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Dolomites 2019/2020

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Can confirm that Mr and Mrs Mountainaddict are properly keen skiers Laughing
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This four week spell of almost unbroken sunshine looks to be continuing through this week Cool
Temperatures appear warmer than recently but underneath the anticyclone the air is remaining dry helping to maintain the snow surface. Over the last 14 days temperatures have mostly been sub zero at 1420m (Canazei).
The GEFs model trend appears generally dry and settled over the next 10 days. Perhaps a bit of new snow possible towards the end of January ? The prospects for February are looking good although the strengthening sun will start to soften some runs. Piste depths look good https://snowreport.skicarosello.it/skicarosello/?lang=en

Virtually all runs and all lifts are open across the Super Dolimiti area. The perfect weather must be making planning easy for exploring the further reaches of the system. Skier numbers on the webcams look healthy so I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a record breaking season so far, in terms of ticket sales and lift useage ?
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Quote:
thanks for the report and adding the info re parking. We will be doing our first driving trip in a couple of weeks and I did wonder about charges. Do the machines in Italy all require you to have a pocket full of coins or do some take contactless ?
We managed to avoid paying at the ski areas but did pay to park in Bolzano city centre. 'Walther Square Parking' is in a great central spot (big underground car park but you come out on foot in the beautiful main square); easy access to/from the motorway; €1.80 an hour - cards accepted at the pay machine. We also paid to park in Verona.

For info: The Oetzi Iceman exhibition is at the South Tyrol Museum of Archeology - only 6 or 7 mins walk (through lovely Bolzano) from the above parking. There is street parking very close to the museum at €1/hour - but it didn't look like there were too many spaces in total...

As mentioned previously, the museum is well worth a visit (€9 entry) - but it doesn't take too long to get round. We saw everything in under an hour - though we raced round as we were very short of time (heading to the airport for our flight home) due to the museum not opening until 10.00. However, our dash was only possible as we were first ones in the museum. There is a zig-zag queuing system to view Oetzi himself - but no queue when we were there. I'd say that 1.5 - 2hrs would be enough for a more leisurely visit and also to visit the museum shop for all your Oetzi souvenirs... wink

One other parking point to mention: In towns - including Vigo di Fassa - there is lots of disc zone parking, with a limit of an hour or two. These were very small blue discs (in plastic holders attached to the windscreen), where you set your arrival time. No idea where you would get a disc - or whether they are available to tourists.... Puzzled One would certainly have been useful, especially for our trip into Verona.

Enjoy your trip richb67 Smile

Quote:
Can confirm that Mr and Mrs Mountainaddict are properly keen skiers
No idea what could give you that impression Peter SLaughing
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@mountainaddict, I think the parking discs are available from newsagent type shops. We've also found in the past that, if you hunt around in the back pockets of your hire car, there will tend to be one left over from a previous customer.
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I think the parking discs are available from newsagent type shops
I wonder if they'd accept use of a UK one Puzzled Though the ones from my local area are a lot bigger, they are also blue and operate in the same way - ie a twirly wheel/clock where you set the arrival time...
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Last year the closest car park at the uplift in Falcade for the San Pellegrino area took contactless.
(Revolut was ok). Other places we parked - Alpe Lusia ski area car park, Passo San Pellegrino , Agordo - we got free parking.
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Just spotted this over on Alpinforum, a trip report dated last Friday 17th Jan of Civetta ski area.

Lots of nice photos exemplifying the sunny, well-maintained pistes reported on here.

https://www.alpinforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=62962
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Regarding parking in Italy: Good to have some spare euro coins as well as debit card. It's not usually expensive but they will ticket you, from experience...
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I am hoping at least for 10 cm or so of new snow before we hit the Dolomites Feb. 8. I know the pistes will be fine but I do like to have the hillsides covered a bit, too. Three years ago we were lucky with substantial snowfall in-station (Val G) and since then we've struck out...although can't really complain about sun...
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Thanks all for the parking info. @pasigal I’m also hoping for some more snow, maybe this storm in Spain and France will calm down and head that way, 9 days to go.
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Looks like a dusting possible tomorrow and then Tuesday and then broadly dry into the first week of February. Hopefully good weather for skiing though.

https://www.bergfex.com/alta-badia/wetter/prognose/#day4
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Peter S, I use bergfex too and have found it pretty accurate usually.
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Weather for Val G showing snowflakes for next Tues/Wed, but no precision yet on how much. If that early snow hadn't hit we'd be skiing on white carpets through brown fields...I love the Dolomites but it's interesting how little natural snow they actually get. I'd be curious to see some historical snowfall totals. I've seen some articles suggesting that a mere 100 cm is to be expected. That's crazy when you compare to, say, the Rockies or the Sierra Nevada (Calif), which regularly get 300 INCHES plus.
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This has been a bumper year for the Dolomites with most of the snow coming from the south throughout November and then continually perfect weather for skiing since Christmas. Last year most of the snow there arrived in April and May..... after the lifts had closed !

Over the last 10 years I noticed that most of the Sella Ronda has been able to open by New year, irrespective of how much natural snow they get. I think one of their big selling points is the reliability of their skiing. I wonder at what point the climate will eventually defeat them Sad
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Have been out here for three days now, skiing around Gardena, Alta Badia and Val di Fassa. Piste conditions are very good. Just the occasional bit of hardpack here and there in the afternoon but nothing bad. The piste management here is fantastic.
Although there has been no real snow here for some weeks, you wouldn’t know it. The vistas are of snowy mountains and fields - probably because of the low temps and low Jan sun. Even St Ulrich, where we are staying, has snow.
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Sella ronda is reported closed today because of strong winds. Looks as though all the lifts and other slopes are open however and there has even been a dusting of snow Laughing

https://www.bergfex.com/alta-badia/webcams/c14105/
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Yes the infoscreen said the SR was closed but I made it from Belvedere to Selva anti clockwise. I literally saw on person between belv. and Arraba which was pretty cool!
It's been snowing lightly all day but is coming down much harder now. Absolutely a nice top up, not that it really needed it. Basically things are grand on the SR Smile
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Out in Val Di Fassa. We went up over Ciampac towards Pozza. Light dusting here and there in the morning. Then the link over shut early due to wind so we had to bus it back to Alba.

Snowing harder now. I’d say about 5cm at valley level here so hopefully more up top!
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@Fridge03, thanks for the on the ground update. Looking forward as ever to being there next week!
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Another nice recent photo-report on Alpinforum from the Alpe Cermis ski area near Cavalese in Val di Fiemme.

Not much snow on sunny side of the valley, but the shady side has cover and the pistes look perfect!

https://www.alpinforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=62820&sid=e944b68118b801ac72abc08ae923d84e#p5233382


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Warm today in across Sella Ronda. Almost spring like at times. Was skiing with jacket zipped half down, all vents open and only my glove liners. In January...

Meant to be warmer tomorrow. Local guide saying that freezing level will be above Marmolada which at this time of year is pretty unheard of.

Pistes are starting to struggle I’d say, depending on the type of piste.

Steep runs are lovely in the morning but soon the snow on top gets swept to sides and its ice underneath.
High traffic areas especially in the sun are getting to silly mogul levels.

That being said, find a lovely sweeping run off the beaten track and it’s still lovely.
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Noticeably more people than previous years, queue for bus/taxi for Laguzoi probably about 30 mins, dont think I've waited longer than 10 before. I didn't even do the HV, the queue was huge. Jumped in a cab back to Armentarolla. Taxi driver said I'd have been waiting over an hour. He even said there would be a queue for the horse ride, whaaaat!!?
Finally ticked off something I've been wanting to do, back to back SR, orange then green. Actually had time left over, will go for 3x next year Smile
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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Hi,
Thanks for info
What time did you try HV?
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shiva_71 wrote:

Finally ticked off something I've been wanting to do, back to back SR, orange then green. Actually had time left over, will go for 3x next year Smile


As in you did it twice, once clockwise and once anticlockwise in one day? Was thinking of trying it sometime! Mind you a nice and well watered lunch is also important Very Happy
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shiva_71 wrote:
Noticeably more people than previous years, queue for bus/taxi for Laguzoi probably about 30 mins, dont think I've waited longer than 10 before. I didn't even do the HV, the queue was huge. Jumped in a cab back to Armentarolla. Taxi driver said I'd have been waiting over an hour. He even said there would be a queue for the horse ride, whaaaat!!?
Finally ticked off something I've been wanting to do, back to back SR, orange then green. Actually had time left over, will go for 3x next year Smile


We have sadly given up in the HV. Unless you get there really early, the crowds now spoil the enjoyment. The first half is often like a crazy ski cross now. Shame.
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richb67 wrote:
Hi,
Thanks for info
What time did you try HV?

I think it was about 13:00pm. I like the Super 8, Cinque Torre is absolutely stunning scenery but yeah, I think it was a good move to get back to Corvara and do some skiing!
@8611 yes twice in one day - and after 25 days skiing there I still can't decide which way I prefer!!
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@shiva_71, tempted by x4? snowHead
http://blog.holimites.com/en/skiing-sellaronda-in-one-day/
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Wow! Not to be encouraged for the safety of other piste skiers.
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You know it makes sense.
pjd wrote:
@shiva_71, tempted by x4? snowHead
http://blog.holimites.com/en/skiing-sellaronda-in-one-day/


On a Saturday in late March with good snow, still quite a feat though, must have stright skied every run without stopping! Cool
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HV?
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Next 3 days look good in the Alta Badia with lots of sun but quite windy. Pistes will probably be soft in a higher humidity airstream. Then Tuesday - Wednesday will be very windy with a little rain turning to snow as the temperature plunges.

The Dolomites should be a bit better sheltered from the worst weather in the alps although the northerly wind will be an issue. At the moment Bergfex is showing a marked improvement to less windy weather and more sunshine on Thursday. Fingers crossed for some reasonable skiing.
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@Jcosh, Hidden Valley
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We did Hidden Valley on Thursday.

First lift up from Alba, a quick ski into Arabba and then called a taxi. We were picked up in 10 mins and at the gondola for HV by 10-1030.
This was much the better recommendation than skiing all the way into and across Alta Badia and then busing it up.

When we go there, we walked straight onto the Gondola. It was busy up top at the platform but as soon as we skied away it was almost deserted. It was stunning. The views and setting were incredible and the run in perfect condition. Carving down between the rock faces was a dream.
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I was in Selva from Thurs 23rd until Mon 27th. I was wondering if there was some Italian or other holiday week this week just ending? Our first couple of days (Thurs and Fri) were very empty - on a whim diverted off Sella Ronda to do the Hidden Valley on the Friday, because the weather was stunning - no queue for taxis, waited for a couple of cable cars at Lagazuoi ( which are quick), and piste near deserted. Even got a table at Scotonis for the full meat feast mixed grill without trouble.

Sat was very empty - changeover day, I suppose - no problem getting a table for lunch at Santa Croce (not sure that the new gondola adds anything to that experience - I used to rather enjoy the rickety old 2 man chair up through the trees enjoying the scenery).

But this week now ending was a different story - Sunday, and especially Monday, was really crowded. Never seen it so busy, although the lifts cope well, some pistes were downright dangerous. Even heading over to Alba was surprisingly busy. Anyone know if there was some kind of holiday going on?

We also found it difficult to find a hotel for the period - the first part-week had plenty of availability, but not much space from the Sat onwards.

Pistes in generally excellent condition. A few steeper pinch points on the Sella Ronda getting a bit scraped at end of day, but otherwise they really do an excellent job of snow management.
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First day in Madonna Di Campiglio today. It was blue skies, very warm, instructor said weather more like a March and I had my jacket half undone all day and to take gloves off to cool down when on lifts it was just beautiful. Is due to get cold and windy on Tues/Weds.

Conditions good on piste, the lower south facing slopes on the Pradalago side were sticky (rather than slushy) in the afternoon with the odd icy patch on black 57 when we came down ca 4pm. Otherwise didn't see any ice. Evidently their last significant snowfall was just before Xmas but there is still a foot of snow on the roofs in the town. We’ve been told that there hasn’t been the need for snowmaking in Madonna so they are managing it incredibly well.

Key lifts were busyish after lunch with waiting time of 5-10 mins for Groste gondola and Fortini chairlift.

New 6 seater up to Spinale is handy and was popular mid morning. It starts a bit lower than its predecessor which was an ancient and very slow 2 seater.

When we drove up yesterday there was no snow in Pinzolo but the bottom of the Tulot run just above the town was a ribbon of white through the fields and trees. Will probably pop over there tomorrow and if conditions look ok take that run down.
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Nice photo from local guide, Francesco Tremolada today highlighting the spring conditions in the Val de la Fontaine, Piz Boè
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rg1 wrote:

But this week now ending was a different story - Sunday, and especially Monday, was really crowded. Never seen it so busy, although the lifts cope well, some pistes were downright dangerous. Even heading over to Alba was surprisingly busy. Anyone know if there was some kind of holiday going on?

We also found it difficult to find a hotel for the period - the first part-week had plenty of availability, but not much space from the Sat onwards.


No public holidays that I know of in late Jan. Fasching/Carnevale week isn't until late Feb.

Maybe just people cashing in on the last week of low season pricing before the high season kicks on this first weekend in Feb??
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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I didn’t think yesterday in the Val Di Fassa-Carezza sector was so busy for a Sunday. There were no queues of more than 2 minutes for us. This was taking the orange route from Arabba as far as Belvedere. Then peeling off the Sella Ronda circuit to Alba, Buffaure, Pozza. Back up and across to ski area around Rif Kristiana. Then area above Col Rodella, before heading back to Arabba on the green SR route. Two or three small bottlenecks on narrower pistes but mainly because groups stop and stand spread across the middle with a wide stance (polespreading behaviour).

Noticed a very big queue mid morning at the Belvedere chairlift heading anti clockwise. Guess people doing the Sella Ronda green and it was peak time for those who had started from Selva.

Snow conditions on the clockwise half of the area from Arabba to Col Rodella were very good. Far better cover and texture than Alta Badia the day before.

Temperatures a little above freezing with a sunny morning, then cloud cover building until heavy cloud by mid afternoon. Also a noticeable breeze, sometimes strong wind as the day wore on. These things helped keep snow in better condition.

Several excellent black and red runs enjoyed but a choice of terrain to suit most skiers. Vulcano (piste 26) was great and one extremely long black piste (Olympic I think?) was a proper leg burner. What piste number is that anyone?

Chose a place for a quickish lunch in the Buffaure area, Rif. Baita Cuz, which had self service downstairs and good views from inside. They also had an open terrace with table service upstairs and a live vocalist. Very good homemade lasagne, fruit juice, bread €11.

Another smaller wooden restaurant nearby is very good too, La Bolp, sampled a couple of weeks ago, if something more old traditional atmosphere is preferred. Both places the staff were welcoming and friendly.

One more sunny day forecast before a couple of days of cloud and snow. Planning to head to St Cristina and beyond to Seceda if our legs will move fast enough.

As I hear of a day of solid rain in the high altitude resorts of the Tarentaise
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