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Aussies Do Europe - Live trip report.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Enjoy. I thought the hidden valley so beautiful that it made me all emotional
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Be sure to sample the hot chocolate
In a class of its own. And not expensive.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@sbooker, good report and glad your first day skiing in the Sella Ronda area went well. As a matter of interest how long was the transfer from Verona to Arabba? I think you made the right call in sticking with the Dolomites - Austria has had epic amounts of snow in the last few days but has caused quite a few travel problems, if you look at some of the other threads here you'll see that for example the road to Saalbach/Hinterglemm was closed for some time and has only recently re-opened. Also the avalanche danger level in many Austrian areas is a very high 4 to 5 resulting in quite a few runs being closed.

I gather tomorrow's Sella Ronda forecast is for less wind and more sunshine, so a good day to do the Hidden Valley run. Set off early as if you want that will allow you to check out the Cinque Torri area before doing the Lagazuoi Hidden Valley run (alternatively if you don't do Cinque Torri at least make sure you do the red/black run off to the right from the top of Lagazuoi that goes back down to the bottom of the cable car before going back up and doing the Hidden Valley run). As you're heading over to Armentarola for the 6 Euro bus/taxi shuttle service that takes you to Passo Falzarego for the Lagazuoi cable car, I often call in to the Rifugio Saraghes for a quick hot chocolate -it's epic, so thick (I think they just melt some chocolate with the steam from the espresso machine! Very Happy ) . After leaving the Rifugio Sareghes (or just passing it if you don't call in) after a few hundred metres be aware that the turning off to Armentarola is off to the right hand side of the piste and isn't that well signed - if you miss the turning the piste goes on down to San Cassiano where you'll have to take the gondola back up to Piz Sorega.

Most people aim to take lunch at the Rifugio Scotoni halfway down the Hidden Valley (renowned for its grills) but it's often busy and if you can't get in there there's another good eating place Rifugio Capanna Alpina (particularly good for pasta and pizza dishes) further down the run before you reach the horse drawn tow area. Madeye-Smiley

P.S: even if you don't eat at Rifugio Capanna Alpina as you go past have a look at the restaurant's flat roof - you'll often see one or more of the restaurant's dogs sat on it watching proceedings! Laughing

PPS: You may have found this out already, but as you're coming into Arabba from the clockwise Sella Ronda direction (i.e past Plan Boe) there's no need to ski right to the bottom of the Burz chairlift and then walk past the tourist office back to your Hotel, just about 50 metres before the bottom of the Burz chair there's a wide short track off to the left hand side that goes down to the building where they keep the piste bashers. From there you can take off your skis and its a shorter walk down to the Hotel Portavescovo. Madeye-Smiley

PPPS: Have you had a chance to check out any of the beers in the Hotel bar yet? Toofy Grin
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You can easily get marmolarda and the anticlockwise Great War ring in a day (including a top to bottom switchback to Alleghe which IMHO is about the best run in the world.) And have time to a bit at Cinque Torri which is a wonderful place.
Do check if the horse drawn lift is on though as it's not a piste and may not be covered by artificial snow.
If you loved sass long you,ll love the black I to Alba and the others on the ski Panorama route. The Tomba run is as exciting as the man.
Glad you're enjoying Arabba. Maybe come back another year and meet us all at the Birthday Bash.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@sbooker,
Alistair Pink's comments are spot on. So glad you are enjoying what I think is the best all round ski experience one can have. Marmolada is a great run if the weather is good, but it is just one of many in the Dolomites. Enjoy!
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@Alastair Pink,
I went to the quiet pizza place at the back of the hotel yesterday evening to catch up on a few work emails and got to talking (in very broken English and extremely broken Italian) to the owner and what appeared to be regular locals. The barman insisted on getting me a ‘special’ red ale - very good! He then followed up with a couple of his own ‘free’ grappas.
The beer in the Hotel is great. And the 5 euro half litre of vino is surprisingly good.
@cameronphillips2000,
Myself and Kylie will be going on a two centre trip in February 2020 (without kids) for our twentieth wedding anniversary. We were thinking Canada but the possibility of coming back to Europe has been discussed. Stay tuned. It would be nice to put faces to some names.
@Aussie Steve,
Yes. Very impressed with the area.
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@sbooker, great update and pics. Pistes looking in good condition.
Enjoy Cinque Torri and Hidden Valley day.
snowHead

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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@PeakyB, Yep, the hot chocolate in the Dolomites passes the teasoon support test! Laughing
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sbooker wrote:
@Alastair Pink,
I went to the quiet pizza place at the back of the hotel yesterday evening to catch up on a few work emails and got to talking (in very broken English and extremely broken Italian) to the owner and what appeared to be regular locals. The barman insisted on getting me a ‘special’ red ale - very good! He then followed up with a couple of his own ‘free’ grappas.
The beer in the Hotel is great. And the 5 euro half litre of vino is surprisingly good.
@cameronphillips2000,
Myself and Kylie will be going on a two centre trip in February 2020 (without kids) for our twentieth wedding anniversary. We were thinking Canada but the possibility of coming back to Europe has been discussed. Stay tuned. It would be nice to put faces to some names.
@Aussie Steve,
Yes. Very impressed with the area.


You're hooked, you'll be back. Toofy Grin
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@sbooker,
Hot chocolate last year. I think it was at Rifugio Cherz.

And yes, you could stand the spoon in it!
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A change of plans for today. The winds were light and are due to increase tomorrow so we took the opportunity to do the Marmolada glacier run. We stopped at the museum for a look too. It wasn’t perfectly clear so the views weren’t as good as they could be although still impressive.
After a quick coffee and strudel (how do they do that for 3 euro?) at the rifugio at the bottom of the Marmolada set off for Arabba. We were going down a steepish red and in hindsight I was going too fast for the amount of people (that were not great skiers) on the slope and a fellow changed direction to go uphill Shocked so I had to go over the side of the run to avoid colliding with him. Major crash. My helmet hit one large rock/boulder (scratch to prove it) and my right shoulder and hand hit another. I’m very tender now. And embarrassed I was being a fool - I usually curse people skiing too fast in crowds. Lesson learned.
After that we headed over to Alta Badia and got lost a maze of cruising blue runs before having a late lunch at La Marmotta. Fantastic carbonara! We then did the long run under the Boe gondola to Corvara before heading up the Vallon chair for arguably the best views I’ve seen.
One the way back to Arabba we did the ‘fun slope’. Amazing how kids that are 11 and 13 are still little kids at times. Very Happy
Been for a brews at Bar Peter across the street. Now having a Krombacher Pils at the Stube. Dinner soon.
A top day today - definitely doing the Hidden Valley tomorrow.
https://i.imgur.com/yfLTFgb.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/HeZDlRK.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/yJf15j0.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/2dWVmUt.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/6q9l7nk.jpg
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@sbooker, oops, hope you’re OK and good that you were wearing a helmet.

Sounds like a great day otherwise. Good to still have the Hidden Valley to look forward to.
As others have recommended, if you have time to ski the runs below Cinque Torri, they’re well worth doing.
snowHead
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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
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
Nasty. Hard enough to need a new lid?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@sbooker, sorry to hear about your crash, as Peaky B said good job you were wearing a helmet and I hope any painful bits soon get better. Enjoy the Hidden Valley tomorrow!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Best way to do it is Great War ring anticlockwise. The route around is even more picturesque than the Hidden valley.

Sorry to hear about your prang. If it's any consolation. Your brain had undergone quiet a massive drop and then rise in Oxygen levels. Marmolarda is one serious vertical.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@PeakyB,
I’m a relatively recent helmet convert after being ‘first responder’ to a snowboarder who hit his head on ice and had to be lifted out on a helicopter after an extremely serious injury at Squaw Valley in January 2017.
Will be sure to check our Cinque Torri tomorrow.
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@sbooker, as @ster mentioned, worth a close look at helmet to check for any more serious damage.
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@sbooker, kudos for fessing up that you were a knob. I like that.
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@sbooker, any comments on snow conditions, what kind of shape they’re keeping the pistes in?
snowHead
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Sbooker, great trip report. I’ve been enjoying reading it and following your travels.

I was also on the Alta badia blues this afternoon after spending the morning in Colfosco. Sounds like you had a great time and we might even have passed each other around Corava.

I would say the pistes are in great shape at the moment. This morning the snow was really very good. Not icy at all but not slushy either. Pretty much perfect. There’s plenty of snow on the pistes but off piste is very bare and looking shiny from previous melt/ freeze cycles. It’s still scenic and wintery though, would just benefit from a decent snowfall sometime.

I hope you’re OK after the fall and enjoy the rest of your trip.
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sbooker wrote:

Will be sure to check our Cinque Torri tomorrow.


Once you get to Passo Falzarego you have the option of going up the cable car to the top of Lagazuoi and skiing down the right hand red/black piste almost to the bottom but before you go all the way back to the bottom of the cable car there's a track off to the left heading for the Cinque Torri area. There's a few flat stretches on the route to Cinque Torri so carry as much speed as you can when you see the flats, but it's worth it when you get to Cinque Torri, great scenery and uncrowded pistes. Very Happy

Heading back from Cinque Torri to Passo Falzarego there are two options. Once you've taken the chairlifts to reach the top of the Cinque Torri area at Averau (nice restaurant at the top there too Madeye-Smiley ) there's a run down the far side with a turning off to the right to a chair called Croda Negra. IF it's running then there's a ski route from the top of the chair back to Passo Falzarego. However it often isn't running, and if you find the path to the Croda Negra chair is closed off then you'd have to ski down to the bottom of the far side of Cinque Torri where there's a very slow chair back up to the top of Averau which would lose you time. So I'd recommend when you get to the Cinque Torri base area ask at the information/ticket office kiosk whether the Croda Negra chair is running. If not there is a fairly frequent free ski bus service from the Cinque Torri base car park that takes you back up to Passo Falzarego (the bus times should be posted at the kiosk).

Enjoy!
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@Alastair Pink, great advice again
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!
@olderscot, given how little natural snowfall there’s been, they do an amazing job on those pistes.
snowHead
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PeakyB wrote:
@sbooker, as @ster mentioned, worth a close look at helmet to check for any more serious damage.

I’ll be sure to do that.
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@PeakyB,
As mentioned the piste conditions are excellent particularly given the amount of natural snow they’ve had. This time last year we were skiing on and off piste at Jackson Hole so hear is a completely different experience. The vastness of the skiing is new also and we do enjoy the ‘day trip’ thing.
On another note we’re loving the ‘half board’ thing. It works so well to stay within the hotel after a big day skiing.
@Alastair Pink,
You’re a wealth of knowledge. Thanks!
I’ll let you know how I get on.
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Another really enjoying the trip report. I'm another Aussies who's done the Arabba / Portovescovo half board thing (although I stayed down the road at Bella Vista). It really is great to not have to employ any brain cells after a day of skiing about what to do for dinner Very Happy

Also hope you're feeling okay after your crash. Hey, we've all done something a bit stupid on slopes at one time or another.

I'd definitely consider a new helmet. I remember from my horseriding days that it was always drummed into us after a big fall to replace the helmet, even if there wasn't visible damage as it has 'done it's job' and absorbed the impact.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@sbooker, Hope your trip to Cinque Torri and the Hidden Valley went well (assuming you went there today Laughing )

How much longer have you got in Arabba? I don't know if it's on your plans, but many snowHeads on the Birthday Bash like to fit in a trip to Santa Croce/Heiligenkreuz/La Crusc. It's a nice ski trip and the rifugio by the side of the church at the top of the top chairlift nestled at the foot of the Sasso Santa Croce mountain makes for a very scenic lunch stop. There's some lovely tree lined skiing down from the rifugio afterwards. From Corvara you need to ski to La Villa then follow the signs for "La Crusc" (the ladin name for Santa Croce) https://www.lacrusc.com/?lang=en
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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
@sbooker, i think we're in tge same restaurant (cantineta?) In Canazei. One of you blonde with a big bobble hat.

Anyway, 8 aussies having dinner across the room. (I'm wearing cuecked shirt).
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You know it makes sense.
@Alastair Pink,
Mission successful. We got an early start and despite intermittent cloudy and light snow conditions we were awed by the beauty of the place. We loved the virtually empty pistes too. I am curious to know if that area receives more snow than the main area as it appeared there was more off the pistes.
I would argue the Cinque Torri general area is almost as pretty as the Hidden Valley itself. Some parts reminded me of the National Parks in Utah USA - like Canyonlands with snow.
After we caught the horse tow which my daughter loved we headed to the Gran Risa run down to La Villa and lapped that a few times before a latish lunch. The afternoon was spent cruising the blues in Alta Badia before we just got the last lift over to Arabba. We stopped at Plan Boe hut so my wife could get in her regular afternoon cuppa (very British?). The place was jumping and we ran into some other Aussies. We swapped war stories for a while. The fellow’s wife had a crash today and snapped both skis. Shocked
Just in the bar with an Erdinger refreshment while catching up with a bit of business.
A few photos.
https://i.imgur.com/c7B8M7h.jpg
Kylie on a busy slope.
https://i.imgur.com/ROQ6nLA.jpg
Tom on the Gran Risa.
https://i.imgur.com/ydfVQBe.jpg
Emily loved the horse tow.
https://i.imgur.com/aBWYJ6z.jpg
Obligatory frozen waterfall shot.
https://i.imgur.com/TYNlPRp.jpg
Views and snow were great.
https://i.imgur.com/Llq8fs7.jpg
You’ve seen this but it’s special.
https://i.imgur.com/cAyv9wj.jpg
Cinque Torri.
We ski here tomorrow and move on to Innsbruck the next day. We haven’t spent much time in the western side of the big rock so may explore there tomorrow. I like the idea of the tour around Val Di Fassa.
I ran into Ian (Toyah807) from Snowheads this morning. I hope his day to the Marmolada glacier went well.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
marodo2712 wrote:
@sbooker, i think we're in tge same restaurant (cantineta?) In Canazei. One of you blonde with a big bobble hat.

Anyway, 8 aussies having dinner across the room. (I'm wearing cuecked shirt).


That’s not me but Toyah807 picked me by my accent only morning while kiting up outside the ski room.

No blonde in my crew. I’m short and dark hair and my wife is has part Fijian heritage but we make very good looking kids. Laughing
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Quote:

No blonde in my crew. I’m short and dark hair and my wife is has part Fijian heritage but we make very good looking kids.

Laughing

Anyway, there are eight Aussies in Canazei!

Have fun!
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Loved the photos and the story. I think you can probably call yourself a true Snowhead now you've done the Hidden Valley.
Val de Fassa and the Ski Panorama route is epic and I'm sure you ll have fun it you do it tomorrow. The bar/restaurant at the top of the red/black above Pozza do Fassa is lovely.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
If you're in Marmalada for lunch tomorrow and you shout 'Snowhead where are you!' I'll buy you a beer.
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@sbooker, glad that you managed to do both the Cinque Torri and Hidden Valley today. Very Happy Was the Croda Negra chair in operation or did you take the skibus from the front of Cinque Torri back to Passo Falzarego?

P.S Hope you (and your kids) get a chance to check out the hot chocolates before you leave the area! Madeye-Smiley
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@marodo2712,
Hi. I probably won’t be over that direction today. Thanks for the offer anyway. Smile
@Alastair Pink,
Fortunately all chairs were open so no bus required. The kids have sampled the hot chocolates. As previously mentioned Kylie is an avid tea drinker and I love a coffee. I have tried some of the kids though. Certainly rich!@cameronphillips2000,
I’ll report back on the day at Val Di Fassa later this evening.
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I am quite partial to the hot chocolate myself. Especially with a shot of rum added
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If you are going to the Marmalada you may find this interesting;
http://www.museomarmoladagrandeguerra.com/en/the-museum/the-ice-city/
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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!
@JohnHSmith,

I've moved from rum to brandy in mine, great either way Very Happy
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DrLawn wrote:
@JohnHSmith,

I've moved from rum to brandy in mine, great either way Very Happy

Damn. This means I will have to go back again and try it with brandy.
The things I am forced to do in the interests of research !
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@DrLawn, @JohnHSmith,
I arrive in Arabba with our local Rutherglen Muscat

to add to the chocolate. Sublime, just like the skiing, vistas, culture and Snowheads friendship.
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