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Colfosco - corvara

 Poster: A snowHead
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Looking to book a last minute trip in Feb half term and have narrowed down all the resorts to Corvara.

*i reached that conclusion because half term is expensive and I understand Italy is one of the cheaper places. My wife’s a nervous beginner and I read Italy is typically (relatively) quieter and on the same note I read that Corvara is great for nervous beginners.

I can only find reasonably priced accommodation in Colfosco though.

How easy is it to get across to the Corvara plateau area? It looks easy enough on the piste map but they can be deceiving with a nervous beginner in tow. Not forgetting getting back to the hotel too.

Anyone know what the atmosphere in colfosco is like? Not looking for crazy apres but a pint and glass of wine after skiing is always welcome in the evening.
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@Biblu, It's very easy to travel between Colfosco and Corvara - there used to be a chairlift which went between the two towns running virtually horizontally for most of the way which was replaced a year or two back by a brand new gondola. Smile
I stayed with friends in an apartment in Colfosco a few years back, you'll often find people having a drink at the end of the day in the Mathiaskeller which is a good restaurant/bar at the top of the wide blue run slope in Colfosco - just take the "Sodlisia" chairlift which goes to the top of the slope, ski off the chair to the right and the MathiasKeller is in the building right next to the slope with a ground floor wooden open-air deck (it's also nice inside with some amusing bar stools Madeye-Smiley )

There was also a good pizza restaurant which did take-aways situated near to the nursery slope but unfortunately I can't remember the name.
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There's a horizontal cable car linking the two. Above corvara there is loads of easy blues. So you should be ok with a nervous skier. Don't know about the apres in colfresco though as I've never been there in the evening.
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Just to add -- Colfosco is a very good area for the 'nervous' beginner. Some great nursery slopes..
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@Biblu, I would concur with above comments.

Last year I based my family and friends trip in Colfosco. One very timid skier and a couple of other fairly careful skiers in the group. We are returning at the end of Feb this year. All enjoyed it. There is a very easy wide practice slope in Colfosco itself servers by plan or the sodlisia chair. Then there is a very easy run if you go to the gondola that heads up towards Dantercepies and get off at mid station. If you come down that one it can be quite busy as it is on main Sella Ronda but there is a fork to the right which is much less busy. Finally there is the gondola heading up into Edelweiss valley which is a fairly easy run down and if getting more adventurous try the Poma at the top or the chair from around the top of that gondola.

Will comment further ref getting into Corvara and Pralongia areas with their blue runs in a bit.


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Sat 5-01-19 0:57; edited 1 time in total
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Once across the gondola to Corvara, for a nervous beginner the question then is how to actually get up onto the plateau. In all cases you need to take the first little chair (Costes da l'Ega) that starts up the hill alongside Corvara itself. Then you have a choice. Depending on how you/they feel about drag lifts then it may well be safer to start with the long drag (Capanna Nera) and then you can actually practice the ski back to the starting point to get a feel for how it will be on the return journey. On the way back one of the challenges is always to carry some speed over a bridge that you cross and then into the dip that follows it so you get up the final rise, to avoid too much uphill side stepping.

You can then repeat and take the second drag lift (Pralongia) and ski down from there into Planac and take Pralongia chair up. Then ski down again to check out that bit, either all the way back to Planac (the first bit just after the bottom of Pralongia II lift can get rather busy and cut up) or get on Pralongia II and then take it from there.

Have you downloaded the 3D Dolomiti Superski map? I find the ability to virtually zoom around the area gives a much better view of the actual terrain and layout than the other maps.

The alternative is after the first little chair to make you way across (under) the road and to Col Alt bubble. At the top of Col Alt the first pitch is offputting but there is an easy route round to the left. Get on Braia Fraida chair and once at the end of that you are in the heart of blue territory. Bear in mind the return from there is a fair ski down by one of the routes but they are all blues. End of day can be busy and cut up of course. You always end up coming via the little bridge I mentioned above.

I suppose a final option for download and return to Colfosco is to come down from Piz La Ila on the gondola into La Villa and then there is probably a bus back to Corvara and possibly on to Colfosco itself.

When returning to Colfosco by ski, depending on where you are staying you either want to take Sodlisia chair up to reach residences at that far/top end, or the Colfosco/Edelweiss bubble up and ski back down into the village. It is walkable from the Borest gondola but a trudge uphill.
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My mrs is a nervous skier and loves blue runs 40/40a out of colfosco. Take the gondola up towards passo gardena then offload at the mid station and head back down to colfosco. She prefers this to almost any other run as its wide and cruisy and she can't pick up much speed. To be fair red 40 that runs down to blue 40 from the top of the gondola is not bad but does have a slight steep area by the mid station where it joins the blue that can be a bit naughty.

I think some of the best blues are over towards san cassiano down from pralongia (9a iirc) 10 from Bioch and 10a from Las vegas and finally 11 from Piz Sorega. 11 and 9 are great runs and some of my favourite every despite being an easy ski. They are just treeline fun especially with fresh snow.

Check out piste 1 if you are a better skier, thats a lot of fun down from Piz Boe.

There is great food and drink on the mountain too, i think the Eidelweiss has lively apres ski drinks then ski back down to Colfosco.

I like Pizzeria Fornella in Corvara, its usually always busy. Not sure are going to see Austrain style apres Ski though this is the Tyrol so its more likely in Corvara than anywhere else nearby.


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Sun 6-01-19 0:41; edited 1 time in total
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SteveM wrote:
Once across the gondola to Corvara, for a nervous beginner the question then is how to actually get up onto the plateau. In all cases you need to take the first little chair (Costes da l'Ega) that starts up the hill alongside Corvara itself. Then you have a choice. Depending on how you/they feel about drag lifts then it may well be safer to start with the long drag (Capanna Nera) and then you can actually practice the ski back to the starting point to get a feel for how it will be on the return journey. On the way back one of the challenges is always to carry some speed over a bridge that you cross and then into the dip that follows it so you get up the final rise, to avoid too much uphill side stepping.

You can then repeat and take the second drag lift (Pralongia) and ski down from there into Planac and take Pralongia chair up. Then ski down again to check out that bit, either all the way back to Planac (the first bit just after the bottom of Pralongia II lift can get rather busy and cut up) or get on Pralongia II and then take it from there.

Have you downloaded the 3D Dolomiti Superski map? I find the ability to virtually zoom around the area gives a much better view of the actual terrain and layout than the other maps.

The alternative is after the first little chair to make you way across (under) the road and to Col Alt bubble. At the top of Col Alt the first pitch is offputting but there is an easy route round to the left. Get on Braia Fraida chair and once at the end of that you are in the heart of blue territory. Bear in mind the return from there is a fair ski down by one of the routes but they are all blues. End of day can be busy and cut up of course. You always end up coming via the little bridge I mentioned above.

I suppose a final option for download and return to Colfosco is to come down from Piz La Ila on the gondola into La Villa and then there is probably a bus back to Corvara and possibly on to Colfosco itself.

When returning to Colfosco by ski, depending on where you are staying you either want to take Sodlisia chair up to reach residences at that far/top end, or the Colfosco/Edelweiss bubble up and ski back down into the village. It is walkable from the Borest gondola but a trudge uphill.


Sound info that! Madeye-Smiley

My mrs doesn't like the bit at the top of the second drag (Pralongia?), it was fairly cut up from people sidestepping it and although wasn't long, was a bit steep for her with the moguls and cutup snow.
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Sweedish wrote:
My mrs is a nervous skier and loves blue runs 40/40a out of colfosco. Take the gondola up towards passo gardena then offload at the mid station and head back down to colfosco. She prefers this to almost any other run as its wide and cruisy and she can't pick up much speed. To be fair red 40 that runs down to blue 40 from the top of the gondola is not bad but does have a slight steep area by the mid station where it joins the blue that can be a bit naughty.


Agreed. The blue 40/40A was favourite of our group's most timid skier. I agree the red above it presents a challenge at that bit just above the mid station and I have not yet decided on the best approach for that bit for a less confident person. But I think it is keep well right on the way down and then come round the mid station as late as possible. Certainly the left side coming down is considerably steeper.
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Colfosco has a very easy blue to Covara. Have you looked at San Cassiano? Same skiing as Corvara but, not being on the Sella Ronda is far less busy.
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SteveM wrote:
Sweedish wrote:
My mrs is a nervous skier and loves blue runs 40/40a out of colfosco. Take the gondola up towards passo gardena then offload at the mid station and head back down to colfosco. She prefers this to almost any other run as its wide and cruisy and she can't pick up much speed. To be fair red 40 that runs down to blue 40 from the top of the gondola is not bad but does have a slight steep area by the mid station where it joins the blue that can be a bit naughty.


Agreed. The blue 40/40A was favourite of our group's most timid skier. I agree the red above it presents a challenge at that bit just above the mid station and I have not yet decided on the best approach for that bit for a less confident person. But I think it is keep well right on the way down and then come round the mid station as late as possible. Certainly the left side coming down is considerably steeper.


Thats spot on Steve, keeping well right on the way down is def the way forward, the left side was fairly lethal infact.

The way we dealt with it (timid skier) was we had a row on the slope and i skied off in frustration as my mrs would listen to any advice Laughing
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@Biblu, Colfosco and the surrounding area is very reasonable on drink prices. Stayed in Corvara last year, my OH is a nervous skier and loved the place. Getting from Colfosco to Corvara is the cable car, then we always took the Col Alt as we found this was the quickest and easiest way to get to the lovely blues in the bowl area. My wife found the 10a and 9a/11 blues down into San Cassiano great and hardly ever busy, its approx 5k long so is a fantastic run for a nervous timid skier imo.
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@Sweedish, classic! HappyHappyHappyHappyHappy
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Simon94 wrote:
@Biblu, Colfosco and the surrounding area is very reasonable on drink prices. Stayed in Corvara last year, my OH is a nervous skier and loved the place. Getting from Colfosco to Corvara is the cable car, ....


I think you'll find it's a gondola rather than a cable car. Madeye-Smiley
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SteveM wrote:


You can then repeat and take the second drag lift (Pralongia) and ski down from there into Planac and take Pralongia chair up. Then ski down again to check out that bit, either all the way back to Planac (the first bit just after the bottom of Pralongia II lift can get rather busy and cut up) or get on Pralongia II and then take it from there.



You only need to take the first drag lift (Capanna Nera) to get down to Planac. At the top of the drag, just cross over the blue 8 slope in front of you and to the right is a short track that takes you down to Planac. The short track basically joins up with the main slope down to Planac (as if you were coming from either the Capanna nera hut or the La baita hut). No need to go up the second drag to get there!!

Be aware that the blue 40A piste from the mid station of the Plans-Frara gondola is currently shut and will remain so until a decent fall of fresh snow arrives.

As for the steep section above the mid station, I agree with others on here, keep to the right hand side , far less steeper than the left

The blue 8 piste down from the la baita hut is not the only way back to Corvara. You can also get the blue 5 piste down from Arlara restaurant. As you pass Boconara hut take a left before the Arlara chair station and follow the track down, take a sharp left over the bridge and then turn right. From here you can either continue down (over the small bridge mentioned earlier several times) to the Boe and Borest gondola stations. Or take a right down to the Col Alto gondola station. For some reason, the track from the Arlara chair station down to where it joins the blue 8 slope above the Costes De L'ega chair exit, is not shown on the 3D Reality view map (not sure why as it definately does exist).

Just like to say there is some great advice on this thread. It should ideally be stickied for future reference
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 Poster: A snowHead
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I would also add that Colfosco itself is a great place for nervous beginners. There are plenty of nice and easy confidence giving blues to get used to before heading over to the Pralongia plateau. The ski school in Corvara nearly always takes it’s groups over to the Colfocsco blues for the first day or two before taking them up to the Pralongia plateau.
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jimmybog wrote:

Just like to say there is some great advice on this thread. It should ideally be stickied for future reference


This, absolutely. This kind of first hand information is priceless and what makes Lonely Planet such a success. Thank you for the info, gives my a great confidence that the area is right for my wife whilst highlighting the beginner dangers Happy

Sweedish wrote:
The way we dealt with it (timid skier) was we had a row on the slope and i skied off in frustration as my mrs would listen to any advice Laughing


Laughing this reminds me of our ski trip last year, where at one point my wife froze on the crest of a slope for a good 30 mins. After we finished rowing we ended up taking our skis off, walking across the piste and down an access road!! To be fair it was an Italian blue that suddenly turned into a good French red Laughing

cameronphillips2000 wrote:
Colfosco has a very easy blue to Covara. Have you looked at San Cassiano? Same skiing as Corvara but, not being on the Sella Ronda is far less busy.


As it happens I’m struggling to find accommodation in Corvara or Colfosco, but there is one in San Cassiano...so it’s quickly become an option. Is the run back into San Cassiano ok for beginners?

San Cassiano looks quiet, but beggars can’t be choosers, right, and I’d rather the easier skiing than a big resort where we don’t do any skiing.
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@Biblu, I’d say San Cassiano would suit you well. There are a couple of reds down but an easier blue route too, which is gentle. Where are you looking at in San Cassiano?
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I thought it was just me and my Mrs who argued on the slope...the constant sound of me saying lean down the slope echos round and round in my head as i go to sleep each night as i have repeated it sooooo many times rolling eyes Laughing Laughing

On a serious note, San Cassiano is great imo! I have stayed there before and really rate it. The slopes down are all blue heaven. There are little to no queues uplifting and the base station is great with a carpark just next to the lift station with great locker facilities at the bottom of the slope where you can leave your kit rather than take it back to the hotel. A lot of residences including airb&bs give you bus access/pass so you can take the local ski bus to the slope or as i prefer i just take the car..parking was i think 5 euros ish a day. To be fair you can drive to Colfosco or Corvara too and Park, i have parked at Colfosco a number of times as its a better car park than the one in Corvara though prefer to ski across when possible.

San Cassiano centre is quiet and is smaller than the other 2 villages. There is a restaurant and pizzeria but i tend to eat in the day on the slope here as the mountain food is so good and reasonable and then cook in the eve (as we often self cater). There is a little supermarket and bakery with a couple of bars and a couple of well swanky hotels.


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Sun 6-01-19 10:39; edited 1 time in total
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Looking at Pension Al Sole in San Cassiano - looks a few minutes walk from the lift.

I'm concerned San Cassiano will be too quiet as it sounds like it only has a couple places to eat in the night - we'll have a car though so guess it'd be easy enough to pop along to Corvara one night for a change of scenery


edit: scrap that, the appalling altabadia.org website was tricking me and after telling saying it's available, it say's its not at step 2


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Sun 6-01-19 0:40; edited 1 time in total
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Yes it doesn't take long to get to Corvara, the roads can be snowy here so i suggest winter tyres as when they get snow, they get quite a lot.

There are some bars and each hotel will have a bar with lots having restaurants too. If you like fancy check out hotel Rosa Alpina! proper swish!
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yes their site is not the best, get on booking.com or on airb&b though i prefer booking.com for this area
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"San Cassiano will be too quiet as it sounds like it only has a couple places to eat in the night .."


I need to check, but memory tells me that San Cass has two Michelin star restaurants.!

====edit====

Well - one in town and one a little bit outside... Wink
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There is very little night life in this area generally and for some this is part of its appeal.
The whole area is lovely and mostly gentle skiing so I’m sure you’ll enjoy it wherever you stay . There are lots of stay options in corvara?
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albob wrote:
"San Cassiano will be too quiet as it sounds like it only has a couple places to eat in the night .."


I need to check, but memory tells me that San Cass has two Michelin star restaurants.!

====edit====

Well - one in town and one a little bit outside... Wink


Six infact in the Alta Badia region! https://www.altabadia.org/en/italian-alps-dolomites/food-and-drink/six-michelin-stars.html
There is money in this area, thats for sure! The Rosa Alpina has one of the Star restaurants in SC...It's beautiful inside, worth a look even if just for a coffee.
Sadly they are not cheap eats, but what Michelin Star is!
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After much pain (mainly financial) I eventually booked a full week in Colfosco, staying at 'Residence Ciasa Fustü'. Flying out this Saturday so now very excited.

Just about to read back through the fantastic info in this thread and make some notes - so thanks for all the information Happy

Anyone have recommendations for a non-skiing activities? Maybe a nearby afternoon or day trip off skiing? I think my better half will need a break after 2 days and we'll have a car. Unfortunately Venice is a little too far, but any other suggestions will be good. I read there is a public pool nearby, and ice skating in corvara? But would like to have something else in my back pocket in case of needing a ski break.
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You could go sledging at the Piz Sorega ski lift .
Hire sledges at the bottom of the gondola and enjoy a great morning or afternoon of sledging . Followed by an amazing pizza at Las Vegas hut
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On a sunny day, a spectacular afternoon's drive is to go to Cortina - about 1 hour away. The route is via Passo Falzarego, then past Cinque Torre, before dropping into Cortina. Grab a coffee in Cortina and do some people watching/widow shopping around the 4.00pm Passagiata. On your return, take a detour at Pocol for Passo di Giau, which is even more spectacular. Then make your way back to the top of P. Falzarego before retuning to Corvara.

If you've got Dolomitisuperski passes, you could ride the Lagazuoi cablecar (from the car park at the top of P. Falzarego) for spectacular views of the Tofana massif and /or take the Cinque Torre 4 man chair from the car park for close up views.
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Spyglass wrote:
You could go sledging at the Piz Sorega ski lift .
Hire sledges at the bottom of the gondola and enjoy a great morning or afternoon of sledging . Followed by an amazing pizza at Las Vegas hut


This is a great shout! What's the insider tip? I see from the AltaBadia site that it costs 28 euros but a local ski hire shop has sledges for 6 euro?

Does the former include the lift pass, so I only need to rent a sledge at the Piz Sorega gondala for a few euros for the day?

Las Vegas - is this the place?
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I think the site is referring to the lift pass price of eu28 ? U will need a valid lift pass to access the start of the sledge circuit .
We just use our weekly superfolomite ski pass .
The sledge rental is about eu6 each .
You can also park in the san case parking lot next to the lift , but depending what time you get there it could be full.
U pay parking at the machine just before exit.

Refugio Las Vegas is about 100 meters up the slope from where the Piz Sorega gondola summits . It is easily accessible on foot . Fantastic food there and good vibe especially on a sunny day
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I totally agree about Colfosco being a fantastic place for those needing a confidence boost. How about lessons? The cost of a private lesson in this area is very reasonable indeed. If you book the 9 am slot, you can have just an hour which (IMO) would be perfect for a nervous beginner, a nice quiet time to be on the slopes and gives you the rest of the day to practice. How about booking lessons for the first couple of days? This would give you time to scope out the other areas if your are quick (your wife can relax with a coffee in the cafe attached to the ski school in Colfosco before and after her lesson to give you a little more time, or even head over to meet you in Corvara on the horizontal gondola)? From personal experience, I can truly recommend Heidi from the Colfosco ski school. She will work wonders for any skier at any level but particularly fabulous with anxiety issues etc.

Regarding the tobogganing, we just hired the toboggans from the ski hire shop at the top of the Piz Sorega gondala (think it was €5 euro), locked up our skis and headed on down to San Cassiano on the toboggan track, then back up on the gondola. It was such fun we did it twice (you will need your helmet and goggles in any case and the ski boots aided braking and steering). Finish the day before the pistes get too choppy to avoid further confidence problems! A late lunch in the Piz Boe lounge watching the sun start to set is amazing, as is a late afternoon beer in the hut at the top of the gondola to the right as you look up the Eidelweiss valley (sorry, forgot the name - your wife can gondola back down and then an easy ski for the remainder of the run. Have a wonderful holiday.
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Brunico is a nice city (town?), an hour away to the north. In the summer there are definitely buses there, not sure about winter timetables. There's a castle on a hill, a nice old city centre. Worth a look if you want a break from skiing for an afternoon.
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Rcav wrote:
Brunico is a nice city (town?), an hour away to the north. In the summer there are definitely buses there, not sure about winter timetables. There's a castle on a hill, a nice old city centre. Worth a look if you want a break from skiing for an afternoon.


Hourly bus service in winter (think its bus 406) from Corvara/La Villa to Brunico
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jimmybog wrote:
You only need to take the first drag lift (Capanna Nera) to get down to Planac. At the top of the drag, just cross over the blue 8 slope in front of you and to the right is a short track that takes you down to Planac. The short track basically joins up with the main slope down to Planac (as if you were coming from either the Capanna nera hut or the La baita hut). No need to go up the second drag to get there!!


Just looked this up on the 3D map, great tip, thanks!

jimmybog wrote:
The blue 8 piste down from the la baita hut is not the only way back to Corvara. You can also get the blue 5 piste down from Arlara restaurant.


Is there a way to Arlara from the San Cassiano side, though? Is the chairlift two-way from between La Brancia/Tabla restaurant to the Pre Ciablun chairlift (top of blue 5 piste)?
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" Is the chairlift two-way from between La Brancia/Tabla restaurant to the Pre Ciablun chairlift …" Yes, just remember to get of at the right spot !!! (Braia Fraida is the name of the lift)
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Biblu wrote:
jimmybog wrote:
You only need to take the first drag lift (Capanna Nera) to get down to Planac. At the top of the drag, just cross over the blue 8 slope in front of you and to the right is a short track that takes you down to Planac. The short track basically joins up with the main slope down to Planac (as if you were coming from either the Capanna nera hut or the La baita hut). No need to go up the second drag to get there!!


Just looked this up on the 3D map, great tip, thanks!

jimmybog wrote:
The blue 8 piste down from the la baita hut is not the only way back to Corvara. You can also get the blue 5 piste down from Arlara restaurant.


Is there a way to Arlara from the San Cassiano side, though? Is the chairlift two-way from between La Brancia/Tabla restaurant to the Pre Ciablun chairlift (top of blue 5 piste)?



Re this short track from top of capanna nera drag across the blue 8 slope: 2 weeks ago, we had to do a bit of polling on this track which was a bit of a pain. If you dont like polling, go up the second drag, turn right at the top, down and veer left when you rejoin slope 8 just past capanna nera hut. No polling this way!!

As albob says, yes its 2 way. You dont have to remember to get off at the right spot; they will slow the lift down and force you off if it looks like your not planning on getting off. Once you get off, turn left to Arlara. Make sure to get plenty of speed up though as you go down to get up the hill in front of the restaurant. Once up the hill if you want to get to the restaurant, its actually uphill a bit so you will have to walk or poll up. If you want to go down to Corvara, just carry straight on onto piste 5
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