easiest access to a wide selection of beginners slopes and La Villa is only one lift away. To be honest, most of the Sella Ronda has easy slopes to make the round, it may just take a little longer.
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@BlueIce, welcome to snowHeads! snowHead

You could also consider Colfosco, it's just a short gondola ride from Corvara but it has a nice wide gentle blue run underneath under the Sodlisia chairlift and once he's confident on that he can progress up the adjacent Edelweiss side valley which has a red from the Forcelles chair as well as a blue run back to Colfosco.
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If staying in Selva, which incidentally I think has a great beginner area, then the progression slopes will be at Plan De Gralba. But your dad would need to bus it there or take a taxi. If he's in a ski school, then the school will provide the transport to go there. You can ski there but only via proper red slopes from top of Ciampanoi. Not knowing your dads ability, I'm not sure if I would recommend to ski there.

If staying in ST Christina, then your beginner options are up at Monte Pana and from there you can catch the bus up to Alpe Di SIusi for the progresion slopes.

If staying in Ortisei then I can't advise about the beginner slopes there as I have never skied them. But the progression slopes will again be up at Alpe DI SIusi.

If staying in Corvara, La VIlla and San Cassiano, then the pralongia plataeu is blue run heaven. Though be aware that some of these blues are quite tricky or have some tricky steeper sections on them. They are not all mostly flat and wide as some people make out. Though as your dad is not a beginner then he should be ok with most runs here.

If staying in Corvara then your best staying at the top end of town somewhere like the Posta Zirm hotel, La Perla Hotel, Marmolada hotel or Arkadia. From these you can walk to all the gondolas. If staying at the bottom end somewhere like the L'Table, COl ALto, italia or La Tambra hotels, then you will have to get the ski bus or hotel mini bus. Though in ten minutes or so you could walk to the Borest or Costas De Le'ga lifts. I wouldn't recommend staying up the hill where the Sassongher and Gran fanes hotels are. You would literally have to rely on the ski bus or hotel shuttle. But then your too far to walk to anywhere in the evenings if you wanted a change of scenery or a drink in a bar.

The easiest slopes in this area are at Colfosco, where you have the best beginner slopes and the ideal progression slopes. You can easily get to Colfsoco from Corvara via the Borest gondola. Or you can stay in Colfosco and easily access the slopes as long as you stay somewhere like the ROmantik Capella, Central or Luianta hotel. And then from Colfosco you can easily get to Corvara via the same Borest lift mentioned earlier and access the slopes up on the Pralongia plataeu.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Alastair Pink wrote:
@BlueIce, welcome to snowHeads! snowHead

You could also consider Colfosco, it's just a short gondola ride from Corvara but it has a nice wide gentle blue run underneath under the Sodlisia chairlift and once he's confident on that he can progress up the adjacent Edelweiss side valley which has a red from the Forcelles chair as well as a blue run back to Colfosco.


Plus the two easy blue runs 40/40A (Plans and Frara) from the half way station of the Plans/Frara gondola.
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In your position I'd go for Corvara.

It's just one Gondola ride to Colfosco with it's wide and gentle blues that is where almost all the ski groups from Corvara go on their first day. It's the perfect place for people to get their ski legs going again and some of the slopes there are a real beginners paradise.

Don't worry too much about the hotel location. The key thing is to get a ski locker in the basement of the ski school which is near the Boe gondola. Then pretty much all the hotels are just a gentle stroll in your normal shoes or snowboots. Although the hotels nearly all do minibus transfers on request as well.

The Pralongia plateau is also a great place for beginners to explore with a guide. There are so many gentle blue pistes (and a few less gentle that need a little care but all the instructors know the place like the back of their hand) and some lovely mountain restaurants with views to die for.

For the more advanced skiers in the group Corvara has good access to the Sella Ronda, Marmolada and the Hidden Valley so there's plenty of scope for doing some real exploring.

I think you'd all have a great time there.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Hopping on this, which resort would snowheads recommend for 2 competent skiiers plus on non-skiing relative who likes a not-too-strenuous walk and a nice coffee?
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Corvara without a doubt - it has far gentler runs just about everywhere.
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nbt wrote:
Hopping on this, which resort would snowheads recommend for 2 competent skiiers plus on non-skiing relative who likes a not-too-strenuous walk and a nice coffee?


Would the relative like to walk up on the mountain or is happy walking in or around the valley villages? Its just that in the main ski area's on the mountain I can't think of anywhere that has winter walking trails apart from on the Alpe DI SIusi plateau.

EDit!! I tell a lie!!. Looking at the following map, there is a winter trail starting above San Cassiano accessed via the Piz Sorega gondola and which starts at the Piz SOrega/Las Vegas restaurants and then goes back down to Armentarola and San Cassiano. Also a walking trail from the Edelweiss hut in COlfosco, accessed via the Colfosco gondola!! And lots of trails in Pedraces/badia that can be accessed via the Santa Croce chair and gondola:

https://www.altabadia.org/media/passeggiate-inverno-alta-badia.pdf
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I'd imagine that villages would suffice for walking, though she may like to go up on the cable car for a wander and a look-see up at the top. Previous trips have inluded Courmayeur and Morillon, we did meet for lunch at the top of the cable car but most walking was valley level
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Thank you everyone - hugely helpful. I'm a long-time lurker on these forums - but this is the first time I've needed to tap the collective wisdom of the group & all this colour is exactly what I hoped for.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I know Val G very well, Corvara / Colfosco just a bit. For my money the absolute best beginner/intermediate (blue slopes) area in Val G is Alpe di Siusi. However, and this is a big caveat, if you take the gondola up from Ortisei there is an unavoidable short red chute to access blue runs, whic. It's not an easy red, either. Coming from Monte Pana avoids this but it means taking the shuttle bus, which can be a PITA on the way back. But the area is rarely crowded, has good slopeside baitas, and I can't even think of a single hard red piste of any significant length.

Plan Gralba is also a blue-run heaven, but again, with the catch that if you can't ski red runs with confidence you'll need to bus or taxi up there (the ski taxis aren't that expensive, actually).

Overall, though, I was impressed with the blue terrain in Corvara, and I think that might tick all your boxes. But I've only skied it once. We looked at San Cassiano quite closely but it's a rather small town.
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@BlueIce,+1 for Colfosco for the elderly beginner. Nice quiet nursery slope and good progression runs in Edelweiss Valley or up toward Passo Gardena. Also easy access across to theplateau above Corvara.

@nbt, Ortisei probably has the most happening for a non-skier, almost a little town, but is one step removed from the best of the skiing around the Sella Ronda. Selva or Corvara have a fair bit going on and are better placed for you skiers. Both have gondola access to a mountain restaurants, Ciampinoi or Dantercepies at Selva and Col Alt at Corvara. Selva has some good walking in the Vallunga area and the best cafe/cake shop in the area nearby at Villa Frainela.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
To me Alta Badia has the most blue runs and is pretty central for the Sella Ronda this is the best ski map showing all the runs ..in 3d https://www.realitymaps.de/3d-superski-app/
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I would avoid Selva as there is no easy way down from top of Ciampinoi. I consider myself an intermediate skier who will ski most things, but going down the red off the back of Ciampinoi when it’s mogulled and busy isn’t any fun. I know you can bus to Plan de Gralba, but why bother when you could stay in Colfosco or Corvara or La Villa or San Cassiano?
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